Books Abroad, The Global Women’s Caucus feminist reading group, is thrilled to end the year with a French writer, Annie Ernaux, who has won the 2022 Nobel Prize for literature.
Her novels are often based on personal memories, but they have universal themes- such as rising out of poverty, incest, education, the status of women, and other potent issues which are as relevant today as when she started writing them in the 1970s. Her telling stories gives us insights and touch the reading public in an intimate manner.
Unfortunately, not many of her many books have been translated into English. But luckily (for us), her short novel ‘”l’événement’” (in French) or “Happening “ (in English) was published in 2000 and has been translated into English. Our group will discuss this book on Sunday, January 8th.
The “Happening” takes place before women had the right to abortion in France. The author learns while she was a student at 23 that she is pregnant. Stricken with shame for herself and her family, she tries and fails to self-abort.
Annie Ernaux wrote this story 40 years after the fact, sifting through her memories in her journal entries and drawing out her deepest feelings and thoughts recalled from the bits and pieces of her then 40-year-old experience in a world that has changed.
Critics have pondered the choice of Annie Ernaux for the Nobel Prize for literature since her books are short, barely fictional accounts of her life experiences -her latest book is about her taking a much younger lover- written in a simple style accessible by all, which sometimes stumps intellectual critics.
In addition to giving attention to her seemingly simplistic style and her life experiences, many are asking, “What makes a Nobel Prize in Literature?”
Join us on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at 10 am EST/4 pm CET for what promises to be, as usual, a great discussion. RSVP to receive the Zoom link.WHENJanuary 08, 2023 at 10:00amWHEREOnline
Constance Borde published When Men and Women Live in True Brotherhood.... in ERA Stories 2021-03-22 10:14:00 -0400
I'm an academic, I live in France, and I vote in Massachusetts. Back in the 70s I read Simone de Beauvoir's groundbreaking book "The Second Sex" and it changed my life. I realized, as did many, that women were not given equal status, either in their personal lives or under the law. Later in life I had the grand experience of teaching the book and I came to understand the deeply philosophical reasons why no democracy can exist without equality between men and women. And unless women are equal to men under the law, there can be no true equality. So from there began my quest for an Equal Rights Amendment. True liberation for women can only exist when they are protected under the law, and men and women can live in true "brotherhood" (Beauvoir's word) only when the Constitution guarantees them equal rights. So let's go, let's get it done. Let's add that ERA to our guarantor of equal rights, the US Constitution.
Constance Borde published NEXT BOOKS ABROAD MEETING – February 21, 2020 in Feminist Literature Club 2021-01-22 05:23:09 -0500
Book Abroad Reads Wayward Lives, Beautiful ExperimentsBooks Abroad, The Global Women’s Caucus feminist reading group, is pleased to announce its pick for Black History Month.
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman explores the revolution of black intimate life in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century by examining the untold history of women who led “wayward” lives and rejected respectability in response to being denied access to the American Dream.
“In wrestling with the question of what a free life is, many young black women created forms of intimacy and kinship that were indifferent to the dictates of respectability and outside the bounds of the law. They cleaved to and cast-off lovers, exchanged sex to subsist and revised the meaning of marriage. Longing and desire fueled their experiments in how to live. They refused to labor like slaves or to accept degrading conditions of work.”
It is a unique, genre-bending work that is deeply researched and melds history to the literary imagination.
Key historical figures like Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois and Billie Holiday make appearances, but Hartman’s narrative focuses on lesser-known women who have been overlooked historically and are usually invisible in official archives.
This is sure to be an engaging discussion that will hopefully spark conversation about a rarely discussed aspect of Black history. We look forward to seeing you there!RSVP on the event page to receive the zoom link.Event Start Time by Location
Washington DC, USA 08:00 EST London, United Kingdom 13:00 GMT Frankfurt, Germany 14:00 CET Athens, Greece 15:00 EET Dubai, United Arab Emirates 17:00 GST Bangkok, Thailand 20:00 ICT
Our theme was VIOLENCE, in all its forms, against women. "Sexual violence is a global epidemic that is all around us, yet it is nowhere, precisely because it permeates every facet of our presence in the world, echoing throughout political and popular cultures, ricocheting off the cement walls that define our boundaries." - Michele Chen from Roxane Gay's "Not That Bad."
