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Feminists vs. the War Machine

How do we practice feminist internationalism? The question has never been more urgent than today, as war rages in Ukraine. This is a problem feminists have faced many times before. Remember when Laura Bush tried to sell the war in Afghanistan as women’s liberation? At the time, the left was hampered by thin relationships with our feminist counterparts in these countries, leaving the anti-war movement vulnerable to claims that women there really did want the help of the US military. Today, we’re committed to strengthening those relationships through conversations like this one.

The spring 2022 issue of Lux features several explorations of US empire from a feminist perspective. We talk with the women of the Revolutionary Afghan Women’s Association about the US withdrawal, profile National Book Award-finalist poet Solmaz Sharif whose work confronts the War on Terror and her own exile from Iran, report on Okinawa’s multigenerational anti-US-base movement, and pay tribute to Puerto Rican radical Luisa Capetillo.

This event will take on the special role that feminism continues to play in anti-imperalist struggles, from the Middle East to East Asia to Latin America, connecting these struggles, and activists, across borders.


Rozina Ali is a contributing writer at New York Times Magazine and a fellow at Type Media Center. Her writing covers the War on Terror, Islamophobia, and the Middle East and South Asia. She was previously on the staff of The New Yorker and The Cairo Review of Global Affairs. She is currently working on a book about the history of Islamophobia in the United States.

Margo Okazawa-Rey is a professor emerita at San Francisco State University and a transnational feminist activist. She works on militarism, armed conflict, and violence against women in the US and around the world. She is a founding member of the International Women’s Network against Militarism and Women for Genuine Security, and was a founding member of the Combahee River Collective. Her recent publications include “‘Nation-izing’ Coalition and Solidarity Politics for US Anti-militarist Feminists,” and Gendered Lives: Intersectional Perspectives (Oxford, 2020).

Sophie Pinkham is the author of Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine. She has written about Russian and Ukrainian culture and politics for The New York Review of Books, The New Left Review, The New Republic, The Nation, and many other publications. She produced the short documentary Balka, on women, drugs, and HIV in Ukraine.

Sarah Leonard (moderator) is editor-in-chief of Lux magazine. She is contributing editor to Dissent and The Nation. (@sarahrlnrd)

This event is sponsored by Lux magazine and Haymarket Books. While all of our events are freely available, we ask that those who are able make a solidarity donation in support of our important organizing, programming and publishing work.