Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The most important human right in our lifetime

If we consider the quantity of people affected and the quality of the effect, there is no greater injustice in the world today than the denial of equal rights for women. I’m talking specifically about women in fundamentalist Muslim countries in the Middle East. I am also talking about women in fundamentalist Catholic countries in Latin America, although the situation in the Muslim world is worse.

Add in the negative effect upon men. I for one find it painful to spend any time in a country that regards its women as a sub-species of homo sapiens. I cannot enjoy a few hours in such places, not even in their airports on my way somewhere else. How can any male person be happy when there are women in his vicinity who at that very moment in time are the victims of barbaric discrimination?

But what about the feelings of men from Islamic countries who come to the United States for college or graduate work? Don’t they feel equally unhappy in the presence of American women? No, they don’t. They enjoy it here very much. And they acclimate themselves almost overnight to our egalitarian culture and “groove” with it.

I did some work a few years ago for some women who were in “Divided Families,” as Ted Koppel called it his Nightline show that interviewed me. The scenario is more or less the same irrespective of the Middle Eastern country we’re talking about. An American woman meets an Arab in the United States, they get married, she converts to Islam, and they eventually move to the husband’s home country. Here’s a typical story told to me by one of my clients. The man she met in engineering school was a “real Omar Sharif type”—dashing, sophisticated, charming, and totally attentive to her. He shared fully in their household chores, was a great dad when they had a child, never argued with her, and worked out their minor problems on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. When they arrived back at his familial home in Riyadh, he started beating her. He locked her in her bedroom, placed tin foil over the windows, took away the light bulbs, and left her in the sweltering darkness. No food, a glass of water, two or three days of this.

I repeat, this is a typical story. All my clients, and all their friends who married Islamic men, had almost identical experiences.

The young wife would next seek out the grandmother figure of the family group. The matriarch would give her friendly advice: just please your husband and do everything he says. Everything will turn out just fine. But, the young woman asks, what about the beatings? “He still loves you. He is only disciplining you.”

Another of my clients (I call them clients because I had a confidentiality relationship with them though my work was pro bono) could stand her situation no longer. With meticulous planning, she left her house one morning when her husband went to work, made it to the school where she had excuses prepared to take her children home, got into a car driven by a friend, and made it to the American embassy in Riyadh. The Americans working in the embassy could not have been more sympathetic or helpful, she told me. She did not understand why it was taking them so long just to put her and her children on a plane to the United States; she had the money for the tickets. Cables hummed from the United States to Saudi Arabia and back. Finally, on the fourth day, two Marines assisted her and the children into a Jeep. She asked if they were going to the airport but they said nothing. They pulled up in front of her home, where her husband was standing there, glaring at them. She looked at the soldiers. “We’re sorry, ma’am, we’re only doing our job.” They left her and the children there and drove away.

Clearly there are two totally different Weltanshauungen here: the Western worldview and the Muslim worldview. They seem remote from each other both in space and in time. Is communication between the two even possible?

The lawyerly thing to do is to begin by trying to understand the other side’s point of view. I have a few thoughts about this which I’ll post tomorrow.

22 Comments:

Anonymous China said...

It's no surprise that International Law has a relatively feeble (though thankfully improving) reputation as a rigorous intellectual discipline when its leading thinkers bolster nebulous, incoherent, philosophically idealist and wildly ideological constructions like 'The Clash of Civilisations', let alone in so profoundly weak a way. Here we have an anecdote, vigorously if unscientifically suffixed with the assurance that it is 'typical', bolted on to crass generalisation on religious/ethnic grounds (the distinction is blurred in the post - 'Islamic' to 'Middle Eastern'): 'They', foreign Muslim men, 'enjoy it here very much.' All of them? Which of them? How so?

If, talking about Jews, African-Americans or Hispanics, I told readers what 'they' like and dislike (or think of women's rights), I'd rightly be excoriated as at best foolish, at worst prejudiced. I digress.

So then by some magic of addition anecdote plus generalisation equals the conclusion that there are two 'totally different' worldviews, implausibly homogenised as 'Western' and 'Muslim'. This was nonsense in the hands of Huntington, and it's nonsense here.

If the 'lawyerly' thing to do is indeed to understand the other side's point of view, then this is a poor start.

8/17/2005 5:00 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Professor D'Amato,

Sir, respectfully I must disagree with this thread post that you made. From the start this one sentence sent chills down my spine:

Professor D'Amato said: [If we consider the quantity of people affected and the quality of the effect, there is no greater injustice in the world today than the denial of equal rights for women.]

Equal rights for women is not a problem in the west. It is a problem in Islamic countries and other cultures, but NOT the west and not in "Catholic" countries. If you are going to adhere to such a claim that Catholic countries are demeaning to women, we need to see some examples because what you are doing is putting Catholicism on the shelf with Islam which to me is a shoddy position since there is no comparison between the two.

The United States for example, lives under the lie that women are a minority population when they are clearly the majority. In our democracy, women comprise almost 53% of the voting population. No US political candidate is elected without the consent of women. Radical leftist women's groups have a much greater share of political power than any men's group or agenda. America is teetering on the verge of a matriarchal totalitarianism where this new form of totalitarianism is appearing not through race or class, but gender.

Every political issue of any stripe is geared to women in the United States as payback for their majority vote. Women file for divorce and receive divorce on their terms over 90% of the time. Women receive custody of children through divorce over 96% of the time, no questions asked, just procedure. Legal questions involving women in family court matters consistently swing in their favor and men have no right to appeal those decisions (just one example of the unconstitutional nature of American matriarchal totalitarianism).

Medical research is geared towards women in the United States. Turn on any television and watch the drug ads by American pharmaceutical companies. The hundreds, if not thousands that play per day are geared towards women client populations. The majority of medical research is clearly geared towards women as is funding for such research with US tax dollars.

