This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.

Revolutionary feminism

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Continuing infamous tradition:


Modern pseudo-feminists are still vanguard of imperialist expansion

by an author from MIM circles

A series of recent political statements by the U.$.-based National Organization for Women (NOW) demonstrates why MIM considers NOW to be a wing of white nationalism, a veritable "Nationalist Organization of Warmongers." The last four years of press releases by NOW on Iraq, Jordan, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Darfur, Pakistan and Nigeria call on Bush and the U.S. Government generally to take action, as if u.$. imperialism were not the root of backward conditions in the world today. NOW goes so far as to regret Bush's being too consumed with Iraq to be able to spread pseudo-feminism further.

Even while NOW pretends to oppose some U.$. wars, it is providing the justification for those wars and then ineffectively opposing some of the wars NOW helped to start. We can divide the NOW press releases into those successfully (as in causing action) justifying wars before they start (to be placed in footnote 1), banging the drum for ongoing wars once they start (footnote 2) and those that have not yet successfully justified an occupation by u.$. troops (for footnote 3), but nonetheless prepare the grounds by discussing how Third World conceptions of adultery are inferior to Amerikan ones--crucially without a word of proof that the romance culture murder rate is actually higher in Third World societies than in Euro-Amerika.

What is completely missing in the NOW press releases is any analysis of whether exporting Charles Graner and Lynndie England contributes to the cause of wimmin globally. In 10 press releases mentioning Abu Ghraib, there is no mention of wimmin in the military and no mention of people such as Charles Graner and Lynndie England. The Abu Ghraib scandal appears in the 10 press releases only as a reason to attack Bu$h and Latino Alberto Gonzales, who is now Attorney General.

The pseudo-Marxist brethren of NOW proclaim the civilian contractors in Iraq as poor exploited workers, instead of oppressors incapable of bringing about the construction of a progressive Iraqi society. Likewise, there is no mention of Charles Graner, Lynndie England etc., by NOW because the unstated vehicle of change according to NOW is the great white hope, the great white progressive carrying "white man's burden." Instead of talking about atrocities in other countries, NOW should deal with torture of Iraqi men and children by Amerikan females first, but the National Organization of Whites' real goal is not to end sexual torture but to divide the Third World with arbitrary lifestyle charges. The people NOW has hope in are legalizing and spreading pornography in Iraq and enforcing legalization of prostitution for lower and middle-class Iraqis.

With sensational stories ranging from acid being thrown on Third World wimmin's faces to rape and murder, NOW stirs up Euro-Amerikans for nationalist aggression. NOW can claim that Euro-Amerika does not have "honor killings" and thus fire up the crackers that way, but NOW will never confront systematically that the murder rate for romance culture is higher in the united $tates than most of the countries NOW is criticizing. In other words, NOW takes advantage of cultural differences to sensationalize wimmin's oppression selectively in order to divide the Third World. It is the lack of systematic comparison of First World and Third World oppression that is the smoking gun pointing to NOW as the Nationalist Organization of Whites.

Sexual missionaries in the bad old days

While the U.S. Government was waging war on indigenous tribes of North America, Amerikkkan pseudo-feminist reformers performed civilizing missions under disguise of elevating overworked, underappreciated "Indian squaws." Those missions were not totally altruistic, though. The goal of the sexual missionaries was to achieve by "soft" means what men failed to achieve by brutality. As Sara Kinney, president of Women's National Indian Association's Connecticut chapter [ Euro- Amerikan, not indigenous wimmin's organization] admitted: "'If we could excite...in (Indian women and children) a desire for home-life which should have in it the elements of decency and comfort and progress, we need have no fear for the men.'"(4)

Today we can know from a number of female scholars reviewed in just one book by Louise Michele Newman that behind the issue at that time was a view of white womynhood constructed by men and propagated by Euro-Amerikan females. In the 19th century, Euro-Amerikan society considered gender differences as both sign and consequence of civilization, an indicator of a higher level of development of the ethnic group.

William Thomas, a social scientist at the University of Chicago expressed this idea in clear and succinct form: "'The less civilized the race the less is the physical difference of the sexes.'"(5) So-called "true women" supposedly had four characteristics: purity, piety, domesticity and submissiveness.(6) We ask our reader to contrast this with what NOW is saying about Afghanistan(2) and honor killings in Pakistan(3) etc. today.

