Saturday, March 12, 2005

The sistahs they forget

It's an axiom among liberal groups that Republicans are to be opposed, slandered and otherwise vilified for whatever they do -- even if they achieve the ends the liberal groups want.

Case in point: the professional Feminists. Read this.

For many years before September 11, 2001 – and much to their credit – Western feminists tried to rouse a sleeping world to the plight of women in increasingly radical Islamic countries. In the US, it was the Feminist Majority that pressured president Bill Clinton to impose sanctions against the woman-hating Taliban regime; it was feminists who first publicised the horror of genital mutilation in Muslim Africa.

But in the months after the attacks on New York and Washington, as Westerners gradually woke to the strange vocabulary that went with jihadism – burkas, veils, honour killings, stonings, forced marriages – feminists went uncharacteristically mum.

Here was the perfect opportunity to convince a stubborn public that remained ambivalent about feminism – in the US, only about one-third of young women accepted the label for themselves even as they opened their own businesses and maintained their own cheque accounts – yet in the communiques from feminist offices the phrase "Islamic extremists" was barely uttered.

Why the relative silence on a subject that would seem to epitomise feminist concerns? Because in the eyes of the sisterhood, worse than stoning women for adultery or forbidding girls to go to school are the policies of white men such as George W. Bush.

You see? The PF (professional Feminists) wanted Bill Clinton, the guy they liked, to do something about the Taliban and their policies towards women. He didn't. George Bush comes along and he does in the aftermath of 9-11. Apparently to the PF, the liberating of women in Afghanistan suddenly became less important that opposing a Republican president.

The article continues:
[I]f Muslim men could be said to oppress their women, it is the fault of Western imperialists or, more specifically, Western men. "When men are traumatised [by colonial rule], they tend to traumatise their own women," says Miriam Cooke, a professor at Duke University in North Carolina. From this vantage point, feminists must condemn not just war in Iraq and Afghanistan but any instances of what Columbia University professor Gayatri Spivak calls "white men saving brown women from brown men".

But wait, weren't the PF calling on Bill Clinton to do something to save brown women under the Taliban, ostensibly a group of brown men?

Oh, right, Bill Clinton was an honorary black man. Never mind.

I've talked about this very weird phenomenon before. It is strange.

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