[Marxism] Ahmadinejad, an Islamic Feminist (was Reflections on Iran)

Yoshie Furuhashi critical.montages at gmail.com
Sat Jul 22 10:10:31 MDT 2006

On 7/22/06, dwalters at marxists.org <dwalters at marxists.org> wrote:
> Secondly, it's "nice" that Ahmadinejad
> cares to frown favorably on some advance for women in Iran, too bad this stems
> from his own political machinations as opposed to being won through the
> integration of Iranian women in society and through their own organizations.

In contrast, Poulod wrote: "Women do indeed have a prominent role in
Iranian life--there are more of them in the universities than there
were under the Shah, and more in parliament, I think, than in many
western countries.  All this, though, has been won in a desperate
battle against the reactionary clergy."

The truth of women's advancement in Iran is that it's neither solely a
result of male leaders granting them out of political machinations nor
solely a result of "a desperate battle against the reactionary

Iranian women have waged battles, most often in much subtler forms
than Western leftists recognize, and male leaders have had to respond
to such pressures, and by now their outlooks too have been changed.
It's very Gramscian.

> I did not make a comparison of first to third world
> 'standards of living', you did. You raised it as a straw-man, not as a point of
> serious discussion since I'm not make such a comparison myself.

You ought to take the standard of living into account, both within a
nation and between nations.  In most cases, the higher the standard of
living, the more room for women's rights, though exceptions like Cuba
exist.  Within a nation, it tends to be women of middle strata who
have resources to assert gender equality first, their fertility rate
tends to decline faster than those of lower-class women, earning gaps
between well educated men and women tend to be smaller than those
between working-class men and women, etc.  Women who are racially or
ethnically oppressed in a nation oftentimes have fewer rights and
liberties vis-a-vis men of their group than women who belong to a
racially or ethnically dominant group.

> I noted
> you make light of the statement by the International Marxist Tendency (the
> marxist.com folks) for arguing, correctly NOT that the IMT are better allies of
> the Venezuelan revolution (something you falsly ascribe to them) but rather that
> the Iranian *working class* are better allies than the reactionary Iranian
> regime that *shoots down workers in the steets and breaks unions*.

Well,  but a majority of the Iranian working class voted for the guy
you and the IMT don't support.  :->  Those who agree with you on the
assessment of Ahmadinejad are more often found among neoliberal
reformists of classes higher than the working class in Iran.  That's
an inconvenient truth!


More information about the Marxism mailing list