Laxaro

View the latest news and breaking news today

Spiked Online

Read Latest News Article in Spiked Online.



how #metoo makes it harder to combat sexual abuse | feminism

at last, after months of #metoo fanaticism, some people are starting to question the sexual-harassment panic. even – whisper it – some feminists. sensible feminists are joining those of us who think that lumping together flirting, come-ons or even bad sex with harassment and assault is a dangerous thing to do.and yet, sadly, it seems the damage to sensible debate might already have been done. revelations that a charity boss sent ‘inappropriate texts’ are now being discussed alongside the oxfam haiti prostitution scandal.along with hollywood, westminster and numerous other public and cultural institutions, the aid industry has become a target of #metoo’s ire. one ‘veteran humanitarian’ told the financial times that the aid world...




black panther: we need to liberate culture from politics | arts & culture | film | photo essays | race

‘wakanda is ours now. we do with it as we please.’ that’s not a line from black panther, ryan coogler’s fab new marvel flick – perhaps uttered by the film’s villain, killmonger (michael b jordan), the malcolm x-esque exile from the fictional afrofuturist nation of wakanda, who seeks to retake it from its more pragmatic king, t’challa (chadwick boseman). it’s from the new york times, america’s newspaper of record, in an article in which the author, rhapsodising about the comic-book adaptation, completely blurs the line between fiction and reality.he’s not the only one. the discussion of black panther has been ecstatic to the point of being a bit odd. in a post on instagram, lupita nyong’o, who plays the film’s badass w...




i, tonya: a complicated life | arts & culture | film

in the current climate, you’d have thought craig gillespie’s i, tonya, a film which chronicles the rise and fall of figure skater tonya harding, would be lauded. it’s a story concerned with poverty, domestic violence, and the search for self-worth; a story of an overachieving woman who is put down by virtually everyone she encounters.it’s the sort of narrative of female empowerment and betrayal that many critics are usually enthusiastic to tout. even better, it is a film that attacks the supposedly patriarchal sport of women’s figure skating, highlighting harding’s refusal to adhere to its standards. and yet, it hasn’t received widespread praise. in fact, it’s been criticised for making light of harding’s t...




how #metoo makes it harder to combat sexual abuse | feminism

many have been critical of the actions of certain aid workers, and even of the broader role of ngos in developing countries. this is good. and yet, as has been the case time and again in relation to the #metoo discussion of sexual harassment, rather than treating the haiti scandal seriously, as something which tells us important things about the aid industry’s attitude to the third world, it gets collapsed together with trivial and boring disputes about come-ons in the office. #metoo does this all the time: its activists are so keen to see abuse everywhere, that they end up downplaying serious instances of abuse by continually flagging up non-serious everyday interaction as ‘harassment’.the desire to view haiti and other emerging scand...




why these red scares help corbyn | british politics

hannan and other right-wingers conjure up an image of the labour leader as operating some kind of shadow foreign policy over the last three decades, with putin, milosevic and others on speed-dial. but prior to his surprise rise to the labour leadership, corbyn was known only as tony benn’s bag-carrier, having never held a significant role in the party or in public office. the idea that he was even a marginal player in geopolitics is ridiculous.the main beneficiary of theses incessant red scares is not the conservatives, but corbyn himself. after all, the tories lost seats to corbyn’s labour at the last election, despite the relentless attacks on him and his supposed ‘comrades’ in the ira and hezbollah. every headline about ‘commie ...




corbyn didn’t spy for stalinists, but he thinks like them | british politics | press freedom

these even-when-you-win-you-lose laws would be a noose around the neck of the endangered profession of investigative journalism – especially when it comes to revealing the secrets of the rich and powerful. they would apply not only to the sun or mail, but to any publication from private eye to spiked which refused to accept regulation by royal charter. no, no, says labour, we don’t want to ‘close down’ press freedom. but, as corbyn put it in his video rant, ‘much of our press is not very free at all’ because ‘it’s controlled by billionaire tax exiles’. so labour’s attack on the press would really only hurt the rich. when spiked tweeted that this was an assault on press freedom and democracy however they dressed it up, lea...




