December 23, 2010

практическая евгеника живее всех живых

The organization offers a solution that smacks of eugenics. In the 1930s Margaret Sanger, birth control advocate and early eugenicist, was interested in birth control’s usage possibility for population control.  While Sanger believed that birth control was a tool for all women, she was also a product of her time—a time when eugenics was popular—and she thought birth control should be used to reduce the population of “feeble-minded” people and the mentally ill. In the same spirit, CRACK is offering money to a highly vulnerable, economically depressed population it deems undesirable for reproduction.

Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity (CRACK), a non-profit based in California, will give $200 cash to any drug-addicted man or woman willing to undergo sterilization. And they offer a more lucrative option for women: they will pay clients $200/year to take long-term birth control like Depo-Prevara or Norplant.

CRACK’s website
ещё крэк

December 19, 2010

Margaret Sanger was named Humanist of the Year in 1957.

а я родился в 1956, как раз после разрешения аборта и тяжёлых размышлений за это моими родителями :)

недавно евросуд осудил Ирландию за непредоставление абортного обслуживания, решение приветствуется, но не всеми

любопытно привлечение Достоевского : "If there is no God, all things are permitted."

список книг, запрещённых в Ирландии
Banned books

My Fight for Birth Control by Margaret Sanger; banned 1931.

With a title as inflammatory as that, Sanger, an influential American birth-control activist and regular target of the board’s displeasure, may as well have stamped “Ban me!” on the cover.

The Base Guide to London by Base Shoes; banned 1998.

A small book, published by a shoe company, with sections on sex, counterfeit goods, trannies, violence, fetishism, drugs. Its introduction promises “the seedy side of the city. And its there for those who want it.” Except the Irish, it turned out

The Tailor and Antsy by Eric Cross; banned 1942.

Described by Gerard Whelan as a “luminous hymn to the real Ireland”, Cross’s compilation of stories told to him by a rural tailor, Timothy Buckley, proved too earthy for the board’s tastes. Buckley was forced, by several priests, to go on his knees and burn his copy of the book in his own fireplace.

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene; banned 1951.

Alhough this was, perhaps, the most explicitly Catholic of the novels produced by one of the church’s most famous converts, it was insufficiently chaste for the board. Yet, a year later, Greene’s novel won the American Catholic Literary Award.

The Dark by John McGahern; banned 1965.

With its relatively frank descriptions of masturbation, and use of the word “f**k”, it was perhaps inevitable McGahern’s second novel would earn a ban. McGahern was dismised from his job as a primary-school teacher. The furore that followed would, at least partly, lead to an overhaul of censorship legislation in 1967.

источник: хорошая статья про цензуру

December 10, 2010

Marxist, Atheist and Racist

Margaret Sanger and J. Noah, 1927 (courtesy Sophia Smith Collection)
это ещё не все тяжкия грехи, приписываемые МС, но вот любопытная цитата:
Birth Control is not merely independent of, but even antagonistic to the Marxist dogma (Pivot of Civilization, 1922)
не смотря на это МС посетила СССР и встречалась с некоторыми деятелями, но до логова марксизма допущена не была

она так же не была атеисткой (их вообще мало)
She was raised Catholic, married a Jewish man, and eventually joined her second husband, J. Noah Slee, in the Episcopalian Church. She had both of her sons baptized in the Episcopalian faith, a choice that was obviously her own because their father, William Sanger, was Jewish and, thus, would not have advocated for baptism.

читать больше

December 8, 2010

речь Мартина Лютера Кинга 5 мая 1966

произнесена от его имени женой -- Кореттой Скотт Кинг (Coretta Scott King)
вместе с Кингом были награждены Линдон Джонсон, Карл Хартман и и генерал Уильям Дрейпер, мл. подробности мероприятия

Family Planning — A Special and Urgent Concern

by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Recently, the press has been filled with reports of sightings of flying saucers. While we need not give credence to these stories, they allow our imagination to speculate on how visitors from outer space would judge us. I am afraid they would be stupefied at our conduct. They would observe that for death planning we spend billions to create engines and strategies for war. They would also observe that we spend millions to prevent death by disease and other causes. Finally they would observe that we spend paltry sums for population planning, even though its spontaneous growth is an urgent threat to life on our planet. Our visitors from outer space could be forgiven if they reported home that our planet is inhabited by a race of insane men whose future is bleak and uncertain.
There is no human circumstance more tragic than the persisting existence of a harmful condition for which a remedy is readily available. Family planning, to relate population to world resources, is possible, practical and necessary. Unlike plagues of the dark ages or contemporary diseases we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is soluble by means we have discovered and with resources we possess.
What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and education of the billions who are its victims.
It is easier for a Negro to understand a social paradox because he has lived so long with evils that could be eradicated but were perpetuated by indifference or ignorance. The Negro finally had to devise unique methods to deal with his problem, and perhaps the measure of success he is realizing can be an inspiration to others coping with tenacious social problems.
In our struggle for equality we were confronted with the reality that many millions of people were essentially ignorant of our conditions or refused to face unpleasant truths. The hard-core bigot was merely one of our adversaries. The millions who were blind to our plight had to be compelled to face the social evil their indifference permitted to flourish.
After centuries of relative silence and enforced acceptance, we adapted a technique of exposing the problem by direct and dramatic methods. We had confidence that when we awakened the nation to the immorality and evil of inequality, there would be an upsurge of conscience followed by remedial action.
We knew that there were solutions and that the majority of the nation were ready for them. Yet we also knew that the existence of solutions would not automatically operate to alter conditions. We had to organize, not only arguments, but people in the millions for action. Finally we had to be prepared to accept all the consequences involved in dramatizing our grievances in the unique style we had devised.
There is a striking kinship between our movement and Margaret Sanger's early efforts. She, like we, saw the horrifying conditions of ghetto life. Like we, she knew that all of society is poisoned by cancerous slums. Like we, she was a direct actionist — a nonviolent resister. She was willing to accept scorn and abuse until the truth she saw was revealed to the millions. At the turn of the century she went into the slums and set up a birth control clinic, and for this deed she went to jail because she was violating an unjust law. Yet the years have justified her actions. She launched a movement which is obeying a higher law to preserve human life under humane conditions. Margaret Sanger had to commit what was then called a crime in order to enrich humanity, and today we honor her courage and vision; for without them there would have been no beginning. Our sure beginning in the struggle for equality by nonviolent direct action may not have been so resolute without the tradition established by Margaret Sanger and people like her. Negroes have no mere academic nor ordinary interest in family planning. They have a special and urgent concern.
Recently the subject of Negro family life has received extensive attention. Unfortunately, studies have overemphasized the problem of the Negro male ego and almost entirely ignored the most serious element — Negro migration. During the past half century Negroes have migrated on a massive scale, transplanting millions from rural communities to crammed urban ghettoes. In their migration, as with all migrants, they carried with them the folkways of the countryside into an inhospitable city slum. The size of family that may have been appropriate and tolerable on a manually cultivated farm was carried over to the jammed streets of the ghetto. In all respects Negroes were atomized, neglected and discriminated against. Yet, the worst omission was the absence of institutions to acclimate them to their new environment. Margaret Sanger, who offered an important institutional remedy, was unfortunately ignored by social and political leaders in this period. In consequence, Negro folkways in family size persisted. The problem was compounded when unrestrained exploitation and discrimination accented the bewilderment of the newcomer, and high rates of illegitimacy and fragile family relationships resulted.
For the Negro, therefore, intelligent guides of family planning are a profoundly important ingredient in his quest for security and a decent life. There are mountainous obstacles still separating Negroes from a normal existence. Yet one element in stabilizing his life would be an understanding of and easy access to the means to develop a family related in size to his community environment and to the income potential he can command.
This is not to suggest that the Negro will solve all his problems through Planned Parenthood. His problems are far more complex, encompassing economic security, education, freedom from discrimination, decent housing and access to culture. Yet if family planning is sensible it can facilitate or at least not be an obstacle to the solution of the many profound problems that plague him.
The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child. There is nothing inherent in the Negro mentality which creates this condition. Their poverty causes it. When Negroes have been able to ascend economically, statistics reveal they plan their families with even greater care than whites. Negroes of higher economic and educational status actually have fewer children than white families in the same circumstances.
Some commentators point out that with present birth rates it will not be long before Negroes are a majority in many of the major cities of the nation. As a consequence, they can be expected to take political control, and many people are apprehensive at this prospect. Negroes do not seek political control by this means. They seek only what they are entitled to and do not wish for domination purchased at the cost of human misery. Negroes were once bred by slave owners to be sold as merchandise. They do not welcome any solution which involves population breeding as a weapon. They are instinctively sympathetic to all who offer methods that will improve their lives and offer them fair opportunity to develop and advance as all other people in our society.
For these reasons we are natural allies of those who seek to inject any form of planning in our society that enriches life and guarantees the right to exist in freedom and dignity.
For these constructive movements we are prepared to give our energies and consistent support; because in the need for family planning, Negro and white have a common bond; and together we can and should unite our strength for the wise preservation, not of races in general, but of the one race we all constitute — the human race.

