Sunday, 19 December 2010
FEMINISM v. RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM by Dr Helen Bright
This morning, I have been rather amused with David Rose's article (click on the photo to read it) in Daily Mail: Look away now, Jemima" which pretends amongst other things not to know why feminists have supported Mr Julian Assange, Mega Whistleblower. If Mr Rose really did not know why he would have asked feminists. So here is a bit of education for Mr Rose but not quite sure if he needs or if it would save him from Chief Editor's whipping for a job, not done to a professional journalist' standard.
In the last ten years or so there has been an increase in the strength of religious fundamentalism globally which has been mainly opposed by feminists while many men and many women took it easy and let it be, as if the problem would go away without anything being done about it. Mr Assange's case represents what happens when religious fundamentalists use human rights language to deceive those in power (eg some Swedish politician who would be only too keen to use women to preserve male power structure and undermine woman's authority- Ms Eva Finne's, Public Prosecutor who threw the case out in August). So, feminists are not as Mr Rose pretends them to be. We are perfectly aware where press comes out in support of oppression of women's and men's rights, on the right, or on the left of politics. The fact that religious fundamentalism is very much against journalism and truth, in general, is another point Mr Rose chose to ignore, but knows only too well. Maybe as homework, Chief Editor of Daily Mail could give him an assignment to write about all of the killed journalists who exposed fundamentalism and died as the result.
During fundamentalist religious rule men are forced to reinforce the patriarchal values which are essentially anti-human rights. Boys are made to feel ashamed of their sexuality, women are demonized, controlled and forbidden from entering political arena. The only ones that are allowed are those who subscribe to the inferior role for themselves. Like Mr Assange's accusers, for example. The truth is that some people are so bad at politics that they should not be given any jobs in politics because of the severe damage they cause and it does not matter if they are women who call themselves Christian Feminists or if they are men.
Real feminists politicians (as opposed to pretend Christian Feminists) have been subjected to exclusion from jobs, harassment and in some cases murdered because what they do has to with the effect they have on power structures. The same applies to whistleblowers. Less capable people are promoted simply because they tow the line of ignorance and certainty. Religion provides certainty that feminism lacks. Religion promises control over women in every way and over children too. Both are meant to be servants of man and his wishes, including sexual if one reads fundamentalists. Religion promotes the certainty of life after death, in heaven. Feminism does not do that at all. Weak people make choices that appear easier at the time and in the process blow themselves up and others.
The prime targets of recruitment by religious fundamentalists are children and women. The most vulnerable people are also the likely victims of indoctrination such as mentally ill and poor. The use of women by religious fundamentalist has been called "beating fire with fire". Recruited women are used to attack other women but also men perceived as a threat to religious dogma. Truth is the old enemy of faith. As an atheist and whistleblower Mr Assange would be a legitimate target for religious fundamentalists including so called Christian feminists.
Allegations of rape are very serious and damaging but so are the false allegations of mental illness in healthy doctors who are whistleblowers and whom The General Medical Council in London destroyed and continues to abuse to the present day. I mention this fact as there is plenty of scandal to write about. Daily Mail has remained very silent on this subject of dictatorship on home grounds. I hope not for long.
Ms Jemima Khan is right we should say no to puppet judges and expose them as they deserve to be exposed. So many times, the Royal Courts of Justice judges did not uphold the rule of the law but sexism when it came to female medical whistleblowers. In a building which looks so much a like a church the values are still patriarchal. Guardian had a brilliant photograph on its front page which emphasized architectural detail and had a group of people with Mr Assange and his legal team looking tiny in proportion. The multitalented legal team are Ms Jennifer Robinson, Mr Mark Stephens and Mr Geoffrey Robertson.
Daily Mail has some good journalists and at times it did expose a lot of what was wrong with religious Labour government policies responsible for the loss of so many lives in UK. NHS hospitals have been left in the hands of lying, but brown nose managers and staff who executed Labour policy demands no matter how many thousands had to die and suffer because of the lack of support for good doctors including female whistleblowers.
What we see in feminists coming to Assange's aid is different kind of politics, the kind that David Rose does not want to face up to. I can see why not. Women do have a right to political opinion and do exercise it. Ms Jemima Khan does and so do many other women in the atmosphere of sexist hostility and rejection. Supporting Mr Julian Assange, is not about screwing him, but about politics, Mr Rose. Religious fundamentalism is anti women's right. it is racist, ageist, nationalistic, warmongering, and destructive in other ways too. Do click here to read a feminist report on religious fundamentalism, what strategies fundamentalists use and what strategies feminists use.
It is demeaning to depict Ms Jemima Khan in the way it has been done by Mr David Rose. He does not ask about her political opinions but just presses on with his green eyed view of a man who appears to have more adventure in his life than some people. Really, pathetic. Religious fundamentalism is seductive and if you read the report on the link above you will see also how even secular countries betray their female voters, oppress them, their reproductive rights and choice as well equality in other areas of life: economic and political. Ultimately, men prefer to be in positions of power rather than to stand by the politics that they advertised to the voters initially.
Some of us feminists have taken a big hit in the last ten years when merely trying to do our jobs properly as professionals because of the religious fundamentalism that took hold of British institutions as forced by the previous Labour Government under Mr Blair's leadership. Daily Mail did expose some senseless harassment of professionals, but in the context of party politics without always getting into the core causes such as anti women, anti children warfare being part of religious fundamentalism. It was just too scary to tell the whole truth to their readers in case it offends them, I guess.
Women can buy as many condoms as they like: male or female. So it is obvious that women that accused Mr Assange were not the particularly responsible and independent lot. In fact, they exhibit classic hostile dependency on men.
Also if Mr Rose did think about it, women who oppose abortion as A.A., accuser does, they also often oppose contraception. So when we really examine allegations against Mr Assange we find a lot of lies. Feminists can see through all of the deception, not because they are more clever but because they do not have the attitudinal problems like some sexist people on the right or the left do.
The report to which I have provided the link is by Ms Cassandra Balchin : Towards a Future without Fundamentalisms