Monday, October 25, 2010

A Particularly Female Israel Derangement Syndrome? Addendum

 Lauren Booth who converted to Islam because of the
 thrill of being up close and personal to Ismael Haniyeh?
Daphne Anson has posted an excellent piece about the ladies of the Palestinian solidarity movement. She asks, what is it about the Palestinian cause that makes women on the left, and in particular feminists, so easily abandon their values and beliefs? How is it that they can jettison ideals of equality and sexual liberation in their gushing support of Hamas, for example, and yet not see that it is in Israel that women have made the greater strides.

In an analysis entitled, "Why Feminism is AWOL on Islam", Kay S. Hymowitz believes that a big part of it is the entrenchment of postcolonialist theory within the left:

Postcolonialists, "... have their own binary system, somewhat at odds with gender feminism—not to mention with women’s rights. It is not men who are the sinners; it is the West. It is not women who are victimized innocents; it is the people who suffered under Western colonialism, or the descendants of those people, to be more exact. Caught between the rock of patriarchy and the hard place of imperialism, the postcolonial feminist scholar gingerly tiptoes her way around the subject of Islamic fundamentalism and does the only thing she can do: she focuses her ire on Western men." 

The postcolonial feminist, Hymowitz writes, " believes that the Western world is so sullied by its legacy of imperialism that no Westerner, man or woman, can utter a word of judgment against former colonial peoples. Worse, she is not so sure that radical Islam isn’t an authentic, indigenous—and therefore appropriate—expression of Arab and Middle Eastern identity."

The two wildly brilliant and courageous Muslim writers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (top) and Irshad Manji (below) get almost no respect from feminists, and from postcolonial female Islamist-apologists like Laila Lalami  they get only contempt. In her opinion, calls for greater equality in the Muslim world is actually a right-wing phenomena: 

"These days, being a Muslim woman means being saddled with what can only be referred to as the 'burden of pity.' The feelings of compassion that we Muslim women seem to inspire emanate from very distinct and radically opposed currents: religious extremists of our own faith, and evangelical and secular supporters of empire in the West."

Hirsi Ali counters: "When Muslim women face not just oppression but violent death, why aren’t the feminists out protesting these abuses? Where are the great European and American campaigners who powered the contemporary movement for women’s equality in the West? Where, to take just one example, is Germaine Greer, author of such classics of Western feminism as “The Female Eunuch”? Greer believes the genital mutilation of girls needs to be considered in context. Trying to stop it, she has written, would be “an attack on cultural identity...Because Western feminists manifest an almost neurotic fear of offending a minority group’s culture, the situation of Muslim women creates a huge philosophical problem for them."

Manji who is sometimes accused of Islamophobia is critical of the,"...reflexive identification some Muslims in the West unthinkingly offer to groups like Hamas or the Taliban. I met one person [like that] at Oxford University last night. I asked, 'Do these women realise that the very groups and individuals whom they are defending are the very people who, if they were in power here, would frankly their daughters particularly of their right to be at Oxford at all?'"

To me it is fascinating that both Ali and Manji are attacked by the left and have had to find a home somewhere to the right. Whereas the apologists of Muslim misogyny are invariably on the left. Is it time to throw out these categories and simply call things as they are?

Breaking News: A certain Useful Idiot, Julie Webb-Pullman a member of the Viva Palestina convoy that just recently drove into Gaza via Egypt has reported about her meeting with Prime Minister Haniyeh and the Deputy Prime Minister in scarily gushing tones reminiscent of teenage girls thrilling to Justin Bieber. In an earlier, now corrected, version of her post she mistook the name of the Deputy Prime Minister, calling him Dan Meridor -- swear to G-d. 

She also posts photos of her souvenir scarf autographed by Haniyeh and foreign minister Zahar -- think Elvis throwing his sweat soaked scarf into the all-female audience at his Las Vegas show -- and ends her post with:

"The convoy women are now excitedly awaiting the opportunity to find out more about Palestinian women's participation in the process of building - and rebuilding - a fair, free and open Gaza. Viva Palestina! 

Viva Ismail and Mahmoud! Viva women!!!"

Who said these girls weren't properly feminist?

(H/T:: Harry's Place)

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