Thursday 28th of May 2020

international women's day came from the russian revolution...

Nadya KrupskayaNadya Krupskaya

How International Women's Day went from starting a revolution to corporate breakfasts

By Annika Blau

On a winter's morning in Petrograd, women begin streaming onto the streets. 

Two million men have died, food is running out, and women have reached breaking point.

By late afternoon, some 100,000 workers walk out of their factories to join them. On their way, women smash windows of stores, raid the shelves for bread and food. 

Thousands make a dangerous dash across the frozen river to reach the city centre — police are firing shots at those using the bridges.

Another 50,000 odd workers join them the next day, overturning trams and carriages, occupying the river, and hijacking the enormous statue of Alexander III in Znamenskaya Square.

The sight of strikers scaling this icon of autocracy, nicknamed "the hippopotamus", convinces the crowd the revolution has whirred into action.

The riot continues for four days despite the military opening fire: when it's over, police find the word "hippopotamus" engraved on the statue's plinth.

Seven days after International Women's Day of 1917, the tsar is gone, and women win the right to vote.

"We did not imagine that this 'Women's Day' would inaugurate a revolution," wrote Leon Trotsky. "But in the morning, all went out into the streets."

From revolution to breakfast

One of the founders of International Women's Day was Lenin's wife, Nadya Krupskaya (they met, quite literally, in exile in Siberia).

Nadya was a formidable organiser — as Trotsky recalled, "in her room, there was always a smell of burned paper from the secret letters she heated over the fire to read".

What would Nadya think of the business brunches, the fun runs, the branded IWD-themed T-shirts, scarves and mugs now?

In 2019, International Women's Day looks very different. Instead of striking for "peace and bread", women are more likely to gather for platitudes and breakfast.

While it's been a public holiday in Russia since it triggered the revolution, these days, it's like a combination of our Mothers' and Valentine's Day, where Russians buy gifts to celebrate the women in their lives.


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Putin, the joking patroniser:

"As the joke goes: What does a woman need to stay in shape? Three things — a trainer, a masseur and a suitor. You have such great guys here who could easily meet all three of these requirements. The second and third for sure!" Putin said.

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Could the next president of Russia be a woman? A strong one that would make the US jump? It's on the cards... That would floor the USA, wouldn't it?


Meanwhile, the ABC interviews a woman about being one of 81 per cent women scientists working for the Wildlife Sydney zoo

And Gus had a brainwave:

"For these women, working with animals prepare them for dealing with men..."


Slap me on the hand please... We're not that bad, are we?


dealing with gender equal pay...

It might seem strange, but it was on the misogynistic floors of Australia's meat-packing factories that one of the great advances for Australian feminism was won.

On International Women's Day, women are marking 50 years since the Meat Industry Employees Union ran the first major national case for equal pay in Australia, largely on behalf of its female sausage-linkers.

At the time, meat-trimming and packing work was favoured by migrant women and those wanting a factory job that finished in time to get home to care for children after school.


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The simple solution adopted by many governments and industries has long been to lower men's wages to toilet block attendant level, in order to bring "equality"...


See killjoy:

the revolution is coming...

The Greens candidate Julian Burnside has resigned as a member of an exclusive all-male Melbourne social club, after being questioned about it during an appearance on Sky News on Friday night.

The human rights barrister and candidate for the federal seat of Kooyongdeclared that “same-sex only clubs are a relic of the past” on Saturday, and said he was resigning from the Melbourne Savage Club – which describes itselfas “one of Australia’s oldest private members’ clubs”.

Burnside said he had pushed for the club to allow women to join, with no success, and had chosen to quit.

“I joined the Savage Club 40 years ago as a very different person to the one I am today,” he announced on Twitter. “I’ve argued for change from within but it’s too slow in coming, so I am resigning my membership until it welcomes all people.”


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IN EARLY April 2014, Scott Morrison was crowing about the fact that, for 100 days, no refugee boats had arrived in Australia. The crowing has gotten louder as the present election approaches.

He does not mention that a number of boats have tried to get here and that their occupants were sent back to Indonesia in orange lifeboats. The fact that they tried to get here is significant, because we can be confident, on the evidence of the past 18 years, that a high proportion of them were genuine refugees legally entitled to protection.  But that is not something that engages Morrison’s Christian spirit.

Neither is he concerned, it seems, that the people we push back will make landfall in Indonesia ‒ a country which has not signed the Refugees Convention ‒ and that they risk being sent from Indonesia back to their country of origin, where they face persecution.

So that is the source of Morrison’s delight: we are indirectly sending people back to a place of persecution, in plain defiance of our central obligation under the Refugees Convention.

But he is also pleased with himself because he can say he has saved them from drowning.

Let’s be very clear about this: every death at sea is a tragedy. No-one wants to see refugees die in their attempt to escape persecution, but the often-recited concern about refugees drowning is just hypocritical propaganda.


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bash russia's sexism...

Few things scream ‘double standards’ as loudly as the Daily Mail accusing Vladimir Putin of running a sexist military in a story containing eyebrow-raising arguments and surrounded by articles that are hardly politically correct.

The Daily Mail tried its hand at being a champion of female emancipation and gender equality, producing a lengthy Russia-bashing piece. The Ruskies are now bad because they demean their brave female fighters, it seems. Their proof? The beauty pageants held for women in uniforms on the occasion of International Women’s Day.


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Meanwhile, the bash Russia-mania, Putin and other "evils" is well "promoted" with disinformation by (former spy?) Paul Goblea longtime "specialist" on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia, who has also served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace — which means BASH RUSSIA without any truth, considering that “Russia now has more prostitutes than doctors, farmers and firemen combined”. How would he know?... I know, by visiting brothels, farms, doctor surgeries and setting fire to his house to count the females in these professions...


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scapegoating putin once more...