Wednesday, October 26, 2016

If Granny Goodness is a Feminist, Barack Obama is a Mau Mau...,


medialens |  Consider the third of the claims: that 'All her life' Clinton 'has fought the feminist cause', according to Toynbee, and is 'a proud feminist woman', according to Penny.

So what is feminism? The dictionary definition is straight forward enough: 'the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes'. Wikipedia summarises the goal:
'to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminists typically advocate or support the rights and equality of women.'
Hannah McAtamney added an important observation on Huffington Post:
'Feminism is not the belief that one gender should be raised in power above another. The very definition of feminism shows a complete opposition to this belief.'
This is key: feminism is indeed in 'complete opposition' to the idea that one gender should be raised in power above another. And yet it could hardly be clearer from Clinton's ruthless service to elite power, notably the military industrial complex, and from her leading role in the destruction of whole countries like Libya, Honduras and Syria, that she does just that. Clinton has certainly acted to ensure that the interests of elite Western men and women are 'raised in power above' men and women in these target countries.

A high-level state executive who manages a system that destroys and damages millions of lives in systematically subordinating both men and women to state-corporate power cannot be described as a representative of 'centrist soft-liberal feminism', if the words have any meaning.

We strongly support authentic feminism as an obviously just response to the inequality, exploitation, prejudice and violence facing women the world over. The deepest support for equality of the sexes is found in the practice of 'equalising self and others' propounded by many ancient spiritual traditions, notably Mahayana Buddhism. This 'equalising' begins when we accept that no person's happiness or suffering can be considered more or less important than anyone else's. It is obviously irrational and unfair to suggest that 'my' happiness matters more than 'your' happiness. When we reflect repeatedly on this equality of importance, we can actually come to feel a sense of outrage at the idea that 'I' should benefit at 'your' expense. 'I' can actually come to take 'your' side against 'my' own egotism.

From this perspective, it is absurd to suggest that a woman's suffering matters less than a man's. 

Similarly, it is absurd to suggest that the suffering of a Libyan or Honduran man or woman matters less than that of a male or female member of the American 1%.

The idea that Clinton is a 'feminist', that her presidency would represent a victory for feminism, is a fraud. In reality, it would involve the exploitation of that vital cause by violent, greed-based power.