Over 250 female-fronted punk rock songs


This is a list of 291 female-fronted punk rock songs on video, from several countries, recorded from 1977-1989.

Of course, not exhaustive. This one from 1981, eg, fits in.

Daughters of chaos: Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux and the feminisation of rock: here.

How nazis persecuted Anne Frank, other girls


This 4 June 2020 video shows a guided tour of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by two young Dutch girls. The Dutch subtitles can be changed to four other languages, including English.

By Joanne Laurier in the USA:

#Anne Frank Parallel Stories: The young victim of the Nazis

18 July 2020

Directed by Sabina Fedeli and Anna Migotto

#Anne Frank Parallel Stories, directed by Italian journalists Sabina Fedeli and Anna Migotto, is a documentary streaming on Netflix that retraces the life of Anne Frank, as well as five living women who survived the Nazi concentration camps in World War II.

The story of Anne Frank and her diary became known to millions in the wake of the Second World War and was famously adapted as a film in 1959, The Diary of Anne Frank, directed by George Stevens, featuring Millie Perkins.

Anne Frank was born in 1929 in Frankfurt, Germany to a Jewish family. When Anne was four, the family fled the Nazis, moving to the Netherlands. By 1940, the Franks were trapped in Amsterdam by the German occupation of the country. Two years later, Anne’s father started furnishing a secret place in the annex of his business premises.

On her 13th birthday, Anne and her family went underground, and during those two years in hiding, Anne wrote, with a sharp eye and tender soul, about life in the “Secret Annex.” When the Minister of Education of the exiled Dutch government in England made a radio appeal to listeners to hold on to war diaries and documents, Anne started rewriting her diary, but before she was finished, she and the others in the annex were discovered and arrested by the Gestapo on August 4, 1944.

Anne, together with her parents and sister, was transported by train to Auschwitz. Later that year, she, her sister and mother were taken to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Lower Saxony, where Anne died in early 1945, probably of typhoid, at the age of 15.

When the war ended, Anne’s father Otto, the only surviving member of the family, returned to Amsterdam where he was given his daughter’s diary, which was found after the family was taken away. In 1947, he had it published. To date The Diary of Anne Frank has been translated into more than 60 languages and has sold over 30 million copies.

The new documentary has chilling and moving elements. Anne’s tragedy is brought to life through the heartfelt reading of excerpts of her diary by actress Helen Mirren. That narration is intertwined with the perspectives of five Holocaust survivors—Arianna Szörenyi, Sarah Lichtsztejn-Montard, Helga Weiss and sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci. Several of them were Anne’s age when they were sent to concentration camps.

Aish.com provides an outline of the women’s backgrounds. Andra and Tatiana Bucci are Croatian sisters, who were four and six when they were arrested with their mother and a cousin. “First taken to Risiera di San Sabba concentration camp in Trieste [in northern Italy], they were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. When the Soviet army arrived in Auschwitz in 1945, only 650 children of various nationalities were alive, including Andra and Tatiana.”

Arianna Szörenyi also lived in Croatia. “She was 11 when deported and went through four concentration camps, from Risiera di San Sabba to Bergen-Belsen. She survived but lost seven members of her family.”

Helga Weiss was born the same year as Anne Frank. At age 12, she and her family were deported from Prague to the Terezin concentration camp in German-occupied Czechoslovakia, then to Auschwitz, Freiberg (in Germany) and Mauthausen (in Austria). Since childhood, Helga has kept a diary, mainly of elaborate and skillful drawings.

“Sarah Montard escaped the Vel d’Hiv roundup [the mass arrest of French Jews in July 1942—the victims were temporarily held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver (Winter Velodrome), an indoor sports arena] in Paris and went into hiding with her mother for two years until 1944 when she was reported, arrested and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.” She forthrightly tells the camera: “The worst, most terrible thing was the flame from the crematorium. Night and day it rose and made a terrible noise, lighting up the sky that was pink with the flames. After what I experienced, I’m not afraid of anything anymore.” Like Anne Frank, Sarah was a prisoner at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

A number of the women’s descendants talk about the impact of this history on their own lives, including a gifted violinist and another who tattooed his forearm with his great-grandmother’s concentration camp number. One moving scene shows the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague, a memorial to the nearly 80,000 Jewish victims of the Shoah from the Czech lands.

#Anne Frank Parallel Stories explains that 75 percent of Dutch Jews were deported and eventually killed. In February 1941, there was a general strike in the country organized by the then-illegal Communist Party against the Nazis’ anti-Jewish arrests and pogroms. The strike is considered to be the first mass protest against the Nazis in Europe. After three days, the strike was brutally suppressed by German forces.

