[DEBATE] : A Wave of Sexual Terrorism In Iraq
lsifuentesore at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 07:39:45 GMT 2007
I am glad that another guy has come in to challenge the kneejerk
machistas-leninistas on this issue.
I would have thought it behooved all men to demonstrate, in word and deed,
their awarenss of the exploitation and oppression of the majority of
humankind, and to educate themselves concerning the women's movement and
feminist thinkers expressing this age-old discrimination.
Dominic, wielding his axe, surpasses Yoshi, wielding his fencing sword.
And he deserves a paragraph by paragraph response. (between stars*, below).
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dominic Tweedie" <dominic.tweedie at gmail.com>
To: <leehall at sprynet.com>; "debate: SA discussion list"
<debate at lists.kabissa.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2007 6:59 AM
Subject: Re: [DEBATE] : A Wave of Sexual Terrorism In Iraq
> Who are "the feminists", Lee Hall? Who do you think they are? Is there
> any such thing as feminism after all?
*I think there must be such a thing as feminism, Dom, otherwise you could
not possibly spend so many words denouncing it. If, however, you wish to
point out that feminism is a varied or contradictory phenomenon,
then...welcome to the club. But membership requires you to make the
distinctions, identify the organisations, name the names.*
> Insofar as there is feminism, it may be criticised if it fails to
> raise an anti-Imperialist critique in a time of war on women.
This is something I do, Dom, just as I criticise any feminist declaration
that fails to recognise capitalism and incorporate, at least implicitly, a
political-economic critique of this.
However: the Articulacion Feminista Marcosur, known for its denunciations of
fundamentalism at the World Social Forums, includes in its understanding of
fundamentalism not only the religious kinds (including Western religions)
but that of the secular neo-liberal, militarist West. Check, for example:
> Iraq and Afghanistan are under attack, still, because they had each at
> some stage established secular modernist national-bourgeois states in
> which, among other things, the rights of women had been enhanced and
> protected by the law.
*Have you not possibly missed certain crucial characteristics of these
states? That they were chauvinist, racist/tribalist, military or civilian
dictatorships? And that the Afghani one was established by Soviet military
fiat? They would have had you in jail - despite your protests about the
SMN-B nature of the state, mate!
Modernisation from above by overwhelmingly male dictators may, indeed
establish certain rights for women - as also for workers and peasants. In
the absence of a general democratisation, however, it leads to the perverse
results we know from Russia, China and, Iran and Afghanistan.*
> To you, this is a side-issue, as against what you think is the main
> issue, which in the case of Iraq is the individual Saddam Hussein,
> according to you.
*I'll leave this one to Lee. I myself don't know what the ferk Dom is
referring to here. Lee?*
> According to you the "humanitatian intervention" against Saddam was
> "worth it", to paraphrase a certain woman, Madeleine Allbright.
> According to you, "feminism" in general supported the military regime
> change in Iraq, and rightly so in your view, because President Saddam
> Hussein was such a very bad guy.
*Again, I'll leave this one to Lee. I myself don't know what the ferk Dom is
referring to here. Lee?*
> Actually, there have been many women who have raised an
> anti-Imperialist agitation. Codepink, cited by Yoshie Furuhashi, is
> one of them. Nevertheless, I agree with Yoshie that these initiatives
> have not been anything like sufficient. There could be, and therefore
> there ought to be, a hegemonic and coherent feminist critique of
> Imperialism. It could settle the matter, but it has not done so.
*I am not quite sure what a 'hegemonic and coherent critique of
imperialism*, satisfactory to Dom, would look like.
I DO know that the World March of Women - somewhat bigger and more activist
than Code Pink? - has produced a Women's Global Charter for Humanity
(humanity, for better or worse, includes Machistas-Leninistas). One website
reports, in 2005: 'The Charter embodies in its text, the consensus struck
among 6000 womens organizations in over 160 countries as to the future women
seek and the oppression they reject and resist. Based around the 5 core
values of equality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace, the Charter
reflects above all the desire of thousands of women's groups throughout the
world to work within a common framework of global feminist action and to
collectively construct a more just world where all live well. A scroll of
that text written in English, Spanish and French was launched across the
world by 30,000 women on March 8, 2005 from Sao Paolo, Brazil, and is being
handed from woman's hand to woman's hand making its way around the world.'
