A case for the women’s party



One party two names

The political party running the show in the United States reminds of the Mel Brooks’ 1981 film History of the World: Part I where the character quips about Christians: “They are so poor… that they only have one God!

In the US, although there are two main political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, they act like Siamese twins on major issues such as waging wars against other countries; helping enhance extreme wealth inequality; rampant corruption; selling extensive arms and ammunition worldwide; increase in privatization; permitting only 3 people to amass wealth equivalent to the wealth of the bottom 50% population (over 160 million people); allowing huge mass of people to rote in prisons, including a much higher proportion of blacks and Latinos; mind boggling defense spending (almost 90% of the US Senate members gave $700 billion to President Donald Trump – more than what he had asked for); and so on.

Breaking the status quo

The persecuted ones, the minorities, and women try to have a voice to correct this unjust situation. Some individuals use fiction to convey and spread their message. One such example is that of the female Muslim writer from the South Asian Subcontinent Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain.

Over a century ago, in 1905, when the British ruled the subcontinent Sakhawat wrote a story called “Sultana’s Dream.” In the story, the writer dreams of being taken to the “Ladyland” which is “free from sin and harm,” where “virtue” rules, and men are put “‘in their proper places, where they ought to be,'” that is, behind the four walls where they take care of children, kitchen, and house chores. Ladyland used solar energy and was environment friendly.

The South Asian Subcontinent, instead of becoming Ladyland, is now an environmental nightmare. It is turning into a Godland where Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist extremists are hell bent on imposing their ideologies on everyone through violent means.

The United States is a country where women do stand a chance to come to power in the wake of recent events.

Everyday a new fall

Autumn of 2017 in the United States has seen more men than ever falling from grace. There is a saying in South Asia: LohA garam hai mAr do hathodA meaning: the iron is hot, hit it with hammer.

In the prevailing political and social environment, the time is most ripe for a third party: a party of women.

Many women in the US, victims of sexual harassment and non-victims alike, are rightly hurt and angered at the power men exert over their lives. The current frenzy of accusations remind of “McCarthy era” of “reckless lumping together of flicks of the tongue and forcible rapes into the single broad-brush term ‘sexual misconduct'” as William Kaufman put it.

It is not that there are no other parties besides the two dominant ones, but they are not financially powerful enough to compete against the big two.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are needed to fight elections and to keep the US “democracy” alive. Some candidates from small parties and others as independent have run for presidential elections.

One of these, is Ralph Nader, a political activist and author, who ran for president several times. But in 2020, sensing the futility of running against the moneyed class, he has asked “very rich modestly enlightened people,” 20 billionaires, to run for the 2020 election. At least, Nader didn’t include the dangerous Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook whose actions reveal that he is planning to run in 2020.

Third party success

The way these days almost every day some man is accused of sexual misconduct, it seems there won’t be men left to run for president, fill the Congress, anchor the news, host the Oscars …

So by default, women can take over the power. This is the right time for women to take advantage of the prevailing sympathy and get together with like-minded men and form a party that basically concentrates on women’s issues but also addresses other problems like income inequality, incarceration, etc. and inculcates values that are traditionally attributed to the feminine gender.

Some countries do have exclusive women’s parties. This party should be open to male membership too but the central aim should be to promote the welfare of women and the under privileged. This party should stay away from women like Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Sarah Palin, etc.

It would be great if the women’s party is formed; and is able to capture at least 20% of the seats in the Congress. This would break the duopoly, and force those parties to seek a coalition with the women’s party. The woman’s party can then have its demands accepted by the coalition partner as a pre-condition.

This party may not be an ideal solution. But then again, one has to initiate somewhere. Women have the opportunity to utilize the moment; and they should. Carpe Diem.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at brgowani@hotmail.com

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