Margaret Sanger was too ill to attend the award ceremony in May 1966. She died the following September. Mrs. Sanger would have been deeply honored and pleased to have heard such beautiful tributes from kindred heroes in the struggle for equality and civil rights, Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr.
About two weeks after the award ceremony, Dr. King wrote the following letter to Cass Canfield, chairman of the Executive Committee of the PPFA — World Population Emergency Campaign:
Dear Mr. Canfield:
Words are inadequate for me to say how honored I was to be the recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award. This award will remain among my most cherished possessions. While I cannot claim to be worthy of such a signal honor, I can assure you that I accept it with deep humility and sincere gratitude. Such a wonderful expression of support is of inestimable value for the continuance of my humble efforts.
Again let me say how much I regret that at the last minute urgent developments in the civil rights movement made it impossible for me to be in Washington to personally receive the award. My wife brought glowing echoes of the wonderful reception and impressiveness of the total occasion.
I am happy to be the recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award and I can assure you that this distinct honor will cause me to work even harder for a reign of justice and a rule of love all over our nation.
Sincerely yours,
Martin Luther King Jr.

December 4, 2010

Сэнгер и Гарри Поттер

бумажный проект сообщает: Гарри Поттре добрался до Сэнгер, точнее, некий коментатор кина приписал то, чего не было, то-есть, расизм и проч человеконенавистничество:

“Perhaps the most striking element in the film is the parallels to fascist and Marxist regimes. As the Ministry of Magic is infiltrated by demonic powers who intend to rid the wizarding world of “halfbloods” (half mortals/half wizards) and create the perfect race of wizarding creatures, one cannot help but draw connections to Adolf Hitler or American eugenicists such as Margaret Sanger. The powers that be are disgusted by the very idea of “halfbloods” breeding with “fullbloods,” believing “halfbloods” to be of far lesser stock.”
разоблачение тут

November 29, 2010


Маргарет Сэнгер к проекту бумаг обратился чел, владелец бюста
подробности см тут
на фотге -- другой бюст

антисэнгеровская статейка

с любопытным набором ссылок, кои надо просмотреть
See Article,

Nield, Michael. “The Police State Road Map.” March 2005. specifically, Chapter 2, “The Great Trust.” Accessed May 25, 2010.

[2] Griffin, G. Edward. “World Without Cancer.” 2nd edition. American Media. 1997. P. 235-236.
See Also,

Chaitkin, Anton. “Population Control, Nazis, and the U.N.!” 2002

[3] Griffin, G. Edward. “World Without Cancer.” 2nd edition. American Media. 1997. P. 235-236.

[4] Chaitkin, Anton. “Population Control, Nazis, and the U.N.!” 2002

[5] National Park Service: Biographical Vignettes – John D. Rockefeller.

[6] Council on Foreign Relations. Accessed on April 28, 2010.

[7] The Trilateral Commission: Membership. Accessed on April 28, 2010.

[8] National Park Service: Biographical Vignettes – John D. Rockefeller.

[9] Marrs, Jim. “Rule By Secrecy.” Harper. 2000. Pp. 20-58.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Black, Edwin. “The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics.” History News Network, George Mason University. November 11, 2003.

[12] Chaitkin, Anton. “Population Control, Nazis, and the U.N.!” 2002

[13] Black, Edwin. “The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics.” History News Network, George Mason University. November 11, 2003.

[14] Chaitkin, Anton. “Population Control, Nazis, and the U.N.!” 2002

[15] Takeuchi, Aiko. “The Transnational Politics of Public Health and Population Control: The Rockefeller Foundation’s Role in Japan, 1920’s – 1950’s.” Rockefeller Archives. 2009.

[16] “Birth Control or Race Control?” Margaret Sanger Papers Project #28, Fall 2001. New York University.

[17] “Birth Control Organizations – American Birth Control League – About Margaret Sanger.” New York University.

[18] United Nations Population Fund website. Accessed April 29, 2010.

[19] Watson, Steve; Watson, Paul Joseph; Jones, Alex. “Professor’s ‘Kill 90% of Population’ Comments Echo UN, Elite NGO Policies.” April 4, 2006.

[20] “Medisin.” Whitaker, Scott; Fleming, Jose. Divine Protection Publications. 2007. Pp. 12-14.

See Also,

Rockwell, Llewellyn Jr. “Medical Control, Medical Corruption.”

индийская Сэнгер

Called the "Margaret Sanger of India," Rama Rau (1893-1987) was founder and president of the Family Planning Association of India, and also served as president of the International Planned Parenthood Association from 1963-1971. Born to a large family of six brothers and five sisters, her own mother was a pioneer, and in the late 19th Century wrote articles in a women's magazine arguing the case for equal rights, drawing from her own experiences as a woman.

A young Rama Rau bucked the trend set by her older sisters and much of Indian society by not marrying young, and instead enrolling at the Presidency College of the Madras University. There, she set a new trend as one of the first Indian women to attend college (and to later teach at an institution of higher learning in the country), and as one of only 11 women in a student body of 700 men, daily endured protests by her male colleagues.

Her career as an educator led her to a life of social activism, working to abolish child marriage and to promote suffrage and equal citizenship for women, but her primary concern was for family planning and birth control.

In the early 1950s, Margaret Sanger suggested that the Family Planning Association of India, of which she was president, invite the Third International Conference on Planned Parenthood to meet in Bombay, and Rama Rau gathered together her small but experienced group of volunteer social workers to make it happen. A large American contingent was present at the conference, including Sanger and population expert/Planned Parenthood leader William Vogt, as well as delegations from 12 other countries. At the time, this history-making conference helped put Planned Parenthood on the map as India's newest welfare service.

Dhanvanthi Rama Rau's memoirs, An Inheritance, were first published in 1977, and her daughter and granddaughter followed in her footsteps as smart and independent women. Her daughter, Santha Rama Rau, was a well-known writer and her granddaughter, Aisha Wayle, became the first woman to own a London investment company.

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) continues the important work of Rama Rau and others like her. Formed in 1952 at Rama Rau's Bombay conference, today IPPF is a global service provider and leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, with regional offices in Nairobi, Tunis, Brussels, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and New York, and a global headquarters in London. Nearly sixty years after its inception, IPPF is one of the world's largest organizations, with more service delivery points than McDonald's, working in over 170 countries as a global network of member associations. Approximately 36 million visits a year are made to IPPF's over 58,000 worldwide facilities.

At Planned Parenthood, innovative thinkers and inspiring leaders pass through our doors every single day, as Dhavanthi Rama Rau and others have before them. It's exhilarating to imagine what great movements they will have sparked in the decades to come!

Waking Up From the Pill

By Vanessa Grigoriadis

Fifty years ago, birth-control pills gave women control of their bodies, while making it easy to forget their basic biology—until in some cases, it’s too late. 

