They must have a Facebook group or a Google+ group or a mailing list or similar. They must be coordinating their moves. Now it’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali echoing Dawkins echoing Sommers echoing #GamerGate and on and on until they disappear into an infinite regress.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a harsh critic of Islam’s treatment of women, said Wednesday that modern American feminism is focused on “trivial bullshit” and needs to be reclaimed.
Speaking at the Independent Women’s Forum Women of Valor dinner, where she received an award for courage, Hirsi Ali reminded her audience of how far feminism has strayed from its original purpose.
“I want you to remember that once upon a time, feminists fought for the access — basic right — access of girls to education,” she said.
Yes, that’s right, and we’re still doing that. “Access” isn’t just a matter of having a law on the books saying “girls shall be permitted.” Access is a lot of things. It depends on the place and time and background and many things. In some places – many places – “access” is an empty word for children who can’t afford to buy a required uniform, or children whose parents make them take care of their younger siblings, or children who are malnourished and fall asleep in school.
She talked about her parents.
Her mother wanted to take her and her sister out of school because education would lead them to rebel against their family and “bring shame upon us.” Her father responded by saying, “If you take my girls out of school, I am going to curse you and you are going to burn in hell.”
Taken out of context, Hirsi Ali said, one might side with her mother, but in reality, she said it was her father that allowed her to be educated and helped make her what she is today.
Yes. Men can be feminists, and women can be anti-feminists. We already know that.
We’ve won, she says. It’s done.
“Feminists in this country and in the West fought against that and won the battle,” she added.
But now, Hirsi Ali said, feminism has taken that victory and squandered it.
“What we are now doing with the victory, and I agree with you if you condemn that and I condemn whole-heartedly the trivial bullshit it is to go after a man who makes a scientific breakthrough and all that we as women — organized women — do is to fret about his shirt?” Hirsi Ali said, referring to the controversy generated by the shirt featuring cartoons of scantily-clad women worn by the scientist who helped land a robot on a comet. “We must reclaim and retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women.”
Hey! There it is – you can see she and Dawkins have been Skyping like mad, feeding each other lines. “We must reclaim and retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women.” That’s Dawkins. “Pompous idiots,” he called us.
So, what about her claim. It’s a crock of shit, that’s what about it. Part of access is feeling as if you belong. Part of access to places like school and university and STEM fields is feeling as if you belong there as part of the enterprise – learning or teaching or practicing. Part of access is not being made to feel that you “belong” there only insofar as you are sexually interesting to men.
But, Hirsi Ali said, we should not throw away feminism, because that would be like throwing away the civil rights movement. Instead, feminism needs to fight the real war on women: Radical Islam and other parts of the world where women don’t even have the right to an education or to leave their home without a male guardian.
Don’t. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Don’t do that. It’s right-wing bullshit and you have no business engaging in it. Nobody has any business doing that. By all means urge US feminists to pay more attention to women in Somalia, or in majority-Muslim countries, or wherever, but don’t do it by saying “pay less attention to your own stuff” first. It’s hateful, it’s wrong, it’s a ploy, it’s bullshit.
But I shouldn’t even bother, should I. She’s at the American Enterprise Institute, along with Sommers. What trying to destroy feminism has to do with “enterprise” I’ll never know, unless “enterprise” is just code for “right wing on all subjects.”
Whatever it is, it’s a crock. Whether from Hirsi Ali, or Dawkins, or Sommers, or Shermer, or Blackford, or Rush Limbaugh, it’s all a crock.