When American women show up for a job interview, they are more likely to get the job because of their claim to minority status (the definition of which is so broad as to leave employers fearful of not hiring women for vexatious discrimination litigation).

Women now comprise 8 out of 10 students on American university campuses. Where are American men? What is America doing to them?

Now, with all of these facts brought out onto the table, isn't it inherently dangerous to even suggest that the United States is engaged with Islam over the rights of Islamic women? I would think it would be. Shouldn't we be bringing the Bill of Rights to Islam, instead of leftist feminist fundamentalism as men in the United States and the west are subjected to?

The reason I say that is that western men can take a lot of pain and are less willing to drive car bombs to targets in response to bad political decisions, whereas Islamic men seem willing to commit mass murder to prevent such basic change. If you want a global war against Islam which will see every weapon ever invented by man appear during the extended conflict, shifting the focus of the War on Terrorism into the wild animal known as the 'salvation of Islamic women' will assuredly get us all killed in the process. I don't think it is a good idea to tell Islamic men that we are about to uproot their entire civilization (like the west did to western men).

Obtestor

8/17/2005 7:17 AM  
Blogger BionOc said...

Oh come *on*, D'Amato. Since when does recycling the plot of a Lifetime Original Movie of the Week (undoubtedly starring Meredith Baxter-Birney as the poor Western woman, independent and modern but with a fatal romantic streak, swept off her feet by a handsome Arab only to find him Turned To A Tyrant and herself a Virtual Prisoner in Riyadh! Where is the man she fell in love with™?) count as thoughtful cultural criticism?

Protestations of anger on behalf of women are all very well, but this particular woman doesn't appreciate your using my half of the species as a pretext for essentialist Muslim-baiting, particularly not while taking so very much time along the way to self-congratulate for your sensitivity. I'm sure we're all impressed by your delicate sensibilities when it comes to spending time in the airports of sexist countries; would that you displayed similar sensitivity when it came to making wild derogatory generalizations about other cultures.

Does traditional Islam embed problematic, often anathema attitudes towards women? Hell yes. Does your crass caricaturization of Muslim culture 'irrespective of the Middle Eastern country we're talking about' contribute anything meaningful to the struggle to improve the lot of Muslim women in bad situations? Fuck no. This may confuse you, but many Muslim women won't be demurely grateful to have their culture or the religion they believe in stereotyped and vilified by white men come to Rescue them.

And not-so-incidentally, when you talk of two 'totally different' weltanschauungen (which btw you've spelled wrong), and ask 'Is communication between the two even possible?', am I the only one chilled by the implication? I mean, where exactly do you think you're going with that? No communication possible, therefore let's let our bombers do the talking? Clearly you're not advocating simply stopping attempts to communicate and letting the 'Muslim countries' go about their woman-oppressing business. So what are you suggesting? An Global War on Sexism? That approach is working out brilliantly for the women of Iraq.

As for you, Obtestor, you're an insane misogynist conspiracy-minded wingnut who is beneath debate. I'm guessing--this is just a guess, mind--you don't get much play with the ladies, and it's all gone a bit sour and bubbly up there in your little overheated brainpan.

8/17/2005 7:28 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Bionoc said: [As for you, Obtestor, you're an insane misogynist conspiracy-minded wingnut who is beneath debate. I'm guessing--this is just a guess, mind--you don't get much play with the ladies, and it's all gone a bit sour and bubbly up there in your little overheated brainpan.]

Translation: How dare you bring up the truths about the feminist dictatorship and political violence against men in the United States. If you persist, other men might figure it out.

American feminisnm today is political violence against men. I say that with a swab of meninist in me. I am also good looking and never have trouble getting dates with women (plus I am a genius intellect as well so that helps too).

Obtestor

8/17/2005 8:49 AM  
Blogger F said...

Oh for goodness' sake - let's get past the petty school-boy debating insults and actually talk about the issue(s) at hand shall we?

Firstly I think Prof. D'Amato's post is badly argued and badly reasoned. I find myself particularly uncomfortable with arguments relating to the veil, domestic violence, Shariah Law etc... being used as a premise for ideological and legal attacks on Islamic countries. I certainly agree that there are severe gender disparities in the vast majority of Muslim states but (a) unbalanced gender relations are not unique to muslim states, and (b) the continual cynical manipulation by men of women's situations in order to justifify the use of force against other nations and civilisations is patriarchal and disingenuous in general.

This 'debate' is so petty that I can hardly bother to engage by expanding on those two points, but as a general point relating to women's rights argumentation a factual basis around honour crimes, rape, lack of sexual freedom, lack of equality within marriage etc... is far more effective than the recollection of anecdote. That is not to say that experiences should not be shared and discussed, they certainly should be (from both a personal, practical and feminist perspective), but that they are insufficient grounds from which to extrapolate a general thesis about society.

As for yourself obtestor *rolling eyes*...your lady friends are welcome to you!!!!

Fiona

8/17/2005 12:12 PM  
Blogger F said...

BTW obtestor - islam and catholicism have some very clear parallels:

* They are both religions
* They both have/do overtaken/displaced notions of secularism in government in a number of states
* They both retain a power base through the repression of women and particularly female sexuality.
* They are both male-dominated pervasive institutions

To give you an example of Catholicism and human rights (generally having a disproportionately damaging effect on women and girl children) let me take my own country, Ireland, where, as a result of the Catholic ethos of our Constitution, abortion is illegal often putting women's lives at risk (one has to travel to the UK for an abortion which is expensive and as a result there are many cases of illegal abortions in the back alleys of Dublin and other Irish cities often resulting in sceptic wombs and infertility), up until 1973 contraception was absolutely illegal, up until 1996 divorce was illegal, up until 1994 homosexuality was illegal, up until 1986 children born outside of a catholic-recognised marriage had no legal status etc... etc...

