Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ithaca College Prof. at Cornell Lecture: Agriculture is ‘Capitalist Racialized Patriarchy’

Just another loud old Jewish Leftist lady.  There is no indication that she knows anything about agriculture.  Just an attention-seeker, as far as I can see.  Is she aware that agriculture feeds her?

Zillah Eisenstein, a professor politics at Ithaca College, declared in a lecture last Friday that agriculture is “capitalist, racialized patriarchy.”

The lecture was titled “Thinking about Hetero-Racist Misogyny in ‘Agriculture'” and took place at nearby Cornell University as part of a seminar series on gender issues in the practice of agriculture.

Eisenstein also declared that if war and climate change are extinguished, then there will be “room for revolutionary agriculture.”

Though an author of 12 books with titles such as Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism and her memoir Manmade Breast Cancers, Eisenstein has never worked in or studied agriculture. The professor explained that she was speaking as part of a seminar series on women in agriculture by stating, “[m]y point here is you’re thinking agriculture and I’m thinking capitalist racialized patriarchy.”

Eisenstein also declared that if war and climate change are extinguished, then there will be “room for revolutionary agriculture.”

Most of her lecture was devoted to the concept of intersectionality, or the idea that different forms of discrimination and oppression are interrelated and cannot be understood independently of each other. Eisenstein mostly digressed to philosophical ruminations about capitalism, racism, sexism, imperialism, neo-liberal democracy, and Marxism.

Eisenstein said after being invited to give the lecture, she began thinking about the topic of agriculture by first asking what is intellectually and politically “invisible” in agriculture, and then positing the question of what happens to the “notion of gender” in different agricultural sectors.

“The idea here is gender… can’t and doesn’t stay static, and yet of course it does,” Eisenstein said. “[T]he whole notion of the sexual division of labor that is both implied in the concept of agriculture and also stands outside it.” A significant portion of Eisenstein’s lecture contained such contradictions in terms, which the professor suggested would aid one in analyzing agriculture.

“The notion again [is] of a society, of a world system, of a global economy that talks about what is produced, and talks so much less about what is silently reproduced,” she said.

From there, Eisenstein began to speak more about capitalism and her own political theories, lamenting in particular about how “politics is defined by your position on capitalism [and] never about bodies,” and about the United States’ “fascist democracy.” She turned her critique towards the patriarchy, which she said makes race, gender, and sex invisible to those who regularly practice and study agriculture. Eisenstein said this is the case because the patriarchy is “the flipping of reality [and the] silencing and making invisible particularly women of color.”

Eisenstein challenged the audience to “invert the false universality” of topics such as agriculture and capitalism, and instead focus on more specific ideas, like those intersecting race, gender, and sex. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the Pope on this front for his focus on economic inequality, which she says has the effect of ignoring gender and racial inequalities.

According to Eisenstein, because women are on average poorer than men, the real problem society faces is not the “universal” economic inequality but the “specific” gender inequality. Later, the professor suggested that rather than thinking in universal terms, as man has for most of its modern intellectual history, it would be better to think in “polyversal” terms.

Toward the end of the lecture, after expounding on the differences between “same” and “similar,” Eisenstein summarily declared: “Equality that is the same—I don’t want it.”

During the ensuing Q&A session, Eisenstein fielded several questions about her views on class struggle, the parallels between the patriarchy’s dominance of the female body and of agriculture, and about encouraging more people of color to study agriculture and food science. In response to some of these questions, Eisenstein delved into even further-removed digressions, such as comparing Guantanamo Bay to Nazi concentration camps. The professor also took shots at the Republican Party throughout her speech, saying towards the end that she prefers working with progressive people of color and “really wouldn’t care to have [Dr. Ben] Carson on my team”.


Catholic High School Football Program Banned From Praying Plans To Defy Rule

A North Dakota Catholic High School football program has been prohibited from praying over the loud speaker at Saturday’s playoff game, but they said Friday they intend to pray regardless of the consequences.

