Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Feminislamists: Women of Woe

I Could Scream: Examining the plight of women under Islam

Over at Brussels Journal, Fjordman has an essay which describes how feminism leads to the oppression of women.

He’s right, of course. I sneaked away from “feminists” the same way I backed off from academia, though I had originally thought to make my intellectual home in both places. The former proved more doctrinaire than any fundamentalist religion I’d ever encountered, and the latter — academia — was a pit of vipers. Giving up both of these endeavors was disappointing. I wondered how I would ever find a community of intellectuals outside the ivory towers.

But intellectual curiosity and honest inquiry have long been banned from university circles anyway. The recent emasculation and crucifixion of Larry Summers in order to make room for the ascendancy of radical feminist Drew Gilpin Faust to his chair as president of Harvard is evidence enough that academic feminists are consumed with their own narrow orthodoxy. The similarity of their methods to those of the Inquisition (leaving aside the physical torture) are instructive. No one may flourish within their precincts who has not first surrendered her free will and submitted to the relativist and utopian world view — the only permitted ideology in the ghetto of the rad fems.

The silence of the professional feminists in the face of the barbarities of Islam regarding women has long been a source of wonder — if not disgust — for regular folks. We keep waiting for them to speak out on behalf of women who suffer slave status in Muslim theocracies. There has been only silence…or even worse, a disturbing preoccupation with trivialities like the Vagina Monologues or the rage against those who dare to disagree with their victim whingeing. The decades-old complaint about gender inequity has been transformed into a full-fledged deep hatred of men that makes these upper middle-class women look like spoiled, overprivileged narcissists.

The elected women in Congress are a good example this narrow self-absorption, the kind that follows in the wake of setting oneself up as a victim…in this case, of course, women are the victims of patriarchy. Yawn. In his essay, “Are Female Politicians Other-Centered,” Carey Roberts points out a few gaps between the rhetoric and the reality of these girls:

A few years ago Marie Wilson, director of the White House Project, made the remarkable claim that female politicians lead “from an other-centered perspective,” while those Neanderthal male pols tend to be “self-centered.”

I admit this came as news to me, but if it’s true, perhaps we should dispense with the formalities and anoint Hillary as the next Commander-in-Chief. That way we can enjoy the morning newspaper for the next couple years without being subjected to all the electioneering falderal.

In the past, whenever the Women of Woe invoked the cause of female liberation, we were expected to reflexively nod our heads in rapt agreement. Maybe it’s time to put some of their pronouncements under the microscope.

So are female politicos, in fact, “other-centered”?

It took Mr. Roberts a bit of digging, but he eventually found what the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues had to brag about. It was all in the contents of a report on the “accomplishments” of this august group during the 108th Congress. You can guess the dreary, predictable results. Mr. Roberts peruses the report:

Hmmmm. Education and Athletics, International Women’s Issues, Violence Against Women, Women’s Health, Women’s History, Women in the Military, and Women in the Workplace.

Looks pretty one-sided to me. Maybe the other-centered stuff is buried inside.

So on page 14 I read, “A bipartisan effort by the Women’s Caucus leadership succeeded in tripling U.S. contributions for programs supporting women and girls overseas through the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).”

Fine, but what about needy boys around the world?

Like the teenage boys in Africa who have become night commuters so they aren’t kidnapped and pressed into military combat. And all the boys in Afghanistan who were sent out to tend the goat herd, only to lose a limb to unexploded ordnance. And the 2,000 young boys from Bangladesh taken from their homes to work as camel jockeys in the Persian Gulf — are they less deserving of our compassion and largess?

The truth is, the Women’s Caucus comes across like any other narrow interest group, pretending the male half of the world doesn’t exist.

Well, just look at that! These intrepid fighters for truth and justice tripled U.S. contributions to the UN for programs which support women. We all know how effective that will be. Congratulations, girls.

Then, Mr. Roberts turns to the distaff side. What are men doing for themselves, precisely? What has the men’s caucus lined up?

The Congressional Men’s Caucus must be just as self-serving as the Women’s Caucus. Right?

Actually, there is no “Men’s Caucus.” Why? Because it never occurs to male politicians to single out men’s issues for special attention.

