What Obama wants from American feminists is peace and quiet, a pre-Betty Friedan yesteryear , the 1950’s and early 60’s, when women were decorous and undemanding. He yearns for the days when men called women “girls” and “girls”shopped at colleges for husbands ; a return to the days of hoop skirts, heterosexual puppy love and women’s work, Jackie O and Jack. No troubles. No choices.
For Obama’s corporate sponsors The 2008 presidential election was the first battle for post-feminist America, a return to conformity, domestic contentment and lowered female expectations. Women’s existential claims for human rights must be swept away in the new, pragmatic geopolitical, globalized order. In third world countries, invisible women will provide cheap goods from field and factory. In the first world, women buy those cheap goods and feel contentment.
Women must adjust downwards, to the lower tiers of the labor market and do what suits them best, behaving as caretakers and consumers. This reassessment closely resembles the downshift of women’s rights and new-found freedoms after WWII, when Rosie the Riveter was required to return to the hearth and the secretarial pool to make way for returning veterans. Women went home and bought things that men produced: refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cribs, and put their ambitions on the backs of their men.
In many ways, the corporate answer for women’s aspirations dovetail neatly with the new national party agendas, both Democratic and Republican. For the Democrats, it spells an end to fractious individualism, civil rights, Mr. Moms, and bleeding hearts, a pious embrace of traditional roles to quiet the body politic and gain new members on the right who oppose the causes of feminism and sexual freedom. The Republicans have already claimed that territory and intend to defend it, taking neither offense nor notice of the women’s(oppression) issues.
The 2 minute “women’s issue” portion of Obama’s Cairo speech was a call to inaction. Let us, he implied to women listening in the West, agree that life for women is imperfect everywhere but the differences among us, these perceived injustices against women are merely minor failures of understanding and acceptance, as simple as a head scarf. Yes, Western women, no great representatives of equality themselves, must adapt to foreign views of moral virtue, unabashed inequality and oppression because globalized societies require standardization and uniformity, conformity and obedience. We must find common ground, he repeats, with those we oppose, on reproductive choices, male dominance, women’s inferior status. He will cobble us together, like it or not. If Westerners oppose the oppressive symbolism of the hijab, Obama won’t stand for it. He warns
“The U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.” Only women must make accommodation with subservience. See, that prick says,even Hillary, the real president, gets it.
On the other hand men must make a concession in return: women must be allowed to get some education. But this will not be all bad. Men will find that the remuneration of women’s work will benefit them with a more prosperous society without putting their female chattel beyond their control. With just a few no-cost public behavioral adjustments toward their women to placate the West and men in the Middle East may be welcomed into the family of nations without interference, just as Saudi Arabia and Egypt are accepted. Obama called for
expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.
Does he mean like this?
Shakti rural women’s empowerment is win-win partnership for women, consumers and Indian company
Shakti (“strength”) is a women’s empowerment initiative begun in 2001 by an Indian consumer products corporation, Hindustan Lever, which is creating micro-enterprise opportunities for rural women and thereby improving their livelihoods and status and improving the standard of living in rural communities as well as benefiting the company. The program targets small villages with population of less than 2000 people.
Shakti provides critically needed additional income to poor rural women and their families, by working with self-help groups to equip and train women to become an extended arm of the company’s operation. Started in 2001, Shakti now operates in about 80,000 villages in 15 states, covering about 15 million rural people, and has the support of state governments and a number of NGOs. HLL hopes that by 2010, there will be 1,000,000 Shakti entrepreneurs covering 5,000,000 villages, and touching the lives of 600 million rural people.
Hindustan Lever Limited, Hindustan Lever House, 165/166, Backbay Reclamation, Mumbai–400020, Maharashtra, India.
And they don’t have to leave the hearth to do it. Obama said
I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles.
And suppose they choose NOT to live “traditional” lives? Is there an option?