Euro-Amerikans regarded qualities of so-called "true women" to be evolutionary results of treatment of civilized wimmin in Western societies according to the "law of love."(7) Thus Western wimmin gave themselves an air of moral superiority over so-called uncivilized wimmin of the Third World and internal colonies.

According to author Newman, "the primitive woman...was presumed to lack the sexual differentiation and moral development of the civilized women, due to her centuries-long exploitation by the men of her own race."(8) In order to deserve to be called civilized, barbarians had to "whiten up" their rough and lustful girls: make them dainty and genteel. (Nobody told the poor so-called barbarians that they shouldn't really bother as in hundreds of years "lustful" will be called "sex goddess," and "dainty and genteel" -- "prude.")

The backwardness of the Third World conveniently according to Euro- Amerikan pseudo-feminists was the result of insufficient moral development of Third World wimmin. The point was and is to come up with any divisive excuse for why backwardness exists in an economy as long as the explanation is not exploitation and genocide.

According to pseudo-feminists, for the Third World to make any progress, not economic relations must be changed, but their wimmin should become civilized-- changed to be in accord with the current Western standard. According to the renowned American sociologist of late 19th century Lester Ward "the way to civilize the race is to civilize women."(9) So the white nation embarked on civilizing of "primitive women," with white wimmin playing the central role of purveyor of civilization. Their eager participation allowed imperialists to soften the blow and keep the basic economic relations between oppressor and oppressed nations unchanged.

Regardless of how Western gender relations changed over time, the idea of superiority of those relations as justification for imperialism remained the same. With every change in what the West considers "ideal," or "true" womyn, pseudo- feminists quickly regroup, pick up the newest definition of "progressive lifestyle" and under its banner, embark on yet another attack on the unenlightened. The fact that the question is one of lifestyle that changes from time to time shows that the real underlying consistency is the Amerikkkan Dream, where a heroic effort to live lifestyle is the guiding star.

Never mind that a few years ago the banner was quite different. "West is best" tautologically, because no matter what, the West happens to be supreme at any given moment according to the pseudo-feminist reformers: "'Sustained womanhood is a Western condition, as degraded womanhood is the Oriental condition.'"(10) Always.

Blacks and so-called "True Womanhood"

Euro-Amerikans thought that Black wimmin like the rest of "uncivilized" womankind, are incapable of civilized gender relations. Unlike now, in those days charges of lacking chastity and immorality were a rather heavy and insulting burden; thus, Black wimmin reformers had to put in significant efforts to deny such charges. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, a leader in the National Association of Colored Women, declared, "'Too long have we been silent under unjust and unholy charges [that black wimmin are immoral and unchaste--ed.]. We cannot expect to have them removed until we disprove them through ourselves. . . . Now with an army of organized women standing for purity . . . we in ourselves deny the charge.'"(11)

While all this energy was put into the impossible mission of achieving bourgeois respectability (impossible, because once achieved, the idea of what is respectable has changed) and proving "true womanhood" of Black wimmin, segregation and miscegenation laws continued for another 70 years.

Lifestyle politics obviously didn't promote so-called racial progress in this case. For some white nationalists masquerading as feminists, perceived cultural inferiority of immigrants and non-white peoples were sufficient grounds to exclude them from the franchise.

As we see, the idea of cultural disparagement and subjugation as prerequisite for economical/political subjugation is not new. It was the practice of imperialists and their allies -- the pseudo-feminist-- for decades. To destroy their enemy the imperialists attack the spirit first--the culture. Pushing modern Western cultural norms on Third World peoples certainly makes the task of entrapping them in Western political influence much easier.

Karen Hughes recently visited the Middle East in hopes to promote Western lifestyles. Wimmin's magazines are full of articles on barbaric customs and violence against women of the Third World, of course attributing them not to political/economic realities, but to lack of Western progressive influence. NOW went as far as to call to George Bush(!!!) for protection of women of Afghanistan and Iraq (Obviously, GB already succeeded in protecting men in those countries.) The civil war in Darfur (Sudan) is being represented by NOW as gender violence as an excuse for yet another imperialist invasion.

It is ironic that perceived sexual availability of "savage" wimmin made them as much subject of "civilizing efforts" by whites in the 19th century as the their lack of sexual freedom today. Perceived purity and chastity of white womyn qualified her for civilizing mission as much as her sexual adventuresomeness does now. It doesn't matter. Whatever would do, whatever is currently in vogue--as long as the West is confirmed in its role of the civilizer of the world.

