The connection between feminism and democracy is long established. John Stuart Mill wrote about equal rights for women as a necessary condition for liberty and prosperity. Many of the leaders of the American Abolitionist movement and the organized labor movement in the 19th century were women. The leader of the democracy movement in Burma (admittedly not a Muslim country but that isn't really the point) is a woman. Benazir Bhutto has become a kind of martyr for democracy in Pakistan. Now it is women who are taking the lead - and the brunt of the violent response - in Iran.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Muslim theocracies and fascist dictatorships from Burma to the Pushtun tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghan border to Iran to Saudi Arabia have in common their oppression of women. The sight of thousands of educated, women, defiant and demanding to be heard in Tehran must have Muslim fundamentalists and other tyrants from the Straights of Malacca to the Maghrib shaking in their kaftans.
Feminism is probably our best bet for checking the popularity of Al Qaeda and related ideological movements. While I think the US should tred carefully in the short term with regards to Iran, we should make the liberation of women a major strategic priority in our foreign policy.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 1:34 PM