Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

Three hours prior to writing this column, the U.S. dropped its Mother Of All Bombs on Afghanistan, 45 has sent out a tweet threatening North Korea that it’s “looking for trouble”, and journalists are trying to determine if Assad or another party gassed Syrian citizens. My first article is a reportage of the bomb drop, certainly much more will develop in the days ahead. We’ll hear analysis and response from our communities soon.

In a source new to me, The GED SECTION, from D L Hughley’s website, a reporter argues that the death of Muslim Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam may not be the suicide it was originally labeled. Seems she had a history of holding police unions accountable, and the GED SECTION finds a suicide too convenient, especially in light of the fact that another black judge was killed this week, in Chicago. In other news, North Carolina leaders are attempting to repeal the Supreme Court Decision for legal gay marriage in their state; other articles revealed that the new bill is already dead on the floor. An Asian man brutally dragged off a United flight for refusing to give up his seat, was then victimized in newspapers to cover United’s militarized response.

I was noticing as I collected these articles this week that so many focus on war, bombing, school shootings, domestic violence, indigenous women deaths, Syrian refugees, gay men in Chechnya being killed. Can it all be random? I think not. The capitalism of war, the power of bombs, of guns, the silencing of women and gays, of refugees, the sin of xenophobia, the threat of women’s voices, black lives, of feminism and immigration all intertwine in a battle of domination to suppress anything but the capitalistic agenda of the status quo. This is “trickle down” politics. The convergence of the micro and the macro.

In her article for Salon, Amanda Marcotte argues that domestic violence is “in a sense a form of terrorism.” I don’t think she takes the argument far enough. Domestic violence IS terrorism. Not just a form of…it IS terrorism, as one publication called it this week: “Intimate Terrorism”. Domestic Violence IS as Marcotte suggests: political violence. And until it is criminalized as a terrorist act, the stories will remain hidden and un-addressed under “Women’s Issues”. This is why feminist publications like ROAR are so critical. So, if you missed anything, please Read On. Your comments are always welcome.


1. It was unclear whether any civilians were killed. The military insisted that it took every precaution to avoid such casualties. But the Pentagon has come under increasing criticism that as it has intensified the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the civilian death toll has risen sharply.

“U.S. drops ‘Mother of all Bombs’ on ISIS caves in Afghanistan”/ by Helene Cooper/ New York Times/ April 13, 2017


2. “These people are not just vulnerable people to whom we may owe some moral duty to protect. They’re also people who are fleeing the exact terrorists that we’re talking about targeting. They’re fleeing ISIS. They’re fleeing Al Qaeda. They are victims of terrorism themselves.”

“The Xenophobic Lie Behind Trump’s Ban on Syrian Refugees”/ by Joshua Holland/ The Nation/ January 31, 2017


3. Domestic violence-related murder isn’t a sexy story, like terrorism. It’s treated as mundane. It’s seen as sad, but not of any national interest. It’s an issue to be covered on women’s websites, instead of front-page news (outside of a coincidentally geographical connection to a recent terrorist attack, of course). But domestic violence is, in a sense, a form of terrorism. In most cases, it’s a blunt assertion of male dominance over women and should be understood as a kind of political violence.

“San Bernardino school shooting was an act of terrorism: Domestic violence is part of a larger political ideology”/ by Amanda Marcotte/ Salon/ April 12, 2017


4. Not only was Salaam instrumental in helping LGBT parents gain the same parenting rights as biological parents, but she also has a history of making police unions accountable for their actions. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this would ruffle a few feathers.

“Black Judge With History Of Holding Cops Accountable Found Dead In River”/ by Maria Elena/ The GED SECTION/ April 13, 2017


5. Novaya Gazeta reported the men missing and murdered on April 1, prompting the Chechen government to brush the reports off as an April Fools’ Day joke. Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, then said gay people disappearing from the streets is impossible because he claims there are no gay people in Chechnya. If there were, he said, they would be sent somewhere they could not come back from.

“Gay Men Are Reportedly Being Sent to Makeshift Prisons in Chechnya”/ by Brittney McNamara/ teenvogue/ April 11, 2017


6. The narrative that we are troubled, or dirty, or deserving of violence, or that we should be treated like trash, feels palpable in the world, in my bed, in the media. It feels that way every day.

“Being an Indigenous Woman in Canada is to Feel Hunted”/ by Terese Mailhot/ Huffington Post/ April 10, 2017


7. “After several days in the boiling summer heat her body has begun to change. Her skin has started to blacken and mummify and the bloating is beginning to obscure some of her physical features,” De León later wrote, reflecting on the encounter.

“Jason De León Dares You to Look Away From the Items Border Crossers Leave Behind”/ by Leeron Hoory/ Village Voice/ April 11, 2017


8. “This is an issue that red and blue lawmakers can agree on: domestic abusers shouldn’t have guns,” she said. “All countries have domestic violence. The difference is that we arm our abusers.”

“Domestic violence and guns: the hidden American crisis ending women’s lives”/ by Lois Beckett/ The Guardian/ April 11, 2017


9. I am away from my father for the first time in my life. I suddenly wake up to the idea that America and democracy and capitalism are all about fathers. A certain idea of a father as head. Hero. Leader. Person with power. I denounce all fathers.

“Civic Memory, Feminist Future”/ by Lidia Yuknavitch/ Electric Literature/ April 12, 2017


10. Hair removal, at its core, is a form of gendered social control. It’s not a coincidence that the pressure for women to modify their body hair has risen in tandem with their liberties, Herzig argues. She writes that the effect of this hairlessness norm is to “produce feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability, the sense that women’s bodies are problematic the way they naturally are.”

“The Casualties of Women’s War on Body Hair”/ by Nadine Ajaka/ The Atlantic/ February 8, 2017



Joyce Hayden left her university teaching job two years ago in order to pursue her own artistic work. An assemblage artist, painter, and writer, Joyce is currently in the process of acquiring an agent to represent her memoir, The Out of Body Girl, which describes her 8 year relationship with a charismatic gambler and the dangerous road that eventually led to her freedom. Her chapbook of poems, Lost Handprint, is forthcoming from Dandelion Review. A freelance editor and writing coach, Joyce’s writing services and a selection of her artwork can be found at her website Joyce is available for commission art work, including celebration shrines for loved ones and pets.

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