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Palestine, #MeToo, Capitalism, Patriarchy and Us

We have more in common with Palestinians than we think.

The #MeToo movement may not be the most unifying movement. In recent years, particularly in France, women were quick to come to the defense of men accused of sexual assault. Why are we still divided? Why are women's voices not heard when they denounce horrific actions by men?

The first argumentation is to put everything under the lens of justice. If someone was not pronounced guilty in the court of law, well, they are innocent. But we all know how imperfect the law is and how 99% of the men accused of sexual misconduct or violence will never face any consequences for their actions. The second argument is to challenge the voices of women coming forward; they either speak too late for some or do not seem as innocent as they seem. It makes me think of major drug dealers, who are often caught for fraud rather than the drug dealing itself.

I was divided at the beginning of #MeToo because I was angry that a movement would only appear if white women are the victims. I was disgusted by the media and the treatment women of color had to suffer whenever they came forward with similar allegations. For example, when Dominique Strauss-Khan (ex IMF Director) was in the headlines after trying to escape the sexual assault of Nafissatou Diallo, a black employee at a hotel, many doubted her and her story. She wasn’t even pretty; why would anyone want to rape her? She wasn’t good enough to be a victim or a damsel in distress. I was torn between questioning the timing of those women and the public care for white women only. I have the same reaction today about what happened in Palestine. Why do people only seem to care for Israeli lives when Israelis have been subjecting Palestinians for decades to inhumane treatment?

The big cases of powerful men that are revealed are usually attached to more than one accusation. As women see other women speaking up, they also find the strength to come forward with their stories. So when women speak up, we witness the measure of the violence inflicted by powerful men. For example, Diddy was known for his violence towards women in private circles, but no one dared to say anything publicly until Cassie did. One voice can create a spectacular succession of events that liberate the voices of the oppressed. When Gérard Depardieu was first accused of sexual assault, the industry in France rushed to his defense, painting him as a seducer from the old world and a sacred monster of cinema (« Monstre sacré du cinéma »), which granted him absolution for all his crimes. This is what it is—the world is changing, and it is extremely important that the system in place evolves. The old world is full of trauma inflicted on both men and women because of the impunity of men.

It is hard to understand how we can still defend people who spit on human rights. Women's rights and Palestinians' rights are human rights. We don’t get to pick and choose who is human or not; it is a given that many have forgotten. It also echoes the current genocide in Palestine; we cannot promote countries, celebrities, and people who do not see how sacred all human lives are. We cannot in one situation defend human rights and in another call and support the extermination of another. The supporters of Israel and Gérard Depardieu have that in common; they simply do not care for the hurt and violence they subject those whom they believe to be inferior. You cannot say that Gérard Depardieu loves women when he forces them to have sex or makes sexual comments on an 11-year-old girl riding a horse (Complément d’enquête - France Télévision). You cannot say Israel cares for humanity when it declared war on defenseless civilians and kills Palestinians indiscriminately. You cannot say Israel cares for its citizens when it killed its own during the rave party on October 7th and during its mass killing of Palestinians. They do not care at all. They are driven by their feeling of superiority and the casualties do not matter in the grand scheme of things they are trying to push. When they appear to care for their own, they actually do not; they only care for their power that is filled with hate and disdain for human lives.

The system is broken because it is built on a powerful patriarchal system that decides who is worth fighting for, figuratively. The current system is based on contradiction and capitalist mind games and actual strategies to exert power on the mass. Women and Palestinians have in common the need to continually fight for their freedom and their protection. All the oppressed have to unite to stop the system that is enslaving them, disrespecting their dignity, and denying their worth.

We are all stuck in the hamster wheel of capitalism. As much as we believe we have rights, we really don’t have any. The powerful decide who is worthy of basic human rights in theory but not in practice. So if you come forward and denounce the absurdities, the injustices, you put yourself in danger. The system will come for you. We have witnessed it recently with pro-Palestine protests being banned, and social media platforms censoring content related to the support of Palestine. Jewish supporters of Palestine found themselves suffering grave consequences: state violence, imprisonment for not enlisting in the army, intimidation, called safe hating… Hollywood came after celebrities who spoke up for the Palestinian cause. How can we sit there and consider any of this normal?

