Towards a Vision of Sexual and Economic Justice

Josephine Ho and Naomi Klein

Towards a Vision of Sexual and Economic Justice event image

Sexual oppression and economic oppression are inextricably linked, but the movements that address each of these issues are not similarly intertwined. Contemporary movements for global economic justice, for example, tend to shy away from sexuality issues, while campaigns for sexual rights rarely foreground economic concerns. In some spheres, however, the gap is beginning to close. More and more anti-poverty activists now focus on the spread of HIV/AIDS as a major stumbling block to ending global poverty, while sexual rights activists working within the UN’s orbit debate the material conditions required in order to realize sexual autonomy.

On Thursday, November 29, BCRW highlights these potential intersecions with a lecture by renowned feminist scholar and activist Josephine Ho and award-winning, world renowned journalist, syndicated columnist and internationally best-selling author Naomi Klein.

A prominent activist in Taiwan’s sex rights movement and the “godmother of the Taiwanese queer movement,” Josephine Ho has also become the target of a range of conservative groups. In 2001, her academic website was forced out of her university’s Internet space because of its sex-positive stance on teenage sexuality. In 2003, a dozen conservative Christian NGOs banded together to bring a lawsuit against Ho and her sexuality studies Internet databank. With the support of students, scholars and activist groups, (to say nothing of a wide-spread international petition drive), Josephine Ho won the court case first in the district court and then again in the high court in 2004. Though best-known for her work in gender/sexuality related issues and movement, Josephine Ho has not been absent from local organization/mobilization for the anti-war movement, anti-globalization movement, anti-nuclear-plant movement, and the most recent anti-social-exclusion movement. For her tireless effort in resisting bigotry and prejudice, and her work on human rights and sex rights, she was selected as one among the thousand women from all over the world who were collectively nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Her books include The Gallant Woman—Feminism and Sexual Emancipation; Gendered Nations—Sexuality, Capital and Culture; Sexual Moods: A Therapeutic and Liberatory Report on Female Sexuality; Radical Sexuality Education: Gender/Sexuality Education for the “New Generation” ; and The Admirable/Amorous Woman.

Naomi Klein is perhaps best known as the author of the international bestseller No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. Translated into 28 languages and with more than a million copies in print, The New York Times called No Logo “a movement bible.” In 2000, The Guardian short-listed it for its First Book Award, and in 2001, No Logo won the Canadian National Business Book Award, and the French Prix Médiations. In 2004, her reporting from Iraq for Harper’s Magazine won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Naomi Klein writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. A collection of her work, Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate was published in 2002. In 2004, she released The Take, a feature documentary about Argentina’s occupied factories, co-produced with director Avi Lewis. The film was an official selection of the Venice Biennale and won the Best Documentary Jury Prize at the American Film Institute’s Film Festival in Los Angeles. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics and holds an honorary Doctor of Civil Laws from the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia. Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, was published worldwide in September 2007.