Avoid Sectarianism & Opportunism (was Re: victimology)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Tue Dec 12 15:30:50 MST 2000

>I'd like to see the offending article myself.  If you get around to
>it, give us the reference.  I suspect, though, that the article I
>posted here is the only one that Debbie Nathan wrote for the Nation
>on the question of Maquila women workers with her remarks on their
>partial liberation from parental & community control.

Now that you mention it, it very well could be. It is the first time I've
seen it since 1997. And I do object to the following sort of thing in the
article which captured Doug's imagination:

>>Miles from their neighborhoods and with paycheck in hand, they have
access to urban diversions that their brothers always had but that
"proper" girls used to be denied: public nightlife, friendship based
on affinity rather than kin and, most momentously, sex.  According to
University of Chicago sociologist Leslie Salzinger , who has worked
on Juerez assembly lines, even girls who still live at home with
their parents enjoy these pleasures.<<

As I have already stated, I find sociologists and anthropologists an
untrustworthy lot. My analysis is based on my own experiences in rural
Nicaragua, testimony I have from Tecnica volunteers who lived with
villagers including those in northern Nicaragua where Ben Linder was
murdered, and from reading the words of peasant women, not only Menchu but
Elvia Alvorado from Honduras who wrote "Do not be afraid, gringo".

My own analysis is that going to strip bars, discos and wearing mini-skirts
has nothing to do with "liberation". It is instead women finding escape
from rather meager existence as factory workers. But then again my idea of
women's liberation was shaped by the mass movement of the 1970s.

In general I have a strong belief that the most deeply felt need of both
men and women of Mexico and Central America is to grow up and flourish in
their home villages. This belief is a function of my own direct experience
in Nicaragua, my reading of Mexican history and society from authors such
as Adolfo Gilly, John Womack, B. Traven, Carlos Vila, etc. If I were you,
I'd stay away from sociologists and anthropologists. They will only rot
your brain out.

Louis Proyect
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