On a cold night in mid-October, a couple hundred bejeweled women in gowns file into the Pierre with their dates for a very special 50th-birthday party. Before retiring to a three-hour lobster-and-steak dinner in the hotel’s main ballroom, they collect oversize spoons of foie gras as Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” blasts from overhead speakers in a robin’s-egg-blue reception room, with a bar festooned with the kind of miniature silver stars that teachers give exemplary students. Neat stacks of East Village party napkins with illustrations of women in vintage clothing rest next to rows of Champagne glasses, each with a different quip at the bottom: “Let’s ignore our mother’s well-meant advice,” says one; “She thought of him fondly as ‘Plan B,’ ” says another; and a wide-eyed Lucille Ball covers her mouth with a yellow-gloved hand in shock at some mishap on the next, asking, “Has anyone seen my hormones?” In the middle of the room, on a tall pedestal, there’s an enormous cake, with lettering that spells out ONE SMALL PILL. ONE GIANT LEAP FOR WOMANKIND. ONE MONUMENTAL MOMENT IN HISTORY.
Yes, the birth-control pill, approved by the FDA in 1960, is the “birthday girl” at tonight’s gala, which is sponsored by Israeli company Teva Pharmaceutical, the biggest maker of generic drugs in the world. Medications don’t usually have their own black-tie events—there aren’t galas for antibiotics, or chemotherapy, or blood thinners—but the Pill, after all, is so much more than just a pill. It’s magic, a trick of science that managed in one fell swoop to wipe away centuries of female oppression, overly exhausting baby-making, and just marrying the wrong guy way too early. “The Pill created the most profound change in human history,” declares Kelli Conlin, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, grabbing the mike on a small stage draped with black curtains dotted with a larger version of the same silver stars from the bar. “Today, we operate on a simple premise—that every little girl should be able to grow up to be anything she wants, and she can only do so if she has the ability to chart her own reproductive destiny.”
A series of toasts follows, from Kate White, the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, who talks about “vajayjays,” to Dr. Ruth, who, though considerably shrunken from her heyday in the mid-eighties, still giddily declares that tonight’s event is “better than sex!” Even the grandson of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger has stopped by to collect his award, an “honorable mention.” “What a treat!” says Alexander Sanger, jumping onstage. “You know, Margaret thought two or, at the outside, three children was the exact right number. Now I’m fourth of six. When my mom told Margaret the news, there was a long pause as she did the math. Then she said, ‘You’ve disgraced me. I’m going to Europe.’ ” The crowd laughs loudly. “And let me add one thing,” says Sanger, his voice rising triumphantly. “I think it’s time we had a male Pill also. I’d like to be around for that pill’s 50th birthday!”
It’s an endless parade of speakers, actually, with the hullabaloo lasting until 10 p.m., including a slideshow of female icons—Jackie O., Wonder Woman, Murphy Brown, Hillary, Oprah, Sarah Palin—and a constant stream of jokes from buoyant mistress of ceremonies Cybill Shepherd, in a red off-the-shoulder pantsuit that could be from her Moonlighting days. “When I grew up in Tennessee, everything I learned about sex my mother told me,” she says, wiggling this way and that. “She said, ‘It’s disgusting, and you’ll hate it, and whatever you do, don’t do it before you get married.’ Did I mention ‘disgusting’?” She shakes her head. “Nevertheless, I became sexually active as a teenager. One day, my mom took me to my family doctor. He wrote something on a prescription pad and said, ‘Take one of these every day, and all your periods will be regular.’ ” She laughs heartily. “What a thrill! He didn’t even tell me it was birth control.”
Shepherd pauses for dramatic effect. “Can you imagine how different my life would have been if I hadn’t gotten the Pill?” she says. “In the South in the sixties, you had limited choices—you could be a wife, a mother, a nurse, or a teacher. If you were really lucky, Miss America.” She cocks her head. “Wasn’t I Miss America? There’s a lot I can’t remember. Oh, right, Model of the Year.” Soon, she passes the mike to The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee, who raises yet another glass. “Today, even though we have pills for everything—to make you calm, make you sleep, and engorge your genitals beyond comprehension—you, the Pill, are so important,” says Bee. “So here’s to my tiny daily dose of freedom, and also estrogen and progesterone. A combination of the three, really.” She smiles, a little bit knowingly. “Interestingly, it’s the freedom that causes the bloating.”
Even if it is laid on a little thick, there’s no question that these women are right: The Pill changed the world. These days, women’s twenties are as free and fabulous as they can be, a time of boundless freedom and experimentation, of easily trying on and discarding identities, careers, partners. The Pill, which is the most popular form of contraception in the U.S., is still the symbol of that freedom. As a young woman, you feel chic throwing that light plastic pack of dainty pills into your handbag, its retro pastel-colored wheel design or neat snap-to-close box sandwiched between lipstick and cell phone, keys and compact. It’s easy to believe the assurances of the guests at the Pierre gala that the Pill holds the answers to empowerment and career success, to say nothing of sexual liberation—the ability to have sex in the same way that guys always have, without guilt, fear, or strings attached. The Pill is part of what makes one a modern woman, conferring adulthood and cool with the swipe of a doctor’s pen. “I started taking the Pill when I was a freshman in college, before I even was having sex,” says Sahara, 33. “Everyone else was doing it, so I wanted to do it, too.”
The Pill is so ingrained in our culture today that girls go on it in college, even high school, and stay on it for five, ten, fifteen, even twenty years. It’s not at all out of the ordinary for a woman to be on the Pill from ages 18 to 35, her prime childbearing years. While it is remarkably safe, almost like taking a vitamin, that’s a long time to turn one’s body into an efficient little non-procreative machine. The Pill (and other hormonal methods of birth control, like the patch and the ring) basically tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant. The medicine takes control of your reproductive processes, pulsing progesterone and estrogen to suppress ovulation. On the Pill, every woman’s cycle is exactly the same, at 28 days, even though that is rarely the case in nature, where the majority of periods occur every 26 to 32 days but can take up to 40 or even 50 days. This is a nice effect, but it’s not real. And there’s a cost to this illusion, one that the women at the Pierre weren’t discussing.
The fact is that the Pill, while giving women control of their bodies for the first time in history, allowed them to forget about the biological realities of being female until it was, in some cases, too late. It changed the narrative of women’s lives, so that it was much easier to put off having children until all the fun had been had (or financial pressures lessened). Until the past couple of decades, even most die-hard feminists were still married at 25 and pregnant by 28, so they never had to deal with fertility problems, since a tiny percentage of women experience problems conceiving before the age of 28. Now many New York women have shifted their attempts at conception back about ten years. And the experience of trying to get pregnant at that age amounts to a new stage in women’s lives, a kind of second adolescence. For many, this passage into childbearing—a Gail Sheehy–esque one, with its own secrets and rituals—is as fraught a time as the one before was carefree.
Suddenly, one anxiety—Am I pregnant?—is replaced by another: Can I get pregnant? The days of gobbling down the Pill and running out to CVS at 3 a.m. for a pregnancy test recede in the distance, replaced by a new set of obsessions. The Pill didn’t create the field of infertility medicine, but it turned it into an enormous industry. Inadvertently, indirectly, infertility has become the Pill’s primary side effect.
And ironically, this most basic of women’s issues is one that traditional feminism has a very hard time processing—the notion that this freedom might have a cost is thought to be so dangerous it shouldn’t be mentioned. Earlier this decade, there was an outcry when the American Society for Reproductive Medicine commissioned an ad campaign on New York City buses featuring a baby bottle fashioned as an upside-down hourglass (around the same time, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist, made headlines with a suggestion that women would be better off having their kids in their twenties and entering the workforce a half-dozen or so years later). The National Organization for Women called the city bus ads a “scare campaign.” now’s president even wrote an editorial claiming that “women are, once again, made to feel anxious about their bodies and guilty about their choices.”
The Pill should be defended from attacks. An absurd fight is beginning on Capitol Hill to try to boot it from the category of “preventative care” in the health-care bill—“as though the Pill isn’t the very definition of preventative care,” says Vanessa Cullins, vice-president for medical affairs at Planned Parenthood, drily. In its intimacy, the Pill and its consequences are hard to talk about in public: The publicist for the Pierre gala confesses that she’s never had a harder time booking celebrities for an event than this one, and the stars that do attend, like AnnaLynne McCord, of the CW’s 90210, can be heard wondering what they should say on the red carpet. “Should I be honest about this?” McCord whispers to her publicist before confessing publicly that she went, alone, to Planned Parenthood for birth-control pills against her family’s wishes at age 17. “I don’t want any of my fans to go through what I had to go through,” says McCord, blinking rapidly. “So tweet me, guys, if you want to talk.”
But there’s also no reason not to talk about the more complex changes long-term use of the Pill has wrought, instead of finger-pointing over compromising women’s choices. After all, these days, there’s not as much pressure to procreate as one may imagine. Most mothers, who were at least tangentially part of feminism’s early waves, know better than to stress women out about when they’re having children, even if an aunt puts her foot in her mouth from time to time. And, of course, bosses would rather women were around all the time, thumbing their BlackBerrys in the off-hours. “There’s a strain of feminist thought that’s still trapped in the mind-set that the male patriarchy wants women pregnant and has been withholding things like abortion and contraception from them because of it,” says Liza Mundy, author of Everything Conceivable, a comprehensive book about fertility treatments in America. “To me, that’s a laughably simplistic view of the world.”
The whole point of the Pill from the beginning has been population control. Even though America was consuming more than 50 percent of the world’s resources in the late fifties (with 6 percent of the world’s population), eugenicist fears of the developing world’s excessive procreation ran rampant during the Cold War. According to Andrea Tone’s fascinating history of contraception in America, Devices and Desires, Cold War–era birth-control proponents used the terms family planning, birth control, and population control interchangeably. Women’s rights weren’t the primary impetus to approve the Pill, but they were part of the package, too, of course. “The Pill symbolized the redemption of science,” writes Tone, “showing it capable of developing a technology to stabilize a world order that it simultaneously threatened to destroy.”
The Pill wasn’t the world’s first attempt at contraception. Egyptians fashioned vaginal suppositories for themselves out of crocodile dung and gum, West Africans used plugs of crushed root, and Greeks in classical times coated their cervices with olive oil. Casanova even wore condoms made of animal intestines, though he reported that he was revolted by “shut[ting] myself up in a piece of dead skin to prove I am perfectly alive.” Some women even relied on the rhythm method, though they had the science wrong: For years, the medical community thought ovulation occurred during menstruation. It wasn’t until the twenties that everyone realized that women are fertile in the middle of their cycle, not at the end.
In nineteenth-century America, home-brewed abortifacients made from pennyroyal were eventually replaced by an amazing array of contraceptives made from Charles Goodyear’s vulcanization technology, like mass-produced condoms, IUDs, and “womb veils,” as diaphragms were called at the time. But this freedom was not to last for long. By the 1870s, in the midst of the burgeoning social-purity movement, the delivery of contraception through the mail was abolished, and there were crackdowns on prostitution, gambling, and alcohol, enforced by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, backed by powerful New Yorkers like J. Pierpont Morgan and Samuel Colgate. These laws remained in force from 1873 till 1918, during which time women relied primarily on a black market of diaphragms and cervical caps. Then in the fifties, Sanger recruited a scientists at work on infertility problems to help her achieve her dream, the Pill.
When the Pill was finally approved in 1960, American women embraced it immediately. In the sixties, the high doses of estrogen in the original pills may have been responsible for a disturbing spate of blood clots and the size of many women’s bosoms—the sale of C-cup bras increased 50 percent during the decade, as many Joans and Peggys popped their medicine—but these days, there are few blood clots with most pills and rare side effects with the “mini-Pill,” made only of progesterone. It’s unfortunate that the Pill doesn’t protect against STDs, but as a matter of medicine, it’s a triumph, with very few serious drawbacks.
