Guest post by Marwa Berro: Not a tool to be used to bolster anti-feminism

Now this is a very brief comment, and I don’t usually make guest posts out of single paragraphs – although I don’t really know why, since one of the glories of the blog is No Rules, and I do very short posts myself when I feel like it – but it matters so as many people as possible should see it so this time I am. Originally a comment on A culture obsessed with promoting and celebrating female success.

As an ex-Muslim woman from the Middle East and a victim of oppressive misogyny at the hands of Islamist power structures, I absolutely condemn continued attempts to use the plight of Muslim women to trivialize harassment and misogyny in the United States. My oppression is not a tool to be used to bolster anti-feminism. Those who hold such opinions, Dawkins included, can kindly fuck off.


  1. Martha says

    When I read this, I exclaimed “fucking fantastic!” aloud. Thanks, Marwa. So well said.

  2. beardymcviking says

    Well I’m at work just now, so I didn’t say “Too fucking right!” out loud. I did think it though 🙂

    Well said.

  3. says

    I do agree – I often sense that atrocities against women in, say, Pakistan are weaponised to attack women who are raising e.g. issues to do with equal pay or sexist discourse. It’s not logical only to allow discussion of the worst examples of any kind of prejudice.

  4. Bjarte Foshaug says

    But.. but.. but.. how are women in the Muslim world ever going to achieve equality unless sleazy, entitled male perverts from Hell have unlimited freedom to seek personal gratification on women’s expense here?

  5. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Let’s see, how can this be spun by prominent atheist men who know better than women what is really sexist, and when women should be allowed to speak about it? “Well, you’re not a Muslim anymore, so you don’t count!” “You are a Marxist!” ( someone said both of these to discredit Maryam Namazie about her knowledge/opinion of Islam). Any other guesses?

  6. says

    1000X this! This is precisely why people with mental illness are getting pissed off at merit-less claims of mental illness in the situation with the misogynistic killer. Pointing at another group as an argument with no rational reasons for doing so other than deemphasizing the subject the group is being connected to is using others as a tool.

    There are ways of comparing categories of bad things involving different categories of people with shared characteristics, but they involve better understanding the problem so that those more closely connected with a particular problem can better confront it. In truth this is a cowardly retreat from something to be confronted, in addition to an empathy-less use of others for one’s own personal ends.

  7. says


    In truth this is a cowardly retreat from something to be confronted, in addition to an empathy-less use of others for one’s own personal ends…

    But there’s such a respectable history of such misdirection, of late…

    I mean, let’s face it, if it was mostly Saudis knocked down your building, and the nature of your entanglement with that kingdom and the actual not-especially-official status of the actors within that state confound your addressing it in any actually sensible way, or you simply lack the political will or wherewithal to do anything about this grievance with the source of all that sweet crude, well…

    … well, clearly, you should just invade Iraq.

    Sure, the death toll will be in six figures, and you’re likely to wind up replacing a dictator with rival Islamist factions gunning for each other and everyone else within range, but, well, look! A dictator!

    (/And hey. Just think what illustrious intellectual company this puts one in.)


  1. […] we were rhetorical points rather than human beings. My fellow ex-Muslimah and Freethought Blogger Hiba has also spoken up and out against the Dear Muslimah tactic. That we were accused of doing so to Reza Aslan is painful as […]

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