If the reader is not a hardcore cynic yet, then it's time to become one or to admit that most of so-called wimmin's issues, as the West sees them, are, actually, no more than lifestyle politics which don't lead anywhere.

The proof that NOW carries out white nationalism is its lack of consistency except in support of white nationalist Liberalism. The predecessors to NOW seeking to reform conditions for oppressed nation wimmin took exactly the opposite stands on lifestyle questions that the NOW pseudo-feminists take today. The reason for that is that the needs and norms of oppressor society changed and barely politicized people such as NOW fail to notice and do not care.

Barbarians today

"Europeans seem so terrified of being called racist that they're allowing their countries to be taken over by barbarian tribes. Certainly these primitive neighborhoods are centers for organized crime, drug importation and distribution, and international terrorist training and planning"--Bill Funt, March 6, 2005 11:50 PM (12)

In Western practice, the position of womyn in society, along with all pertaining cultural notions are a justification for subjugation of oppressed nations disguised as "civilizing of primitives." The white wimmin's pseudo-feminist movement from its very birth gladly accepted the role of civilizing force, assigned by imperialists. Wholeheartedly they believed that it is their sacred mission to bring enlightenment and progress to those hopelessly stuck in unenlightened lifestyles. For their own good, poor savages of the world have to get properly trained in gender relations prevailing among white people. That would set them on the way to civilization. Until they get properly civilized, though, Amerikkkans claim they have the right to discriminate against them, impose economic sanctions, shoot people at the border, bomb wedding parties, etc., etc.

The organization "Winds of Change" started discussion of honor-related crimes in Sweden and France. Immigrants from the Third World are still considered barbarians, just like 100 years ago. However, the definition of barbarism has changed drastically. Then, barbarism was absence of gender differences and patriarchal gender relations. Barbarian women were rough and lustful, just like men. In order to deserve to be called "civilized," barbarians had to "whiten up" their women: make them pious, dainty and genteel. Until it happens, they have to be subjected to all kind of discriminatory practices, according to white nationalism of that day. Unwhitened backwardness of barbarians was a good excuse for all kinds of discriminatory practices, up to disenfranchisement, as was often suggested by feminists of the day (only most advanced, ie. white or pretending to be white women deserve to be enfranchised according to the white nationalists reformers of NOW today and similar minded people 100 years ago).

We Marxists never believed in improving the conditions of workers in just one country, but NOW's very name centers on "national." NOW's support for Uncle $am's rewriting the Iraqi constitution(2) is grossly colonial.

Genuine feminism appears spontaneously in the imperialist countries even more rarely than anti-imperialism. To arrive at genuine feminism requires the science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to sift out the class and nation effects of imperialism first. Then we can come to an internationalist theory of how to advance the conditions of wimmin. Currently most so-called feminism is a tool of the white nationalist movement, at best an unconscious stirring of patriotism and at worst a detailed strategy of divide-and-conquer. Today the world is so propagandized by the United $tates that we cannot say a supposed honor killing in Nigeria or Pakistan(3) does not stem from watching too much Amerikan-style TV--both by wimmin trying to live like "Desperate Housewives" and by men reacting against that and vice-versa. If the united $tates had already achieved an advanced society of near-communism with no violent patriarchal conflicts, then the united $tates could say that Nigeria and Pakistan have some specific patriarchal problem. As it stands, when we look at Iran for example, the more the United $tates intervenes, the more the mullahs use the rhetoric of opposing "sluts" to defend their view of the national question. Whether it is white nationalists or their admirers advocating "lipstick jihad" in Iran or whether it is Iranian mullahs condemning "Amerikan sluts," gender as gender does not even really appear in the discussion: it's all the national question.

Notes:

1. Here we group press releases by pseudo-feminists that came before U.$. troop interventions. For example, NOW got its way on Afghanistan and the Taliban by calling for outside force against the Taliban as early as 1999.

"Women and Girls in Afghanistan"

The campaign to end gender apartheid in Afghanistan continues as the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduces a bill condemning it and new reports show that its terrorism is spreading to other countries. S.R.68 regarding the "treatment of women and girls by the Taliban in Afghanistan," was introduced by eight Senators, including Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., at the end of March. The bill urges that neither the United Nations nor the U.S. recognize the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan as long as "gross violations of internationally recognized human rights against women and girls persist."