We have been conditioned to believe that Arabs are terrorists and savages. Thank you, Hollywood! Years of propaganda are not easy to erase from collective beliefs. The way the white western world portrayed non-whites was actually projection. They said Arabs are terrorists while killing millions of Arabs in the name of « capitalism », oops I meant freedom (I did not…). The atrocities they tried to pin on non-whites they have done a million times worse. The recent news proves this point with the absolute violence Israel has used for years. They stole organs of Palestinians, they tortured them, they jailed men, women, and young kids without trial, and they killed innocent people in ways I am not willing to describe here.

The mass that the patriarchal system considers us to be is expected to act within this system. We are supposed to be slaves of the capitalist system by working 9 to 5 and more until exhaustion. We are expected to consume all the time to keep the system going. As long as your dream is to win the lottery and to become Elon Musk, they have you under their grip. People on Twitter defend Elon Musk as if he were the poor victim of human crimes while brushing off the actual suffering of Tesla employees fighting for their rights and dignity.

The recent events in Palestine are an indication of a schism in the collective consciousness. Are we staying blind to the suffering the western world is inflicting on the rest of the world? Or do we wake up and do the actual work to deconstruct our beliefs and repossess our actual freedom of thought? At the end of the day, you have more in common with Palestinians than you do with Gérard Depardieu, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, or Kim Kardashian. The collective unwillingness to acknowledge this is worrying. People are not looking at their own experience; they are stuck in a belief system made to keep them enslaved and servile. The script needs to be re-written, and we are either heading towards a big revolution or another era of extreme violence and fascism. History definitely repeats itself, and our apparent comfort has clearly kept us from seeing our rights being taken from us. We have to continuously seek more justice and not only for ourselves but for all of us. If someone is being oppressed, we are not free yet. We won’t be free until everyone is free from oppression.

What’s the literature on those subjects?

Now that I've shared my opinion and every single argument I have is documented, if you want to go further and explore more on the subject, I included a brief and relevant bibliography of books at the end of this article. I chose not to overwhelm you with too much material, and I will introduce key ideas from some of the books I chose.

Ruby Hamad wrote White Tears / Brown Scars shortly after we all experienced the pandemic trend of Karens acting out around the world, especially in the USA. In this book, Hamad explains how white feminism has completely failed to include women of color, which stems from white supremacy.

In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein highlights how the pursuit of profit has been intertwined with human suffering and the exploitation of crises. Klein's work challenges us to rethink our economic systems and prioritize the well-being of communities over the interests of a small, powerful elite.

In his 1990 essay, Postscript on Societies of Control, Gilles Deleuze critically examines the evolution of social control mechanisms, distinguishing between the disciplinary societies of the past and the emerging societies of control. While disciplinary societies relied on physical enclosures, surveillance, and strict regimentation, societies of control operate through continuous modulation, fluidity, and data-driven management. Control societies seek to modulate and direct individuals' behavior rather than directly enforcing conformity. This is achieved through various means, including data collection, personalized marketing, and psychological manipulation, which create a shifting and adaptable system of influence.

In his groundbreaking investigative report, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Ronan Farrow exposes the systematic efforts by powerful figures to silence and discredit women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Farrow meticulously documents the coordinated campaign of intimidation, surveillance, and legal threats employed by Weinstein and his associates to suppress these allegations and protect his reputation.

Ben White documents, in his book Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide, Israel's systematic denial of basic rights to Palestinians, including the right to freedom of movement, assembly, and expression. He highlights the restrictions on Palestinian access to land, water, and natural resources, as well as the discriminatory legal system that favors Israeli citizens over Palestinians. White provides a concise and accessible introduction to one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time.

Books for inspiration 

  • White Tears / Brown Scars - Ruby HAMAD - GoodReads

  • Freedom is a constant struggle - Angela DAVIS - GoodReads

  • The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism - Naomi KLEIN - GoodReads

  • Postscript on Societies of Control - Gilles DELEUZE - GoodReads

  • Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future - Paul MASON - GoodReads

  • Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Ronan FARROW - GoodReads

  • Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide -  Ben WHITE - GoodReads


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