Les dames d’abord, les femmes en dernier

NEW YORK – Beaucoup de personnes pensent encore aujourd’hui que les attentats du 11 septembre 2001 n’étaient pas seulement des actes de terrorisme politique, mais également l’expression d’une guerre culturelle, d’un choc des civilisations. Les deux sujets qui exacerbent les tensions dans les conflits culturels sont la religion et le sexe, et en particulier la manière dont les hommes traitent les femmes. Les deux sujets sont bien sûr étroitement liés : la religion est régulièrement utilisée pour codifier le comportement sexuel et les relations entre les sexes.

L’interprétation culturelle du 11 septembre comme choc des civilisations explique pourquoi un certain nombre de personnalités de gauche se sont ralliées aux conservateurs dans leur hostilité envers l’islam. Auparavant, la plupart des sympathisants de gauche aux Etats-Unis aurait considéré la guerre en Afghanistan comme une aventure néo-impérialiste. Mais depuis le 11 septembre, le ton a changé. Les talibans asservissent les femmes, leur refusent une éducation et les obligent à porter la burqa. C’est ainsi qu’une guerre contre les talibans et leur protégé, Oussama ben Laden, a pu être présentée comme une guerre de libération de la femme.

Il est en fait peu probable que le féminisme ait joué le moindre rôle dans la décision prise par le président George W. Bush de faire entrer les Etats-Unis en guerre. Mais les clivages culturels lui ont permis de recruter un nombre non négligeable d’alliés improbables.

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