As a sidebar, the documentary follows a teenage girl, #KaterinaKat (Martina Gatti), who texts an imaginary Anne while exploring Bergen-Belsen, museums and historic sites. She feels a generational connection to Anne, trying to relate the latter’s story to today’s reality. Gatti’s texts are an updated version of “Dear Kitty”. the fictional character to whom Anne addressed many of her diary letters.

The core of #Anne Frank Parallel Stories is Mirren’s reading from Anne’s diary in a replica of the clandestine refuge in Amsterdam by set designers from the Piccolo Theatre in Milano. Anne’s youthful words and thoughts capture humanity’s hopefulness and resilience even as she records the Holocaust—the greatest crime in human history. Several entries are worth highlighting:

November 19, 1942: The news is terrible. The authorities have taken away so many friends and people we know to concentration camps. Army cars go round the streets day and night to arrest people. They’re looking for Jews; they knock on every door, and ask whether any Jews live there. When they find a Jewish family, they take everybody away. They even pay money for information. In the evenings, when it’s dark, I often see long lines of innocent people walking on and on. Sick people, old people, children, babies—all walking to their deaths.

April 5, 1944: I want to make something of my life. I want to be a journalist. I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, a lot of my diary is alive and amusing, but … I don’t know yet if I can be a really good writer. But then if I can’t write books or for newspapers, I can always write for myself. I don’t want to live like Mother, Mrs van Daan, and all the other women who simply do their work and are then forgotten. I need more than just a husband and children! I want to be useful, and to bring enjoyment to all people, even those that I’ve never met. I want to go on living after my death!

April 16, 1944: Remember yesterday’s date, because it was special for me. When a girl gets her first kiss, it’s always an important date …

It was a kiss through my hair, half on my left cheek, and half on my ear. I ran downstairs and didn’t look back! Last night, Peter [van Daan] and I were sitting on the sofa as usual, in each other’s arms. Suddenly, the usual Anne disappeared—the confident, noisy Anne—and the second Anne took her place. This second Anne only wants to love and to be gentle. Tears came to my eyes. Did he notice? He made no movement. Did he feel the same way as I did? He said very little. There were no answers to my questions.

May 3, 1944: Why do governments give millions each day for war, when they spend nothing on medicine or poor people? Why must people go without food, when there are mountains of food going bad in other parts of the world? Oh, why are people so crazy?

May 25,1944: The world is turned upside down. The best people are in concentration camps and prisons, while the worst decide to put them there.

The diary’s postscript simply states: “On the morning of 4 August 1944, a car arrived at 263 Prinsengracht, the address of the Secret Annex. The eight people from the Annex were first taken to a prison in Amsterdam. Then they were sent to Auschwitz, the concentration camp in Poland.

“On 16 January 1945, Peter van Daan had to go on the terrible prisoners’ walk from Auschwitz to Mauthausen in Austria, where he died on 5 May 1945 [at the age of 18]. He died only three days before the Allies got to the camp. Edith Frank, Anne’s mother, died in the Auschwitz concentration camp on 6 January 1945, too tired and too hungry to live any longer.

“Margot and Anne Frank were taken from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Hanover, in Germany. A terrible illness attacked the prisoners there. They both died in the winter of 1944-5. Anne must have died in late February or early March. All the bodies of the prisoners were thrown together. The British army arrived at the camp on 12 April 1945.”

One of the film’s commentators observes: “Imagine the talent that Germany destroyed … when you destroy children, you destroy infinite possibility.”

Anne Frank is one of the best known and best-loved figures of the 20th century. It is timely and commendable that the documentary revisits her story. Mirren’s reading of the diary excerpts is deeply affecting, evocative and sobering. In fact, Anne Frank’s words reveal a bright, unflinchingly honest and insightful young girl. They also give some sense of a highly cultured milieu.

Since the late 1950s, there have been almost two dozen theatrical and television films based on Anne’s story. In this case, the filmmakers clearly have been impelled to one extent or another by the current political situation, including the rise of far-right movements and the attacks on immigrants and refugees. “With the advent of the wars in Syria, Libya, Iraq,” states Mirren, “with the immigration issue that’s happening in Europe, it’s so easy to start pointing your finger at different races, different tribes, different cultures, different people and say ‘you’re to blame for my problems.’”

She goes on to explain that Anne Frank’s diary “is an amazing teaching tool, an amazing vessel to carry the real understanding of human experiences of the past into our present and very much into our future. I find it very, very important and that’s why I wanted to do this piece.”

Unfortunately, once again, despite the genuine feeling poured into the project, there is no effort here to explain the origins and rise of fascism. Parallel Stories adopts a somewhat amorphous and abstract attitude toward history. Anne Frank herself had some intuitive insights into the driving forces of the phenomenon. There was a general understanding at the time that fascism was connected to the defense of big business and was a response to the Russian Revolution and the threat of revolution in every country.

Global capitalism today has not solved any of the problems that led to the rise of Nazism in the 1930s. On the contrary, its contradictions are erupting with convulsive force.

