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Articles by Robert Jensen

Neither cis nor TERF

Feminist Current · May, 2018

Since it’s becoming more common for people to “self-identify” in terms of sex/gender, I want to do the same, by challenging two ways I have been inaccurately labeled.

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The Art of Avoiding Definitions: A Review of ‘Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability’

Feminist Current · April, 2018

“Let me define the terms, and I’ll win any debate,” a friend told me years ago, an insight I’ve seen confirmed many times in intellectual and political arenas.

But after reading Jack Halberstam’s new book, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability, I would amend that observation: Debates also can be won by making sure a term is never clearly defined.

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Review of ‘Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation’

Live Encounters · March, 2018

Reading Renate Klein’s elegantly argued Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation, it’s difficult not to keep repeating to oneself, “How did we get here?”, all the while trying to keep at bay a sense of despair.

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Masculinity: A Way Forward

Voice Male Magazine · February, 2018

Men have long claimed to own, control, or have the right to exploit women’s reproductive power and sexuality. Those claims are deeply embedded in contemporary culture—so deeply that the resulting practices are routinely taken to be “just the way things are”—but the practices also are inconsistent with widely shared moral values of liberty, equality, and solidarity.

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Life without Limits: The Delusions of Technological Fundamentalism

Australian Broadcasting Corporation/Religion and Ethics · January, 2018

In a routinely delusional world, what is the most dangerous delusion?

Living in the United States, I’m tempted to focus on the delusion that the United States is the greatest nation in the history of the world – a claim repeated robotically by politicians of both parties.

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The Woman Beside Wendell Berry: The Most Important Fiction Editor Almost No One Has Heard Of

YES! Magazine · December, 2017

Tanya Berry challenges our assumptions about women’s work and small-town living.

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Radical feminism is the only solution to men’s ongoing ‘sexual misconduct’

Feminist Current · December, 2017

“I’m not surprised,” women say, in response to the flood of revelations of sexual “misconduct” by men, especially men in positions of power.

But none of us — women or men — should be surprised, because the United States is a patriarchal society and in patriarchy men routinely claim the right to own or control women’s bodies for reproduction and sexual pleasure. Men — liberal and conservative — know that just as well as women.

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Good guys and bad guys

Feminist Current · November, 2017

I am not as abusive as Harvey Weinstein, nor as narcissistic as Bill O’Reilly. I’m more respectful to women than Donald Trump, and not as sleazy as Anthony Weiner.

Judged by the standards set by these public reprobates, most of the rest of us men appear almost saintly, and therein lies a danger. The public disclosure of these men’s behavior — from the routinely offensive to the occasionally criminal — is a good thing, and all those who have been harassed and raped should continue to speak out.

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Critical questions need to be answered in transgender debate

San Antonio Express-News · August, 2017

Now that the “bathroom bill” has died in the Texas Legislature and the political fireworks are over — for the moment — we should step back and consider what makes the transgender issue so vexing.

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When Will the United States Transcend White Supremacy?

CommonDreams · August, 2017

Now that the violence in Charlottesville has forced “white supremacy” into our political vocabulary, let’s ask an uncomfortable question: “When will the United States transcend white supremacy?”

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Eating Responsibly

Edible Austin, July/August, 2017 · July, 2017

A young friend recently stopped by my house as I was cooking dinner—a favorite rice-and-greens dish that is simple, cheap, tasty and nutritious. I’d just started sautéing the onions and garlic in some olive oil. My friend watched for a moment then said, with inappropriate reverence, “I don’t know how you do that.” “How I do what?” I thought. Cut up an onion, slice a clove of garlic, pour some oil and turn on a burner? It’s not exactly painting a masterpiece or performing brain surgery. I likely would have made fun of my friend if not for the fact that, at one point in my life, I would have found sautéing onions and garlic exotic, as well.

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How radicals are offering realistic solutions to our spiraling political problems

Dallas Morning News · June, 2017

Students will sometimes ask me — often hesitantly, out of fear of offending — if it’s true what they’ve heard, that I’m a liberal.

“Don’t you ever call me a liberal again,” I tell them, feigning outrage. “I’m a leftist and a radical feminist.” Once they realize I’m not angry, I explain the important differences between left and liberal.

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