Wham, the George W. Bush/Condoleeza Rice/Phyllis Chesler/David Horowitz/RCP=U$A alliance attacking Iran on International Wimmin's Day March 8 hit a large part of the U.$. public as if a blow from behind. Others took the blow as if asleep. There are many aspects of the attack that seem new to the public but which have brewed for years and even decades.
Since when did George W. Bush start making International Wimmin's Day statements, an Amerikan very well might wonder. It's not exactly a Hallmark greeting card day in the united $tates. What next, May 1st parades in Washington, DC? A review before the Washington monument? Since when do feminists have conversations like this on International Wimmin's Day like Phyllis Chesler did?
Lopez: Is it shocking to you that "feminism" can't give President Bush any credit, at least, say, for removing the Taliban from power?
Chesler: Yes. I published a letter in the New York Times congratulating him for doing so.(1)
Yet, the State Department does seek to manipulate public opinion globally. The people there do know the fine details of international public opinion and it is best that we not tolerate those who think of everything in the Bush administration as hopelessly ignorantly done. Thinking of them all as "stupid" in the Bush administration sets us up for an attack from behind.
The media may not emphasize International Wimmin's Day much, but the State Department knows how to play the game. The trouble is that most of us in the anti-war movement and even in supposed Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are lagging. The truth is that Bush's International Wimmin's Day move does get him traction for war both in the united $tates and in places as far away as India. What we saw on International Wimmin's Day was a dry run, an establishment of the beacon to which the imperialists will now try to summon people globally. In the beacon stages of this struggle, intellectuals play the leading role, so the heavy guns at "National Review" came out for the attack, Chesler for tenured professors in Wimmin's Studies and RCP=U$A for the vanguard of the labor aristocracy. They united on singling out conditions for wimmin in Iran and not calling for war at this moment, just building the climate for war.
To understand Bush's move, we should look at the social forces behind it. Symbolizing the gender aristocracy for war is Phyllis Chesler. Her new ally is the labor aristocracy for war, the supposed "Revolutionary Communist Party" (RCP=U$A).
Phyllis Chesler's first claim to fame is the book Women and Madness. MIM has previously promoted and defended this book, especially in connection to understanding why our prison work is mostly with men. MIM will have to think twice from now on about recommending books that do not show readers how to compare across countries.
Today Chesler is among the legions of wimmin with graduate degrees we have to wonder about from time to time when we see a lack of revolutionary feminism. At 65, Chesler now claims pioneer status. This article could be titled "the revenge of June Cleaver," because that TV show was real-life when Chesler was a young womyn. Now from her assorted racist and national chauvinist militarist rantings, we can see that there was always the danger that White Studies-educated people like Chesler would never get beyond refining their nationalism. The academics who do work on U.$.-only topics have to be especially suspect: do they have any capability of looking for causation and effect in a cross-cultural context? Do they go abroad like Chesler and so many other Euro-Amerikans and say "This bad, bring Marines!"
After Women and Madness, Phyllis Chesler built her feminist credentials. NOW lists her as a veritable part of herstory itself.
For more than a decade MIM has warned about pseudo-feminism. The example of the credentialed Chesler makes it crystal-clear that everything MIM said is in fact present in pseudo-feminism. Feminism is subject to hijacking just like Marxism.
With the publication of her book The Death of Feminism, we learn that Phyllis Chesler was always an Amerikan nationalist(2) and Zionist, just as MIM has charged pseudo-feminism all along.
It was not that Phyllis Cleaver suddenly went on Bush's payroll and endorsed him for president in 2004. Just because she started writing for David Horowitz's magazine FrontPage in recent years does not mean she did not hold the same basic opinions all along. The problem is that no one, not in all the various conferences, academic discussions or political debates--no one succeeded in exposing her views for what they really are and thus preventing others from the same fate. Those that issued criticism of Chesler did so and then retreated into the shadows. What is necessary is systematic and condensed ideological preparation for pseudo-feminism's attack.
In 1980, June Chesler told an Iranian that she would not go to Iran on a speaking invitation: "I'd only come as part of an American Marine force."(3) That turns out to be exactly what we need to know 26 years later. How was it possible for the legions of pseudo-feminists lapping her up to miss that? We have to train ourselves to distinguish white nationalism from feminism and ferret it out. The united $tates is the most dominant power and it gets to be so through divide-and-conquer internationally. People siding with u.$. imperialism favor the division of wimmin, period.
In her latest book, Chesler admits to agitating for an invasion of Afghanistan a long time. "Neither did these feminists want to launch a military invasion of Afghanistan on behalf of women. I know--I raised the idea many times."(4)
By the standards of David Horowitz, Chesler is still a failure because most pseudo-feminists will vote for Democrats with the same determination as Blacks. But because Democrats are also a party of imperialist war, we in the proletarian camp do not use Horowitz's standard to evaluate the headway that Chesler makes. By anti-war standards, Chesler is a big challenge, an opponent on the other end of the rope in a tug-of-war. Which way will NOW go for instance? This is a tug-of-war we do not want to lose.
Along with Chesler, we now see more enemies--including Shulasmith Firestone and Kate Millett. Millett wrote a favorable blurb for Chesler's book and owes Chesler persynally for phone calls on her behalf when she had trouble in Iran. Who did she call, CIA? MI6? MIM already warned the world about where Millett was going more than a decade ago. Lesser names lining up with Chesler include Vivian Gornick, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Susan Griffin and Deborah Tannen.(5) It's probably no surprise that Chesler is repeatedly giving Azar Nafisi props as well.(6)
On the men's side, what did we expect? Chesler is giving props to Meir Kahane and pins his death on "Islamist" El Sayyid Nosair. Of course she is working with Daniel Pipes, who she says is "brilliantly and aggressively documenting jihadic activities."(7) Lately, Chesler writes over and over again that "A strong resistance to the totalitarian Islamists will prove essential in the war of civilizations that is upon us."(8)
For crying out loud, the last page of Chesler's book is openly about how to improve Western intelligence agencies! Down with the pseudo-feminists! Shame on anyone who stands with the fake "Marxist-Leninist-Maoist" RCP=U$A! No real Marxist-Leninist-Maoists are in bed with Phyllis Chesler!
2. Phyllis Chesler, The Death of Feminism (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 8.
3. Phyllis Chesler, The Death of Feminism (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 112.
4. Phyllis Chesler, The Death of Feminism (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 7.
5. Phyllis Chesler, The Death of Feminism (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 67.
6. Phyllis Chesler, The Death of Feminism (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 57-8, 138.
7. Phyllis Chesler, The Death of Feminism (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 175.