Some versions of the Pill even reduce acne, soften the experience of painful periods, and significantly decrease the chance of endometrial and ovarian cancer (when a woman ovulates less, her cells divide less). This October, Bayer, the biggest maker of contraceptives in the world, even came out with Beyaz, a Pill that includes the same folic acid that women who are trying to conceive are supposed to take every day to reduce the incidence of some birth defects—just in case the Pill doesn’t work. But forget a male Pill: With the high cost of clinical trials, the lack of interest in upending cultural norms, and the need to make a pill with zero side effects (after all, this Pill is being taken by a man), this formulation hasn’t gone much beyond forays in the mid-sixties, when a male Pill, tested in Oregon prisons, turned men’s eyeballs red when combined with alcohol.
With the pill’s relative safety today, it’s suprising that so many women still complain of side effects. Women’s blogs like Jezebel are swarming with women who attribute a whole host of side effects and medical problems to the Pill, most of which are most likely unrelated (though there may be some loss of libido with the Pill, which ties up the body’s free testosterone). Earlier this decade, when women were offered the chance to eliminate menstruation with extended-cycle pills like Seasonale and Seasonique, which promise the visit of “Aunt Flo” only four times a year, not many women chose to take it. (The period a woman gets on the Pill is artificial—it’s just the withdrawal of the Pill’s hormones—and there is no medical reason for it.) That’s amazing: Who would have ever imagined that women would turn down the chance to abolish periods?
The reason for this may be that women are half-consciously rebelling against the artificiality of the Pill’s regime. Removal from one’s true biological processes was more appealing in the Mad Men era, when machines were going to save the world and pills could fix everything, even the ennui of housewives. But for the wheatgrass-and-yoga generation, there’s something about taking a pill every day that’s insulting to one’s sense of self, as an accomplished, adult woman. “I feel like I’ve gotten a message over the years that the less I have to do with the nitty-gritty biological stuff of being a woman, the better, and that’s a weird message,” says Sophia, 35, who was on the Pill for fourteen years. “In my ninth-grade health class, I remember the teacher saying, ‘You can get pregnant any day of the month, so always use protection,’ and I kind of knew that wasn’t true, but because I was on the Pill, I never really cared about finding out the right answer. The Pill takes a certain knowledge away from you, and that knowledge is empowering.”
The Pill didn’t create the field of infertility medicine, but it turned it into an enormous industry.
Consequently, a cult market has cropped up catering to women in the process of rediscovering their bodies when they go off the Pill. There are ovulation kits, though they carry a hefty price tag ($30 for a pack of seven tests, while Viagra is covered by health insurance—how revolting), and Whole Foods carries a set of plastic beads with colors that indicate when a woman is fertile and when not, called CycleBeads, a collaboration between a private company and Georgetown’s Institute for Reproductive Health. CycleBeads use a twelve-day “fertile window,” because even though an egg is able to be fertilized for only 24 hours, sperm can last up to five days inside a woman’s reproductive tract—though a more realistic estimate of a woman’s true fertility window is more like three days, certainly for women whose fertility is declining because of age.
But the most popular new natural method is the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)—a more sophisticated version of the rhythm method—which was popularized by fertility guru Toni Weschler, a mellow, soft-spoken 55-year-old from Seattle. “Oh, I’m not a guru,” she says, calling from the West Coast. “I’m just a regular Josephina.” Weschler doesn’t have any kids—“I am an unadulterated weenie,” she says, giggling, “I can’t deal with a splinter, so I don’t know how I would handle taking care of a kid who banged his head”—but she’s devoted herself to helping women start their families or just get in touch with their bodies. In some ways, her 400-page book Taking Charge of Your Fertility has become the Our Bodies, Ourselves for our time. Alternately silly, whimsical, and exhaustingly specific, the book was published fifteen years ago and is ranked higher by customers on Amazon than all other books except the third and fourth Harry Potters.
Weschler’s method is precise, though it requires some organization. Every day, women have to take their temperature first thing in the morning with a basal body thermometer and then monitor their “cervical mucus,” which, in addition to being a great name for a riot-grrrl group, is one of the best signals of impending ovulation (monitoring your “cervical position,” which Weschler advises doing in a squatting position, is optional). All this information is written down on “the chart,” a piece of paper with a series of boxes that looks like a primitive Excel document. Cervical mucus (or fluid, the word that Weschler prefers) means that estrogen has risen dramatically and ovulation is about to occur. A rise in temperature tells a woman that she has ovulated. A sudden drop means a period is about to begin.
“There’s no reason for girls to have to worry about getting their period in gym class at school, or for women to be worried about wearing their white pants,” says Weschler. “There is no mystery here. If you take your temperature, you will know when you’ve ovulated and when you get your period.” She sighs. “Think about a woman who gets pregnant accidentally when she’s on the Pill, because she missed a few pills: How come she doesn’t know that if she feels a lot of fluid, which I like to call ‘egg-white cervical fluid,’ her estrogen is rising, and one of the eggs hasn’t been suppressed? In fact, she’s about to release it. For no other reason, all women should know that, so they can say, ‘Oh, dear, my estrogen seems to be rising, something is wrong.’ ”
You’re not going to find anyone, male or female, who isn’t a little grossed out by the words egg-white cervical fluid, but it’s just basic biology. “The egg-white stuff is just my body preparing for ovulation, which is the time to hop into bed,” says Barrie, 35, a FAM enthusiast. “It’s the glue that transports the sperm into my uterus.”
To arrive at the stage when one stops taking the Pill and starts timing one’s ovulations is to enter a new and anxious universe. After that, if you’re unlucky, you may enter a kind of medical and bureaucratic purgatory of doctors’ waiting rooms and insurance companies and worries that’s very far indeed from the freedom you enjoyed before.
On the Pill, it’s easy to forget the truths about biology. Specifically, that as much as athleticism or taut cheekbones are, fertility is a gift of youth. The body that you wake up with after fifteen or more years on the Pill is, in significant ways, not the one you started out with. With age, body rhythms change. Cystic conditions, endometriosis, and a whole host of complicated ailments are more common. And whatever “irregularities” a woman may have experienced in her teenage years before going on the Pill will likely be around when she goes off it. “Some women who come off the Pill in their thirties are surprised that it takes a few cycles to get their periods back, or that they may have very long cycles, or cycles without ovulation,” says Jill Blakeway, founder of acupuncture center Yinova near Union Square and a co-author of the cult book Making Babies. “The Pill didn’t create these problems: In most cases, the problems were there all the time, but because they were on the Pill, these women were never motivated to deal with them. And now they have a time issue.”
But the biggest issue for aging women, of course, is that over time, their stockpile of eggs becomes depleted, and the ones they still have are not of top quality. Fifty percent of women over 35 will fail to get pregnant over the course of eight months, and after that the odds keep dropping.
And as it turns out, it’s difficult to predict how hard it will be for any given woman to conceive. “We don’t completely know what determines who is fertile and who is not,” says Dr. Jamie Grifo, the compassionate, plainspoken program director of NYU Langone’s Fertility Center. “The only test is trying to get pregnant and getting pregnant. That’s it.”
For women who have spent so much of their lives pressing the off button on their bodies while on the Pill, it’s upsetting to learn that there’s no magic pill that causes instant impregnation. (The same is not the case for men: With the advent, in the nineties, of a technology that can fertilize an egg with a single sperm, almost every man can be a father.) In fact, fertility doctors have a surprisingly small suite of options for women who are having trouble conceiving—and very few that don’t involve the risk of multiple births. There’s Clomid, a neurological drug that encourages ovulation and can trick a woman’s body into making more than one egg a month; a bioengineered follicle-stimulating hormone, originally synthesized from the urine of postmenopausal nuns, which also makes the body produce multiple eggs; and in vitro fertilization (IVF), or test-tube babies, which has been the gold standard of infertility treatments since 1978 (the British doctor who pioneered it received the Nobel Prize this year).
IVF has never been more effective than it is today, but cycle by cycle, it still fails more than it succeeds. NYU has one of the best IVF programs in New York—the other is the Weill Cornell Medical Center, part of New York–Presbyterian—and its success rates put it near the top in the country. But a look at these rates should give one pause. In a single cycle of IVF, about 64 percent of 30-year-old women wound up with a child. At 35, 47 percent were successful; at 40, only 28 percent; at 43, only 13 percent; and at 44 and over, it’s 2 percent.
Many women try IVF four or five times, hoping for a successful cycle; even when it is unlikely, getting pregnant becomes an obsession. Insurance companies rarely cover the costs, which run up to about $15,000 per cycle including medication—a shortsighted policy, as they are on the hook for covering any preterm costs for multiple births, which are much more likely when financially struggling patients transfer three or more embryos in hopes of finally achieving success. Patients also need to factor in possible costs for donor eggs, surrogates, or adoption, which usually runs into the tens of thousands. Adoption is also a more difficult prospect now than it has ever been in American history, with far fewer infants available to adopt these days, since China, Vietnam, and Guatemala are effectively closing their borders (like Angie and Brad, many parents are turning to Ethiopia).
All of these decisions involve heartbreak and stress, and it’s easier to pretend that the clock isn’t ticking. “I’ve got 44-year-olds who show up in my office after trying two months and say, ‘I don’t understand, my gynecologist told me I was fine,’ ” says Grifo. “Now, he didn’t say, ‘You’re going to be fertile forever.’ But they didn’t hear that part—they heard the part where he said they’re healthy. And for these women, if IVF doesn’t work, it’s very hard to recover. They have to grieve and mourn and make a life. These women, the 44-year-olds, are the ones that struggle the most, because they are so angry. And they’re angry at one person, but they won’t admit it. They’re angry at themselves.”
Sexual freedom is a fantastic thing, worth paying a lot for. But it’s not anti-feminist to want to be clearer about exactly what is being paid. Anger, regret, repeated miscarriages, the financial strain of assisted reproductive technologies, and the inevitable damage to careers and relationships in one’s thirties and forties that all this involve deserve to be weighed and discussed. The next stage in feminism, in fact, may be to come to terms, without guilt trips or defensiveness, with issues like this.
Choice is a more accurate word when the chooser—us—is aware of all the possible consequences of taking different possible paths. But reality has a hard time getting into these areas, let alone the Brave New World of infertility medicine. Women have certainly come a long way—and this, a sense of reality about these most fundamental of issues, may be the next stage. “The fear of reproductive-rights groups is that if you regulate or say no to procedures like reducing a twin to a singleton after IVF, or whether extra embryos should be thawed, it will chip away at the fundamental concept of choice when it comes to abortion,” says Liza Mundy, the author. “These groups might want to say no to some of these, like sex selection of embryos, because that might privilege boy babies or girl babies. But if they say no to sex selection, does that mean they’re not pro-choice?” She sighs. “The easiest thing for them to do is not engage with any of this.”
The Pill may seem to promise eternal youth, but doctors have only middling odds of recapturing fertility when a woman has crossed into early middle age. There’s an easy answer to this conundrum, even though it’s a little weird: freezing eggs in one’s twenties. The technology has come a long way in the past five years, and women with frozen eggs now have a very good shot at successfully thawing and implanting them later in life. In 2009, NYU had a baby born from a woman who froze her eggs at 38, and it’s now posting the same rates of success with frozen eggs as it does with embryos frozen during IVF.
That may be the world to which many are heading—even more medicalized and technologized, where all women freeze their eggs and submit to assisted reproductive technologies, and with it, more complicated choices and questions that bioethecists love to hash over. Even Carl Djerassi, one of the inventors of the Pill (before he became a Stanford professor, playwright, and sci-fi novelist), has suggested that all forms of birth control will eventually become obsolete and the Pill “will end up in a museum.” In his imaginings, girls and boys will deposit their eggs and sperm in a reproductive bank to be frozen at 20 or so and then get sterilized. They’ll want to do this because genetic diagnoses of embryos will become increasingly sophisticated, and no one will want to risk having a child with birth defects, let alone a child of an unpreferred gender or one predisposed to a hairy back. When these people want to have children, either one or six, at 30 or 60 years old, they’ll make a withdrawal from the bank.
But that’s a long-term vision, a place that few of us will ever see—even if we want to. In the shorter term, Djerassi once wrote, “many a woman in our affluent society may conclude that the determination of when and whether she is ovulating should be a routine matter of personal information to which she is entitled as a matter of course.”
Now he tells us.