We need and Equal Rights Amendment to protect women against violence. Laws alone do not solve the problem.
Salli Swartz leads the discussion about the ERA that followed the viewing of the documentary Equal Means Equal, answering the question: Why, in the year 2019 with so many opportunities for American women, do we need the Equal Rights Amendment?
Constance Borde published Candlelight Vigils Take Place in France on the Eve of Armistice Day in News 2018-11-12 04:29:19 -0500
Democrats Abroad went into action on Saturday evening Nov. 10 as Donald Trump arrived in France. Their candlelight vigils showed him what they think about his 'leadership.' SUPPORTING the TRUE American values including humanitarian concern for others, the first amendment, respect for science, respect for journalists, freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation, equality for women and people of color, care for the environment and dedication to fair play and true democracy. HONORING American victims of right-wing hate crimes inspired by Trump's rhetoric. And RESPECTING our Constitution and the right to pursue investigations without hindrance.
The new Democratic National Committee created an infrastructure to support candidates up and down the ballot and organize year-round -- leading to wins in some places that would've seemed unthinkable two years ago. Here are some of the ways Democrats gained ground across the country :
- 29 House seats flipped so far -- with a good shot at flipping at least half a dozen more once all the results come in;
- Seven governors' seats flipped;
- Six legislative chambers flipped -- bringing the total number we've flipped up to seven this cycle;
- Four Republican state legislature supermajorities broken;
- In total, Democrats flipped over 290 individual state legislative races last night -- bringing our total on the cycle up to over 330!
- Four states voted to expand voting rights, including a constitutional amendment in Florida that will restore voting rights to more than 1 million people with felony records;
- Three state Supreme Court seats flipped;
- Three red states voted to expand Medicaid;
- Two states voted to raise their minimum wages;
- One U.S. Senate seat flipped -- congrats to Jacky Rosen.
And here are some of the incredible candidates who won historic victories last night:Read more
Constance Borde published JUNE AND JULY BRING OT RESISTANTS ACROSS FRANCE in News 2018-07-07 21:13:08 -0400
Democrats Abroad France organized rallies and candlelight vigils across the country with “Families Belong Together” events in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, and Toulouse to protest Trump’s pointlessly cruel “Zero Tolerance” policy towards refugee and immigrant families, and a July 4th “Vive La Resistance” apero/picnic by the Seine in Paris with coalition partners to register voters and organize for the Fall. On June 30th we marched in the LGBTQ Gay Parade. With just four months ahead of us, we must continue to mobilize voters to speak out and defend our Democratic Party values.
Constance Borde published Lest We Ever Forget - Memorial Day Ceremonies in France in News 2018-05-10 04:42:22 -0400
Every year, Democrats Abroad France remembers the fallen soldiers who bravely died while serving in the US Armed Forces. Decorating graves to remember the dead is an ancient tradition that continues to this day. In America the tradition began with those who died in the Civil War. All are invited to attend. Since 1918 is the 100th Anniversary of WWI, the ceremonies will be grandissime. We will be laying wreaths in ceremonies throughout France on the graves of these heroes on the following dates:
Memorial Day Ceremonies Meuse-Argonne May 27th at 11am
Memorial Day Ceremonies May 27th at St. Mihiel 4pm
Memorial Day Ceremonies Lafayette Escadrille May 27th at 10am
Memorial Day Ceremonies Surennes May 27th at 2.30pm
Memorial Day Ceremonies May 27th Oise-Aisne at 3pm
Memorial Day Ceremonies Epinal May 27th at 10:30am
Constance Borde published DAF Diversity Caucus Hosts MLK Event in Paris in News 2018-04-10 12:56:37 -0400
On April 5, we honored the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. The event was held in the sanctuary of the American Church in Paris where Dr. King himself spoke in October of 1965, and the Church was full. The program was organized by co-Chair of the Diversity Caucus, Reed Kennedy, and included a welcome from church clergy, excerpts from Martin Luther King's writings. music, and speeches as well as a panel discussion on the life and legacy of the civil rights icon. A key moment featured author Jake Lamar reading the moving Letter From Birmingham City Jail from the same pulpit where Dr. King spoke.