* Write your Senators and let them know that they should support this bill and make ending the Taliban regime a priority. * Activists are also encouraged to create a will-and therefore a way-to help. Humanitarian aid efforts need to focus on helping women and children, not the Taliban Army. Aid should not be cut off, for this will only hurt those who are already suffering. Let your Congressmember and the U.N. know that the time is now and the need is urgent. * For more information, see the Feminist Majority web site at www.feminist.org and the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan site at www.rawa.org."

http://www.now.org/nnt/summer-99/global.html

2. Here we group the pseudo-feminist press releases where NOW pretends that Amerikans can spread wimmin's liberation in the occupations already going on.

National NOW Times >> Fall 2003 >> Article

What Now for the Women of Afghanistan and Iraq?

by Amanda Cherrin and Leonard Tengco, Communications Interns

http://www.now.org/nnt/fall-2003/afghaniraq.html

"The "War on Terrorism" gave many Iraqi and Afghan women the hope of a reformed nation and improved social situation"

http://www.now.org/issues/global/120304sudan.html

"Since the U.S. has concentrated its efforts on Iraq, the plight of Afghanistan has largely been ignored by the Bush Administration." *********************************************************** NOW on Iraq:
Congress Members Join NOW in Urging Bush to Fight for Iraqi Women

Calls for Women's Rights Grow Louder as Vote Draws Near

October 13, 2005

With a vote on the draft of the Iraqi constitution imminent, 11 members of Congress are echoing the National Organization for Women's call urging the Bush administration to press Iraq about women's rights. Since the preliminary stages of the document's drafting, NOW and other women's rights organizations have encouraged the U.S. government to work to ensure that rights for women are protected in the constitution.

[MIM adds: This is NOW's enthusiastic endorsement of the U.$. imperialists' writing the Iraqi constitution.]

http://www.now.org/press/10-05/10-13.html *************************************************** NOW on the women of Afganistan benefitting, but not benefitting enough from Amerikan invasion:

National NOW Times >> Fall 2003 >> Article

What Now for the Women of Afghanistan and Iraq?

by Amanda Cherrin and Leonard Tengco, Communications Interns

http://www.now.org/nnt/fall-2003/afghaniraq.html

"The "War on Terrorism" gave many Iraqi and Afghan women the hope of a reformed nation and improved social situation"

And: Since the U.S. has concentrated its efforts on Iraq, the plight of Afghanistan has largely been ignored by the Bush Administration."

******************

National NOW Times >> Summer/Fall 2005 >> Article

Iraqi Women Should Think Twice Before Accepting Constitution

By Jan Erickson, Government Relations Director

http://www.now.org/nnt/summerfall-2005/iraqiwomen.html

"Critics say that Sharia law is inherently misogynistic: In some sects, divorce is easy for men who are allowed multiple wives, and custody of children goes to the father. A conservative dress code requires many women to cover most or all of their bodies; women may be restricted to the home and are frequently not allowed to speak to men other than relatives. Women are not allowed to be clergy or religious scholars and may be restricted from certain jobs where they might come into contact with men."

At a White House function for 250 women from around the world on International Women's Day, Bush said, "The advance of women's rights and the advance of liberty are ultimately inseparable."

[MIM comments: Originally, the Euro-Amerikans told indigenous North Americans to cover their bodies more.]

****************************

Congress Members Join NOW in Urging Bush to Fight for Iraqi Women

Calls for Women's Rights Grow Louder as Vote Draws Near

October 13, 2005

With a vote on the draft of the Iraqi constitution imminent, 11 members of Congress are echoing the National Organization for Women's call urging the Bush administration to press Iraq about women's rights.

On Oct. 7, Rep. Carolyn Maloney and 10 members of Congress sent a letter to George W. Bush to explain their concerns about the potential for women's rights being diminished under the new Iraqi constitution.

"We continue to have serious concerns about the draft constitution's effect on the rights of Iraqi women," the letter read.

Since the preliminary stages of the document's drafting, NOW and other women's rights organizations have encouraged the U.S. government to work to ensure that rights for women are protected in the constitution.

Unfortunately, the draft that is up for a vote on Oct. 15 could move certain family matters, such as divorce, inheritance and marriage, from civil courts to religious courts, which tend to favor men over women. Other provisions in the constitution could lead to the Supreme Federal Court being dominated by religious clerics.

