More from Mayer’s long 2000 article on gender apartheid. The article is very apposite to what we’ve been talking about lately.
The discussion will point out how those seeking to defend what amounts to gender apartheid have tried to turn the discussion away from actual patterns of oppression of women, endeavoring to depoliticize this phenomenon by, among other things, minimizing the important role of the state. Instead of acknowledging that governments of modern states are controlled by men and that these men may have vested interests in retaining a status quo that favors them, they pretend that religion and culture are independent determinants of women’s status.
It’s just a coincidence that all these religions and cultures make women subordinate to men, and that governments are controlled mostly by men. The two have nothing to do with each other. Don’t look at that man behind the curtain.
As will be shown, a widespread predisposition to downgrade the significance of any gender discrimination that claims to be rooted in religion and culture is exploited by governments and allied apologists in their efforts to discredit advocates of women’s international human rights. The result is that defenses that would never excuse
racial apartheid wind up being greeted as plausible rationalizations for gender apartheid.
Even by progressives, feminists, leftists like Priyamvada Gopal and Laurie Penny. That’s strange, isn’t it. I always find it strange.
And then we get even closer to Gopal and Pennie and their colleagues.
This article also analyzes attempts that have been made by some U.S. academics to induce U.S. opinion to reject international human rights law as the criterion for judging the treatment of women in the Middle East. Religion and culture are depicted by such academics as if these set parameters regarding the treatment of women that are accepted by insiders to a given society, only being contested and criticized
by outsiders. Such depictions completely ignore the intense controversies about women’s rights that are going on within Middle Eastern societies. These academics work to discredit advocacy of women’s international human rights, deliberately associating challenges to gender discrimination with negatives like neocolonialism/imperialism and attacks on culture and religion.
Yes they do. They do it quite blatantly, by misrepresenting protests and the people behind them, by throwing epithets when this is pointed out instead of correcting the misrepresentations, and by persisting in their failure to correct the misrepresentations.
It’s a horrible spectacle.