8/17/2005 12:18 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Fiona said: [As for yourself obtestor *rolling eyes*...your lady friends are welcome to you!!!!]

I love women and women love me. I do not however sign onto any level of extremism nor extremist group agenda no matter how slight the radicalization appears. There are plenty of feminist groups that fit that description.

Then La Bamba said: [ BTW obtestor - islam and catholicism have some very clear parallels.]

Not even close. Does Catholicism have the institutional access that Islam does in government? No way. Does Catholicism use cult-tools (involuntary tools for membership) for brainwashing and imposing tyrannical controls and fear over populations through methods of control such as the call to prayer (5 times per day using loud speakers?) No way. Does Catholicism force circumcision upon women? No way. Does Catholicism impose any coercion upon women realistically in the west? Not really. Women can walk away from the church as quickly as they have abortions. Your argument is a straw man but there is more that I want to talk about in relation to the other points that you bring up next.

Then you said: [* They are both religions]

True

[* They both have/do overtaken/displaced notions of secularism in government in a number of states]

That is deceptive and clever in the sense that you are trying to steer the conversation in a particular direction. Islam is fully integrated into Muslim nation-states to the point that religious authority is used in government processes itself to extract demands emplaced over the people. Catholicism is not allowed to do that. Catholicism has no real penetration in the United States insofar as policy is concerned. If Catholicism did have such an inroad, abortion would cease to exist as a legal option for women. You are creating monsters out of mole hills.

Maybe I should have mentioned this before just so the forum has a clue about where I am coming from. I have a post-grad education. It will be difficult to slip things past me and I do not want to be put into the position where I appear to be contradicting everything you folks try to say to me. That said however, much of the opinion here is of the far left and I am on the right. As a scholar, I would never tell any of you to withhold your opinions, just do not expect me to. Academic freedom is important in these discussions and I do not toe the line with any group, right or left. I try to be as moderate as possible and you will notice that my intellectual pursuits involve revolutionary theory, terrorism and ideology.

[* They both retain a power base through the repression of women and particularly female sexuality.]

I completely disagree. I am a Catholic. I have never coerced a female in my entire life, nor has any member of my church. The only president that we Catholics have ever had was President John F. Kennedy and he was shot through the head and neck in Dallas, Texas.

So you must be referring to abortion, the infamous issue of division in the United States. Catholics do not view abortion court rulings as valid law because there is no consensus on abortion in the United States. Abortion was not implemented through the normal channels of the democratic process and represents a deterioration in the system, a process of revolution. I study these types of national security threats to the United States.

You claim that abortion is vital for a 'woman's health'. Isn't unprotected sex leading to unwanted pregnancy the most ill-advised personal behavior for women? Of course. Isn't the ripping of a baby from a female's womb inherently unhealthy for women? Of course. Why is it that there have been 50,000,000 abortions in the United States since 1973? Isn't that just bad behavior?

England just completed a study whereby they found that British women were having sometimes 5 to 12 abortions by the time they were 25 years in age. Is that healthy?

My thought on abortion as it applies to US national security is this: It is an issue of cultural terrorism deployed against Christian populations of the nation-state. Long before SCOTUS thrust abortion upon the people without consensus, the American government understood that the majority populations of the United States would not agree with it because it is an issue that strikes to the division of values between Americans. When you have division of values, you have questions of ethics. That means it is unethical (if you have ever worked on ethics matters before you will understand this).

No Catholic that I have ever known in my life has interfered with the ruling promoting abortion as a service to control breeding by American women, as a coercive tool over men and religious minded folks. That is what abortion is all about. It totally removes the rights of men to their posterity and allows women alone to decide who lives and who dies as they grow in the womb of the American female.

That is why men like Professor D'Amato do not teach the preamble of the US Constitution as a valid legal entity. If they did, it would guarantee the male right to posterity. The radical left couldn't have that.

The only restoration of balance to abortion will be the male pill, which is under development. Then men can once again regain their humanity and cast off the radical feminist dehumanization of men as men and women debate reproductive rights. Only until men regain some semblance of constitutional protections in reproduction will balance be restored to US law and revolutionary preconditions dissolve that can be dangerous to the nation-state. The abortion issue will be a mute point when male birth control is introduced.

As it stands now, men know that abortion will never go away (and women who are against it know too). No politician would ever claim they were going to do away with abortion. The American people were conned by abortion judicial activism and that is why it is a revolutionary precondition but one that has not really become dangerous for the nation-state yet, minus a handful of abortion clinic bombings and other activity by the Christian Identity movements. Catholicism is not involved in that revolutionary activity because if American Catholics were involved, the United States would become ungovernable.

It is important that you recognize my points in a non-biased manner as I have produced them for you.

Too much power has fallen into the hands of American women because they are the majority voting population in our democracy. That power can be balanced by providing men tools like male birth control and other measures that will not detract from the advances of women in areas such as human rights and participation in our democracy. Current trends however clearly dehumanize men in favor of the matriarchal majority party polarization.

Obtestor

8/17/2005 3:39 PM  
Blogger BionOc said...

Well girls, see what we get for trying to actually 'talk about the issues at hand' with someone like that? Petty schoolboy debating insults, anyone? I'll be at the bar when y'all are finished.

8/17/2005 5:00 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[Well girls, see what we get for trying to actually 'talk about the issues at hand' with someone like that? Petty schoolboy debating insults, anyone? I'll be at the bar when y'all are finished.]

Appeal to popularity logic fallacy.

Obtestor

8/17/2005 7:23 PM  
Blogger F said...

Obtestor - you neglect to remember that the United States is not the only country in the world.

