2820 – Abolition Feminism: A Call To Action w/ Gina Dent

Emma hosts Gina Dent, Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to discuss her recent book Abolition. Feminism. Now., co-written with Angela Davis, Erica Meiners, and Beth Richie. Professor Dent and Emma begin by discussing how the mainstream roles of feminism and abolitionism have changed over the last half-century, including how certain forms of feminism became a standard starting in the ‘70s, yet it maintains its perception as a threat to the capitalist norm, and how abolitionism has fought for decades to become a part of the national discourse, with 2020 commonly seen as the year it broke into the mainstream discussion. Next, they unpack the non-abolitionist feminisms that have played a central role in progressive rhetoric since the ‘70s, why it’s important to both align much of abolitionism and feminism, and why we must understand how these “carceral feminisms” work to reinforce the Prison-Industrial Complex, and make our communities less safe and more susceptible to all types of harm (including gender-based harm). After briefly touching on how important the work of and with incarcerated folks was for their work, Professor Dent dives into the constant work that Black Feminist Liberationists have engaged in, often either excluded from the mainstream feminist discourse or strategically incorporated to bolster the carceral state, as we see particularly with the crime bill and Violence Against Women Act in the ‘90s. She then dives into the separation of state-sanctioned and interpersonal harms in the mainstream and the emphasis abolitionism makes on discussing them together, understanding that shifting away from interpersonal violence in favor of state violence does nothing to help women, and how the individualization of crime has served to exacerbate violence, particularly as it aligned with the deconstruction of state- and community-based welfare services. Emma and her then look to the importance of disarticulating crime from punishment, understanding how criminalization is often birthed outside of choice, and what rehabilitative actions can be taken BEFORE imprisonment to reduce both antisocial behavior and the punishment that often follows. They wrap up the interview by talking through the importance of abolition’s emergence into the mainstream, how to separate reformist reforms that bolster the POC from non-reformist reforms, and the importance of uplifting trans and indigenous voices and the harm the state perpetuates against them, often in correlation with the interpersonal harm they face. Emma also touches on Russia’s ramped-up attacks in Ukraine, Israel’s SECOND attack on the Al-Aqsa mosque in the middle of Ramadan, and the devastating shootings this weekend in South Carolina. She also admires CNBC’s conversation with fresh-faced Amazon CEO Andy Jassy as they dive into why they support unions, they’re just bad for Amazon specifically.

And in the Fun Half: It’s Emma’s birthday! Kowalski from NE calls in to celebrate, the crew admires Tucker Carlson’s brave endorsement of “bromeopathy” (like homeopathy but more scrote-focused) and Bro Flamingo calls to dive into the anti-woke left, where they come from, and how they’re poisoning the well of online leftist discourse. Roger Stone and Donald Trump dish on Ron DeSantis, the crew looks back at Vic Berger’s killer edit on DeSantis’s appropriation of DJT’s elegant hand gestures, and Matthew from Philadelphia dives into small-scale individual and communal action to fight climate change. The Fox Five turn on Greg Abbott, Alex from NY gives his bday fight club matchups, and Elijah Schaffer (Blaze TV) and Dave Landau spend an interview uplifting trans genocide. Sam “not a libertarian” from Gary, Indiana dives into the role of the constitution in fighting the state, and what we can or should do about the 2nd Amendment, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Gina’s book here: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1546-abolition-feminism-now

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