Look at the two major pieces of domestic legislation that the Daddy Party has enacted over the last 6 years: No Child Left Behind and the Medicare Drug Benefit. No Child Left Behind is designed to help children struggling to get an education in inner-city schools. And you guessed it, the Medicare Drug program predominantly benefits women.

In her acceptance speech as first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi proudly exclaimed, “Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling.”

As “Mimi” Pelosi spoke those words, her five grandsons were standing at her side with a slightly confused expression. The thought crossed my mind that compared to girls, her grandsons were at greater danger of having lower grades, falling behind in school, and never going to college.

One can only wonder whether the indelicate reality of our boys at risk has ever tweaked the conscience of Madame Speaker.

One can also wonder at the size of the conscience of Madame Speaker. Is it one of those things you need a magnifying glass and tweezers to find? Is it any more than a mere splinter in her vaulting ambition?

Feminislam’s AdvocateI have often mentioned the unholy alliance between academia and politics, especially where feminism is concerned. Fjordman brings to the table Dr. Wairimu Njambi, assistant professor of (gag) “Women’s Studies” at Florida Atlantic University, also known as “Florida Atlantic Terror University” for its links to Hamas and its militant Islamist students and professors.

Dr. Njambi, however, is a special case. She advocates female genital mutilation. Here is how Ari Kaufman describes her work:

Dr. Wairimu Njambi is an Assistant Professor of “Women’s Studies” at the Florida Atlantic University Wilkes Honors College, a feminist, and an apologist for some of the misogynistic cruelties perpetrated against women.

Much of her scholarship, for instance, is dedicated to advancing the notion that the cruel practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is actually a triumph for feminism and that it is hateful to suggest otherwise. According to Njambi “anti-FGM discourse perpetuates a colonialist assumption by universalizing a particular western image of a ‘normal’ body and sexuality.”
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Calling Njambi’s endeavors “scholarship” stretches the meaning of the word to irrelevance. Most of her students loathe her:

On the day that students filled out evaluations of her course Njambi told them point-blank: “I know a lot of you are not thrilled with some of the content in this course and with my views. But I am letting you know now that I will not change.” Not surprisingly, many students went on to describe her course as “the worst class I have ever taken.”

Unfortunately, there are male academics willing to climb aboard her absurd train of thought. And journalism students who are willing to report enthusiastically on the results. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Patchwork, a “Social Activism Magazine” described a lecture given by Professor Robert Daniels, a supporter of Njambi’s monumental ignorance (or denial, perhaps, given that she herself had to undergo this barbarous “ritual”). As you read his ideas, realize that we have reached, finally, the demonic convergence, we have come to the dark side - Feminislam. It took long enough, but here it is. The fems won’t be standing up for their oppressed sisters after all. Instead they’re rooting for the oppressors. It would be funny were the gropings of these strange bedfellows not so horrifying:

“Female Genital Mutilation is a prejudicial term,” he said. “To speak of these practices only as operations or mutilations is like speaking of making the sign of the cross on someone’s forehead on Ash Wednesday as ‘soiling the face’ or speaking of a fraternity branding as ‘mutilating the upper arm,’” said Daniels.

How’s that for an evil reductio ad absurdum? Ashes on the forehead don’t leave in their wake ruined bodies, fistulas, urinary incontinence, and all the other miseries that result from an extremely painful, germ-laden procedure done on a five year old without benefit of anesthesia.

He isn’t finished with this anthropological lecture, however:

Circumcision is a deeply embedded right [sic] of passage in Africa. It is a central ritual that defines social roles in families, communities, marriage-systems, a person’s self-identity and self-worth, said Daniels.

He’s absolutely right. It does indeed “define roles…marriage systems…self-worth, etc.” But what rôles are we talking about here? The one where the victims of failed mutilations live in back rooms, dribbling urine and unable to function? Has this obviously ignorant man bothered to research the sequelae of botched clitoridectomies?