Your ideological leanings are perfectly valid, and your postrgaduate education is impressive. Perhaps we can compare transcripts sometime. No amount of transcripts in the world will stop me being a feminist whose seen many women's lives destroyed by pervasive catholic influence and you from being a man (who I would describe as misogynist) with a strong sense of belief in his religion and a US-centric view on things.

But just one tiny tiny point - if the call to prayer is 'brain washing' then what is the angelus twice a day????

Fiona

8/18/2005 4:08 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[No amount of transcripts in the world will stop me being a feminist whose seen many women's lives destroyed by pervasive catholic influence and you from being a man (who I would describe as misogynist) with a strong sense of belief in his religion and a US-centric view on things.]

Fiona, try not to fall into the trap that the others here fall into quickly. Is it because I critiqued certain perversions within feminist totalitarianism that I am "misogynist"? I don't hate women. A misognyist must hate women.

It is easy to throw words around like that to demonize educated men like me so that you can dehumanize us. That is what those terms are all about. Dehumanizing tools to make men like me less than human.

Know that the petty name calling doesn't bother me. I have very thick skin. My skin is almost as thick as my transcripts. ;)

So if you can cast off the emotion for a moment and look at what I wrote instead of trying to imagine the man behind the keyboard that wrote it, you would conclude that I am correct in my analysis that a new form of totalitarianism in the west is emerging, a totalitarianism not based upon race or class, but gender.

That doesn't mean that I hate women. It is my intellectual responsibility to point out weaknesses and detriorations in the system when I see them. So when you are through calling me names, let's address my points, that is if you can break from your feminist contruct without bias long enough to do it.

Thnx

Obtestor

8/18/2005 9:01 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[But just one tiny tiny point - if the call to prayer is 'brain washing' then what is the angelus twice a day????]

Why don't we address all of my points? Every single one of them, together. You and I Fiona.

Any member of the Catholic Church can decide for themselves the level of participation that they seek to give to the church and its efforts individually. I know baptised Catholics that haven't been to church in years; some for decades.

Does Islam grant women that flexibility in the respecting of God as it applies to the state? Absolutely not. Even if an Islamic female is an atheist or agnostic, that female will hear the call to prayer five times per day and will have to 'disappear' to avoid the tradition from the rest of her society. At the same time, the female will have to wear a veil and other tedious garments to cover every inch of her skin. That totalitarianism and cult-behavior used by Islamic nation-states to erect police state controls in their societies is not to be confused with Catholicism.

Saying Islam is like Catholicism is like saying Joseph Stalin was a Capitalist.

Obtestor

8/18/2005 9:12 AM  
Blogger F said...

Obtestor I can never resist a challenge!!

Obtestor said: [I do not however sign onto any level of extremism nor extremist group agenda no matter how slight the radicalization appears. There are plenty of feminist groups that fit that description.]

That’s undeniable – just like there are plenty of groups who call themselves by political ideologies and who are extremist. I think a distinction needs to be made between feminism as a political and intellectual movement (taking into account the many strands of feminist theory and their differences) and groups that appropriate feminism in their actions. Just as many environmental groups take sometimes extremist direct action but don’t automatically lead to all environmentalists being called extremists, so too feminist groups that take extreme actions or publish ‘extreme’ views should not automatically lead to all feminists being called extremists.

Obtestor said: [Does Catholicism have the institutional access that Islam does in government? No way.]

Maybe not in the USA but in many countries yes, absolutely – think of Ireland up to…oh…about 14 years ago. Think of the Philipines today. Very very often Catholicism does have that kind of access, particularly since in many countries the catholic church assumed an educational and health care provision role when there was nobody else to do so.

Obtestor said: [Does Catholicism use cult-tools (involuntary tools for membership) for brainwashing and imposing tyrannical controls and fear over populations through methods of control such as the call to prayer (5 times per day using loud speakers?) No way.]

OK a couple of things here. Firstly in terms of involuntary tools for membership you’re going to have to tell me what you mean by that. Secondly I don’t think a call for prayer can be called brainwashing. Or at least if it can be then why can’t the angelus, for example, be called brainwashing as well?

Obtestor said: [Does Catholicism force circumcision upon women? No way.]

Neither does Islam.

Obtestor said: [Does Catholicism impose any coercion upon women realistically in the west? Not really. Women can walk away from the church as quickly as they have abortions.]

I’m really interested in this one – I don’t think I quite agree with you here. Certainly in many western countries women can ‘walk away from the church’ (although trust me they can’t always get abortions that easily), but the extent to which that act of voluntary disassociation is effective is variable. Take for example a country where health care is primarily governed by Catholic orders (and this is very common) – if the woman gives birth she does so usually in a Catholic hospital and usually the child is baptised/given last rites if ill when born, soemtimes children are forcibly removed from mothers and baptised (this happened to my mother only 31 years ago) etc… Then education systems are often run by the Catholic church as well, where all national school children, for example, are given religious instruction in preparation for communion, confirmation etc… This is certainly not the case in EVERY country, but my point is that it is untrue to say it is not the case in ANY country.

Obtestor said: [ Catholicism is not allowed to do that. Catholicism has no real penetration in the United States insofar as policy is concerned. If Catholicism did have such an inroad, abortion would cease to exist as a legal option for women.]

Here I am obliged to remind you that ‘the West’ is not the equivalent to ‘the United States’. There are many countries, Ireland included, where abortion is illegal precisely because of the Catholic Church and they’re penetration into government and public policy.

Obtestor said: [I have never coerced a female in my entire life, nor has any member of my church.]

Obtestor a criticism of the Catholic church is not an accusation against every Catholic. The fact remains, however, that Catholicism relies on the repression of female sexuality in order to retain its power base. So much of catholic doctrine rests upon the ‘Virgin’ Mary and her virginity (which of course is not historically accurate) is the basis for her idolisation. Female sexuality is represented as something designed to perpetuate the human race as opposed to something belonging to the woman herself.