Rape suspect becomes new French Interior Minister


This French TV video says about itself (translated):

Gérald Darmanin, first day under pressure

Barely appointed, already controversial: Gérald Darmanin is a new, already weakened Minister of the Interior. Accused of rape, still under investigation, he attracts the wrath of feminist associations which have multiplied their demonstrations throughout the day. They demand his resignation. A BFMTV document of Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

By Ben Chacko, 8 July 2020:

French Prime Minister defends appointment of Interior Minister facing rape charge

FRANCE’S new Prime Minister, Jean Castex, today defended his appointment of Gérald Darmanin as Interior Minister despite the latter facing a rape charge.

Mr Castex said the charges against Mr Darmanin weren’t relevant as everybody is innocent until proven guilty.

Feminist organisations led protests in Paris on Tuesday over his appointment and that of new Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, who attacked the #MeToo movement against rape and sexual harassment, complaining that “crazy” women were “crucifying” men on social media, and condemned France’s 2018 ban on street harassment of women as a “joke”.

Like new right-wing Prime Minister Castex, Darmanin is a former acolyte of discredited right-wing ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Maid of Ace, English women punk rockers


This live music video says about itself:

Maid of Ace – 01.11.2019 – Collosseum Music Pub, Košice, Slovakia (Full Concert)

Members:

Alison C Elliott – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Anna C Elliott – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Amy C Elliott – Bass, Vocals
Abby C Elliott – Drums

Maid of Ace are an all-women punk rock band from England.

In that, they are a bit similar to other British bands. Like Nancy and the Dolls.

But the difference is that Nancy and the Dolls mainly play covers from other bands. Until recently, they were called the Sex Pissed Dolls, playing, eg, Sex Pistols covers, like this 16 May 2019 Anarchy in the UK.

Maid of Ace are also somewhat similar to the British Ramonas. The Ramonas play their own songs, but very often, covers of their role models, the Ramones. Like this 2019 Sheena is a punk rocker, recorded in Bilbao in the Basque Country in Spain.

Maid of Ace sometimes do play covers. Like this Happy House, originally by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Recorded on 23 November 2013 in Maid of Ace’s native Hastings.

But they mostly play their own stuff. And while the Ramonas, similarly to the Ramones, all have the surname Ramona on stage, Maid of Ace all have the same surnames because they really are sisters.

Maid of Ace interview: here. And here. And here. And here.

By Ged Babey in Britain, July 31, 2016:

Album Review

Maid of Ace: Maid In England (Maid of Ace Records) …

8/10

All-girl all-sister band from Hastings. New Breed Punk Rock’n’Roll. Ged Babey thinks they are ace…. For fans of the Distillers, the Runaways and Hole

I blame the parents.

If you have four girls why would you name them Alison Cara, Anna Coral, Abby Charlotte, and Amy Catherine? Well because if your surname was Elliott, you’d have, initially: Four ACE’s. A good hand and a great band.

The Ramones, as we know, were not brothers, and there are a few bands with sisters in, but I can’t think of any others who have FOUR sisters in. Apart from the Shaggs

The best thing about Maid of Ace, apart from their biker-rock’n’roll punk-tunes, is the fact they don’t sell themselves as a tits’n’ass chick band or a preachy feminista-sista act. They just get on with it. They play hard and fast and loud and dirty. They have a blood-ties gang mentality and their mission is to have fun. The photo on the album cover captures their essence, as do their promotional videos. Maid of Ace’s brand of rebellion is about living now, getting pissed, having a laugh and kicking ass, rockin’ out … on a budget and in-spite of the bad-times, grey-skies, hell-in-a-handcart end-of-days we’re living through. That said,
it’s not possible to be ‘a punk band’ and not have ‘something to say’.

Raise the Minimum Wage’ is one song which touches on the daily grind. A brilliant imitation of a robo-computer-voice saying ‘You-have Zero-pounds, zero-pence’ is blow-torched by Alison’s throaty roar. Her voice shreds!

This is the 2018 video of that Minimum Wage song.

A song called ‘Fight’ is a manic manifesto of basic punk rock ideals “Fight for what you believe in…. Take Control …Follow your heart ’n’ feed your soul!” It is the most-hardcore track on the album and reminds me of Conflict, whereas the rest of the album is more street punk meets biker-rock.

‘Greed’ is an anti-capitalism rant you can have a good vent to when you sing-a-long. But targets poverty-porn too: “Somebody else’s tragedy is entertainment for you and me. Ignore!”

This video shows Maid of Ace playing Greed and Spittin Blood live in York, on 20 July 2019.

The title track is more about feeling homesick when on tour rather than any kind of flag-waving nationalism. The Oi! Oi! Oi! chorus will go down well at Rebellion no doubt.

Here is the video of that title track, Made in England.

