Ban Sarkozy, not the burqa
Posted by Leonie, June 23rd, 2009 - under Alienation, Burqa, Capitalism, Class struggle, Classes, Feminism, France, Islam, Oppression, Resistance, Sarkozy, Women workers, Women's liberation, Women's oppression.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to ban women wearing the burqa in France.
This is a racist attack by the State on Muslim women and will only embolden reactionaries to physically abuse them.
It is designed to divert attention away from the Great Recession, a recession the World Bank now says will worsen more than predicted (sound familiar?) in the coming months.
Sarkozy will massively cut social spending, jobs and living standards, as he is already trying to do.
As a smokescreen, he is attacking Muslim women in the name of liberating them. This would be a sick joke if it weren’t serious.
Many on the French Left will unfortunately support this move in the mistaken belief that it reinforces secularism. If this is secularism I want no part of it.
But of course it is not about secularism, or releasing women from the prison of the burqa. It is the exact opposite.
It is about imprisoning women in Sarkozy’s stereotype of liberation, a liberation into wage slavery and oppression under capitalism for women.
It is about scapegoating, creating the conditions for renewed attacks on blacks, muslims and jews in France.
Sarkozy’s hope is that working people will move away from industrial action against his policies (especially as his attacks become more brutal) to blaming minorities for their problems, problems like underfunded schools and hospitals, rising unemployment and falling living standards.
The mood among some sections of the French working class is combative as 3 general strikes recently show.
Sarkozy fears the working class spark that could destroy him and his regime. The ‘other’ distracts attention from the class struggle.
Sarkozy’s proposed ban on the burqa is ‘liberation’ from above, and as Iraq and Afghanistan show, that is never successful. Sarkozy is the Bush of the burqa.
Women’s liberation can only come about through struggle. That struggle, within the confines of capitalism, cannot defeat the systemic drivers for oppression. It can at best only lessen the effects of oppression.
Carla Bruni is oppressed (although she benefits as a ruling class women from the exploitation of working women). Her stereotypical ‘beauty’ and career as a model show she is as imprisoned by the system as are her sisters in their burqas.
Only a fully fledged revolution which overturns the very system that creates oppression can in the end defeat that oppression. Any such struggle will involve the women workers of France – white, black, Christian, Jew, Muslim – against Sarkozy, not with him.