Friday, May 09, 2008

pamela bone

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die

- Aubade, poem by Philip Larkin
- Quoted in Pamela Bone's book about her fight with cancer, Bad Hair Days
Pamela Bone, journalist and author, died recently, from cancer, age 68

Here are some of the other battles she fought and about which I'm in agreement with her:
  • She supported the Iraq war because Saddam Hussein was a horrible, fascist monster who had to be got rid of. That was a consistent theme in her writings, that genocidal dictators must be stopped
  • She criticised the peace movement that protested against the Iraq war but failed to have any plan to overthrow a fascist dictatorship "... why millions of people marched last year (meaning 2003) not to denounce the world's worst dictator but to prevent the overthrow of that dictator."
  • She asked publicly why western feminists failed to speak out against human rights abuses carried out in the name of Islam "When did cultural sensitivity trump women's rights?"
  • She criticised the dreary cultural relativism that pervades the thinking of so many of those once described as on the Left. "Why is international public opinion not outraged at the treatment of women in Islamic fundamentalist societies?"
  • She maintained her optimism and in saying that the overall trend in the world is positive
podcast interview
She talks here mainly about her illness and attitude towards death (also some references to her job as a lead writer at The Age, the Iraq war and her visit to Rwanda). It was good to hear her voice - on feeling really ill with terminal cancer, "... it felt like being slapped in the face and told to get out of the human race"

Bone writes her final column

... Calm and clear to the end

Why we stay mute on Islamic sex apartheid Pamela confronted Germaine Greer for failing to speak out against honour killings

Western sisters failing the fight
"LET it be recorded that in the last decade of the 20th century the brave and great movement of Western feminism ended, not with a bang but with a whimper"

UN must act to save distant people the failure of the UN to act against genocide in the Darfur

The silence of the feminists
Dislike of George Bush's foreign policy has led to an automatic support of those perceived to be his enemies. Paradoxically, this leaves the left defending people who hold beliefs that condone what the left has long fought against: misogyny, homophobia, capital punishment, suppression of freedom of speech

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