Maid of Ace don’t really do ‘love songs’. The relationship songs, shall we say are just as raging. The people in their sights are either ‘Boring’ or a ‘Monster’. Even a song called ‘For You’ seems to be more about the romance of getting fucked-up together.

Maid of Ace are one of a bunch of bands who have female members who play a heavy but melodic, grunge-influenced kind of punk rock. Brassick, Trioxin Cherry, Army of Skanks, Hands Off Gretel … all of whom can out drink and outplay or holler their male contemporaries.

This is MOA’s second album -the highlights from the first, Dickhead and Bone Deth have played-to-death videos on Youtube. They were great statements of intent and Maid In England is a solid follow up; Hollywood Rain and Disaster of Noise show musical progression but with none of the rawness smoothed off. Superficial similarities to the Distillers and the Runaways aside, they actually have the feel of a band whose influences probably cover everything from Oi!, Goth, Greebo, Punk, Anarcho, Thrash and Metal. …

I would say that they were Lemmy‘s bastard offspring but that would be casting aspersions on their mum and dad who have raised them well, a ready-made sisterhood of rockers who raise Hell!

Like with musicians all over the world, the COVID-19 disaster now causes problems for Maid of Ace. Certainly in Britain, where Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s mismanagement causes infection after infection. Maybe it takes the removal of the Conservative government to make it possible for Maid of Ace to play safely with audiences again.

Here are their future concerts (if possible).

This 12 June 2020 video says about itself:

“REPENT” performed by “Maid Of Ace”

The second single off their forthcoming third album, due August 2020.

United States, Trump’s ICE sex trafficking scandal


This 16 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

ICE Agents Pay For Sex In Trafficking Scheme

ICE agents pay for sex in a trafficking scheme when ironically their job is to combat sex & human trafficking. John Iadarola and Brett Erlich break it down on The Damage Report.

Should COVID-19 kill workers, imprisoned women?


This 9 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Prager: Employers Should Be Allowed To Get Their Workers Sick!

Dennis Prager

A United States right-winger, too racist even for the British conservative Daily Mail

thinks employers should be protected from lawsuits if they get their employees sick with coronavirus. Sam Seder and the Majority Report crew discuss this.

This 9 May 2020 video about Maryland in the USA says about itself:

Women In Prisons Say They’re Being Punished For Speaking Out About COVID-19 Risks

Women say they’re being punished for contacting people outside about their living conditions. Activists are planning an action May 23 at Jessup Correctional Facility in response.

US candidate Biden and sexual assault allegations


This 28 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Bumped From Ballot

It’s pretty clear what the New York State Democratic Party wants: to shut out and alienate Sanders’ wing of the party from their state politics as much as possible, and make sure that another AOC never happens on their watch.

So, Bernie Sanders is still a candidate for the Democratic party primary elections in many states. Which may give Sanders supporters the chance to influence the Democratic party election platform. However, not in New York State, where the party establishment has purged Sanders from the ballot papers. Leaving Joe Biden as only candidate on those papers.

With Bernie Sanders as its candidate, the Democratic party would have a realistic chance of ending the Donald Trump presidency. Far less so with Biden. Not only because of Biden’s support for wars and for Wall Street. Not only because of Biden’s opposition to Medicare for all; badly needed during this coronavirus crisis. Not only because Biden’s opposition to really stopping global warming.

Also because of this.

This 27 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

New video evidence supporting credibility of Tara Reade’s allegations against Joe Biden emerges. John Iadarola and Francesca Fiorentini break it down on The Damage Report.

“A NEW PIECE of evidence has emerged buttressing the credibility of Tara Reade’s claim that she told her mother about allegations of sexual harassment and assault related to her former boss, then-Sen. Joe Biden. Biden, through a spokesperson, has denied the allegations. Reade has claimed to various media outlets, including The Intercept, that she told her mother, a close friend, and her brother about both the harassment and, to varying degrees of detail, the assault at the time. Her brother, Collin Moulton, and her friend, who has asked to remain anonymous, both confirmed that they heard about the allegations from Reade at the time. Reade’s mother died in 2016, but both her brother and friend also confirmed Reade had told her mother, and that her mother, a longtime feminist and activist, urged her to go to the police.

In interviews with The Intercept, Reade also mentioned that her mother had made a phone call to “Larry King Live” on CNN, during which she made reference to her daughter’s experience on Capitol Hill. Reade told The Intercept that her mother called in asking for advice after Reade, then in her 20s, left Biden’s office. “I remember it being an anonymous call and her saying my daughter was sexually harassed and retaliated against and fired, where can she go for help? I was mortified,” Reade told me.”

Read more here.

By Rebecca Traister in the USA:

The Biden Trap. As the candidate faces credible assault allegations, his progressive female colleagues are being offered a poisoned chalice

27 April 2020

In the world of political reporting on the presidential race, two seemingly divergent stories are taking shape and blowing up, respectively. And it’s the stuff of feminist nightmares.