identity politics: reviving racial thinking | books & essays | education

imagine reading a book or article that you find thought-provoking, insightful and inspiring. it makes you think more deeply about a social, political or philosophical issue, and of ways in which you could use such intellectual insights in your own life and work. if you’re a writer or an academic, you may think of sharing it, or writing about the ideas raised. imagine, then, not going ahead with any of that once you realise the gender and/or colour of the writer.in her new book, living a feminist life, sara ahmed, formerly a professor of race and cultural studies at goldsmiths, university of london, takes the ‘political’ decision not to cite any white male authors. ahmed decided it was time to take a stand against what she sees as the r...




australia’s neo-victorian ‘bonking ban’ | australia

this loose logic was on fine display in the wake of the joyce affair, when a leading workplace discrimination lawyer took to abc radio to champion the bonking ban, claiming it would help ‘nip harassment in the bud’.paranoia about ordinary sexual behaviour is becoming a disturbingly common feature of australian life. last year, the australian football league sacked two of its senior executives over revelations they had conducted extramarital affairs with younger female staff members. despite no suggestion that either affair was anything other than consensual, the men were publicly upbraided and sacked, while the women – one a solicitor, the other a senior manager – were lionised by certain quarters of the australian media as victims.t...




lady bird: a grown-up coming-of-age story | arts & culture | film

lady bird herself is a far more interesting character than, say, juno was, whose various ‘quirks’ were just obnoxious. gerwig’s writing is bolstered by a commanding performance from saoirse ronan, the prodigious irish actress perhaps best remembered for her terrific supporting role in atonement. the character’s arc is propelled by teenage self-discovery and a quest for identity, exemplified by her insistence on being called ‘lady bird’, rather than her birth name, christine. she’s not defined by some inane romance or popularity quest; she’s a self-determined character who we grow to admire as she grows from her mistakes.what really marks out this film is its portrayal of parents, usually the most underwritten and two-dimensio...




you can’t measure the financial worth of knowledge | education

brexit, the economy, national infrastructure, the nhs: there are, of course, many significant challenges facing the uk right now. but yesterday the prime minister ignored all of them. instead, she spent the day discussing university tuition fees. how much 19-year-olds should pay to spend three years studying english at warwick is no doubt very important to individual students and their families. but a full day of prime ministerial press conferences, this morning sofa chats, and visits to derby? please.despite theresa may’s best efforts to appear alternately outraged and sympathetic, yesterday ended with no clearer idea of either what she thinks about university funding or what the government plans to do. we know she thinks the current syst...




why the isis brits should not be tried in britain

we still seem unsure about what to do with our enemies. last week, heated debate raged about how to deal with the ‘isis beatles’ alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh, two ex-british citizens who became infamous for beheading western civilians in syria on behalf of isis. the two men were captured by the us-backed syrian democratic forces a few weeks ago.ever since their capture, western governments have been struggling to work out what to do with them. the uk defence secretary gavin williamson says the pair should not be returned to britain for trial here. us defence secretary james mattis says they will not be imprisoned in guantanamo bay. this week, uk home secretary amber rudd said she was ‘absolutely committed to making sure that t...




the myth of the nra’s dark money | guns and shooting | usa

with gun owners accounting for around 30 per cent of the population, it is only logical that a lobby purporting to represent their interests would play some political role. it just isn’t true that it is the nra’s money that allows it to buy the votes of politicians. it composes a tiny fraction of overall political spending or funding – nowhere near enough to blanket purchase politicians’ loyalty for every vote on guns in the house and senate.at the same time, it is not as if pro-gun-control groups don’t spend money to pursue their goals. billionaire former mayor of new york michael bloomberg has attempted to counter the nra with his own money. the mogul started, in 2014, a lobby group called everytown for gun safety. the group’s ...




now universities are policing memes | free speech

at 1am on a saturday morning, a private facebook chat of university of york politics students, which i am member of, was overrun by two members sending memes. this sort of back and forth isn’t anything particularly unusual, but this time the memes got under people’s skin. one of them was a 1-10 scale, accompanied by the question ‘using the scale provided, rate how much you like kids’. at 1 was a picture of kate and gerry mccann, and at 10 was a picture of jimmy savile. another was a picture of katie price’s disabled son with the caption, ‘what’s black and screams? harvey price answering an iron.’ hitler was also a common thread, with one meme bearing a picture of his face with the text ‘i burned six million calories in four...