Obviously not, since he doesn’t even distinguish among the various forms of female genital mutilation. Here is a description of the Pharaonic type, thought to have been practiced by the Egyptians during the period of the Pharaohs:

Infibulation involves extensive tissue removal of the external genitalia, including all of the labia minora and the inside of the labia majora, leaving a raw open wound. The labia majora are then held together using thorns or stitching and the girl’s legs are tied together for two — six weeks, to prevent her from moving and allow the healing of the two sides of the vulva. Nothing remains of the normal anatomy of the genitalia, except for a wall of flesh from the pubis down to the anus, with the exception of a pencil-size opening at the inferior portion of the vulva to allow urine and menstrual blood to pass through… This type of FGC is often carried out by an elderly matron or midwife of the village on girls between the ages of two and six, without anaesthetic and under unhygienic conditions.

A reverse infibulation can be performed to allow for sexual intercourse (often by the husband using a knife on the wedding night) or when undergoing labor, or by female relatives, whose responsibility it is to inspect the wound every few weeks and open it some more if necessary. During childbirth, the enlargement is too small to allow vaginal delivery, and so the infibulation must be opened completely and restored after delivery. Once again, the legs are tied together to allow the wound to heal, and the procedure is repeated for each subsequent act of intercourse or childbirth. When childbirth takes place in a hospital, the surgeons may preserve the infibulation by enlarging the vagina with deep episiotomies. Afterwards, the patient may insist that her vagina be closed again so that her husband does not reject her.

This practice is reported to cause the disappearance of sexual pleasure for the women affected, as well as major medical complications, although advocates of the practice deny this, and continue to carry it out.

So this is what little girls have done to them when they are small enough to be held down. And they, in turn, continue to undergo mind-boggling pain in order not to be rejected. Pain rather than death. Pain rather than being abandoned by one’s family. Where is the free will in that? What shreds of dignity or self-worth can a woman retain under these conditions? According to this professor, it is Tradition, and we shouldn’t intervene:

We should object and intervene when some people are destroying others, as in Darfur. There are more than enough cases of that within our own social and political system, and those in which we can have some effective influence.

“The cutting in each case removes our inherent androgynies, taking away the most feminine aspects of boys’ genitalia and the most masculine aspects of girls’ genitalia, so that we are truly made men and women,” Daniels said.

So he equates the removal of male foreskin with the excision of female genitalia?? These are the ramblings of a moral pygmy. Or is that a politically incorrect statement, too? I certainly hope so. After all, to notice that a tribe of people is short and to use that characteristic as a metaphor is obviously insensitive. Professor Daniels, on the other hand, is exquisitely sensitive. As he says, “there are more than enough cases of that within our own social and political system”…though whatever that is can only be surmised. Perhaps he means those fundamentalists who don’t permit dancing, or who protest the national abortion laws? Of course — the moral equation between those and the practice of infibulation is so plain, isn’t it? And while we’re at it, let’s have a round of applause for the Emperor’s new tailor. His diaphanous robes are cutting edge couture, no?

Unfortunately, the good Professor isn’t quite done:

Daniels referred to a feminist critique by Wairimu Njambi, a circumcised woman, to support his argument.

“Anti-FGM discourse perpetuates a colonialist assumption by universalizing a particular western image of a ‘normal’ body and sexuality,” Njambi wrote.

“This discourse includes not only a missionizing Christian bias, but also a Western sexist bias by considering women’s issues as separable from men’s,” Daniels said.

Daniels critiqued the common feminist notion that the rituals are an extreme form of male oppression.

“If one says they are examples of male oppression, does that mean that most or all the women in these societies are not only victims but agents in their own victimization?”

Cutting through the undergrowth of femspeak, that’s exactly what it means! How hard is this phenomenon to understand? Traumatize a five year old and she’ll do whatever she has to do as she grows up to remain a member of the group.

I’d love to see a debate between Njambi and Hirsi Ali. Both survivors of genital mutilation, they have assigned entirely opposite meanings to their experience.

I leave it to you to decide which one is sane…and humane.

Meanwhile, the clueless Professor Daniels, “educated” beyond his abilities, leaves us with this thought:

Cultural relativity does not say that all human behavior is just or justified, but it does say that we have to entertain the possibility that other ways of life may be equally valid ways to be human, that the “natives” are not simply ignorant and need our enlightenment, but that perhaps they know what they are doing as much as we do.


