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Thu Jan 15, 2015, 06:45 PM

 

Co-Opted Feminism in the War on Terror

I'm posting this in HOF because I trust that the discussion will be more informed and thoughtful here.

Wikipedia has a short-but fairly good-summary on some feminist critiques of the War on Terror. An excerpt (with my bolding):

Issues of gender quality and abuse against women were an integral part of the rhetoric supporting the War on Terror. For instance, in a conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, then-President George W. Bush described the Taliban Government as follows: “There's no question the Taliban is the most repressive, backward group of people we have seen on the face of the Earth in a long period of time, including and particularly how they treat women.”[52] Such statements support Norwegian feminist scholar Berit von der Lippe's claim that protecting women and children is a common part of war rhetoric and has always been so. For her, "nation-states today have added the use of gender equality rhetoric, or a specific feminist rhetoric, to this scenario in order to mobilize support for war."[53] This argument is further supported by other feminists, such as Angela Davis — a Black feminist and anti-racist scholar — who critiqued this as a hijacking of feminism in order to promote military aggression and dubbed it as the George and Laura Bush version of feminism.[54] For these scholars, the idea of America invading other countries in order to liberate Muslim women is part of a frame of mind which hierarchizes cultures. According to scholar Sherene Razack, “saving Muslim women from the excesses of their society marks Western men and women as more civilized.”[55] In other words, the War on Terror had the rhetorical basis of a civilizing mission - America had to bring 'modernity' to the Middle East.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_War_on_Terror#Feminist_Critique

Interested in what others here think about this critique.

4 replies, 1430 views

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Reply Co-Opted Feminism in the War on Terror (Original post)
YoungDemCA Jan 2015 OP
Dont call me Shirley Jan 2015 #1
mercuryblues Jan 2015 #2
BainsBane Jan 2015 #3
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #4

Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Jan 15, 2015, 06:55 PM

1. Man has been using women as shields and excuses for aggression for millennia

" Furthermore, feminist interpretations see technology as the ultimate manifestation of “man’s obsessive quest for knowledge,” which Charlotte Hooper worries could provide new agendas for “hegemonic masculinities to colonize.”[51] That is to say that technology provides a way for the masculinized military to gather intelligence and wage war, thereby perpetuating hegemony."

"Man's obsessive quest for knowledge" needs to be rewritten to state "Man's obsessive quest for weapons"

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Thu Jan 15, 2015, 07:29 PM

2. I remember

when the boosh team trotted out this excuse to justify year 6 (or so) of war. It was nothing more than a way to silence the wives and mothers when their child/spouse came home in a body bag.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Jan 16, 2015, 01:31 AM

3. Yep, and that propaganda took hold

As we have all witnessed lately. Not that women's causes in the Muslim world aren't important, but I find it difficult to imagine how one can champion the plight of Muslim women while treating them with contempt. Seems to me it's important to listen to what those women see as their issues, and oddly it doesn't include abolishing Islam.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Original post)

Fri Jan 16, 2015, 11:49 AM

4. That crap is disgusting

The thing is, there are cultural practices I object to, because they are human rights violations; FGM, of instance. I'm secure in my objection. Bride burning. Blaming the victim in rape cases. There are many more, some practiced in the USA.

For me to judge what a Muslim woman "wants" or doesn't want from her peers, society or faith is a specious kind of judgement at best. (Aside from something such as Maslow's hiearchy of needs perhaps--which would preclude war)

In fact using war as a way to 'liberate' women (who are not prisoners) is useless, war makes any situation worse, entrenches patriarchal standards, because war is a result of patriarchal standards.

If women are to be reached and supported, then supporting women themselves, through feminist policy if need be, with financial assistance, with volunteers who are not there to judge, but to assist. Women are not helpless creatures.

America sits secure, not understanding what our security costs other countries. Using women as an excuse for war is bullshit, in a word.

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