The economic subjugation of women knows no bounds. Against the backdrop of the fascists in Russia’s sexist anti-gay laws and another rape causing outrage in New Delhi, the “cutters” in Kenya are women who specialize in female genital mutilation. They use a razor blade or an old nail to cut the clitoris from a naked young girl sitting on a rock and toss it to feed the birds. They are now worried about how they’re going to eat. The fact that they earn their living by mutilating young girls isn’t their concern. That’s capitalism for you. It creates a conflict where one shouldn’t be.
It is wrong to remove the sex organ from a young girl. It is sexist and barbaric. Yet, the need to buy and earn money is primary. The brutalization of women is an aspect of reactionary movements like the Taliban and a fundamental aspect of sex tourism in places like the Philippines and Thailand. Exploitative and brutal aspects of Beauty, virginity, and honor are used to objectify and subjugate women. Honor killings are common in Afghanistan and were legitimized rape in a court in India. The sexual exploitation of women is a cornerstone of capitalism. Women are exploited as part of advertising, have the value of their labor devalued by the wage system, and outright stolen when it comes to child rearing.
The sheer brutality of the Taliban and Islamic, Christian, and other religious based ideologies is the hammer that falls on women. The characteristics of the socially constructed female gender are calibrated to inculcate passivity, remove enjoyment, and enslave the female sex to the need to produce the next generation of workers. Women are brutalized by their gender and their race. They are the first victims in war as rape is a constant weapon used against them as civilians and in the US military with over 25,000 sexual assaults in 2012 alone. They are sold by US allies such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia and are silenced by legislation from the US backed puppet government in Afghanistan.
We should have the same sympathy for cutters as we do for pimps and drug dealers whose need to enrich themselves does not absolve them from the pain and misery they cause their victims. The parasites should be exterminated. Let the cutters be cut out of history. They deserve none of our sympathy. They suffer like the rest of the women, but they get a bit more of an income due to their barbaric practice of mutilating young girls. Capitalist imperialists are the real enemy. Only under capitalism would the economic plight of the cutters elicit any sympathy. Only under such a rotten and totalizing false consciousness would well-meaning anthropologists and other social scientists defend the practice of female genital mutilation as a cultural expression and our attempts to condemn it and stop it as cultural imperialism. Capitalism uses its sick rationalization to make wrong right and right wrong.
Only a Communist revolution will negate sexism, gender, and all of the rotten and absurd ideologies of capitalism. We applaud the young girls, women, and men who are organizing to stop this barbaric practice, as anything that can lessen the burden of brutality that the female gender feels is a good thing. But, PLP is very clear when we say that ending female genital mutilation, sexism, and exploitative and divisive gender roles and identities will require a negation of false consciousness and culture that will only happen under Communism.
Update on Michoacán
The vigilante uprising has been placed under the control of the state and is driving out the cartel. They still serve as an inspiration, but they are becoming, if not already have been, co-opted by the state.
Bosnian Spring or Western Meddling?
The very real anger that the working class is feeling in Bosnia at the capitalist restoration and rollback of socialism and any working class gains has been a nightmare for the workers there. It is inspiring that workers are attacking the politicians’ cars, homes, the presidential palace, and government buildings leaving smoldering husks of the former symbols of wealth. Uprisings against the bosses and the state apparatus are always inspiring. PLP is wary about the fact that bourgeois media is already labeling this a “blah blah” spring. This time it’s the Bosnia spring and last time it was the Arab Spring. Just as the last Spring did not lead to working class liberation, neither will this, even if it is the genuine expression of working class struggle and solidarity, without Communist politics at the core, the protests will eventually be co-opted by one camp of capitalists or another.