History Snark said...

"So he equates the removal of male foreskin with the excision of female genitalia??"

Actually, I just watched Penn & Teller's "BS" show on dvd last night. That's exactly the comparison they made, in an episode on (male) circumcision. They even showed a close-up of what I assume was a circumcised woman. It looked horrifying, and much much worse than what I see when I look down.

I'm not sure of the exact reasoning for snipping males, but it seems much preferable to female, if one must get circumcised.

Finally, I remember a friend bringing up this issue about 10-15 years ago, arguing that this was proof that Western culture is in fact superior to others. I always wondered about the feminist silence. Now I know: They needed all those years to come up with a sophistic way to defend FGM as a Good Thing.

Disgusting. Why is it that I, a middle-aged gun-loving mostly christian, unmarried hetero white male actually abhor things like this, and the feminists think it's acceptable?

History Snark said...

Oh, BTW: Hi Dymphna. Great post, as usual.

Gordon Freece said...

"...we have to entertain the possibility that other ways of life may be equally valid ways to be human..."

Right! I entertain precisely the possibility that clitoridectomy may be "equally valid". I entertain it for a split second, which, because I'm not a complete moron, is long enough to conclude that the practice is sadistic, barbaric lunacy.

I doubt that this Daniels idiot relates to "belief" the way a lot of us do: You believe something because you have some reason to think it's true. In his mind, instead, all the "possibilities" he "entertains" probably look about equal, and you just get to sort of choose one. So he chose something unusual, so he'll stick out from the crowd of academics and maybe his career will benefit. Like a comedian trying to come up with a really original schtick.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Interesting how those that are of the feministic attitude find conservatives and Christians so narrow-minded, radical, and narcissistic, when the description fits them so well. . .

View from the Trekant said...

Here are, one would hope, the seeds of destruction for "multiculturalism."

These academics twist themselves into pretzels to defend real violence and real evil against women.

I have a horrifying truth for them: President Bush has done and continues to do much, much more than they ever have or ever will to protect the safety, dignity and rights of women. (Gastly!)

Profitsbeard said...

Clearly the Jivaros have a better use for Mr. Daniels' head than the service he is currently employing it in.

It would be far less dangerous to little girls everywhere if it were a shrunken doorstop in some jungle hut rather than sitting on top of his numbskull shoulders spewing such specious sado-masochistic lunacy.

And how could he argue against it with his multicultural all-is-equal blinders on?

There is no medical / health equivalence between the male prepuce- a structurally ill-formed-by-Nature germ trap (as recent AIDS research has proven, and as millenia of 'folk medicine' determined that it was more infectional trouble than it was worth) and the relatively-slight external genitalia of females.

But science isn't what Daniels and this zombie-fied African woman are arguing, but the crudest kind of politics. Fueled by the delusional and regressive desire to make the honored idiocy of any culture equal to the hard-won intelligence of another.

As if killing a chicken or raping a virgin will cure HIV as well as retrovirals.

The Equivalancy Madness Marches On.

And the Indifferent Cliff awaits....

ziontruth said...

Moonbattery. But it roots are guilt. The guilt demonstrated by the late Hergé, in his Tintin and the Blue Lotus, where he has Tintin castigate the Western colonial Gibbon for beating a Chinese rickshaw-driver who barged into him accidentally.

And yet Hergé had, in the previous book, Tintin and the Cigars of the Pharaoh, taken down an Arab sheik for post-colonial hypocrisy. He had kidnapped Tintin and brought him to his tent and used insulting language at him. Tintin asked him to be more polite. The sheik replied, "We can do without the worthless clutter of your so-called civilization!" And then asked for his name. When he said, "Tintin", the sheik glowed in delight, and exclaimed of how he had heard of him, how well-known his feats were, and even produced a copy of the book Tintin: Explorers on the Moon.

It is balanced: there is the necessary recognition that Western history has had its darker moments, yet there is also the admonition not to take the anti-Western, post-colonial discourse seriously. The problem today, as demonstrated by the gentle Professor Daniels, is the lack of Hergé's kind of balance.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

The good witch doctor is just taking cultural relativism to its logical extreme.