NOW President Kim Gandy said the women of Iraq will lose hard-won rights under the new constitution, and the U.S. will share the blame for trading away women's rights.

"Iraqi women will have far fewer rights under this constitution than they have enjoyed for decades, and for this reason all Iraqi women should pause to consider whether they will vote for it," Gandy urged. "Sharia law as the basis for the country's family law system threatens to send Iraqi women back to the Middle Ages."

Although Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have claimed that the U.S. will insist on constitutional guarantees of women's rights, observers have said that pressure from U.S. advisers needing a public relations win resulted in the "compromise" that incorporates Islam as a main source of law.

"The U.S. failed to live up to its promise of protecting women's rights in Iraq," Gandy charged. "Despite what George W. Bush may be claiming, women cannot be assured equality by constitutional language that is vague and contradictory."

NOW joins Maloney and her colleagues in pressing this administration on a guarantee of women's rights.

"The women of Iraq must explicitly be guaranteed equality in the new constitution," Gandy said. "Without a clear statement in this document now, women's human rights will continue to be bargained away." Read the letter (PDF file) to George Bush from members of Congress.

### For Immediate Release Contact: Lisa Bennett, 202-628-8669, ext. 123; cell 202-641-1906

http://www.now.org/press/10-05/10-13.html

[MIM comments: Despite seeing this, NOW does not give up its international hopes of imperialist government led reform for wimmin.]

*******************************************************************************************

3. Here we group pseudo-feminist press releases preparing war on Third World people for problems some of which are worse in the Third World and some of which are actually worse in the united $tates--the problem of romance culture killing for example being worse in the united $tates than most other countries.

This is what pseudo-feminists have to say now on excesses of traditional morality. Compare the following to accusations of being unchaste and impure thrown at Third World women less than a hundreds years ago. Then, the Third World's alleged inferiority was on the grounds of the lack of chastity of its women. Now, the Third World's putting too much value on the chastity of its wimmin serves the same goal.

****************************************************

NOW on Darfur:

Violence Against Women in Sudan Reveals Common Weapon of War

December 3, 2004

By Lisa Alvy, Communications Intern
http://www.now.org/issues/global/120304sudan.html

"Sadly, violence against women is a universal issue and one which escalates during war," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "The U.S. government must demonstrate its commitment to the freedom and safety of women by demanding that the U.N. do more to put an end to the atrocities in Darfur. And we must speak out of behalf of all the women and girls affected by violence around the globe."

Experts argue that if the U.N. does not back up their warnings with sanctions or large peace keeping forces, the situation is likely to remain the same. Also, the United States, consumed by the war in Iraq, has done little to help resolve the crisis and help the women of Sudan.

[MIM comments: According to the pseudo-feminist scum, if Lynndie England were not so "consumed by the war in Iraq," she could go torture some Africans instead! Maybe NOW should favor decreasing U.$. military recruiting standards to accept more high school drop-outs to raise the size of the military. Then NOW could write some more constitutions in Third World countries.]

NOW on Bush administration failing to take appropriate action in Darfur:

Urgent Humanitarian Aid, Police Protection Needed for Darfur Women

By Christina LaRose, Communications Intern

August 1, 2005

http://www.now.org/issues/global/120304sudan.html

"Although the United States finally labeled the humanitarian crisis in Darfur "genocide" in September of 2004, the Bush administration has failed to take action commensurate with the scale of the attacks.

*************

NOW on George Bush as savior and protector of women of Darfur (fox guarding henhouse):

"NOW urges that Congress and the Bush administration affirm their responsibility to protect women in Darfur"

http://www.now.org/issues/global/120304sudan.html

************************************

************************************************ FEMINIST ON HONOR KILLINGS: POLITICAL CHANGES REDUCE KURDISTAN HONOR KILLINGS

INTERNATIONAL

By Joshua Kucera - WEnews correspondent

In rural areas in many parts of the world, especially the Middle East, a family's honor is defined by the perceived purity of its women. And when that honor is damaged, some families take drastic actions to restore it. Thus "honor killings," in which a family makes the decision to kill a woman who has brought them shame. In many countries, including Iraq, the practice is legal and claims hundreds of lives every year.

http://www.feminist.com/news/news64.html
**********************************************************

And this is what the organization "Women's Issues" has to say about same subject: (in Pakistan)

Death to Dishonor An Article on Honor Killings by guest author Shazia Rafiq

http://womensissues.about.com/cs/honorkillings/a/bldeathdishonor.htm

"Many third world countries are plagued by the excesses of traditionally inclined men seeking to exercise power over the most obvious and easy victim–women. This is legitimized by an inaccurate sense of morality and social norms. In Pakistan the problem is further compounded by embroiling morality with religion thereby legalizing grave injustice.

