Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Monday, August 22, 2005

"Women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy"

I don't understand women who won't be feminists. Maybe this is short sighted of me, but really, I want to know: Women, how can you not be feminists?

I've often heard the argument that women are now equal to men in the US, so feminism is no longer necessary. I've heard arguments against "feminazis" often, and I seen again and again a woman say something like, "Well, I'm not a feminst, but..."

I don't understand this. You think we're equal and it's all A-okay?

Watch this then: here's a clip on Crooks and Liars. Please, please go watch this. It shows Reuel Marc Gerecht, the Director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century, talking about the Iraqi constitution on an Aug. 21 edition of Meet the Press. He says:

"Women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there, I think they will be there, but I think we need to keep this perspective."

This infuriates me so much. I can barely get words out because I don't understand how he can say this. How can he get away with saying this? Just ... how? That's what I want to know: how can he say this?

BlondeSense has some good commentary:

So let me get this straight. Even though women in Iraq had comparable rights to the women of the west under Saddam’s rule, with our help to “free” them we will be okay with some of those rights being taken away. Are women’s rights in Iraq some of the eggs we have to break to make the constitutional omelet? [link]

Read her post. It's far better than what I've assembled here; I'm still too angry to speak in articulate sentences.

The Rude Pundit also addresses the rights of women in his post here.

And here's another article about what Gerecht said.

If you need to cool off after reading all this, then for a fun time (i.e. watching Jon Stewart pretend to be Harry Potter), watch this clip on One Good Move.


Anonymous vt_slayer said...

I don't understand anyone not being a feminist.

That said, Mr. Gerecht is correct: women's social rights aren't a prerequisite for democracy. Our country developed democracy without many of the social rights for women we now take for granted. In ancient Greece women's social rights were practically non-existant.

The real problem here is the assumption that democracy is the only or even the greatest priority. Democracy is a good thing only when it protects the rights of individuals; if it is allowed to become a tyrrany of the majority (or the political majority), it becomes the worst of all forms.

Perhaps we should rephrase it this way: "democracy is not critical to development of a state which respects the rights of all its people and provides for their health, welfare, and safety. We hope that it's there..."

1:30 AM

Anonymous Johnicholas said...

My understanding of (modern, american) women disclaiming the term feminist (though they agree with most of the goals of feminism), is that it's a sexual performance.

That is, they're unconsciously(?) attempting to look more attractive to males who might react badly to the term "feminist".

I think young straight males who shout "faggot" out of the windows of cars at (possibly gay) kids are doing a comparable sexual performance. "Look at me! I'm loudly attracted to girls!"

9:20 AM


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