[Marxism] "The Woman Question"

Jeffrey Thomas Piercy snail at mqduck.net
Tue Jul 20 14:27:49 MDT 2010

On 07/20/2010 12:15 PM, Manuel Barrera, PhD wrote:
> Well, I'm not sure if this is a trick question,

It wasn't a trick question, nor was it sarcastic or otherwise hostile.

> John,

John, huh? Interesting...

> 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.

My point, I guess, was that I was trying to ask you what your implicit
criticism is of those you apparently think don't sufficiently oppose it.
In other words, what changes on their part "an integration of women's
rights includes making the connection that opposing the death penalty
for an Iranian woman" would entail.

> 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

This is what my specific concern was about, whether you believe that
leftists should be active in the campaign against her execution and
overall peril. We could then move on to questions like whether such a
campaign is inherently imperialist.

> 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."

It's a topic worthy of discussion, but it does kind of get away from the
original topic, sexism here in our culture, among the left, towards a
discussion of sexism over there in a country none of us are from and
that is currently in the crosshairs of imperialism.

> Perhaps I reached
> too far although, as I mentioned earlier, I was glad to see some discussion
> regarding the "woman question" (sic).

Well, I sympathize with your motive. It would have been nice if some
meaningful discussion had come about as a result of the whole stink,
instead of personal accusations and defensiveness.

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