Appeasing China, News Item

Zero Tolerance On Feminism’s Selective Outrage

State Department February 14, 2012


Whenever America’s banker flies into DC there’s a scramble to the wardrobes by the folks on the hill  to find a suitably complimentary color, a clear leader in this obsequious race is Hillary Clinton, whose eye for an outfit  never fails to impress. As China’s Vice President Xi Jinping  met with U.S. Secretary of State for a luncheon yesterday Hillary was resplendent in a eye-watering red jacket. Politics and low fashion collided in an effort to make China’s next President feel right at home, and what better way than to be dressed in the color so appreciated by the Chinese Communist Party. Officials at the State Department appear to have been busy getting up to speed with China’s favored decorations for such occasions, which usually involve masses of artificial or natural flowers in various combinations of red and yellow. This charming combination had clearly not escaped the attention of covert operations who dutifully briefed staff at the Department on which color scheme would send the right psycho-graphic message to Mr Jinping, which no doubt explains the various items and shades which dominate in the photograph above!

It’s a stressful few days for Hillary, apart from the priority of having to fawn over the Chinese delegation and attend to the seemingly endless guest list of corporate heads all seeking a chance of grovelling before Xi Jinping, watched over by that éminence grise of US-China relations, Henry Kissinger, she is scheduled on Thursday February 16 to present the opening address at a conference to commemorate the Ninth Anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Organized by the State Department and held at the aesthetically pleasing surroundings of Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room, it is an important event highlighting a troubling violation of human rights. A number of prominent guest will also be giving speeches, following presentations by Joe Crowley and Hillary’s go to lady, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer. These include, Molly Melching, Founder and Director of the non-governmental organization Tostan; Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America; Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, General Manager of the German non-governmental organization Association for Crisis Assistance and Development Co-operation (WADI); Nafissatou J. Diop Director of the United Nations Population Fund and United Nations International Children’s Fund Joint Programme on FGM/C; and Zeinab Eyega, Executive Director of the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women.

Anyone concerned with women’s human rights will of course welcome this meeting and its objectives in terms of ending the practice of FGM and raising awareness of this harrowing subject, that it has established an international day of opposition reflects the degree of concern and political importance it has attracted, commanding the supported by Hillary and her Department. Of course Secretary Clinton is no stranger to issues of women’s human rights, and has on occasion spoken out on that equally disturbing issue, China’s policy of forcible sterilizations, on one memorable occasion, prior to the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing.


Apart however from such isolated criticisms a veil of silence and indifference surrounds the subject of China’s medical atrocities, this contrasts markedly with the response to female genital mutilation, to which feminists. women’s NGOs and bodies such as the United Nations Fund for Population and United Nations Commission On The Status of Women are rightly opposed. It is a vicious disfigurement and abuse of a woman’s freedom of control over her own cut that area of female anatomy for the purposes of cultural practice has attracted concerted and fierce opposition.

What is disappointing is that the same people (including invited speakers at the  International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation) are utterly silent on China’s mass programs of forced sterilizations. Yet, is the slicing open of a woman against her will, forcibly sterilized through such ‘surgery’, any less barbarous than the practice of FGM? Clearly not as both constitute a violent abuse of women’s human rights. Yet the influential and agitated voices of condemnation on female genital mutilation, many of who will be attending the meeting, maintain a cold hearted silence on the countless numbers of women forcibly sterilized by China.

While we congratulate Ms Clinton for her championing of human rights and support this event, its moral   integrity is demeaned by the worrying absence of an equivalent day of action against China’s program of forced sterilizations. How about it Hillary? Will the State Department organize an International Day of Zero Tolerance to China’s Forced Sterilizations?


Shameful Silence And Complicity Of The CSW


Tibettruth offers on-line campaigns, news and factual information on a range of human rights themes. Prominent among these is communist China’s treatment of women and in particular its coercive population control program, which as is now well known grossly violates the principle of freedom of choice and a woman’s right to control over her own body. In occupied Tibet, East Turkestan and communist China women are denied these freedoms and subject to the dictate of a regime that inflicts a series of draconian penalties; including financial/mental/physical coercion, including forced sterilizations. The extent and nature of these abuses is staggering, yet what is equally alarming is the uncaring reaction of the Commission On The Status Of Women and its NGO Committee. One can only imagine the reaction if women in Germany were subject to a population progam that witnessed women dragged from their home,  beaten, tied to a medical slab and forcibly sterilised.  There would be riots on the streets and rightly so!

Such barbarity is a central element in China’s population programme and has traumatised countless women across the communist Chinese Empire and yet all we have from the Commission on the Status of Women and its NGO Committee is silence. How can any balanced and intelligent feminist claim to be genuinely concerned about human rights, and yet ignore or deny the plight of women subject to this brutality? Following fifteen years (since the Beijing Declaration of 1995) of in-action and fudging from the CSW it seems we dealing, not with a lack-of-evidence, but a singular lack of compassion and integrity.

True, it is an appalling subject and perhaps too horrific for some, understandable psychology to pretend its not happening, although such denial could be argued to be ethically troubling.  For others it would appear that reducing global population levels is worth any price, including human rights violations (even the devastated lives of our sisters in Tibet, East Turkestan and Communist China). Others among may hold all things communist/socialist in fond regard and so shunt any inconvenient or odious manifestations of that dogma into a siding far away from any prying conscience. It appears very easy for some to be driven by their chosen world-view to the exclusion of facts, particularly those which may destabilise a perspective that places economic, educational rights above other equally important freedoms. Surely all are equal and interdependent?

Whatever the reasoning,  this issue lies at the core of feminist ideology, touching, as it does, on a woman’s rights to freedom-of-choice and control over her own our own body. Such fundamental freedoms do not exist under communist Chinese rule, the state’s needs are seen as greater than those of the individual. It’s fifteen years since delegates arrived in Beijing for the UN Conference fuelled by the noble vision of furthering women’s rights. During that time the systematic abuse against women has continued, making a mockery of the recommendations and agreements of the Platform-for-Action and Beijing Declaration. We were assured that involvement in the Beijing Conference would help moderate the grim excesses of China’s totalitarian machine and improve the plight of women. As was predicted by those organisations which boycotted the event, the violations resulting from the program have remain; forced sterilisations, torture, arbitrary arrests, forced abortions, and infanticide.

Yet however abhorrent this harrowing human rights record may be, what is equally offensive is the cold-blooded indifference which has greeted this issue. In keeping a shameful silence on the plight of Muslim-Uighur, Tibetan and Chinese women, those who are aware of this major violation of women’s rights are concealing these atrocities. The Commission on the Status of Women (and its associated NGO Committee) have consistently ignored and avoided this issue, and  refused to campaign in support of their sisters traumatized by the harrowing violence of China’s program of forced sterilizations. The traumatised women of  East Turkestan, Tibet and communist China have little to thank them for, and no reason to celebrate the forthcoming International Women’s Day.

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