[Marxism] Class and race and gender

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jun 23 08:55:18 MDT 2004

Ian Pace wrote:
> To give a good example of how easily certain ideologies of gender and race
> are appropriated for the purposes of serving imperialism, the appalling
> article below should suffice.  The qualities of machismo, racism,
> discrimination against gays, etc., in Latin America (but also in North
> America and Europe) are absolutely vital for us to address, but when removed
> from questions of imperialist hegemony, this is the result.

Ian is raising an interesting point here, although I have considered it 
in another context. Let's not forget that mainstream feminist 
organizations lent their support to the war in the Balkans which was 
supposedly some kind of crusade against rape camps. Then a few years 
later Afghanistan was invaded in order to allow girls to go to school.


Feminists in the U.S. were treated to a propaganda blitz about rapes 
allegedly carried out by Serbs. It had an electrifying effect. In the 
end, the radical group "Madre," which previously supported Central 
American women, launched an emotional campaign to save thousands of 
Bosnian Muslim women allegedly raped by Bosnian Serb soldiers. Gloria 
Steinem lent the story respectability in Ms. Magazine. The N.Y. Times 
wrote that 20,000 to 50,000 Bosnian women had been raped, despite the 
fact that there was no substantiation for such numbers - except, of 
course, from the Bosnian Muslim "Ministry of Information." Despite 
doubts expressed by Helsinki Watch, Human Rights Watch and respected 
individuals such as Simone Weil, the president of the European 
Parliament, the American media relied on the Bosnian War Crimes 
Commission and Caritas, the Catholic charity connected to the Croatian 
government, for verification of these outrageous claims. The German 
media promoted the rape hysteria for their own reasons, which British 
historian Nora Beloff ascribed to the German need "to Satanize the Serbs 
in order to cover their own responsibility for pitching Yugoslavia into 


For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 20, 2001

Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People
United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of 
Congress, and fellow Americans:

In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to 
report on the state of the Union.  Tonight, no such report is needed. 
It has already been delivered by the American people.

We have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed terrorists to 
save others on the ground -- passengers like an exceptional man named 
Todd Beamer.  And would you please help me to welcome his wife, Lisa 
Beamer, here tonight.  (Applause.)


The leadership of al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and 
supports the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country.  In 
Afghanistan, we see al Qaeda's vision for the world.

Afghanistan's people have been brutalized -- many are starving and many 
have fled.  Women are not allowed to attend school.  You can be jailed 
for owning a television.  Religion can be practiced only as their 
leaders dictate.  A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not 
long enough.


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