Wednesday, October 06, 2004
The Imperial Feminist
Sherry, over at Bittersweet, presents a very good piece, "The Wedge Between Women."
With great precision, Sherry extracts some very important universal truths in the way womens rights are fought for, presented and perceived.
Sherry rightly acknowledges real political differences and does not allow herself to be drawn into that arena. Instead, she sharply focuses her attention on women's matters that should lie outside the political arena, yet have become hijacked by a particular political agenda.
"There are times when as women we should put away our differences, whether they are petty or with merit."
The advancement of freedom and democracy for women around the world should be one of those instances, however it is not.
In discussing the issue of women's rights in Iraq, Sherry points to issues that have become too politicized.
Rather than get into specifics here, I suggest you read the article. It is essential reading because the women's movements are more and more defining debate and policy.
In essence however, what is happening within the women's movement is the increasing intolerance toward women's opinion that doesn't conform with 'established and approved' leftist women's thought.
What was once a celebration of diversity has turned into a vicious attack on non conformity-- a conformity established by a few women who's obvious agenda isn't about women, but rather about the imposition political power and agendas.
Rather than engage in real diversity, free thought and encouragement, the womens movement has dismissed a large segment of their natural constituency by nullifying their beliefs. It is an Leftist version of the Talibanization of women with differing opinions-- "Believe and support what we tell you or you're at risk of being in violation of the Law."
"While we engage in our bitch fest, another woman is raped or murdered or driven from her home. While we waste time bickering the elections grow closer and we run the risk that less women will feel empowered to make their voices heard.
Whatever our differences may be here in our free society, we need to set our egos and ideologies aside and join together to bring the best standard of life we have to offer to our oppressed and suffering sisters around the world."
Recently, I wrote something to the effect, that while women here may celebrate "Sex in the City" as a joyous expression of their sexual identities, I was sure this happy ideal might be lost on women raped in Darfur daily, and still being subjected to FGM.
Sherry's piece addresses the how's and why's that is allowed to happen-- and what must be done to legitimize the women's movement and restore the respect and credibility the movement must reestablish to merit a serious place at the table of influence
Right now, as Sherry has pointed out, there is deep division and distrust within the womens movement-- so much so that other less fortunate women in places of hoplessness are considered disposable and are used as cannon fodder in order to further a domestic agenda-- and an agenda that serves only a few.
One of the ever present arguments against the west is the 'Imperialist' one- that we seek to impose our views and beliefs on other.
While that may have been true a long time ago, it isn't so any more-- at least in the realm of realpolitik.
As Sherry points out in her piece, the Imperialist argument can be made in reference to the women's movement-- and that can only serve to prolong inequalities at home and abroad.
I submit the women of Darfur and being subjected to FGM wouldn't be impressed with the political gymnastics done 'in their name.'