09 March 2011

IWD - a day late and a dollar short

Yesterday was International Women's Day, and my husband managed to piss me right off by doing what I perceived to be minimizing the effect of sexism in our society. He's a hardcore socialist, and fully believes that it is entirely capitalism that causes virtually every problem that women have, because men have commodified us due to rampant capitalism. Interesting thought.

Anyway, I was getting good and mad at him for constantly talking about how it's the poor that have problems, not women, all the while admitting that women are poor more often than men. I shot back, "Right. Because rich women never get raped or beaten." Ha. Take that, Mr. FCS! (He said something about that not being relevant to a discussion of glass ceilings - I think it's the very point. If women are things to be dominated, what difference is there between physical terror domination and systemic economic domination). Which reminds me, do any of you have stats on rape in socialist countries like Sweden or Norway? He's betting they'll be lower than here or the US. I'm betting no difference.

Mr. FCS readily admits that women have it worse than men in all areas of society. He thinks this is men's fault. He also thinks this is entirely capitalistic. However, he also thinks that the poor have it worse than women in terms of ever getting ahead. I don't think these things can be separated. We agreed finally on the statement: Our system is set up to fuck everyone but ruthless, privileged, white men.

So what do you think? Does capitalism cause more feminist problems due to making women a commodity? How about the issue of ruthlessness? If people striving for the top of our economic system have to use and abuse people to get there, is it any wonder that women, who are already objectified in the media, are pushed aside?

(Any misrepresentation of Mr. FCS's opinions is totally his fault for making me incoherently furious yesterday)


fern hill said...

Your parenthetical remark made me LOL.

Interesting question. And probably hard to answer because different countries define rape, sexual assault and so on differently.

Quick search got me this. I have no idea how reliable it is.

South Africa is by far the worst, but then there are no stats for Congo.

I was surprised to see Canada so high, above the US even.

Luna said...

Thanks Fern. I suspect that Canada is so high because our cops, as bad as they are, aren't as bad as they are elsewhere, so women here are far more likely to report. These are crime stats, after all. I mean, Saudi Arabia is last, so...

Actually, with what I'm hearing about Assange and rape prosecution in Sweden, I suspect that women just don't bother to report it that often, and when they do, it's not prosecuted.

Ignorance said...

According to this article, rape seems far more prevalent in Sweden than in other countries:

That's a very big and nasty surprise to me, at least.

Anyway, Sweden is not much of a example of a socialist country right now, since they have had a conservative government for over four years now. The Norwegian government and the Finnish government are more to the left.