The first is about the “veepstakes”: Because the world is topsy-turvy and former vice-president Joe Biden cleared the Democratic field in March, we’re in an earlier-than-usual frenzy of speculation about who his running mate will be. Biden, who has long been dogged by criticism on feminist grounds (stemming from his history of bad stances on abortion, his having permitted the ill-treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings, and allegations that he has spent a career touching women in ways that have made them feel uncomfortable), has promised that his running mate will be a woman. (Will she be short or tall, big or small, black or white, left or center? Who is to say, really. She will be A Woman™.)

Meanwhile, Biden’s shaky past behavior around women and their bodies isn’t staying in his past, despite his having worked to overcome it via passage of the Violence Against Woman Act, improving his views on abortion and the Hyde Amendment, sort of apologizing to Hill, and promising to pick A Woman vice-president and appoint A Black Woman to the Supreme Court.

Last year, A Woman named Tara Reade, who worked in Biden’s office in 1992 and 1993, was one of several to allege that Biden had touched her neck and shoulders in ways that were unwelcome; in Reade’s case, while she was in his employ. This March, Reade went further and claimed that Biden in fact digitally penetrated her against her will and that when she complained to his staff, she was retaliated against professionally — claims that Biden and his former staffers have denied but that investigative reporters have been working to shed new light on. Over this weekend, audio emerged of Reade’s late mother, whom she says she told about the assault, calling in to Larry King’s television show in 1993 to complain about how her daughter had a problem with a prominent politician’s staff but was rebuffed when she complained, strongly corroborating the claim that Reade expressed dissatisfaction and suffered professional consequences, an allegation supported by the New York Times, which reported that two former interns recalled Reade abruptly ceasing to supervise them. On Monday, Lynda LaCasse, Reade’s former neighbor and a Biden supporter, told Rich McHugh, Ronan Farrow’s former producer, that Reade had confided to her in detail about having been assaulted by Biden, while another former colleague confirmed to McHugh that Reade had told her she’d complained of harassment and been fired by a prominent politician. Such strong pieces of corroboration should surely imperil Biden’s position at the top of the ticket, though it remains to be seen whether — in the midst of the COVID crisis … — there is any chance that they will.

And part of what’s sickeningly clear is that if Biden remains the Democratic nominee, whichever woman gets the nod to be his running mate will wind up drinking from a poisoned chalice. Because the promise to choose a woman ensures that whoever she is, she will be forced to answer — over and over again — for Biden’s treatment of other women, including the serious allegations of assault leveled by Tara Reade.

This double bind was already apparent this weekend, in advance of McHugh’s reporting, when New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confirmed once again that she would vote for Biden despite their sharp political differences. Ocasio-Cortez, who is progressive on many issues, has a long history of righteous fury at the ubiquity and impact of sexual harassment and assault. Back in 2018, she said that assault is “one of the most serious allegations anyone who cares to be a public servant can be accused of. Sexual assault is about the abuse of power. It is always women who are marginalized. It is the interns. It is the immigrants. It is the trans. They are always most at risk, because society listens to them the least.”

Ocasio-Cortez was also among the first politicians to suggest that Reade’s claims were “legitimate to talk about” and deserved further investigation, for which Reade thanked her on Twitter. But since Ocasio-Cortez has indicated that she intends to vote for Biden, Reade has told the conservative website the Daily Caller how disappointed she is that AOC has chosen to “toe the line”, and on Sunday she tweeted, “Those who remain silent are complicit to rape” and tagged Stacey Abrams, Kamala Harris, … Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, and Ocasio-Cortez; it was retweeted 6,000 times.

One of the grim ironies here is that it’s some of these people who have worked most fiercely to keep Biden from becoming the nominee. But now that he is the presumptive choice, he may in fact be the only presidential bulwark against Donald Trump, who is both murderous and incompetent and whose reelection would lead to further cataclysmic collapse of our environment, health-care system, courts, and democracy, with fatal results that will redound more negatively to women than to men and most negatively of all to women with the fewest resources. In the fight to prevent this, Biden and his campaign will be calling on women — especially the women who have challenged him in the past, including on feminist grounds — to help him build support by rallying other women around him. That rallying will now have to entail somehow papering over the disgust and dismay provoked by multiple allegations of inappropriate touching and alleged assault made against yet another would-be president.

What a grievous mess. Biden’s critics on the left should be hoping for the selection of a powerful progressive to run alongside him, and perhaps succeed him, whenever that might be. But any politician who might fulfill those requirements — whether your fantasies run toward Warren or Abrams or Barbara Lee or Ayanna Pressley (AOC is too young) — will also, tautologically, be a politician who has taken an aggressive stand against sexual harassment and assault. So on the one hand, these are women who left-leaning feminists should hope Biden picks. They are women who themselves might for extremely good ideological reasons want to lead the country and see Biden’s vice-presidency as an opportunity to make his administration, and thus the country, better. Some, especially Abrams, have been very vocal about their desire for this job, which is itself a radical approach to voicing ambition.

