The Oberlin Review

Pro-Choice Views Need Depth

Chip Williams

March 4, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The Review’s editorial last week concerning Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” a proposed ban on abortion after a fetus’s heartbeat can be detected, rightly condemns the legislation as dangerous and wrongheaded. However, like the majority of arguments put forth by the “pro-choice” camp, it fails to directly engage with the “pro-life” claim that fetuses are morally equivalent to adult humans. Most feminist writing on abortion seems to ignore or downplay the question of fetal rights, attempting to frame the issue as simply a question of women’s rights. We hear, for example, that bans on abortion constitute an unacceptable restriction on women’s personal autonomy; the bumper sticker phrase “Keep your law...

Reflections on Gloria Steinem: Feminism Struggles Against All Oppression

Katy MceGhee and Shannon Ikebe

March 4, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Gloria Steinem has reminded us of why we are feminists, and why everyone should be. Feminism, she has passionately appealed to us, is about us all, about the very nature of the society which we are continually in the process of creating and recreating. It is our duty (and our joy!) to use the tools and values of feminism, which both draw from and contribute to all other struggles against oppression — based on class, race, sexuality and gender identity. It is our duty to be constantly inspired and self-reflective, allowing us to understand and combat what we are otherwise compelled by oppressive forces to be and to do. Being a student at a politically progressive institution, you may have heard about the patriarchy....

Public Programs Suffer Under New Budget

George Berry

February 25, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Thanks to an extension of the Bush tax cuts, extraordinary levels of military spending, slow economic growth and exploding healthcare costs, our projected deficit for 2011 stands at a staggering $1.6 trillion. Republicans were voted into office last fall on a platform of “restoring fiscal sanity,” and the Obama administration has been promising to make good on guarantees to put the country on a sustainable path. Yet both the White House’s recently released 2011 budget and the Republican budget passed in the House offer no hint of how this sanity will be achieved. Instead, there are extremely selective spending cuts which tend to penalize small and extremely useful programs. These cuts create extraordinary harm...

The Meaning of Wisconsin: A Leftist Resurgence

Shannon Ikebe

February 25, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The time has finally come. Ever since the beginning of the global, systemic crisis of the neoliberal economy in 2008, there has been a hope for the leftist resurgence that could finally bury three decades of right-wing hegemony. The establishment politicians began imposing further austerity measures and assault on workers, using the budget crisis as an excuse. This budget crisis was also created in the first place to save capitalism from its own destruction by enriching private banks out of the public funds. We’ve seen workers and students in Greece, France and Britain staging tremendous protests, and we watched the enduring culture of political resistance across the pond with envy. Not anymore. Americans didn’t...

Freshman Stress On the Rise

Eva Sachs

February 18, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The first year of college can be easily stressful for anybody. Being away from friends and family for the first time, taking on new responsibilities — not to mention countless new opportunities like choices of classes, extracurricular activities, and so on — make it easy for a student to overexert herself. On top of all this, add the stress of finding even a part-time job in a poor economy. This last problem is prominent among the reasons posed in The New York Times Jan. 26 article “Record Level of Stress Found in College Freshmen,” which discussed a recent national survey of student stress. This may be due in part to factors outside of anyone’s control — not only the poor economy, but, the article suggests...

Mubarak Vs. The Muslim Brotherhood: Pigeonholing the Debate

George Berry

February 11, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The discussion in the major American media sources concerning the protests in Egypt has been strange to watch. The Obama administration has certainly clouded the debate by taking contradictory positions — some in the same news cycle. Yet regardless of official policy, one would hope that our national discussion contained a strong pro-democracy voice and a willingness to pose basic questions about the goals and means of American foreign policy that follow directly from these events. This latter point is important considering that millions of Egyptians are condemning a regime that is propped up as a matter of American policy. Instead, American media has latched onto the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is the largest...

Beyond Jon Stewart: Escaping Democratic Centrism And Finding a New Left

Shannon Ikebe

February 11, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

“Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution?” So rhetorically posed Jon Stewart at the “Rally to Restore Sanity” last October. As an activist of the Marxist persuation, I can certainly assure the darling of liberal America that I am not in the business of subverting the Constitution, and neither is any Marxist that I know of. There is nothing new and surprising in the demonization and caricturization of leftist voices by a powerful figure in the media. However, what distinguishes Stewart from others in the establishment is his enormous following among young, educated progressives — in other words, people like us. Indeed, what Stewart and his rally symbolize is the sorry decay of t...

Explaining Oberlin Earth First

Kalan Sherrard

December 4, 2009

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Two weeks ago, when one of the premier global warming skeptics, Richard Lindzen, came to speak, several of us in and outside of Earth First! got together and decided we needed to emphasize the danger of posing such views as an authentic or credible discourse. We came to this decision guided by our consideration of climate change and sustained environmental destruction as one of the most pressing matters the world faces today. It needs to be made clear that it is hugely dangerous to suggest that global climate change is not a serious or pressing concern, to trivialize the massive environmental destruction by leading corporations, or to condescend to popular outcry as a naive religiosity — and that to do so before the...

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