Obtestor said: [Catholics do not view abortion court rulings as valid law because there is no consensus on abortion in the United States.]

I would have thought it was because the Pope said so. Catholics again, of course, existing outside of the US.

Obtestor said [You claim that abortion is vital for a 'woman's health'.]

I don’t recall saying that, although in some cases it is certainly a fact. I would be more of the view that the right to chose whether to have an abortion is vital for a woman’s dignity.

Obtestor said [ Isn't unprotected sex leading to unwanted pregnancy the most ill-advised personal behavior for women? Of course. Isn't the ripping of a baby from a female's womb inherently unhealthy for women? Of course. Why is it that there have been 50,000,000 abortions in the United States since 1973? Isn't that just bad behavior?]

I have to tell you I find this paragraph absolutely disgusting. What about the men who had unprotected sex? Wasn’t that stupid of them too? Don’t they have a responsibility? What about the women who didn’t chose to have unprotected sex and the men who forced that situation upon them? What about the fact that maybe the number of abortions in the US says something about US society and gender relations much more than it does about ‘women behaving badly’?? You wonder about why I described you as a misogynist – this paragraph is it.

Obtestor says: [My thought on abortion as it applies to US national security is this: It is an issue of cultural terrorism deployed against Christian populations of the nation-state.]

I’ve heard this reasoning with interest before and generally speaking as abortion is such an emotive issue people don’t change their minds. I therefore wont speak to your reasoning here as from your perspective it’s flawless and you cant debate someone’s value judgment. You might be interested to find out the reasoning of the Polish League of Families when Women on the Waves visited Warsaw about three years ago – they called abortion a Nazi plot to destroy the rest of the Polish population.

Obtestor said: [That is why men like Professor D'Amato do not teach the preamble of the US Constitution as a valid legal entity. If they did, it would guarantee the male right to posterity. The radical left couldn't have that. ]

It could also be that they find the idea of a right to posterity, which has a necessary corrollory of objectifying women as the means to that posterity and nothing more, as morally reprehensible and dangerous.

Obtestor said [The abortion issue will be a mute point when male birth control is introduced.]

I really don’t understand this – condoms are ‘male birth control’?

Obtestor said [Too much power has fallen into the hands of American women because they are the majority voting population in our democracy. ]

By too much you appear to mean a proportionate amount – if women are the majority voting population they have a power base proportionate to that, how can this be “too much”?

8/18/2005 9:29 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Fiona said: [ Obtestor I can never resist a challenge!!]

Outstanding! Come on in!

Fiona Said: [That’s undeniable – just like there are plenty of groups who call themselves by political ideologies and who are extremist. I think a distinction needs to be made between feminism as a political and intellectual movement (taking into account the many strands of feminist theory and their differences) and groups that appropriate feminism in their actions. Just as many environmental groups take sometimes extremist direct action but don’t automatically lead to all environmentalists being called extremists, so too feminist groups that take extreme actions or publish ‘extreme’ views should not automatically lead to all feminists being called extremists.]

That is true to an extent. Look at it this way. Americans connect to each other through political alliances because all that politics is in America is the conflict over limited resources.

Now, let me use National Socialist Germany as an example in an anology. I am sure that there were a handful of nice Germans that lived in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler. The fact that there were a handful of nice Germans living in Germany however did not detract from the responsibility that moral men and women had at the time to confront the evils of Nazism. You say that it is important to distinguish between groups that are extremist/non-extremist and I am compelled to completely agree with you. However, that is difficult when the only group conflict that is acknowledged in our country comes from claims by the radical left against the right. There is little to no examination of the left and the extremists that reside there. That must change so we are in agreement on that. Remember, extremist ideology is a perversion regardless of its origins on the right or the left. We are a country that is fixated only on the right, however.

Fiona said: [Maybe not in the USA but in many countries yes, absolutely – think of Ireland up to…oh…about 14 years ago. Think of the Philipines today. Very very often Catholicism does have that kind of access, particularly since in many countries the catholic church assumed an educational and health care provision role when there was nobody else to do so.]

Are you saying 'government' is better equipped than churches to take care of poor citizens? Since Catholic churches fed poor people and provided them healthcare they are anti-feminist? That is the argument that you are making.

Islam has connections to judicial, legislative and executive branches of government in the nation-states that it operates inside of. Catholicism could only dream of having such power and it is intellectually dishonest to heap Catholicism into the same pile as Islam. Also, just because two institutions are religions does logically allow for the critiquing of both based upon the lack of humanity derived from the first.

Adolf Hitler made the Vatican sign a surrender treaty during World War Two. The Catholic Church has never held power since the beginning of World War One. The recent church pedophile scandal has further marginalized it. The Catholic Church doesn't have the time nor the will to go after women's issues. What folks like you do is simply demonize institutions like the catholic Church simply over their stance on abortion and nothing else. So the Catholic Church doesn't like abortion, so what? Neither do most moral Americans (the majority of them). Why demonize the Catholic Church when the US government would never disgard abortion? The Catholic Church's abortion opinions don't mean anything to feminism unless Catholics take up arms to end abortion by force, which I predict won't happen because the right leader hasn't appeared to initiate it.

Fiona said: [OK a couple of things here. Firstly in terms of involuntary tools for membership you’re going to have to tell me what you mean by that. Secondly I don’t think a call for prayer can be called brainwashing. Or at least if it can be then why can’t the angelus, for example, be called brainwashing as well?]

I am an expert on political violence, terrorism and a few other disciplines related to those. There are differences between institutional traditions which are made public so that the public is not made unsuspecting when they become involved with religious organizations. Everything the Catholic Church does is public information and the Catholic Church does not force adherents to go to church. Why? Because in the Bible God is clear on that. God wants folks to go willingly to him in church. That is what separates an institution such as the Catholic Church from real cults that operate among us every day. The rules are laid down for everyone to review. It is democratic and anyone can walk away at any time.

