Re: gender apartheid information warfare

Kathryn Aegis (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 16:54:02 -0800 (PST)

At 08:14 AM 11/7/98 EST, wrote:
>This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. How do we help
>people like women in Afghanistan, or peasants in Indonesia, or all of the rest
>of the folks who are cut off from the information revolution? I've envisioned
>a technology that could help, something I call a "Brain Seed".

I've finally read your posting carefully, Greg, and I do appreciate the sentiment that you and Spike express. I think, however, that many of the postings on this thread have been based upon the assumption that this particular culture of women in Afghanistan are illiterate and largely ignorant of their own rights. This is, unfortunately, not the case. A significant portion of these woman are highly educated, they are doctors and lawyers and professional businesswomen. They worked hard for many decades to improve their status. Now they find themselves completely imprisoned and beaten in the streets when they attempt to carry out the daily business of living. The streets are policed by uneducated young thugs who have been offered power through a fundamentalist religious regime. Any men who support the women seem too intimidated by the threat of force to speak out openly.

I have trouble envisioning how a memetic bomb or plant can alter the situation. Who would you aim it at? The women are already fully educated as to the direness of their own plight. They have, at great risk, spoken to western reporters and to social researchers who have carried their story to the world. The young men who police the streets are for the first time being given influence in their own society. What incentive do they have to take on new ideas that would remove them from a position of high status? The Taliban leaders have been fighting long and hard to take power in their country, and it goes without saying that they would not relinquish it voluntarily. Have I missed something about this idea?

Kathryn Aegis