New York
ещё немного:
According to Grigoriadis, because of the pill, "Suddenly, one anxiety -- Am I pregnant? -- [was] replaced by another: Can I get pregnant?" Grigoriadis argues that the pill "didn't create the field of infertility medicine, but it turned it into an enormous industry," adding, "Inadvertently, indirectly, infertility has become the pill's primary side effect." (ссылка)

отсутствие мозга или совести ?

Palin repeats the flimsy lie that Susan B. Anthony was anti-abortion, and she repeats the distortions of Margaret Sanger’s work and career by claiming that she advocated “Nazi-style eugenics.”  (She cites the esteemed historian Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism on Sanger.)

Of course this is idiotic, but no one who buys or reads Palin’s book really cares about actual, factual feminist history.


November 22, 2010

must see

евгеникаай пропустил самое интересное :(

19 ноября 2010 года
в 13:30 в конференц-зале
Государственного Дарвиновского музея

проШОЛ семинар
«Заря генетики человека»

Вступительное слово:

советник РАН Института общей генетики, член-корреспондент РАН
И. А. Захаров-Гезехус

Директор Архива РАН, к. и. н. В. Ю. Афиани
«Н. К. Кольцов и русское евгеническое общество»

Сотрудник Института психологии РАН, д. п. н., профессор Д. В. Ушаков
«Интеллект человека: наследуемость и роль в обществе»

Сотрудник Архива РАН, к. и. н. Н. М. Осипова
«Деятельность Русского евгенического общества в документах архива РАН»

Доцент РГГУ, к. и. н. Е. В. Пчелов
«Русское евгеническое движение в контексте науки и культуры 20-х годов»

Сотрудник Музея и Института антропологии МГУ Т. В. Томашевич
«Евгеническая нива российской антропологии»

Вход свободный

В рамках выставки
«Младшая сестра генетики»
(К 90-летию Русского евгенического общества)

сходил: картинки с выставки

November 15, 2010

Джон Рид (Джэк) любимый автор Ленина

John Silas Reed (October 22, 1887 – October 17,1920), poet, journalist, revolutionary. Archetype of the artist of conscience who never sought out mythic status. Though powerfully portrayed in the 1982 Warren Beatty film ‘Reds,’ his imagery has remained scant in the years since, just as it was distorted during the decades before. Deified by some, demonized by many, Reed the man and the fable, remains something of an enigma. Ideologically moved to leave his prestigious family home in Portland Oregon for the heart of the Greenwich Village bohemian Left, Reed refuted a career as a celebrated journalist in the national press for one as a professional revolutionary in the Communist movement he helped to found – leaving behind a winding trail of verse, rousing speeches and fearless reportage to establish the breadth of the revolutionary writer. In the process, Reed begat a radical arts heritage he never could have imagined in the throes of those tumultuous years.

Upon graduation from Harvard – where he’d served as editor of the Ivy League’s monthly magazine, took to hanging out with the campus Socialist Club, and was largely seen as a roustabout – “Jack” Reed came to the attention of some of the nation’s leading periodicals including the American. He embarked on a series of journalistic assignments which would create a furor about him, yet while his class-mates T. S. Elliot, Walter Lippmann and Heywood Broun sought their own path to acclaim, Reed appeared preoccupied with something other. His burning individualism drove him anxiously away from the commercial success so many felt he was destined for. From his residence at 42 Washington Square, he absorbed all of the creativity as well as the working class strife, the immigrant cultures, the night-life and the tension that New York City thrives on. Reed walked the downtown streets for hours on end, exploring the docks, the buildings, the slums, the taverns, the lives of the people around him and he came away, in 1912, with a rather epic poem, ‘The Day in Bohemia’. Here, he found focus.

Granville Hicks, the acclaimed author of proletarian literature, described Reed’s development in his booklet One of Us: The Story of John Reed:
A deep-seated rebelliousness, which often had displayed itself in mere gestures of defiance, was beginning to grow into a conviction of the need for fundamental change. Reed was no theoretician: he could not learn from books. His education came through his eyes, which were the eyes of the poet. (Hicks, Granville. One of Us: The Story of John Reed. NY: Equinox Cooperative Press, 1935, page 6)
Bertram Wolfe, an early Communist who came to be an anti-communist liberal, knew Reed early on and worked with him in the building of the movement. In his writings on the revolutionary author, Wolfe stated that Reed was indeed an integral part of the New York radical artists’ scene – a regular of Mabel Dodge’s salons, deep into the discussion in that parlor of 23 Fifth Avenue, poring over the future of the arts via the specter of social change. He counted Dodge, Max Eastman, Margaret Sanger, Frances Perkins (who would become Franklin Roosevelt’s Labor Secretary decades later), Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman among his friends and associates; Dodge would too become a lover before long. The group met with IWW leader Bill Haywood and learned of the dire Paterson New Jersey strike—management’s brutal union-busting had turned into dubious battle and the Wobblies were desperately trying to hold ground in their organizing campaign. Viscerally inspired, Reed conceived of the Paterson Pageant, a large-scale theatrical event commemorating the New Jersey silk workers’ strike.

The official IWW anthology explained the impetus:
John Reed went to Patterson on a rainy April morning. He was arrested as he stood talking to some strikers on the porch of a worker’ s house and thrown into a four by seven foot cell that held eight pickets who had been without food and water for twenty-four hours. His experience made picturesque copy. (Kornbluh, Joyce L., editor, Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology. NY: Charles H. Kerr, 1998, page 201)
Four days later, upon release from jail, he, Mabel Dodge and a small cadre began to map out the Pageant. With the aid of the Greenwich Village painters, John Sloan among them, the scenery was designed and completed rapidly. In the course of three weeks, Reed finished the text and taught it – and a series of Wobbly songs – to the hundreds of strikers who were called on to perform the piece at Madison Square Garden. While the event was a financial loss, it served a great purpose as a means to alert the general public to the horrible conditions of the workers and the bloody battle waged against them by local police and hired thugs. Ultimately, the Patterson Pageant was the realization of a protest art for the masses. Reed was moved not only by the particular struggle the Wobblies were engaged in, but their very core mission and their comprehension of the need for a cultural component in organizing. Several years later, Reed wrote in the Liberator magazine of how the IWW was able to touch so many, so deeply. Here he offers perhaps the best possible description of the power of song within the Wobblies’ actions:
Let there be a “free speech fight” on in some town, and the “wobblies” converge upon it, across a thousand miles, and fill the jails with champions.