"The concept of honor killing sounds barbaric and fictional but unfortunately it is a truth confronting women even today. In Pakistani culture a woman can cause irredeemable disgrace to her family through allegations of an illicit affair, marrying a man of her choice, being subjected to the violence of rape or the merest rumor of impropriety. This inveterate wrong can only be rectified by executing the woman or defiling women from the family of the man who caused the dishonor! According to Amnesty International, on an average two women are killed every day in Pakistan for betraying male honor!"

[MIM replies: This proves that NOW is composed of stupid nationalists. Two wimmin a day might be an advance for Euro-Amerikans of a similar population size. In the year 2000, 1247 U.$. wimmin died at the hands of romance culture partners. 33% of all murders of wimmin are related to "crimes of passion." http://www.forensicnursemag.com/articles/391lifedeath.html

That's not to mention that in the Amerikan past, riling up whites on these subjects led them to view Blacks as too uncivilized to go near white wimmin, and therefore worthy of lynching for looking at them.]

**********************

Here is what NOW has to say on adultery:

Court Overturns Stoning Sentence for Nigerian Woman Accused of Adultery September 25, 2003

by NOW Staff

http://www.now.org/issues/global/092603stoning.html

In a victory for women's rights, a Nigerian court of appeals on Sept. 25 threw out the case against Amina Lawal, a 32-year-old single mother sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery.

Lawal was convicted of adultery for giving birth to a daughter out of wedlock, a crime punishable by death under Sharia, the strict Islamic law embraced in northern Nigeria. The man she identified as the child's father was not convicted of any wrongdoing after he brought three male "witnesses" to testify on his behalf. Under Sharia, this constitutes sufficient evidence to clear him of the accusation. Lawal had no such option.

"Unless both women and men are treated equally under the law in northern Nigeria, other women will certainly be sentenced to death for the 'crime' of becoming pregnant out of wedlock, even if the pregnancy is the result of rape," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "We must continue to demand Nigeria's compliance with international law and even its own constitution in regard to the treatment of women."

"We call on the U.S. State Department and citizens of the world to pressure the United Nations and Nigeria to enforce all the treaties that Nigeria has committed itself to adhere to (last paragraph http://www.now.org/press/08- 02/08-20.html)

******* Nigerian Couple Sentenced to Death by Stoning for Adultery

Washington D.C. Feminists Encourage Activists to Send Stones to the Nigerian Embassy in Protest

September 12, 2002

by Joy Nadler, NOW Communications Intern

http://www.now.org/issues/global/091202couple.html

The Nigerian government has declared punishments such as beheadings, stonings and amputations to be unconstitutional, but a number of states in northern Nigeria continue to implement laws based on an extremist interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, which considers sex out of wedlock a crime punishable by death.

The latest case is that of Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim, an unmarried couple from Niger State who were sentenced to death by stoning last month for having sex ********* Until all women have equal protection under the law in Nigeria, other women are certain to be sentenced to death for the "crime" of becoming pregnant out of wedlock

(http://www.now.org/news/goodnews.html#nigerian)

[Note that the crime is taken in quotation marks. Nigerian culture/people are deemed to be inferior, because adultery/becoming pregnant out of wedlock is considered "crime." It's hard to resist remembering that not so long ago Westerners deemed Africans inferior for quite the opposite reason--"savages" with no sexual restraint. The West has changed. With new cultural norms came new ways to assert racial/cultural superiority over the rest of the world. What remained unchanged, is the notion that such superiority exists, indeed, and that it centers on lifestyle.]

****************************************

Acid Attacks in Bangladesh
In the first three months of 1999, at least 12 women and girls in Bangladesh were attacked with sulfuric acid thrown in their faces. By the end of the year, authorities estimate that number will be higher than 200. In response to the growing independence of the women in the country, there are men who attack them with the easily-accessible and permanently disfiguring acid for a rejected marriage proposal, dowry dispute, domestic fight or similar reason.

http://www.now.org/nnt/summer-99/global.html

***********************************************

NOW on Darfur:

Violence Against Women in Sudan Reveals Common Weapon of War

December 3, 2004

By Lisa Alvy, Communications Intern NOW, Kim Gandy on Dafur: ""Sadly, violence against women is a universal issue and one which escalates during war," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "The U.S. government must demonstrate its commitment to the freedom and safety of women by demanding that the U.N. do more to put an end to the atrocities in Darfur. And we must speak out of behalf of all the women and girls affected by violence around the globe."