Yet in putting themselves forward as subsidiaries to Biden, in accepting an invitation that he might extend, or even in voicing their support for his campaign, these women wind up imperiling themselves by getting tied to him and the mess of his historical shortcomings, often on exactly the issues that have driven them into politics. In fact, they are quite likely to have their own history of righteous advocacy held up against them, used to make them look like hypocrites for agreeing to be on a ticket with a man who has been credibly accused of behavior they have aggressively condemned, and as sops to a system that they are in fact working hard to change. (These kinds of turnarounds have been made by former male rivals all the time, and, in fact, Bernie Sanders has come in for some criticism for having endorsed Biden after Reade’s allegations were made public; but we have a higher tolerance for inconvenient hypocrisy when it comes from male politicians, likely because we have centuries of experience with it and, in this case, because the contested ground — the unequal distribution of power along gendered lines — isn’t at the very heart of the matter.)

But is the only alternative to hope that Biden picks a milquetoast woman who has never distinguished herself as a feminist or progressive advocate and who, therefore, dispiritingly, cannot be called out for hypocrisy? This is indeed one of my fears, as Reade’s story gets firmer corroboration and the Biden campaign and its supporters in the Democratic Party begin to grapple with its seriousness: Will it alter the calculus around his vice-presidential pick, leading him to pick A Woman whom he can count on to diminish Reade’s claims? Is the cost of a nominee who is a disappointment to many feminists on the left a running mate (and thus likely presidential successor) who is just as disappointing? Even those women will still be asked about Reade — Amy Klobuchar and Gretchen Whitmer, both reportedly on his shortlist, have already been asked about it — and any willingness to defend him or shield him from this story will leave them vulnerable to being held responsible for the misdeeds of the mediocre man to whom they will now be publicly bound.

This kind of chilling calculus, even before the Reade allegations, led many Biden critics (including me) to hope that he did not become the nominee from the start. The damage often inflicted by sexual power abuses extend far beyond those who have been abused to others who are reliant on those accused of abuse — whether as employees, dependent economically; family members, dependent emotionally and economically; or voters, dependent politically. One of the hallmarks of systemic gender inequity is that women wind up paying for the misdeeds of the more powerful men to whom they are subsidiary, a setup that reinforces men’s ability to perpetuate and profit from abuse.

Democratic women got a taste of this when Al Franken was accused of harassment. While he denied the allegations and asked for an investigation, his female colleagues were asked repeatedly by those on both sides of the aisle to condemn him or be understood as hypocrites — willing only to come out against those accused of harassment if they belong to the opposition party. Democratic women — including possible Biden VP picks Harris and, eventually, Franken’s close friend Warren — wound up asking that the Minnesota senator resign. .., Recently, when [Senator] Gillibrand endorsed Biden and called him a “champion for women”, she was criticized for it. That criticism may have been fair, but it is also an illustration of the grim tax women are expected to pay, always in reaction to the more powerful men whose authority they don’t get to challenge without being pilloried for it, but that they always must carefully reflect and correctly comment on.

And make no mistake, if Biden loses, regardless of his running mate, even as feminists are being criticized for hypocrisy in not condemning him more swiftly, it will also be feminists and women who are blamed for his loss, for encouraging an environment in which claims of sexual harm are taken seriously enough to damage a politician.

Especially in light of McHugh’s recent persuasive reporting on Reade’s assault claim, Democrats and feminists are in a terrible bind, and that includes those of us who never thought Biden should be the nominee. Because as of now he is the nominee. And he needs a running mate, and I don’t think hoping he picks a dud is a great strategy for expanding progressive power within his administration, even if there are reasonable doubts about how much influence a progressive vice-president might have within his administration.

The fact should be that it is better to have the right voice at Biden’s side than no voice there at all. But if we get that progressive voice, she will immediately be damaged via her association with the nominee. Alas, we do not have a system or culture in the United States that would permit a running mate to say, “I am deeply troubled by the allegations persuasively leveled against my running mate, Joe Biden, and wish we didn’t live in a world in which we had to choose between an accused rapist and self-confessed pussy grabber versus an accused harasser who’s now been credibly accused of assault, but this is what white capitalist patriarchy does and I’m actually here to try to change that!”

We should have a way to say those things. If part of the work of this election is pushing for a politics that is more just, we should be insisting on freedom for women — including those who will be asked to support Joe Biden, within his party and as his running mate — to fully express themselves about the gendered and political realities in front of us. Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse offered a model of this herself, noting that she’s a strong Biden supporter and will vote for him, but that she “still [had] to come out and say this … I would want somebody to stand up for me. It takes a lot of guts to do what [Reade] is doing.”