Donald Trump was elected on the promise to change the face of American politics and bring power back to the people. The nation is today divided and more polarized than ever before. While looking back on 2017, what can we predict for American politics in 2018? Hall Gardner, Christopher Dickey, Anne Deysine and Joe Smallhoover examined these issues on January 22 at the American University of Paris. You can watch the informative discussion of this memorable evening HERE.
Constance Borde published GRAB THEM BY THE MIDTERMS: Notes From The Paris Women’s Rally, January 21, 2018. in News 2018-01-23 06:25:09 -0500
Hundreds of people turned up at Place du Trocadero in the rain that had little effect on the happy, spirited, diverse crowd. There were speakers, witty creative signs, a sea of pussy hats, lots of press and many groups: Indivisibles, Our Revolution, Women’s March-Paris, Page-Paris, and more. Folks gathered to support women, Dreamers, Democrats, immigrants, people of color, transgender people, abortion rights and real news – in addition to fighting Trump and his entire agenda.
It felt good to know that the movement didn’t end last year, and au contraire, seems to be picking up more steam.
France Our famously high-rated and humane French health care system could serve as a model for a country like the USA. While it is not completely single payer, it is a universal system that gives government control over its parts, notably private insurance and drug costs that kick in in addition to government guarantees. The Obama system was a great beginning toward this goal, one that could be streamlined and simplified to hold down administrative costs and maintain high quality care. We have to fight to keep it.
Constance Borde published DAF YOUTH CAUCUS ELECTS A NEW STEERING COMMITTEE in News 2017-05-05 11:11:12 -0400
A new generation of Democratic leaders is rising to the fore within Democrats Abroad France! Many thanks go to Jonathon Holler and Amy Levy-Dutailly who led Young Democrats Abroad France into the formation of a bonafide Youth Caucus over the past two years. On April 29th at Les Marquises Bar in Paris a new steering committee of young, committed activists was elected. Congratulations All for stepping up to the plate under the leadership of Co-Chairs, Caitlin Waters and Alex Rehbinder. And best wishes to Jonathon (recently elected to the Democrats Abroad France Executive Committee as Vice-Chair - our youngest ever) and Amy who has gone on to lead the International DA Youth Caucus. Here are the names of the new team:Caitlin Waters (Co-Chair)
Alex Rehbinder (Co-Chair)
Claudia Varney (Member at Large)
Pierre Fiatlov (Member at Large)
Mathieu Stiehl (Member at Large)
Jessica Evangelista (Member at Large)
Rachel Padilla (Member at Large)
It’s been a big week for the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in Washington DC.
Rep Maloney introduces Same Country Exception Bill
On Tuesday April 24, 2017 Americans Abroad Caucus[i] Chair Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced HR2136, the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act (OAFAA) in the House of Representatives. The bill embodies our FACTA reform recommendation, the Same Country Safe Harbor Exemption from FATCA reporting for Americans abroad. '
This reform has the support of our non-partisan colleague organisations representing Americans abroad, as well as the National Taxpayer Advocate. We plan on supporting the bill strongly in our Congressional Door Knock next month. We will also publish an information pack for the Global Action Team to share with Country Committees and Local Chapters interested in gathering members to write letters or postcards to Representatives seeking their sponsorship of the bill.
House Holds Hearings on FATCA Consequences
The OAFAA bill was introduced ahead of hearings held Wednesday April 25th by the Government Operations Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee “Reviewing the Unintended Consequences of the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act”. Democrats Abroad, working through legislative aides on Rep Maloney’s staff, has been trying since the hearing was scheduled to get a witness on the list to testify. As Republicans control the Committee (and all Congressional Committees) it was not surprising that we were not successful. Nevertheless Democrats Abroad made a submissionto the Subcommittee and we expect it will be published with the rest of the hearing submissions in due course.