Experts argue that if the U.N. does not back up their warnings with sanctions or large peace keeping forces, the situation is likely to remain the same. Also, the United States, consumed by the war in Iraq, has done little to help resolve the crisis and help the women of Sudan.

In Columbia, there rages a 40-year-old conflict that has resulted in the rape and sexual abuse of women by all of the armed groups involved....Violations of women's human rights are intertwined with a male-dominated culture that supports male aggression and violence, while promoting women as symbols of virtue and ethnic identity, setting them up as enemy targets. Because of this, any long- term strategy to stop violence against women must consider the patriarchal culture in which this violence is committed.

http://www.now.org/issues/global/120304sudan.html

*******************************

And here is more current stuff on Darfur:

Urgent Humanitarian Aid, Police Protection Needed for Darfur Women

By Christina LaRose, Communications Intern

August 1, 2005

http://www.now.org/issues/global/120304sudan.html

"Although the United States finally labeled the humanitarian crisis in Darfur "genocide" in September of 2004, the Bush administration has failed to take action commensurate with the scale of the attacks. The Declaration of Genocide in Darfur-passed by the House of Representatives on September 7, 2004-called upon the United States to assume responsibility to act to stop the genocide. But subsequent legislation, including the Darfur Accountability Act (S. 495) and the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (HR 3127), however, has stalled in Congress as an estimated 500 people die each day."

On George Bush as savior and protector (fox guarding henhouse): "NOW urges that Congress and the Bush administration affirm their responsibility to protect women in Darfur"

On police action: "There is also a great need for specialized training for troops in dealing with sexual assault" in refugee camps and some lectures on sexual harassment also will be useful.

http://www.now.org/issues/global/080105darfur.html

On cultural norms: "Women's access to medical treatment is curtailed by cultural norms that stigmatize women who have been raped and discourage them from seeking medical care"

[MIM translates: Hire some liberal Democrats to fly into Third World countries and educate them on proper lifestyle.]

**********************************

NOW ON ADULTERY

Court Overturns Stoning Sentence for Nigerian Woman Accused of Adultery September 25, 2003

by NOW Staff

http://www.now.org/issues/global/092603stoning.html

In a victory for women's rights, a Nigerian court of appeals on Sept. 25 threw out the case against Amina Lawal, a 32-year-old single mother sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery.

Lawal was convicted of adultery for giving birth to a daughter out of wedlock, a crime punishable by death under Sharia, the strict Islamic law embraced in northern Nigeria. The man she identified as the child's father was not convicted of any wrongdoing after he brought three male "witnesses" to testify on his behalf. Under Sharia, this constitutes sufficient evidence to clear him of the accusation. Lawal had no such option.

"Unless both women and men are treated equally under the law in northern Nigeria, other women will certainly be sentenced to death for the 'crime' of becoming pregnant out of wedlock, even if the pregnancy is the result of rape," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "We must continue to demand Nigeria's compliance with international law and even its own constitution in regard to the treatment of women."

"We call on the U.S. State Department and citizens of the world to pressure the United Nations and Nigeria to enforce all the treaties that Nigeria has committed itself to adhere to (last paragraph http://www.now.org/press/08- 02/08-20.html)

Until all women have equal protection under the law in Nigeria, other women are certain to be sentenced to death for the "crime" of becoming pregnant out of wedlock (http://www.now.org/news/goodnews.html#nigerian)

SO WHO HAS ACTUALLY CHANGED: EAST OR WEST?

ON SHARIA LAW:

Nigerian Couple Sentenced to Death by Stoning for Adultery Washington D.C.
Feminists Encourage Activists to Send Stones to the Nigerian Embassy in Protest

September 12, 2002

by Joy Nadler, NOW Communications Intern
http://www.now.org/issues/global/091202couple.html

The Nigerian government has declared punishments such as beheadings, stonings and amputations to be unconstitutional, but a number of states in northern Nigeria continue to implement laws based on an extremist interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, which considers sex out of wedlock a crime punishable by death.