The Charter itself states in its preambule:
'The World March of Women, of which we are a part, views patriarchy as the
system oppressing women and capitalism as the system that enables a minority
to exploit the vast majority of women and men.
These systems reinforce one another. They are rooted in, and work hand in
hand with, racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, colonialism,
imperialism, slavery, and forced labour. They breed manifold forms of
fundamentalism that prevent women and men from being free. They generate
poverty and exclusion, violate the rights of human beings, particularly
women's rights, and imperil humanity and the planet.
We reject this world!
We propose to build another world where exploitation, oppression,
intolerance and exclusion no longer exist, and where integrity, diversity
and the rights and freedoms of all are respected.
This Charter is based on the values of equality, freedom, solidarity,
justice and peace.'
If either Dom or Yoshie want to engage in comradely critique rather than
some lazy traditional machista smear, could they now address themselves to
such evidence as this?*
> On a historical scale, the current wave of Imperialist wars is aimed
> at reversing the secular modernist bourgeois anti-Imperialist
> revolutions that swept the majority of the globe in the period from
> the end of the second world war up to the 1990s. This vast
> "independence" movement was also, and consciously so, a movement of
> independence for women.
*This analysis reduces even Marxism-Leninism to a caricature! Why on earth
would a globalised, neo-liberal and computerised capitalism want to REVERSE
rather than SHAPE to its requirements the process of capitalist development
in these countries? Evidence from Africa, Latin America and East Asia,
> Western "feminism" as a body of literature and critique has barely
> noticed this great achievement. In its formative years, which
> corresponded with the colonial liberation movements in time, Western
> feminism had other, more inward-looking, preoccupations. Hence, in
> general terms, and with exceptions, feminism fell short when it came
> time to defend the gains of the anti-Imperialist liberation movement.
*Organisations, Authors, Websites, per-lease! Without a modicum of
rationalism and evidence, without the normal minimum of liberal-democratic
standards, there can be no Marxism. (Unless we are talking of reversing the
development of Marxism back to the Mediaeval Marxism of Joseph Stalin).*
> Western feminism has been prayed in aid by Imperialists who wanted to
> gain mass support for their adventures and paint themselves, the
> militarists, as the true feminists. Hence you have phenomena like
> Hilary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice and the consequence that the
> majority of women voters in the USA will vote for a candidate who is
> committed to continuing the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
> These US women voters will nearly all be of the opinion, at the moment
> of voting, that the choice they have made is consistent with
*Don't be ridiculous, Dom! What possible evidence have you that 'nearly all'
the hypothetical women voters referred to are even sympathetic to feminism?
Feminism is permanently caricatured in the mass media in the US. They might
just as well be voting for Hilary because she is NOT a feminist! (This is,
of course, only a hypothesis, a modern social-scientific concept, intended
for empirical testing, capable of being negated if false).
That US imperialism has made use of feminism only shows that it is smarter
than you, Dom. Imperialism has also 'made use' of social-democracy,
populism, nationalism: and during the French war in Algeria, of Communism,
in its militarist adventures. In the case of Soviet Russia, it WAS
imperialistic and militaristic - all justified by myths of proletarian
revolution and international solidarity.*
> If you want to cash words like "grotesque", then in my opinion they
> would better be applied to that situation, i.e. war in the name of
*Agreed, at last, Dom. But then that suggests you consider that feminism
exists and that there a contradiction between war and feminism.*
> Dominic Tweedie
> On 27/12/2007, Lee Hall <leehall at sprynet.com> wrote:
> Blog at: http://domza.blogspot.com/
> Communist University web site at: http://amadlandawonye.wikispaces.com/
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> dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
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