Friday, 14 April 2017

Transforming society

Suranya Aiyar

"War and Feminism:"

"Among various responses to my article last week on the dilemmas of a working mother, a young woman, a gender studies specialist, wrote me an irate response, including an article she had written in a newspaper for International Women's Day in which she called for women to start demanding more participation from men in the home and child care. One of her arguments was that teaching men to be nurturing would also transform us to a society that rejected war and espoused peace."

"Now, I'll go into her other arguments another time, but the high drama in the media about the alleged use of sarin gas by Assad in Syria, and Trump's apparent turn around from his earlier position of cessation of hostilities against Assad, made me think about this claim of feminism: the bringing of women out of the home and drawing of men into it as a `cure` for war, and the aggressive, violent `patriarchy`. "

"I often post about international affairs. I don't know about the patriarchy, but I do believe that Western society is aggressive, hierarchical and violent towards the rest of the world. So I follow international affairs both from interest and a sense of self preservation. As the citizen of a non-Western nation, I feel I need to keep my eyes firmly on the slavering Western dogs of war, which can be let lose on me at any time."

"But I hardly ever come across women, I mean lay-persons, not international affairs specialists, that follow international affairs. To be fair, I hardly ever come across men with more than a superficial interest in international affairs - but atleast they usually know the headlines of the day. The women, well, most college educated, self-proclaimed `feminist` women that I know, never read the paper at all."

"The thing is, that you can`t stop wars if you know nothing about them. Being a feminist, or educated, or `modern`, or financially independent - none of this is going to stop wars. In fact, so far as I can see, wars everywhere are led by the educated, the rich and the progressive peoples of the world; not by the uneducated or backward ones."

"The world has basically been at war now, the same war, since 9/11 - that's 16 years. 16 years! And none of the countries waging this war has changed the principles on which they have got country after country engaged in that war. Even though the stockpile of evidence that their basic ideas are utterly, tragically wrong is colossal - way bigger than the stockpile of chemical weapons that Assad would have had to have had to have gassed Idlib, but which, until the day before yesterday, everyone baying for his blood now, said he did not have."

"Trump's earlier position that regime change in Syria should not be the focus of the US policy there, was the most radical idea for peace in a world at war for 16 years. That's why it`s so important to understand - did Assad use chemical weapons, just when the US seemed on the verge of withdrawing its opposition to his regime, or was it a mistake, or, worse, was this a conspiracy by forces that want to perpetuate the situation in Syria?"

"So, yeah, I'm all for world peace too, like the feminists. But you can just forget about stopping wars by teaching men to coo at a baby. So far as I can see, the only people questioning the mainstream consensus on the Syrian situation are a few isolated men, who are also for world peace, like the feminists."

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