Entdinglichung

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Archive for 24. April 2009

Radio Hafenstrasse (1987)

Posted by entdinglichung - 24. April 2009

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Azar Majedi: Right vs Left in Secularist Movement: It is not sufficient to be a secularist

Posted by entdinglichung - 24. April 2009

Ein interessanter Diskussionsbeitrag von Azar Majedi von der Organisation for Women’s Liberation, welcher u.a. diejenigen SäkularistInnen, Feministinnen und Linken kritisiert, welche Querfronten mit rechten „IslamkritikerInnen“ und ähnlichen Gestalten bilden, gefunden auf Socialist Blog News:

Faust

Right vs Left in Secularist Movement:It is not sufficient to be a secularist

From Azadizan.com, by Azar Majedi

The women’s rights movement is an integrated part of the general movement for equality and freedom. Every one here is well aware of the dismal situation of women in societies under the grip of religion; of the inherent misogyny of religion. Misogyny is an important part of the dominant ideology, so is religion. To fight misogyny and women’s inequality calls for a comprehensive and consistent struggle against the dominant ideology and the dominant political and economic order.

Women’s rights and socialist movements have fought against gender discrimination for over a century; it suffices to say that the 8th of March tradition is one century old. But still women are suffering from discrimination, degradation, insecurity, violence and even bondage in the 21st century. Why? Why has more than one century of struggle not resulted in women’s equality? This is a very pertinent question that we as women’s rights activists, freedom loving and equality seeking individuals and organisations must address. Of course there have been achievements in the west, but they are far from satisfactory.

The organisation for Women’s Liberation organised an international conference for 8 March 2009 in Sweden entitled “why is secularism essential?” The conference was a real success, with contributions by around 20 activists and academics from Europe, the Middle East, Georgia and Argentina. All speakers talked about the adverse effects of religion on women’s conditions in their countries and the importance of mobilizing an international movement for secularism. I am conveying their message here to you.

In the opening of the conference this same question was introduced. Just a couple of days before the conference, I read an article about Madonna’s love affair with a 22 year old boy; I think it was in the Guardian. The columnist, a feminist, was applauding this relationship as one of feminism’s achievements; ‘[W]e always hear of middle aged male rock stars’ flings with young women, it is time we heard of a fem.’ This was the main point of this article. As far as I am concerned, any one can go to bed with any one they like, as long as they are of age of consent and it is voluntary. But elevating Madonna’s craving for young boys and publicity to the level of achievements by women’s rights movement is making a mockery of our struggle.

Our fight is to improve the lot of ordinary citizens in the world. The economic exploitation, political disenfranchisation, social isolation and ghettoisation, cultural degradation as well as violence and sexual abuse are our main concern. And I must say that religion as a determining ingredient of the dominant ideology plays an important part in reproducing and reinforcing all these problems for women. There has been a growing interest in secularism in women’s rights movements worldwide in the past few years. This has happened because of the rise of religious movements and religious meddling in the running of society and passing legislature, thus opening people’s eyes to the detrimental effect of religion in women’s lives worldwide.

I was here in 2007. An important trend that was taking form then has now become quite visible and we should take notice of it and react to it. The secularist movement has become increasingly active and vocal in the past decade, particularly after September 11th. France has always been a different case regarding secularism. This has its historical root. France is the birth place of militant secularism. Other countries in Europe have always lagged behind. Sweden now is officially a secular country. But in the UK for example secularism is very weak and rather shy.

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