after florida: why gun control isn’t the answer | guns and shooting | usa

then there’s the debate about the colt ar-15-style rifle which cruz used. such weapons were also used in las vegas and in sandy hook, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death by adam lanza. discussion has turned once again to banning these ‘assault rifles’ outright. there was a law that banned assault weapons between 1994 and 2004, which also prevented the use of clips with more than 10 bullets. but the columbine shooters, eric harris and dylan klebold, got around this problem by carrying multiple clips. what’s more, the assault-rifle ban had no effect on homicide rates. this is unsurprising: rifles are used for fewer homicides than shotguns, and count for less than a quarter of the number of homicides committed using feet...




you can’t measure the financial worth of knowledge | education

brexit, the economy, national infrastructure, the nhs: there are, of course, many significant challenges facing the uk right now. but yesterday the prime minister ignored all of them. instead, she spent the day discussing university tuition fees. how much 19-year-olds should pay to spend three years studying english at warwick is no doubt very important to individual students and their families. but a full day of prime ministerial press conferences, this morning sofa chats, and visits to derby? please.despite theresa may’s best efforts to appear alternately outraged and sympathetic, yesterday ended with no clearer idea of either what she thinks about university funding or what the government plans to do. we know she thinks the current syst...




the forgotten victims of #metoo | feminism

but it is the family’s comments on mcgowan and the media more broadly that are most revealing – and important. they accuse mcgowan of making ‘slanderous statements’ about messick. they say mcgowan and others around #metoo have created a ‘feeding frenzy’ in which people’s reputations can easily be ‘sullied’ by hearsay. and one of those reputations was messick’s. the family say mcgowan ‘never once used the word rape in [her] conversation’ with messick about her encounter with weinstein; instead, they say, based on messick’s knowledge of the incident, mcgowan ‘made the decision to remove her clothes and get in the hot tub with [weinstein]’, a decision she ‘immediately regretted’. is it possible that the most fa...




the search for the german weinstein | feminism | germany

lueken is not alone in her views. ‘sexual harassment, offences and assaults are not uncommon in the film industry’, is the verdict of the süddeutsche zeitung; ‘it was only a question of time until the first german film star would stand accused of such misdemeanours’, another magazine claims. given the coverage of the wedel allegations, one could be forgiven for thinking that sexual harassment is as common a behaviour among film directors as showering.there have been a few dissenters. on a talkshow discussing the wedel case, jurist monika frommel warned that wedel was being pilloried in public without his guilt having been established in any way. such legal principles as the presumption of innocence have not stopped others from weigh...




artists for brexit | arts & culture | for europe, against the eu

it is against this backdrop that a diverse group of artists, arts workers, writers, cultural thinkers and others involved in the creative industries got together in a wetherspoons pub in camden (depicted above) to come up with an alternative to the elitist bubble that the majority of artists operate within. we talked about the importance of democracy and reimagining britain, the restrictions on free movement for non-eu artists, and the deep disengagement of artists from the british working class. this was the birth of our new movement, artists for brexit.artists for brexit is currently an informal grassroots network growing in numbers and visibility, expressing solidarity with artists across all forms who have felt isolated, intimidated and ...




artists for brexit | arts & culture | for europe, against the eu

it is against this backdrop that a diverse group of artists, arts workers, writers, cultural thinkers and others involved in the creative industries got together in a wetherspoons pub in camden to come up with an alternative to the elitist bubble that the majority of artists operate within. we talked about the importance of democracy and reimagining britain, the restrictions on free movement for non-eu artists, and the deep disengagement of artists from the british working class. this was the birth of our new movement, artists for brexit.artists for brexit is currently an informal grassroots network growing in numbers and visibility, expressing solidarity with artists across all forms who have felt isolated, intimidated and silenced by educa...




america v russia: blundering into a hot war | middle east | russia | syria | usa

at one level, it shows how the collapse of the syrian state, initially in the midst of a popular revolt in 2011, and then in the face of a us-led international assault on assad, dragged in international actors to pursue their own conflicting and, in the case of the us and the uk, uncertain objectives. so we now have a situation where russia is seemingly deploying non-state russian forces to realise material and political objectives (the seizure of oil facilities, and the stabilisation of the assad regime); while us-backed forces are pursuing their own ambitions – in this case, the consolidation of sdf and, therefore kurdish, gains, at the same time as preventing assad’s government forces from reasserting territorial control.but, at anoth...