“Women’s rights are human rights”: Discussion

There has been some discussion in the media recently of the idea of “women’s rights are human rights.”

At MIM we have criticized the humyn rights movement for decades. I belonged to Amnesty International and did its campaign work for my first year in politics; yet, I quickly decided that having a path to a better future is more important than vague moral concepts.

The Buddhists, New-Agers and Rawlsian Liberals believe there is a way to create a moral interaction among individuals without analysis or knowledge of the overall community. We followers of Marx believe that science and hence analysis plays an active role in what others refer to as “moral reasoning.” We Marxists say it makes a difference what people know of the factual world, as we said in “Factual knowledge and Caveman Rawlsians.” Rawls and others have argued that action is moral or not regardless of its consequences; hence, if we know that a set of actions we take will result in people being run over in a car and dying 999 out of 1000 times of that action being taken, we need not evaluate that “consequence” before we take moral action. Drink and drive!

The incidents of sexual torture in Abu Ghraib supported the idea of “women’s rights are human rights,” because they showed that what we would not want done to females, we also would not want done to males. Then one can question how much one specifically needs female rights as opposed to humyn rights.

Such an approach might lead scientists toward what we call “two-strand reductionism,” where there is only class and nation and gender gets included as “humyn rights.” This won’t be a question for the moralists who do not do analysis, but it is for us who have specified what gender is as a strand of analysis.

“Women’s rights are human rights” might seem to be a broad-based attack on gender roles too. One can either exclude some things men do as not rising to a question of “humyn rights” or one can attack gender roles across-the-board with “women’s rights are human rights.”

The trouble for us scientists is that it might not be a simple matter to say that societies which maintain gender roles have worse humyn rights situations than those that attack gender roles. Romance-culture related murder rates may well be higher in societies that seem to have less gender role rigidity on some questions. There is always a six-of-one-half-dozen-of-another question in patriarchy. Lately the most frequent error is missionary pseudo-feminism being used to justify wars on the Third World.

The concept of “human rights” also does not take into account the passage of time. In 1910, a lynching-based infiltration gambit would have had progressive content, because the United $tates did not have consideration of Henry Park or someone like Barack Obama for higher office. It would have been a mistake with revealing after-effects, but only because lynching was the norm. So in that context even just discussing that there might have been a mistake would have been important. Yet already by 1988 we already had the Willie Horton standard by which the media condemned the use of certain myths and we also had the election of a Black governor by then; therefore, the struggle against the current lynching is not a path-breaker, but rather a follow-up struggle. That’s even leaving aside the idiocy of the people volunteering to be in hock to a system like the Obamautons have volunteered when we need proletarian offensive political work, not just more cogs in the machine. The “humyn rights” concept being non-analytical it is timeless and not helpful to looking at the question of oppressed nationality careers in the United $tates in 1910 versus 2010.

At MIM, we voted to oppose chucking gender as a unit of analysis. We decided we need three strands–nation, class and gender. Putting gender into “humyn rights” might have the effect of going to two strands of analysis or opposing analysis in general. At MIM, we do not push for a humyn rights movement in general, so the slogan “women’s rights are human rights” does not affect us one way or another.

1. e.g., http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/style/rights-activist-charlotte-bunch-unifies-womens-voices-at-united-nations



One Response to ““Women’s rights are human rights”: Discussion”

  1. “Workers’ rights are humyn rights: Discussion” « Mimdefense’s Weblog Says:

    […] is a poster saying “Workers’ rights are humyn rights.” It may be a response to a post of ours that is the most popular right now or the UN discussion of wimmin’s […]

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