Now a cult is different. A cult will offer certain levels of information to the public to establish positive relations with the community, but other information is restricted to the 'conditioned' membership. That is one of many factors in determining cult behavior. Islam does operate on many levels using that form of cult conditioning. For example, during the call to prayer, if an Islamic male does not show up for the mandatory prayer, they are castigated by other males in the community and by the leadership hierarchy. If the male wants to leave Islam to convert away to another religion he might as well leave the planet itself because it is a 'church crime' punishable by death. Then there are dress codes, speech codes, behavior codes, restricted sleep in training, lack of calorie intake; it is cult behavior and the resocializing away from civilization.

Does Catholicism do that? If only Catholicism supported abortion we probably wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Fiona said: [Neither does Islam.]

Ever live in Africa? I have. Are Christians circumcizing women? No. Yet it is happening. Care to take a guess at what religion is doing it? I already gave you a great hint.

Fiona said: [I’m really interested in this one – I don’t think I quite agree with you here. Certainly in many western countries women can ‘walk away from the church’ (although trust me they can’t always get abortions that easily), but the extent to which that act of voluntary disassociation is effective is variable. Take for example a country where health care is primarily governed by Catholic orders (and this is very common) – if the woman gives birth she does so usually in a Catholic hospital and usually the child is baptised/given last rites if ill when born, soemtimes children are forcibly removed from mothers and baptised (this happened to my mother only 31 years ago) etc… Then education systems are often run by the Catholic church as well, where all national school children, for example, are given religious instruction in preparation for communion, confirmation etc… This is certainly not the case in EVERY country, but my point is that it is untrue to say it is not the case in ANY country.]

I have lived in Central America as well. The Catholic Church traditionally has only done a few things in regards to populations that embrace it as a religion. It seeks to monitor and protect their welfare, providing services that government cannot provide. The Church also brings belief in God to the people.

That said, no one can be angry for the Catholic Church doing such things. The church has saved hundreds of millions of lives. There are no restraints for membership in the church on seeking medical care nor schooling. No church supported hospital will turn anyone away for medical care.

This is not an if/then statement, where IF a person is a member of the church THEN they reap the benefits of the church. That is not how the church operates. Poor means anyone. Sick means anyone.

God determines where people are born, not the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church then is simply responding to the humanitarian questions that humans must embrace as they seek to explore their own conscience and humanity. Many foreign governments cannot provide for their people and churches have always in history been used as vehicles to alleviate the suffering of the poor and distraught.

The Catholic Church does not require membership in any of the above cases. What you describe may be peer pressure by the community to belong to the church when church membership is a majority, which is similar to membership in any other institution that humans become involved (feminism being one example).

Fiona said: [Here I am obliged to remind you that ‘the West’ is not the equivalent to ‘the United States’. There are many countries, Ireland included, where abortion is illegal precisely because of the Catholic Church and they’re penetration into government and public policy.]

Ireland's policy is derived from conflict between the Protestant Church and the Catholic Church. British colonialism also played a major role in that. International leaders understand that abortion policy in Ireland would not contribute to a decline in the certain level of killing that has appeared there last century, which simply adds to my truths that abortion is a revolutionary condition that is dangerous to the nation-state. Abortion strikes to the heart of values, and when there is a conflict of values some people will take up arms.

For example, is there a conflict of values over murder in Ireland? No. The people support bringing murderers to justice.

Is there a conflict of values with rape? No, again the Irish know that bringing rapists to jail is important.

Why is there a conflict of values over abortion? Because somewhere deep inside moral men and women they understand that something isn't right about it. They know that there is not a unifying value that makes abortion lawful. They may not openly confront abortion and abortion policy, but in the backs of their minds, something that science can never explain, they know abortion is wrong and no one has to ever teach them that it is wrong. It comes from something unscientific and that means it comes from the spirit, as people know murder is wrong without having to be taught that murder is wrong. The same thing with rape.

Fiona said: [Obtestor a criticism of the Catholic church is not an accusation against every Catholic. The fact remains, however, that Catholicism relies on the repression of female sexuality in order to retain its power base. So much of catholic doctrine rests upon the ‘Virgin’ Mary and her virginity (which of course is not historically accurate) is the basis for her idolisation. Female sexuality is represented as something designed to perpetuate the human race as opposed to something belonging to the woman herself.]

The Virgin Mary story is the product of immaculate conception. God did not penetrate Mary to get her pregnant. Therefore God is telling the people to study the philosophy of penetration because there is a message there.

Think about that. Is it not desireable to marry a virgin over an individual that has had sex with many men? Of course it is. The female that has sex with many men has always been viewed historically as the prostitute. The nature of prostitution then is sex with many partners, both male and female protaganists.

In the history of the early nation-state system as it appeared, stable families were the cornerstone of the viability of the state. The family was able to fend for itself better than the individual. The family provided offspring for the state to work for the state and to defend the state when it became threatened during times of war.

The only reason why women today can break away from the traditional role that they held with the family throughout human history is because of technological advances in agriculture and a lack of outside anti-state predators.

However, always remember that men want women that are of value to them both spiritually and in family. Women that do not wish to become a part of a family or are not disciplined enough to maintain one are undersireable other than for temporary procreation purposes which to me, and I hope this doesn't offend you, is nothing more than modern day prostitution. Women claim that it is 'individuality' and 'freedom'. So be it. The healthy individual in the nation-state is that person that can find stability and relative freedom from want and need. Even today the full value of that can only be found in the family and the rest is delusional thinking. America will continue to absorb the costs of the Soviet-esque anti-family pathology until women are no longer the majority voting population and we are moved away from genderless matriarchal thinking.