And singing. Remember, this is the only American working class movement which sings. Tremble then at the IWW, for a singing movement is not to be beaten...They love and revere their singers, too, in the IWW. All over the country workers are singing Joe Hill’s songs, “The Rebel Girl,” “Don’t Take My Papa Away From Me,” Workers of the World, Awaken.” Thousands can repeat his “Last Will,” the three simple verses written in his cell the night before execution. I have met working men carrying next their hearts, in the pockets of their working clothes, little boxes with some of Joe Hill’s ashes in them. Over Bill Haywood’s desk in national headquarters is a painted portrait of Joe Hill, very moving, done with love…I know no other group of Americans which so honors its singers…. (Reed, John, “The IWW In Court,” The Education of John Reed. NY: International Publishers, 1955, pp. 179-181. Originally entitled “The Social Revolution in Court,” The Liberator, September 1918)

Reed’s interactions with the industrial radicalism of the Wobblies in the company of the Marxists and anarchists of his Manhattan circle pushed him much deeper into the eye of the storm; his reportage broke new ground and developed a marked partisanship. Reed, by 1913, went further and began to all but refute his polite society employers. He turned instead to the much freer terrain of the Masses, which he would soon come to edit and draft its mission statement:
This Magazine is Owned and Published Co-operatively by Its Editors. It has no Dividends to Pay, and nobody is trying to make Money out of it. A Revolutionary and not a Reform Magazine; a magazine with a Sense of Humor and no Respect for the Respectable; Frank; Arrogant; Impertinent; searching for the True Causes; a Magazine directed against Rigidity and Dogma wherever it is found; Printing what is too Naked or True for a Money-making Press; a magazine whose final policy is to do as it Pleases and Conciliate Nobody, not even its Readers—There is a Field for this Publication in America. Help us to find it. (The Masses 8, June 1916, inside cover; source: Zurier, Rebecca, Art for the Masses, Foreword, Philadelphia: Temple University, 1988, page xvi)
At the behest of his friend and mentor Lincoln Steffens, Reed next traveled to Mexico to cover that nation’s revolution, writing of Pancho Villa’s battles against colonialism, drinking in the smell of gun-powder and mortal danger, thriving on the cause itself. His reportage was quite masterful and would culminate in a book, Insurgent Mexico. Bertram Wolfe wrote of Reed in Mexico:
His reports overflow with life and movement: simple, savage men capricious cruelty, warm comradeship, splashes of color, bits of song, fragments of social and political dreams, personal peril, gay humor, reckless daring…Reed’s mingling of personal adventure with camera-eye close-ups lighted by a poet’s vision made superb reporting. (Wolfe, Bertram D., Strange Communists I have Known. NY: Stein and Day, 1965, page38)
Granville Hicks explained that Reed soon became not only a reporter of the war but fraternally enmeshed within the struggle:
He was an eye-witness of the battle of Torreon, risking his life to see the successive stages of the attack. He lived with Villa’s soldiers, drank with them, rode with them, gambled with them, danced with their women. He made friends and saw them killed in battle…So completely did he identify with the landless Mexicans that Villa was leading that he told his friends he would join Villa’s army if the United States invaded Mexico. (Hicks, Granville, One of Us: The Story of John Reed. NY: Equinox Cooperative Press, 1935, page 9)
Reed, in the company of New York radicals and artists, endeavored into drama and in 1915 became an integral part of early radical theatre. Ultimately moving beyond the city limits with the group, Reed helped to found the Provincetown Players, so named for the artists’ community they established in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Others involved in this groundbreaking troupe included Masses editor Max Eastman, journalist Mary Heaton Vorse, Reed’s soon-to-be wife the journalist Louise Bryant, and noted playwright Eugene O’Neill, among others. Reed and Bryant were also among the first of the Manhattan radicals to set up a base for a time in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. The Mt. Airy section of this Hudson River town quickly became known as “Red Hill” to the scornful locals, as Reed encouraged numerous other radicals to join him there. And they did—over the course of decades the area came to house many communists, socialists and other forward-looking progressives. And while the more creative projects would continue to interest him, Reed heard the call of the people’s movement as it engaged not only in the struggle for workers and socialism, but in loud opposition to the imperialistic war which had already broken out over seas.

In that same year of 1915, as it became evident that the blood bath would only escalate, Reed requested a European assignment, covering the First World War from the perspective of the German Army – telling his confused editor that the war was all about empire and profit so there was no cheering for “our side.” First from the western and then the eastern fronts he reported on the tragedy, the lost lives and the broken populace attempting to carry on through the carnage. The socialist parties of Europe had lost sight of the need for solidarity and became instead cheering squads for their nation’s troops. The world had not known that war could be so cold, so vicious, so ever-lasting; eventual peace seemed less and less possible through the smoke and cries amidst the trenches. Ultimately his reportage brought him into pre-revolutionary Russia, where the writer developed an early understanding of the culture and needs for social and political change. His return home in 1916 brought the realization that the United States was heading toward entering the war and that the Socialist Party had fallen into disarray. He, in the company of socialist writers Irving Howe, Henrietta Rodman, Franklin Giddings, Carlton Hayes, John Dewey, George Creel, Lincoln Steffens, and others became part of the movement to re-elect Woodrow Wilson, echoing the campaign slogan “He Kept Us Out of War.” The Greenwich Village radicals were torn asunder when the country engaged in battle in the weeks between the election and the inaugural ceremony (Wolfe, page 39-40).


From the mid-teens, Reed had become a strong voice in the Left-wing caucus of the Socialist Party, and within a few years his conviction toward revolutionary change became ingrained when he traveled again to Russia, this time in the company of Bryant, during the Revolution and wrote extensive notes which became the basis of his celebrated book Ten Days That Shook the World.

As Granville Hicks recalled it:
The poet in him, the journalist, the student and the Socialist fused in one dynamic, indefatigable person…On the afternoon of November 7 he talked with the defenders of the Winter Palace; that night he entered it with the first soldiers of the victorious Red Guard. (Hicks, Granville, One of Us: The Story of John Reed. NY: Equinox Cooperative Press, 1935, pp. 19-20)
By 1919 he, along with activist Benjamin Gitlow, led a portion of the Socialist Party’s Left-wing into the formation of the Communist Labor Party, one of the two early communist organizations in this nation which would lead to the founding of the Communist Party of the USA. He also served as a contributing editor of its initial organ, the Revolutionary Age and then became editor of The Communist (today, known as Political Affairs) and a noted public speaker for the cause of the workers’ uprising – this in a time of the Palmer Raids, mass arrests of radicals and the constant threat of the war-time Espionage Act hanging overhead.

In this still infantile stage of the movement, Reed would become designated as a cultural emissary by the Comintern during the tumultuous post-war period in which the fledgling Soviet Union came under attack by the western Allies, all attempting to defeat the world’s first Communist government.

According to John Stuart, in his Introduction to the book The Education of John Reed, this final trip to Moscow for Reed was productive and allowed him to see the great progress made in the young socialist state, even as it experienced severe turmoil. He traveled to different areas within and beyond the city, noting the changes from his prior trip and meeting intermittently with Lenin: …he was struck by the genius of the man, his viselike logic, the brilliance of his insight, and his great intellectual audacity. (Stuart, John, Introduction, The Education of John Reed: Selected Writings with a Critical Essay by John Stuart, NY: International Publishers, 1955, page 37)

Reed attempted to head for home once he’d learned that the first Red Scare was now heating up and he was deeply concerned about Louise Bryant and his friends. Five thousand radicals had already been detained and he heard that he’d been indicted in absentia for his work on the flagrantly anti-war Masses. However, in his trip west he encountered the blockade around the Soviet Union, becoming arrested in Finland. He spent two awful months in a Finnish prison, ultimately being deported back to Moscow, ill with scurvy and suffering from grave malnutrition.

Almost immediately, however, Reed began to assist with the planning for the Second Congress of the Communist International (July 1920). Reed was now a member of the Comintern Executive Committee and he offered a strong case for a revolutionary vision for American labor unions. Reed expected the Comintern to back his idea that the IWW should be the union of choice for Communists. However in light of failed revolution in Germany and the powerful reactionary force against communism world-wide, Lenin re-thought his initial plan for global revolution. With it, his idea of dual-unionism in industrialized nations; instead, Lenin and the Comintern now produced a policy of ‘boring from within’ existing American Federation of Labor unions. Reed was angered by this turn of events, particularly as he’d had the chance to become ingrained in Wobbly actions since 1913.