But it’s near impossible to imagine prominent Democratic women being able to give voice to this and still wind up with any sway within a potential Biden administration. So as we move closer to the abyss, remember that plenty of Women never wanted to be here, and now that we are, have no good choices in front of us.

POTENTIAL BIDEN VP CANDIDATES SILENT ON TARA READE ALLEGATION An allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, gained new credibility with a report that a former neighbor of accuser Tara Reade said that Reade confided in her about the alleged 1993 assault in 1995 or 1996. HuffPost contacted nine people on Biden’s rumored vice president shortlist. Only Stacey Abrams responded. [HuffPost]

ME TOO FOUNDER: BIDEN CAN BE ACCOUNTABLE AND ELECTABLE The founder of the Me Too movement explained what she believes is an “inconvenient truth” about the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. Tarana Burke, who founded Me Too in 2007, said former congressional aide Tara Reade’s accusations against Biden are being felt differently because of the 2020 election, which will feature two men in powerful positions who have been accused of sexual assault. [HuffPost]

DOCUMENTS THAT COULD SHED LIGHT ON BIDEN ALLEGATION REMAIN LOCKED UP Tara Reade, says she filed a written complaint about Biden with a Senate personnel office, but does not have a copy herself. If a copy exists, one place where it might be found is in Biden’s Senate files. But those documents are slated to remain locked up until long after the 2020 election. Biden donated his senatorial papers, which cover the period from 1973 to 2009, to the University of Delaware in 2011. [HuffPost]

BIDEN STAYS SILENT Joe Biden, who championed women’s rights during his time in the Senate and the vice president’s office, has remained silent as a sexual assault allegation against him gains more traction. His campaign has put out a statement denying the accusation by Tara Reade, a former Senate aide, but Biden himself has not said anything. And in his absence, other Democrats ― particularly female activists and politicians ― have had to weigh in and decide whether to defend him. The New York Times, meanwhile, has refuted the Biden team’s reported talking points. [HuffPost]

DON’T EXPECT TO SEE JOE BIDEN’S PAPERS Somewhere, there may be documents that shed light on allegations of sexual harassment and assault leveled by former aide Tara Reade against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But if they exist, it will be difficult to unearth them. Biden has told the press to request documentation from the National Archives of a formal complaint she says she made at the time. But the National Archives doesn’t keep Senate personnel records, and the Senate itself refuses to give up its HR documents for 50 years after severance. Meanwhile, most voters say sexual assault shouldn’t disqualify a presidential candidate. [HuffPost]

BIDEN LIMITS ACCESS TO WALL STREET FUNDRAISER Joe Biden’s campaign removed the press from a fundraising call with Wall Street donors on Thursday shortly before the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee began taking questions from those on the line. It was the first time Biden has limited media access to a virtual high-dollar fundraiser, Bloomberg News noted, and it drew criticism from reporters who said it went against his pledge of transparency. The event was hosted by the heads of three investment banking firms: Evercore, Centerview Partners and Insight Partners. [HuffPost]

Candidate Biden-Tara Reade #MeToo issue


This 15 April 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

AOC: Silencing Tara Reade Allegations Against Joe Biden is “Gaslighting

Earlier tonight, CBS News reported that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it was legitimate to talk about Tara Reade and her allegations against Joe Biden. This makes AOC the first congressperson to acknowledge Tara Reade and her claims against Biden.

This is a brave stand to take, where AOC is suggesting we can’t be hypocritical and ignore stories when they affect our party. She also says this story shouldn’t be set aside because of the election.

In her words: “What you’re voicing is so legitimate and real. That’s why I find this kind of silencing of all dissent to be a form of gaslighting.”

When it comes to Joe Biden, New York Times abandons “Believe women”. By David Walsh. 15 April 2020. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020, has been accused by a former staffer of sexually assaulting her. Tara Reade alleges the incident occurred in 1993 when Biden was a senator from Delaware. There were no witnesses, Reade never filed a complaint and the statute of limitations for such an offense, if it occurred, has long since expired. Reade told Newsweek that she went public with her claims in late March, according to the magazine, “to ensure that ‘powerful men’ are held to account”.

Portrait of Tara Reade on her U.S. Senate ID (provided by her to New York Times)

This 14 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

NYT CHANGED Tara Reade Story at Joe Biden Campaign Request

Status Coup’s Jenn Dize reports on the New York Times changing a line in their Tara Reade story after Joe Biden’s campaign asked them to.

Women survivors of religious cults, new books


The former convent in Velddriel, later home of the Dutch Pentecostalist cult, the Assembly of God

This photo shows the former Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity convent in Velddriel, later home of the Dutch Pentecostalist cult, the Assembly of God.