The latest case is that of Fatima Usman and Ahmadu Ibrahim, an unmarried couple from Niger State who were sentenced to death by stoning last month for having sex.

ON HONOR KILLINGS:

National NOW Times >> Summer, 2000 >> Article

NOW, Nadler Unite Against "Honor Killings"

by Martha Wright, Communications Intern

http://www.now.org/nnt/summer-2000/honorkillings.html

What is the price of a family's honor? Sometimes, it's a woman's life.

In June, the National Organization for Women joined Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for the introduction of H.R.362, a resolution to condemn "honor crimes," the practice of burning, maiming or killing women who have been accused of bringing shame to their families. According to Carlos Salinas, director of Amnesty International's legislative program, victims of so-called honor crimes are murdered after seeking a divorce, committing adultery or even being raped.

"Honor killings are a tribal custom that calls for lethal violence based on the flimsiest of suspicions. Honor crimes are brutal, ruthless and wholly deserving of our attention," Salinas said.

THIS IS HOW THEY VIEW IT NOW:

HONOR KILLINGS IN JORDAN:

http://www.now.org/eNews/nov2000/111400honorkillings.html,

http://www.now.org/eNews/march2001/031601islamicwomen.html

________________________________________________________________________________

PSEUDO-FEMINIST ON HONOR KILLINGS:

POLITICAL CHANGES REDUCE KURDISTAN HONOR KILLINGS

INTERNATIONAL

By Joshua Kucera - WEnews correspondent

In rural areas in many parts of the world, especially the Middle East, a family's honor is defined by the perceived purity of its women. And when that honor is damaged, some families take drastic actions to restore it. Thus "honor killings," in which a family makes the decision to kill a woman who has brought them shame. In many countries, including Iraq, the practice is legal and claims hundreds of lives every year.

http://www.feminist.com/news/news64.html

*********************************************************************** And this is what the "Women's Issues" organization has to say about same subject: (in Pakistan)

Death to Dishonor An Article on Honor Killings by guest author Shazia Rafiq

http://womensissues.about.com/cs/honorkillings/a/bldeathdishonor.htm

"Many third world countries are plagued by the excesses of traditionally inclined men seeking to exercise power over the most obvious and easy victim–women. This is legitimized by an inaccurate sense of morality and social norms. In Pakistan the problem is further compounded by embroiling morality with religion thereby legalizing grave injustice.

Honor Killings

"The concept of honor killing sounds barbaric and fictional but unfortunately it is a truth confronting women even today. In Pakistani culture a woman can cause irredeemable disgrace to her family through allegations of an illicit affair, marrying a man of her choice, being subjected to the violence of rape or the merest rumor of impropriety. This inveterate wrong can only be rectified by executing the woman or defiling women from the family of the man who caused the dishonor! According to Amnesty International, on an average two women are killed every day in Pakistan for betraying male honor!"

"Standards of honor and chastity are not equally applied to both sexes. Surveys show men go unpunished for illicit relationships whereas women are killed at the merest rumor of impropriety. Men have the option of paying money to restore honor or offer property-their women in order to expunge the act of impropriety. Women pay with their lives."

Excerpt from Amnesty International Report on honor killings:

“The lives of millions of women in Pakistan are circumscribed by traditions that enforce extreme seclusion and submission to men. Traditional perceptions of honor severely limit some of the most basic rights of women in Pakistan. Every year in Pakistan hundreds of women, of all ages and in all parts of the country are reported killed in the name of honor...Tradition decrees only one method to restore honor-to kill the offending woman.”

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4. Sara Kinney, "Home Building Report" (1890), p.9, cited in Louise Michele Newman, White Women's Rights (Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 118.
5. Newman op. cit., p. 34. 6. Barbara Welter, "The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820- 1860, American Quarterly 18, Summer 1966, p 154-174, cited in Newman op. cit., p.32.
7. See Spencer "Psychology of Sexes" in Louise Michele Newman's book "Men's Ideas/Women's Realities", pp. 19-20.
8. Newman, op. cit., p. 42.
9. Lester Ward,"Our Better Halves", p.55 cited in Newman, op. cit., p.50.
10. Joseph Rodes Buchanan in Newman, op. cit., p. 22.
11. "Address of Josephine St. P. Ruffin." Woman's Era 2 (August 1895) cited in Newman op. cit., p. 9.
12. http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/006437.php