When it comes to women in Africa, is the U.S. using too many of its values or too few?This is a prime example of how some women are complicit in their own victimization, as Phyllis Chesler has often spoken about.
There is too much apologizing for what freedom means. In Africa, you're told, "Oh, this is our custom -- polygamy is our custom, female genital mutilation is our custom, these are our values." Then you have the Americans and the Europeans being very shy and saying, "Oh, I'm really sorry, it's your custom."
Your own grandmother oversaw your genital mutilation when you were 5, even though your father opposed it.
That's why I keep hammering on principle. My grandmother was convinced she was doing something right. She was brainwashed. She was doing it out of love. She had done it to all her daughters; it was done to her, to her grandmother. She didn't know it was possible not to be, as she called it, "cleansed." Yes, education helps, but it had everything to do with the conviction that what she was doing was right.
I've asked other feminists this question: Why are women's rights always the ones up for negotiation?You know what western feminism might not define as oppressor among white men? Leftists. But then doesn't that figure that for left-wing "feminists", they may not dare to turn against their "own"?
Yes, isn't that interesting? Women are mainly oppressed by their own fathers, their own brothers, their own mothers-in-law, their grandmothers, so it's the most intimate kind of oppression. Another thing: Western feminism still defines the white man as the oppressor, but right now it's the brown man, the black man, the yellow man. When you tell them, "Stop oppressing your women," they'll tell you, "Don't impose your culture on me." It would have been fantastic if, when [President] Obama went to Cairo, he [had said], "We have taught the white man that bigotry is bad and he has given it up, at least most of it. Now bigotry is committed in the name of the black man, the brown man, the yellow man, whatever color."
Do you make a distinction between mainstream and radical Islam?
I refuse to do that because one gives birth to the other. You are born into mainstream Islam. You are taught: Do not question the prophet; everything in the Koran is true. And then the radicals come and they expand on that, they build on that. So it is up to so-called mainstream Islam to tackle the radical element. [Mainstream Muslims] have to question the infallibility of the prophet Muhammad. They have to quit teaching children and young people that everything in the Koran is true and has to be taken seriously.
You can see it in the Christian world. You have pockets of very radical Christians who refuse to change. But most Christians have decided to reform, to introduce new ways of looking at [the Bible] and to allow freedom of thought and speech. So if people move away from the radical ideas, they're not killed, they're not beheaded.
Via Right Mind.