Wolfe states that Reed, ever the rebel, launched a counter-offensive and made strong attempts to have his argument heard, but he was unsuccessful (the Comintern saw the hub of capitalism as an impossible place to create immediate revolutionary change). Through the combination of physical and emotional stress, Reed indicated signs of clinical depression, according to reports by Reed’s English translator Angelica Balabanoff. (Wolfe, page 45)

However, Reed agreed to become part of a delegation to the Congress of Oriental Nations in Baku, including Comintern leaders Zinoviev and Radek, further exhausting him; unbeknownst to the writer, his condition was far worse than anyone realized – he had contracted typhus. Louise Bryant, against all conceivable odds, made her way from New York to Moscow to seek out Reed, fearful for his life in the heat of battle. After her harrowing journey, in which she traveled along a sort of underground railroad of the Left, she was able to experience powerfully bonding moments with her husband before he fell into a terminal state.

John Stuart reports:
They spent several days together, visiting Lenin and other Soviet leaders, roaming through the art galleries and attending the ballet. He talked of writing another book, of getting back home to stand trial, and of his future work in the American Communist movement. And then he fell ill. At first it seemed as though he only had influenza, but later the disease was diagnosed as typhus. The doctors in attendance tried to save him. But their skill was of no avail, handicapped as they were by the lack of drugs in a blockaded country. (Stuart, page 37-38).
Reed died on October 17, 1920. It was a Sunday, just days before his 33rd birthday. Photographs of the funeral depict Bryant, emotionally broken, apart from the rest who’d come to pay tribute. Granville Hicks wrote:
For seven days the body lay in state in the Trades Union Hall, guarded by fourteen soldiers of the Red Army…On October 24, thousands of Moscow’s proletariat marched behind John Reed’s body as it was carried to the Kremlin. Snow and sleet fell. A military band played the funeral march of the revolution. At the wall, beside the Kremlin wall, comrades spoke…. (Hicks, Granville, One of Us: The Story of John Reed. NY: Equinox Cooperative Press, 1935, page 30)
Reed became the first American to be buried at the Kremlin wall. He was mourned by countless Russians—and many, many in the US as well. Stuart added: “And back home in a dozen cities in a time of terror and oppression there were tears of grief poured deep out of the heart for the young leader who had fought so magnificently for the class that had adopted him.” (Stuart, page 38).

Ironically, Reed’s legend today contends with right-wing accusations of treason as much as it does doctrinaire Communists’ discontent with his rebellion against the Bolsheviks. With a life far too brief and a story both worn with time and disappeared by a vengeful bourgeoisie, John Reed’s scope remains a conundrum to much of society at large. Still, earlier documentation confirms much adulation by the radicals who stood with him in the struggle. Some sixteen years after his death, Communist Party cultural leader Joseph Freeman, who would later be purged out of the Party’s ranks, sang the praises of Reed:
His life seemed to us as a model for middle-class intellectuals who went over to the proletariat. When John Reed came out of Harvard he was acclaimed everywhere as a young genius; he marched straight from the campus to success. America’s newspapers and magazines threw their pages open to him; they published whatever he wrote…But during all this phenomenal success he was oppressed by the corruption first of bourgeois literature, then of bourgeois society…Reed then revolted against bourgeois literature because it apologized  for the capitalist system of exploitation. But he went further. (Freeman, Joseph, An American Testament, NY: Farrar and Reinhardt, 1936, pp. 302-303)
Freeman then offered a 1920 quote from Max Eastman about Reed’s epiphany: “There was growing in his breast a sense of the identity of his struggle toward a great poetry and literature for America, with the struggle of the working people to gain possession of America and make it human and make it free.”

Freeman continued, emphasizing Reed’s ultimate melding of poet and revolutionary:
There could hardly be a simpler statement of the idea, developed before the Bolshevik revolution by Americans on American soil, great art and poetry in our age were inseparable from the struggle of the proletariat for a classless society. John Reed’s first reaction to his discovery was bipolar. He continued to pursue success in the bourgeois journals and drawing rooms which paid him rich fees, and he wrote faithfully for the Masses, later the Liberator, which paid him nothing. He thus kept one foot in each camp. But the World War, and soon after the Russian Revolution, impelled him to make a fundamental choice between the two camps. He identified himself with the working class of America and of the world. At first he did this only as a journalist. He became a revolutionary writer. But direct contact with and participation in the ten days that shook the world roused in him the man of action. He returned to America as an organizer…he was first and foremost an active Bolshevik to whom journalism, public speaking, drafting resolutions, organization were all instruments toward the same end. (Freeman, pp 302-303 ).
The loss of John Reed would have been even more profoundly painful had the revolutionaries at his shoulder the time to grieve, but in the heat of battle bereavement was a luxury. However nearly a decade later, the communist movement in his home nation would create a fitting honor.


By 1929, the Communist Party’s cultural arm had grown in proportions Reed could never have imagined – Party cultural workers were already organizing events and publications as part of a revolutionary front. More so, the CP cultural brain trust led by VJ Jerome, Joseph Freeman, Michael Gold and others set plans for a nation-wide radical artists’ collective in Reed’s name, focusing on writers but encompassing cultural workers from every fold. Once proven in New York City, the John Reed Clubs took the lead in the push for a proletarian literary drive while hosting events by musicians, actors, dancers, painters and others. The Reed Clubs produced classes, lectures, concerts and exhibits; it published a series of magazines, newsletters, pamphlets and books and offered tutelage to fledgling cultural workers that combined lessons in social change with the arts. Membership included both the celebrated and the up-and-coming, largely all Communists, who sought to create works of social revolution. The Clubs spawned a series of off-shoot gatherings specific to different genres such as the Pierre DeGeyter Club of modernist concert musicians and the Red Dancers which served to develop modern dance of social conscience.

In January of 1930, Mike Gold, perhaps the best known of the proletarian journalists and a high priest, so to speak, of Communist cultural workers in the US, wrote of the origins of the John Reed Club, its multi-disciplinary nature, and his intent to guide it in a manner which would secure the artist’s relationship with the worker:
The John Reed Club was organized about two months ago here in New York. It is a small group of writers, artists, sculptors, musicians and dancers of revolutionary tendencies…Several activities have begun. The artists arranged an exhibition at the Workers Co-Operative House in the Bronx. About 35 pictures were hung. The exhibit will be shown for about four weeks. Over 300 workers came to the opening. There was a furious discussion led by Lozowick, Basshe, Gropper, Klein and others…At the next meeting I shall propose the following:
That every writer in the group attach himself to one of the industries. That he spend the next few years in and out of this industry, studying it from every angle, making himself an expert in it, so that when he writes of it, he will write with like an insider, not like a bourgeois intellectual observer. He will help on the publicity in strikes, etc. He will have his roots in something real. The old Fabians used to get together and write essays based on the books they had read. We will get close to the realities.” (Gold, Michael, The Daily Worker, January 1930; source: Dilling, Elizabeth, The Red Network: A Who’s Who and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots. Self-published, 1934, page 180)
The John Reed Clubs devised a mission statement which identified core values, including the support of labor and the fight against imperialism, white chauvinism, fascism, oppression of immigrants, and something unique to cultural workers: the Clubs pledged to “Fight against the influence of middle-class ideas in the work of revolutionary writers and artists” and to “Fight against the imprisonment of revolutionary writers and artists.” The Clubs principal goal was “forging a new art that shall be a weapon in the battle for a new and superior world.” (Draft Manifesto, John Reed Clubs, 1932)

Eric Homberger, in the pages of the Encyclopedia of the American Left, stated that the clubs were, “educational and agitational in purpose. They were modeled on literary studios for worker-correspondents created by the Proletcult in the Soviet Union, which Mike Gold and Joseph Freeman had seen during visits in the decade. (Homberger, Eric, The Encyclopedia of the American Left, edited by Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle and Dan Georgakas. Chi: St James Press, 1990, page 649)

Homberger also clarified that the formation of the Club owed more to the Comintern’s Third Period policy – strongly revolutionary and with a focus on class warfare—than anything else. The Club’s slogan was the now much-paraphrased (but rarely credited to the source) line, “Art is a Class Weapon” and the structure was one which strongly and loudly emphasized this aspect. The Club made it a point to clarify that art should NOT be for art’s sake, and while many of its members may have been fans of Fitzgerald, they created a culturally aware answer to his Jazz age “Lost Generation.” This Club, and its wide array of national branches, was not intended for the entertainment of a bored, moneyed populace. Not by far (Homberger, page 649).

The John Reed Clubs national board consisted of Communist Party writers Joseph Freeman and Whittaker Chambers, and artists Louis Lozowick and William Gropper, while Mike Gold, seemingly the heir apparent to Reed, acted as a traveling organizer, guest speaker at JRC gatherings and general inspiration. The Club’s New York branch, the flagship which really guided the rest, could count such Left luminaries as John Howard Lawson, Granville Hicks, Kenneth Burke, Edward Dahlberg, Horace Gregory, Gold and others among its members. The Chicago branch included such radical literary giants as Richard Wright and Frank Marshall Davis.

