Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We're All Feminists Now (At Least When Talking About Muslims We Don't Like)

Kari's explains something that drives me nuts very well here:
Secondly, a common criticism of Western feminism was that women of color and of non-Western origin didn't have a place at the table or their place was “given” to them by feminists in the West. See the discussion above on “giving people permission to speak” same concept. This was a huge criticism of second wave feminism, and it continues today. However, there is a far larger discussion to be had when we look back at how the West, particularly the US, interferes and behaves in international conflicts. For example, after weapons of mass destruction weren't found in Iraq, President G.W. Bush claimed it was a moral imperative to liberate the Iraqi women. Did I personally find the restrictions on women in Iraq oppressive? Yes, but to liberate Iraqi women without input from them is offensive and paternalistic. Those being liberated must always be included in the conversation, or is it liberation at all? The argument that Muslim men are oppressive and violent toward Muslim women (women et al) is offensive and paternalistic as well. What happens here is the perpetuation that men of color (other than white) are violent, oppressive, and can’t be trusted with women. All assertions are of course unfounded. Additionally, the notion that Islam is more oppressive than other religions is false as well just look at the conservative right in the US, and their attempts to restrict and regulate women’s bodies.
I've gotten into many an argument on this topic with people who I otherwise agreed with 90% of the time. You see these arguments on the right, but unfortunately you see them on the left as well with people whose hearts are in the right place (I hope) but end up saying some very offensive shit because growing up in the US it's hard for people to shed the colonial mindset. We're so used to hearing news stories in this perspective that it really does take giving your brain a hard reset at some point to snap out of it.

Anyhow you see this type of talk pretty much constantly in US politics and it's important to be aware of it and call out people for speaking this way.

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