The North Dakota High School Activities Association, a public entity which hosts the football league of high schools, has banned praying over the loud speaker during playoff games. Still, Shanley High School, a private Catholic school in Fargo, North Dakota has prayed over the loud speaker every game during the regular season.

But now that it is playoff time, the school says the association specifically told them they were not allowed to pray at Saturday’s game, which will be held at Shanley High’s field.

Shanley High School has teamed up with the Thomas More Society, a religious liberty legal group, and intends to defy the rule. The school sent a letter to the association Friday informing them of their intention to disobey, and that letter was provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Shanley High School argues in the letter they are clearly a religious institution not subject to separation of church and state requirements.

“However, our understanding is that the association’s position is that playoff games are ‘sponsored’ by the association itself, and that that ‘sponsorship’ somehow converts Shanley’s football field into state property and Shanley into a state actor,” the letter reads. “This ‘sponsorship’ is illusory; in all material respects, Shanley will be hosting the game exactly as it does in the regular season—it will, for example, run ticket sales, organize and sell concessions, provide an announcer to announce the game, and provide down markers, for example.”

While the association says allowing the prayers would violate the Establishement Clause as an official endorsement of religion, the school argues that actually denying the right to pray is the real violation of the First Amendment.

“Additionally, based on our preliminary review, this prohibition is a violation of the free speech and free religious exercise rights of the school, as a private and religious entity,” the letter reads. “The Supreme Court has clearly held that it is unconstitutional to require private entities to give up their religious identity in order to participate in government sponsored programs.”

The association did not immediately respond for request for comment. The school argues that no reasonable observer would come to a football game at a Catholic school and view a prayer as a government endorsement of religion.

“And they will be looking down on a massive Christian cross, featured in the Shanley crest, which is emblazoned in the center of the field at the fifty-yard line,” the letter reads. “Therefore, it is our opinion that the distinction between the regular season and playoffs has no merit in supporting the association’s assertion that it is required to treat playoffs differently in order to avoid an Establishment Clause violation. In short, no one attending a football game at this proudly Catholic high school will mistake it for a courthouse, city hall, or public high school.”

This conflict comes just a week after a Washington football coach was put on leave for praying midfield after games, despite his district’s warnings.


Australia: "Alternative" school in meltdown

ABOUT a third of students will leave a Reservoir primary school that teaches transcendental meditation amid a host of complaints.

Maharishi School principal Frances Clarke confirmed a third of the school's 97 students would not return in 2016 "for various reasons, not just because they have concerns about the school".

Ms Clarke said the school had hired an education consultant to review all aspects of the school.

The private school, founded in 1996 before moving to Reservoir in 2002, offers daily meditation, small class sizes, no religious affiliation and consciousness-based education.

The student exodus comes as parents voice concerns with a lack of student assessment, poor record keeping and gender-segregated classes.

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) - the authority responsible for ensuring education meets quality standards - last week confirmed it had received four complaints about the school.

Parent Lefa Singleton Norton said the school's "deeply unhappy parent body" was concerned with a lack of policies and procedures at the school, and a decision to separate some classes by sex.

"Our biggest problem was the gender-segregation stuff, that's kind of where this all started for us, and then it wasn't until trying to deal with those problems that it became apparent just how lax the school was with regards to policies and procedures," Ms Singleton Norton said.

The school recently axed single-sex classes following parent complaints.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said she would not re-enrol her two children after discovering the school had kept little-to-no test or assessment records.

"On the 19th of October I sent the board a formal request saying, `OK, the school claims they've done these tests, the school claims to have a detailed file on my student, I want it by tomorrow'," the parent said. "What I got was just a ramshackle collection of some literacy assessments and no maths assessments.

"Her (maths) workbook was almost entirely unmarked for the first two semesters of the year."

The principal, Ms Clarke, said she was "disappointed" the student in question's workbook had not been marked for "about four months".

She said the school had held a public meeting, reinstated the Parents and Friends Association, and was working through the constitution and taking on board what parents' concerns are.


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