[Marxism] "The Woman Question"

Manuel Barrera, PhD mtomas3 at hotmail.com
Tue Jul 20 13:15:34 MDT 2010

On Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:54 AM, Jeffrey Thomas Piercy <snail at mqduck.net>wrote:

> urely everyone opposes
> it. In fact, supporting her sentence would get you in a lot of trouble
> amongst almost any company here in the US. So I assume that by saying
> that it should be "opposed", you mean something more, no?

Well, I'm not sure if this is a trick question, John, but assuming it's not,
of course I mean more than opposing her sentence, which is death by stoning,
a) to opposing her sentence of death by any means (witness reports that the
IRI may decide to sentence her to death by hanging), b) to recognizing that
this case and the campaign around it revolves around the broader struggle
for democratic rights and opposition to the IRI, c) to understanding that
much of the dynamic associated with the recent mass movement in Iran has
been influenced by women and women's issues (e.g. opposition to the Hijab
among others) and not the least, d) how women in the U.S. and Europe and
around the world can connect with the struggle in Iran precisely because of
the focus on democratic rights, especially the rights of women. In short,
opposing the death penalty in this case, connects with so many other issues
of importance to working people and the oppressed.

Of course, it also raises rather important issues for the working class
movement around the defense of Iran against imperialism (not the same as
defense of the IRI necessarily), which we have seen occur in the related
issue of Afghanistan and the Taliban where imperialism has tried to justify
their war by claiming to defend women against backward pseudo-Muslim
ideology (the group Rethink Afghanistan of course very well dispelled that
myth) and led groups like Code Pink mistakenly to support (at least for a
time) U.S. involvement there as a result. This case is ripe for discussion
of broad political issues as well as revolutionary principles, strategy, and
tactics. Indeed, a great deal of blogging and social networking has occurred
on just these issues among Iranians in and outside of Iran as well as other

So, yeah, I thought it a useful case to bring forward  to generate more
fruitful discussions on the issues of women's liberation and Marxism than to
continue discussing whether people (women or men) were being disingenuous or
sexist  surrounding a discussion of sexism and the "Left." Perhaps I reached
too far although, as I mentioned earlier, I was glad to see some discussion
regarding the "woman question" (sic).

But, hey, maybe this issue of women's oppression, imperialist war, and the
revolutionary character of the struggle for democratic rights has already
been ground covered on this list and I am just dating myself . . . or, just
bein' a liberal.

Perhaps I should just shut up and let my more well-versed Marxist colleagues
discuss the real issues of Marxism.


More information about the Marxism mailing list