Homberger notes that, “The full range of club activities constitutes a legacy of radical practices that the American Left, or the CP, has rarely approached since”, and adds that the Chicago branch in 1931 engaged in numerous relevant activities including the creation of,
…posters for demonstrations and parades…Murals in the People’s Auditorium; dramatic material and scenery was provided for the Blue Blouses, a youth drama group; demonstrations were organized on high school and university campuses to win support for the International War Day on August 1; the program for the John Reed Memorial Day held at the People’s Auditorium was written by members, and consisted of songs, dances, music, a mass chant of an anti-war poem, and a talk on Reed by the former Wobbly Ralph Chaplin. A proletarian art exhibit…and photographs from the JRC Film and Photo Group, was held in summer. In December, a JRC Ball was held in Chicago to raise money for activities in 1932 (Homberger, page 649).
Oddly enough, poet and New Masses contributor Norman MacLeod reported that the Reed Club was not formed by Party leadership at all. MacLeod later claimed that the Club was founded when a group of young poets were thrown out of the New Masses office by its editor, Walt Carmon. Apparently Carmon had tired of their continual presence and as he escorted the young revolutionaries out he suggested they “go form a club – I even have a name for you: the John Reed Club.” (MacLeod interview with William Ruben, April 9, 1969, Labadie Collection, University of Michigan; source: Wald, Alan M. Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth Century Literary Left. 2002, NC: University of North Carolina, page 105).

The 1935 change in policy of the Comintern toward its cultural organizations saw the replacement of the John Reed Clubs with a series of less revolutionary mass organizations that would become part of the Popular Front. But the powerful model inspired by Reed as cultural warrior was never replicated; many would argue that the resurgence of such a body is well past due. It was the fiery inspiration of writer John Reed, he of poet’s heart and revolutionary conscience, that stood as the guiding force of the organization that bore his name. Reed’s brief, contentious place in history inadvertently laid the groundwork for all protest artists in his wake.

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India Today's survey talks about under-age sex, sex with prostitutes and eunuchs, kinky sex, adultery, incest, homosexuality, fantasies, preferences, favourite positions, attitudes towards role-playing and other sexual activities.
The void between the dream of honeymoon and the reality of marriage has to be filled by reclaiming friendship, the birthright of every couple. This India Today survey measures the length and depth of marital issues.
Often hypocritical, obsessed with his looks, sexually smug and quietly homoerotic, the single young urban male is surprisingly standard, across big cities and small. An avid consumer of pornography, he has a rich fantasy life, even though his peer group is dominated by males and his dependence on parents substantial.
An exclusive India Today-AC Nielsen-ORG-MARG survey reveals that urban young singleton s are shaking off years of conservatism and asserting their sexuality with growing confidence.
The nationwide survey reveals some startling findings. As Indian men continue to place purity above passion, a majority of them are sensitive to their partners' fulfilment and do not treat sex as power play.
India's first ever, comprehensive, all-female survey that looks at a woman's basic instincts involved interviews with unmarried, married and separated women between 19 and 50 years of age from 10 cities.

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In 1924 a birth control league was established in Bombay and the secretary wrote to [Mahatma] Gandhi, seemingly to ask for his blessings as it would help the Indian population problem. Gandhi responded: "I am totally opposed to artificial means of controlling the birth rate, and it is not possible for me to congratulate you or your co-workers on having brought into being a League whose activities, if successful, can only do great moral injury to the people." Margaret Sanger entered the ensuing debate writing to Gandhi in protest.
Gandhi replied that he was open to further education on the subject and Sanger started planning a visit to India. … She came following an invitation to speak at the All-India Women's Conference, which the previous year had passed a resolution favouring birth control and now wanted to draw up a practical programme of action. How could she refuse? It seems that India was ready for her; by the time she completed her stay, she had travelled 10,000 miles, presided over more than 40 public meetings and had established some 50 birth control information centres. And she was more than ready to take her crusade to the subcontinent and to its perceived moral leader. Although originally expected to arrive on November 26, 1935, it was not until a week later that, after a bullock cart ride from Wardha railway station, Sanger arrived at Gandhi's headquarters on December 2, a Monday, Gandhi's day of silence. … The next day, after having accompanied Gandhi on his accustomed early morning walk, she was granted an interview at 11 and it continued till 3 o'clock.
Margaret Sanger's diary notes that the arguments in the formal interview "were along the same lines as in the morning", and she felt that "his personal experience at the time of his father's death was so shocking and self-blamed that he can never accept sex as anything good, clean or wholesome." During the interview … Gandhi counselled celibacy: "I have felt that during the years still left to me if I can drive home to women's minds the truth that they are free, we will have no birth control problem in India. If they will only learn to say 'no' to their husbands when they approach them carnally! … The real problem is that many do not want to resist them."
Not unexpectedly, Sanger raised the phantasmagoria of "irritations, disputes, and thwarted longings that Gandhiji's advice would bring into the home", citing cases of "great nervous and mental breakdowns as a result of the practice of self-control."
Gandhi countered that this would only be the case with "imbeciles", not with "healthyminded people". When Sanger insisted that his advice was not practical, that it would "mean a revolution in the home" and lead to divorce because "the average marriage contract assumes that intercourse and the married relationship shall be harmonious", Gandhi tried to draw a distinction between love and lust: "When both want to satisfy animal passion without having to suffer the consequences of their act it is not love, it is lust."
Sanger did not accept the analogy, explaining that "sex expression is a spiritual need" and that the quality of the expression is "more important than the result". She tried to get Gandhi to admit that he was against "sex lust" rather than "sex love"; however when she asked him whether he thought "it possible for two people who are in love, who are happy together, to regulate their sex act only once in two years, so that relationship would only take place when theywanted a child?", Gandhi answered that "I had the honour of doing that very thing". Sanger saw it as "illogical to contend that sex union for the purpose of having children would be love and union for the satisfaction of the sexual appetite was lust, for the same act was involved in both." Gandhi explained that he knew that all sexual unions partook of the nature of lust from his own personal experience because "as long as I looked upon my wife carnally, we had no real understanding. Our love did not reach a high plane."
Sanger responded by asking if that meant that "the sexual union takes place only three or four times in an entire lifetime?" In response to the woman who, like Olive Schreiner 30 years before her, had been a lover of Havelock Ellis, the pioneer of sexology and author of the seven- volume Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Gandhi responded: Why should people not be taught that it is immoral to have more than three or four children and that after they have had that number they should sleep separately? … If husband and wife have four children, they would have had sufficient animal enjoyment."
Not long before his discussion with Margaret Sanger, Gandhi received a letter from a councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Bombay asking him to support the opening of a birth control clinic … and issuing posters advising people to take advantage of it. Gandhi replied: "Everybody would welcome sex gratification without having to have children. Therefore the means of ensuring this are spreading like intoxicants. If there is any cause for regret, it is only that what is morally bad is being regarded as morally desirable."
In her autobiography Sanger notes that even though Gandhi appeared to be going along with her in their discussions, as soon as she stopped he continued "as though he had not heard you", putting up a "stone wall of religion or emotion or experience" which she could not "dynamite him over".
However, he had heard her, and tried hard to counter her arguments, and perhaps Sanger had slightly more impact on him than she imagined or he admitted to. At the end of the session of interviews, Gandhi conceded that he thought highly of Sanger's purpose, otherwise he "would not have given time to this subject". As a conclusion to the section of his article that contains the interview with Margaret Sanger, Desai wrote:
"And yet as Mrs Sanger was so dreadfully in earnest Gandhiji did mention a remedy which could conceivably appeal to him. That method was the avoidance of sexual union during unsafe periods confining it to the 'safe' period of about ten days during the month. That had at least an element of self-control which had to [be] exercised during the unsafe period."
What had induced this change? Later a close friend and member of his secretariat, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur [independent India's first health minister], was to recall how the talks with Sanger "grew tense and strangely exciting, as if longburied trains of thought were emerging".
Gandhi biographer Martin Green claims that the encounter left [the Mahatma] exhausted, resulting in his hospitalisation and a breakdown in his health that "was very painful to him because it involved an episode of involuntary sexual excitement." Green appears to be making a causal link between Gandhi's seminal discharge and the resurfacing of buried emotions, particularly those that had led to the platonic yet sexually charged love affair (or spiritual marriage) with Sarala Devi Chaudhurani [pioneering women's rights activist, Rabi- ndranath Tagore's niece and wife of Punjab Congress leader Rambhuj Dutt Chaudhary] that had fleetingly threatened his own marriage in 1920.
This is not an outrageous interpretation.
In her interviews, Sanger had put to Gandhi that, "If we have a choice in our mates [as he did not] there is a natural sex attraction between two people. You then have a different experience and in the experience an expression of love which makes you a finer human being ... and contributes to a finer understanding and a greater spiritual harmony."
GANDHI'S response was illuminating: "I had a woman with whom I almost fell. It is so personal that I did not put it in my autobiography. We have considered if there can be this spiritual companionship. The marriage relationship is a matter of contract. Your parents arrange it in your childhood and you have nothing to do with it. I came in contact with an illiterate woman. Then I met a woman with a broad, cultural education. Could we not develop a close contact, I said to myself? This was a plausible argument, and I nearly slipped. But I was saved."
In an article on birth control that appeared in his paper only a few months later, Gandhi reiterated that he would agree to at least consider the rhythm method of birth control, even though he did it reluctantly. Although she had no luck in convincing Gandhi of her position, her lecture tour of India led to the opening of several birth control clinics in the country. When, in 1959, Prime Minister Nehru declared that a large sum of money would go to family planning in India, Margaret Sanger was standing at his side.
- Extracted with permission from Going Native: Gandhi's Relationship with Western Women (Roli Books Lotus Collection; Rs 295). Weber, who teaches at Melbourne's La Trobe University, has been researching and writing on Gandhi's life for over 20 years.