Fiona said: [I would have thought it was because the Pope said so. Catholics again, of course, existing outside of the US.]

Come on. The Pope doesn't have the power that you think he does. This is not the 15th Century.

Fiona said: [I don’t recall saying that, although in some cases it is certainly a fact. I would be more of the view that the right to chose whether to have an abortion is vital for a woman’s dignity.]

Abortion is political violence. That is what abortion is. Women could choose to not participate in that political violence by simply using contraceptives and other basic sex education.

Fiona said: [I have to tell you I find this paragraph absolutely disgusting. What about the men who had unprotected sex? Wasn’t that stupid of them too? Don’t they have a responsibility? What about the women who didn’t chose to have unprotected sex and the men who forced that situation upon them? What about the fact that maybe the number of abortions in the US says something about US society and gender relations much more than it does about ‘women behaving badly’?? You wonder about why I described you as a misogynist – this paragraph is it.]

No one pays a higher price for unprotected sex than men do in the west. If a woman who has unprotected sex with a man chooses to have a child, she has the child. If the woman chooses to kill the child via abortion, the man has no input. The man has no input in either breeding decision.

Now tell me how are men to blame for that? Women have stolen all breeding decisions away from men. Also, men do not force women to have unprotected sex. Forced sex is rape. So the act of sex between a man and a woman that does not involve the use of contraceptives is only consentual up until the point that the male ejaculates. From that point, all decisions regarding the act became totalitarian against men whereby men have had their their constitutional rights relinquished.

Is it any wonder that men do not marry anymore and are simply moving about in what can only be described as a national movement of voluntary prostitution?

That is not misogynist. It is merely explaining truths about modern feminism.

Fiona said: [I’ve heard this reasoning with interest before and generally speaking as abortion is such an emotive issue people don’t change their minds. I therefore wont speak to your reasoning here as from your perspective it’s flawless and you cant debate someone’s value judgment. You might be interested to find out the reasoning of the Polish League of Families when Women on the Waves visited Warsaw about three years ago – they called abortion a Nazi plot to destroy the rest of the Polish population.]

It doesn't matter who you talk to about abortion, Fiona. They are either for it or they are not and there is no middle ground. That is why it is dangerous for national security.

Fiona said: [It could also be that they find the idea of a right to posterity, which has a necessary corrollory of objectifying women as the means to that posterity and nothing more, as morally reprehensible and dangerous.]

The communists had to start attacking our constitution and the preamble was the key to subvert the rest. The family has always been America's strength. Genderless subversions will be its downfall.

Fiona said: [I really don’t understand this – condoms are ‘male birth control’?]

No, there is a 'male pill' in development. It reduces male sperm counts to an absolute zero. It is along the lines of the same strategic thinking as the female pill. When that pill hits market, men will no longer marry and will no longer have children, or at a minimum will have major input into child-bearing decisions again, a situation they were stripped of when abortion was thrust upon the people without their consent. It will be the ultra contraceptive and the sheer numbers of childless women will increase exponentially across the United States and eventually all US populations will be replaced by populations from south of the US border, which is what gender feminists want anyway.

I am pro-male pill simply for one reason. Men get raped in divorce/family courts. The male pill will save them from that cultural terrorism and political violence.

Fiona said: [By too much you appear to mean a proportionate amount – if women are the majority voting population they have a power base proportionate to that, how can this be “too much”?]

When American voting populations expressed power in history, the courts and government still represented harmed minority populations very well. That is not occurring with the minority male population in America. The minority male population is treated with scorn and vindictiveness in America. The male populations are continuously dehumanized by feminism and its institutions of majority.

So as woman capitalize on their majority voting power, they are not relinquishing certain levels of power to the minority population of men and are instead using their majority power to harm men. That is what it means.

Obtestor

8/18/2005 12:51 PM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Fiona, here is a good example of feminists not relinquishing political power to balance minority power (male power).

The renewal of the VAWA is coming up. That means $billions of US tax dollars for women's groups that are involved in domestic violence issues.

Not one penny of that money if VAWA gets renewed will go to male victims of domestic violence.

Since men and women commit domestic violence, it is clear that the majority voting population (women) is expressing abnormal levels of political power in the nation-state, whereby the renewal of the VAWA is certainly payback for candidate loyalty while men receive nothing.

Obtestor

8/18/2005 9:53 PM  
Blogger F said...

*sigh*

this debate is going nowhere
I spent much of the last twenty minutes shaking my head at your responses and wondering how two people who seem to have a fairly similar educational and religious background could be so different.

Game over. It's a draw. And D'Amato has posted a second installment...

Fiona

8/19/2005 4:07 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

Fiona,

Don't you dare quit on me lol. Get back here. I know that it can be tough to take a few steps back and peer into deteriorations in a system that is supposed to protect everyone.

There isn't a single day that goes by where I don't bow my head in shame at the legislative and judicial fiascos that are appearing in our country.

If we can't identify these issues together, they become festering sores upon the soul of the nation and revolutionary preconditions.

So skipping everything but the last topic, how is the VAWA constitutional law when male victims of domestic violence do not get a single penny of the $billions allocated to the majority voting population of women?

Obtestor

8/19/2005 10:36 AM  
Blogger D'Amato said...

BionOc said "Oh come *on*, D'Amato. Since when does recycling the plot of a Lifetime Original Movie of the Week (undoubtedly starring Meredith Baxter-Birney as the poor Western woman, independent and modern but with a fatal romantic streak, swept off her feet by a handsome Arab only to find him Turned To A Tyrant and herself a Virtual Prisoner in Riyadh! Where is the man she fell in love with™?) count as thoughtful cultural criticism?"

They got that plot from of one of my clients who told them her story. My client provided the plot, you're the one who's recycling it.