Of course a written statement is not as powerful as speaking directly to the Committee in the hearing. Had we testified, Democrats Abroad would have reiterated our support for a switch to Residency-based Taxation. Failing that, we support the Safe Harbor exemption from FATCA reporting for Americans abroad.
Our scepticism about this hearing has always run high. Government Operations Subcommittee Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced a FATCA Repeal bill in the House of Representatives last month. The same bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who testified at the hearing as a witness. Senator Paul, as you may know, was a plaintiff, now an appellant, in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of FATCA. The rest of the witnesses bar one were also strident FATCA opponents, including famed Citizens United lawyer Jim Bopp who represents Republicans Overseas.
The one witness who spoke in support of FATCA is a retired legislative aide. She worked for retired Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and is deemed to be the architect of FATCA. She spoke strongly of the law’s importance as a critical deterrent to tax evasion – and not in favour of the Safe Harbor.
Fortunately Democratic members of the Subcommittee members Rep Maloney and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia) spoke strongly in support of the Safe Harbor as a mechanism for both relieving the FATCA burden and maintaining the law’s original intent to discourage and apprehend tax evaders.
By the end of the hearing Chairman Meadows indicated he is open to compromise in developing a FATCA remedy for Americans abroad. That may stretch credulity given Meadows’ lead sponsorship on the House bill to repeal FATCA, but we will are taking his comments at face value. He asked the witnesses to get back to the Subcommittee with three recommendations to modify FATCA. Democrats Abroad will also make a submission providing recommendations. And we will continue to monitor the Government Operations Subcommittee and Chairman Meadows, looking for opportunities to work with them and others in developing a remedy that both addresses the problems FATCA is causing for ordinary, hard-working Americans abroad and protects its ability to fight financial crimes that underwrite terrorism and facilitate trafficking in drugs, arms and humans, as well as fight tax evasion.
Thanks to Katie Solon and Joe Smallhoover
Many thanks to International Chair Katie Solon and DA France Chair Joe Smallhoover for attending the hearing on Democrats Abroad’s behalf. They had valuable discussions on the edges and in the breaks of the hearing with FATCA reform allies and opponents, as our FATCA advocacy work clearly will go on. Katie and Joe also met Wednesday with officials at Treasury who have carriage of FATCA.
Our engagement with regulators and legislators about FATCA is in its 6th year. We are grateful to all those who have contributed to this important advocacy work over that time.
Please contact us at any time with questions or comments.
Respectfully submitted,Ms Carmelan PolceChair, FBAR/FATCA Task ForceDemocrats AbroadSingaporeM: +65 9380 1084Skype: carmelan.polce
FBAR/FATCA Task Force
Carmelan Polce, Chair (Singapore)
DeeDee Gierow (Sweden)
Michael Ramos (Australia)
Joe Smallhoover (France)
Orlando Vidal, Ex Officio (UAE)
Links herein to documents published by Democrats Abroad are posted on the Democrats Abroad wiki. They should not require a log in but please contact Carmelan if you are having trouble accessing them.
[i] The Americans Abroad Caucus has yet to be re-established in the 115th Congress but we anticipate Rep Maloney leading again as chair of this group. We will invite the House members we meet during our May Congressional Door Knock to join the Americans Abroad Caucus and will continue to search for leadership in the Senate on the establishment of a similar group. (House caucuses operate and are funded under rules of the chamber. There are caucuses of House and Senate members and there can be Senate caucuses but there are no similar Senate rules to govern or fund them.)
To the ExPat community, FBAR and FATCA legislation matters. Democrats Abroad has long been doing something about it. We've been lobbying for the Safe Country (or Safe Harbor) Exemption for years--a change in the legislation's implementation that, while not perfect, could provide access to banking facilities to millions of overseas Americans who currently have little or no such access. The Republican National Committee (RNC) put FATCA repeal in its 2016 platform, but where does this stand today? To learn more about the Democratic position, Democrats Abroad FATCA/FBAR Task Force prepared an information paper and update on where the legislation stands. Read about it HERE