Translated from (Christian) daily Trouw in the Netherlands, by Marijke Laurense, 5 April 2020:

You should be silent when the Lord speaks

Two young women liberated themselves from the cults they grew up in, the Assembly of God and the Apostolic Society.

Cults are timeless. Take a charismatic leader who knows the way and the truth, a select group of followers who are willing to give up their “old” lives and cut all ties with their families. Who want to sacrifice everything for the good cause, often in the expectation that the world will end soon. So that they will then be saved, while the sinful rest of mankind inexorably will go to hell. …

Some more recent examples of cults: the collective suicides (?) in 1978 in the jungle of Guyana under Jim Jones. Bhagwan. Scientology. A family [offshoot of the ‘Unification Church‘] that has been waiting for the end of time in a Drenthe farm for nine years. Gurus and therapists who feel they can be on top of and inside anything. No, whoever is wise should keep far from anyone who claims to be a prophet or the Messiah. Yet they keep popping up again and again, in living rooms, back rooms and villas, where after a warm bath of interest, attention and love you have to let yourself be pushed over and turn in all your savings. And from which it is then incredibly difficult to leave.

But if it is so difficult for adults to turn their back on such a cult, what if you grew up in it? Have been indoctrinated since childhood that the outside world is ignorant and evil? Two books about this were published simultaneously.

The secret world of the Society

Eg, next week there will be “Apostelkind”, the story of Renske Doorenspleet (1973), born in the Apostolic Society, a highly idealistic community of exemplary citizens. …

It must indeed have been difficult for Doorenspleet to commute between two worlds as a child: the first world of school and the second, secret world of the Society, for which you can go to ‘The Building in a long skirt until well into the 1990s, and where ‘being allowed to’ almost always meant ‘should’. …

What amazes Doorenspleet in particular is that the democratic outside world never paid attention to the conservative terror that marked her youth. That no one has ever noticed that it was a totalitarian organisation, which systematically committed itself to emotional abuse and which will have damaged its youth members, eg, the author, for life. No, it is clear that the hurt Doorenspleet twenty-two years after her departure from the Society is far from finished with her anger and sorrow at a troubled youth.

Nightly retreats in the chicken coop

Indeed, it is highly questionable that an “Apostle” interferes so imperatively with the education of the children of his followers. But that it can get even crazier and sicker, according to Frank Krake’s story told him by Hannelore Geerdink (1978), whose parents fell under the spell of the prophet Sipke Vrieswijk, who really meets all the characteristics of a cult leader who gets crazier and crazier.

Book about Hannelore in the cult

It starts with a warm reception at the Assembly of God, where faith healer Vrieswijk can relieve you of a headache. He concludes his instructions and revelations more and more with the phrase “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts.” Those who criticize are “occultly infected”. He also expects his followers to be deeply in debt to buy a former nunnery in Velddriel to live as one big family. Reality soon turns out to be less idyllic: Vrieswijk deals in unpredictable outbursts of anger, senseless cinderella assignments and nocturnal retreats in the chicken coop. He is also not averse to psychological terror to exchange his wife for a mistress, who as “Prophetess” makes herself especially creditable by arranging extra “Brides of Christ” for in bed – the gluttony knows no bounds.

Not allowed to go to your father’s funeral, not to speak to your children anymore. Fines for the silliest offences or on the contrary getting jewellery or a beautiful new name: Vrieswijk knows how to make his followers yearn for his attention. And in that environment, can a child grow up in a balanced way? While Hannelore was raped for the first time by Vrieswijk at the age of eleven? And six years later, very much against her now addicted mind, is liberated thanks to a stubborn police officer?

But in the end she even dares to report the cult leaders to the police and the prophet couple is sentenced to psychiatric imprisonment.

Japanese women’s victory against mandatory high heels


This 9 November 2019 CBS TV video says about itself:

Women declare war on high heels in Japan

There is an outcry on social media after a number of Japanese companies reportedly banned female employees from wearing eyeglasses to work. The controversy is similar to another, concerning female footwear in the workplace. Lucy Craft reports.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

High heels for female staff of Japan Airlines no longer required

Female cabin crew working for Japan Airlines will no longer be required to work on high heel shoes as of April 1. The women are also allowed to wear trousers from now on. The airline is the first major organization in Japan to change the dress code after an activist campaign that received a lot of attention.

The #KuToo movement opposes official beauty standards for women in Japan. With an online petition signed more than 32,000 times, employers are urged not to force women to wear heels while working. KuToo is a play on words with the Japanese words for ‘shoe’ and ‘pain’ and refers to the international #MeToo movement.

According to Yumi Ishikawa, the founder of #KuToo, women in hotels, department stores and banks are also forced to wear high heels while working. She hopes that these industries will follow the example of Japan Airlines. “It is a big step.”

The change in policy will take effect next month, giving nearly 6,000 female workers the choice of clothes and shoes to wear.