Just like Ward Churchills "little eichmanns" comment, this sort of thing helps expose the pale crawling kulturmarxist things that hide beneath multiculturalism to sunlight.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours." -General Sir Charle Napier

My ancestors for several millenia rather liked battle axes, invariably carried one "just in case", and used such axes liberally against offensive persons. Can I claim this as a right under multiculturalism?

SC&A said...

Excellent, excellent post.

I think the 'acceptance' of FGM (and thus the culture that allows for FGM), comes about as a response to 'white man's guilt over colonialism.

If we accept and endorse FGM, well, maybe that might mitigate some of the colonialist 'guilt' over colonialism.

This is the convoluted (and erroneous) logic that is behind so much of European anti semitism. If the Europeans can paint Israel as racist and evil, well, maybe the Holocaust wasn't perpetrated against innocents, but rather 'maybe they had it coming'- and thus, European ambivalence and acquiescence to the Holocaust might be mitigated.

To consider FGM as an 'acceptable cultural alternative' is to accept radical hatreds and bigotry as 'acceptable alternatives' and to assign them equal status to the values of free and civilized cultures.

What's next- the celebration of cannibalism, bestiality and pedophilia?

Dymphna said...

sigmund, et al --

I believe that there was a "tasteful, aesthectically pleasing" film shown at the Sundance Festival this year. It’s subject was beastiality and was treated sympathetically. Got rave reviews.

Also, some imam recently issued a fatwah that beastiality is indeed okay as long as you don't eat the meat of the animal so utilized. It's okay to take the creature to the next village and sell it to *them* however. I guess it's a matter of ignorance being bliss.

As for pedophilia, isn't there a strong movement within the American Psychological Association (not sure I have the organization's name right) to make "man-boy love" non-pathological.

As for cannibalism, as we slowly slide down the slope to the cess pit, I expect the eco-extremists to offer the idea of human consumption as an alternative to eating poor helpless animals. You know, let's get rid of evil humankind by consuming it. I expect to see this bruited about in the next five years or so. And, no, it won’t be presented nearly well as Swift’s idea for the Irish famine was. These people aren’t satirists; they’re not smart enough.

We have entered a behavioral sink. I don't believe there's an exit right now: it is up to us to hack one out of the enclosing walls. As the Baron says, "we're on our own."

A new and better Dark Age has arrived, one lit by more than just fire.

Harrison said...

dymphna, excellent post.(just curious, what happened to the bong that you and barron acquired?)

Just think of all the beautiful institutions which countless generations have toiled and sacrificed for to forge, mould, perfect and insulate from those that would seek to desecrate them - in the name of the Constitution. To the Transnational Progressivists, everything is fair game.

We should brace ourselves.

X said...

Dympnha, I've already read of some of the wackier types suggesting we eat humans as a means to solve world hunger. I suspect they haven't learned the lessons of scrapie and mad cow disease. For mammals, eating your own species is basically a way to commit suicide.

Jeremayakovka said...

re academic disappointment: the former chair of my Comparative Lit. at the college I went to is a Classics scholar who specialized, however, in "Queer Theory." The current chair of the Classics Department is a radical lesbian.

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 02/20/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

In Russet Shadows said...

Across this darkling plain, I see one hope: that the feminists are promoting something so injurious, so ghastly, that when it is shown in its full glory, it can only repulse. Abortion advocates must operate in a similar cloud of distortion and concealment in order to hold up the truly heinous as something positive. The irony, the irony, the irony! That such people deny faith in the invisible God but promote things that can only win adherents when they remain unseen!

addamstaft said...

Dymphna, Excellent essay!
I'm especially in agreement with you "sneaking away from feminists and academia." Harvey Mansfield's book: Manliness, has some extensive evidence to support your wisdom. I find most all women have been extensively affected by feminism today. And I agree that in our new "dark age" nothing seems too dark to be acceptable. Actually, without some "revealed standard" such as the Bible (but not the Koran), it's unlikely humans will agree on any "standard" of behavior, isn't it?