-- D'Amato

8/19/2005 10:44 PM  
Blogger F said...

Nope - I fold - but we live to debate another day.
As for VAWA - listen, as I have already said a number of times, I'm not American, I don't know about it and I won't pretend to!!!

Now...am off to read comments to the second installment!

8/22/2005 5:51 AM  
Blogger Antiluminous said...

[As for VAWA - listen, as I have already said a number of times, I'm not American, I don't know about it and I won't pretend to!!!]

You have got to be joking! You mean to tell me that you have a computer but can't type VAWA or The Violence Against Women Act into Google to look it up?

That is the problem with this new gender fascism in the west. Deny, deny, deny.

For women to deny the existence of, or deny the importance of the VAWA is no different than the Nazi SS denying the existence of Berkenau.

Here, let me post an article written by a female that you can read so you don't think a sub-human (all men) like me is trying to pull your leg.

Quote:---------------------------

Sunday, August 21, 2005
Biased VAWA Pushes Gender Supremacy

The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for reauthorization in 2005. VAWA funds billions of taxpayer dollars to combat violence against women, principally domestic violence (DV). The definition of DV touted by victim advocates runs the gamut from jokes and insults to murder, with "power and control" being the overriding characteristic of the man's behavior towards the woman. Real violence is rarely at issue.

When women commit violence against men, VAWA and the DV industry go AWOL. Despite the federal government's own statistics showing nearly 40 per cent of domestic violence victims are men, VAWA persists in its monolithic response.

In the same way that some minority groups argue they cannot be racist because they aren't in power in society, gender feminists contend women cannot commit DV because they can't assert power and control over men. Any violence committed by women is, by definition, either de minimus (it could not possibly have hurt him), or self-defense (SHE is the victim of HIS abuse).

All interactions between partners are subject to this twisted logic. When the relationship sours, the woman has an easy out: "I am a victim of domestic violence and can do no wrong." VAWA supports and maintains female supremacy. It should be re-titled Victory Assured for Women Act.

VAWA's gender bias permeates law enforcement response to domestic conflict. All it takes is a woman calling 911 to summon three squad cars, teeming with police officers eager to carry out today's "tough" domestic violence laws. The centerpiece of the system is "mandatory arrest." Every domestic disturbance call must result in arrest, usually the man.

Domestic violence is whatever the man does that the woman doesn't like. Declaring he is going to file for custody of the children is a "threat." Finding out she is having an affair and demanding she stop is "abuse." Unknown to most men, such interchanges often precipitate false charges of DV. In my 17 years as a family law attorney, I have seen this pattern occur over and over.

Even when the facts clearly show the man is not an abuser (and perhaps the woman is), prosecutors refuse to drop charges. "No-drop" policies are a great publicity tool, and a way to ensure more funding. Charges that would never see the light of day if they happened between strangers on the street (accidentally bumping against someone when walking by), are routinely charged as DV "assault." (But only if the man does it to the woman; a man can be bleeding from a head wound and he won't be considered a victim).

Indiscriminate charging clogs the system with minor transgressions, yet ensures a steady stream of cases justifying more taxpayer money at budget time.

Both spouses are usually at fault when a marriage ends. Many women have discovered a surefire antidote against taking any responsibility: playing the domestic violence victim. While the husband is reading the newspaper and relaxing after work, the wife is contacting the domestic violence hotline, getting step-by-step instructions on what to say: "His abuse is escalating," "I'm fearful for my safety."

VAWA funds battered women's shelters and their misandrist staff, always ready to welcome another customer for their anti-male, anti-father and anti-family agenda. Ask a victim advocate what causes domestic violence, and she will immediately blame our "patriarchal society," ensuring that only men get the blame. One might ask what causes women to abuse children. Presumably, the patriarchy by proxy. VAWA gives short shrift to child abuse, which is most often committed by women. Indeed, VAWA earmarks a paltry $7000 per year to develop home visitation projects to look for signs of child abuse or neglect.

To assure victory in the divorce/custody case, the woman claims the man is an abuser, no matter how good a husband and father he is. Whatever wrongs he has committed, from leaving the toilet seat up to not making enough money, failure of the marriage is his fault. "No-fault" divorce laws really mean "no fault unless it's the man's fault." In other words, the Oprahization of family law.

What we really have is MAWA: Men Annoying Women Act. The man is either a relentless abuser or a hopeless wimp. Any modern man not terrified of being in a relationship with a woman has not been paying attention.

The government seems unable to define gender bias except as "bias against women." Title IX forces college sports programs to spend equal amounts of money on men's and women's sports, despite the fact that the vast majority of athletes are men. Even though 1/3 of domestic violence murder victims are male, not one dime of VAWA's largesse is devoted to prevention of violence against men.

Men are far more likely than women to be victims of violence overall, yet there's no Violence Against Men Act. Men also comprise nearly all workplace injuries and deaths, but try to find a Male Workplace Injury Prevention Act.

VAWA is not about stopping violence. It is about greedy special interests slopping at the federal trough, perpetuating gender supremacy for women. If proponents were truly concerned about helping victims, they would demand that all intervention and funding be gender neutral and gender inclusive.

The existence of male victims threatens gender feminists because it knocks the underpinnings out of their theory, that the "patriarchy" causes men to abuse women. The DV industry has succeeded in creating the "victimarchy." With VAWA in their corner, women win no matter what: victim or abuser, they can do no wrong.

Lisa Scott

--Lisa Scott is a Bellevue, Washington attorney practicing in the areas of family law, divorce and domestic violence. She is also a founding member of TABS, Taking Action against Bias in the System, www.tabs.org

----------------------------------

There, you are reading it from a female attorney as she explains the new master gender fascism sweeping the globe although it is clear that she is resisting that new fascism and I am proud of her.

Obtestor

8/22/2005 3:52 PM  
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