Thursday, October 26, 2006

Note to NeoCons: Stop Pimping Feminist Arguments

I don't know about you, but I have about had it with conservative politicians using "feminist" arguments to fuel resentment and outrage toward Muslims. It sickens me as a feminist to think that Muslims around the world might get the idea that feminists are racist or otherwise bigotted. This morning I heard the following BBC report:

Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali said women who did not wear a hijab (head dress) were like "uncovered meat".

But he has now apologised for any offence caused by his comments, The Australian newspaper reports.

Leading Muslim women condemned the comments and PM John Howard said the remarks were "appalling".

"The idea that women are to blame for rapes is preposterous," Mr Howard told reporters.

Look, its hard for me to stomach this deep concern for women, particularly this argument that feminists have made for years only to be dismissed, that what someone wears does not invite rape. How convenient to trot out this well worn feminist argument in the context of admonishing a Muslim cleric.

Let's not forget that the frenzied Neo-cons around W have been all to happy to point out how atrociously the Muslims treat their women. They also encourage that states like Iraq develop a secular government, while at home they embolden and encourage the rabid right wing to interfere and have control over all aspects of women's lives.

Stop the madness.

On behalf of feminism, I want to apologize to Muslims, and particularly Muslim women, who endure unfair criticisms for their decision to wear headscarves. The politicization of the headscarf is the most cynical misuse of feminism for despicable and deplorable foreign policy aims.

While telling women who don't wear the hijab that they are like "uncovered meat" is a statement I find offensive; it in no way represents all Muslims, nor does it even suggest that Muslims mistreat their women. All that it does is give Australians (Brits and Americans) further fuel for their irrational hatred of Muslims. It also allows paints Muslim women as helpless victims in need of the safety and rescue of the strong American (men).

Look, the last people I want being chivalrous, or championing women's rights, are the Neo Con wackos currently killing these very women with their disgusting foreign policy!