After finding myself typing a comment that nearly turned into an essay (here) I realised I wanted to turn it into a blog, So here it is. On Feminism. From a different angle.
“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women,” said Pat Robertson, a television evangelist and former Baptist minister during his GOP convention speech in 1992. “It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”
A shocking statement. One that is no longer widely held but nevertheless one that does have a grain of insight to how society today sees feminism. I’ll start at the very beginning then. The word feminism is of French origin and it is a word that always has caused much controversy. It was first used by a philosopher who wanted to improve the status of women in society but did not care much for equality. Today the word is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” A reasonable ideology one would think. So why the hatred towards Feminism?
Common stereotypical views of feminists
The reason behind why people associate feminism with unpleasant attitudes and misdirected hate of men is because that is how it’s advocates portray it. In our modern societies..in the West and other, women have reached a place in time where they are no longer discriminated against. Where they indeed , in civil rights, humanitarian rights, are generally equal to men. The movement in this case is no longer really demanding any rights and is therefore waning. So what have they done to keep the movement going? Perhaps they have begun to address parts of the world where this has not yet been achieved. Perhaps they have been advocating and supporting people like Malala Yousafzai in campaigning for this equality to become universally accepted. But no, most haven’t.
Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban but continues to inspire by remaining adamant about campaigning for educational and women’s rights.
Today, feminists in modern society are more concerned with the media it seems. Here’s a link to an example of their preoccupations. The banning of a controversial yet popular song. These words of course do not apply to all feminists but what the movement to most people today represents. A diminishing ideology that finds itself without purpose within it’s own society and instead of moving on to others which need it, begins to attack any small form of sexism that still exist and latch on to it. So while I would proudly have identified myself a feminist in the past, I am now hesitant to use the term.
An example of another well-known feminist controversy is the case of sexist remarks made off-air by Sky News Football commentator Andy Gray a couple of years ago – which caused a backlash so violent from feminists with no better cause, that he was sacked for it. I don’t mean to defend his remarks – of course they were inappropriate and overstepped a certain boundary. But then again, this is precisely the reason many people see feminism as an unwarranted and unneeded movement. There are simply more pressing matters that need to be addressed today than a sexist comment made by a man somewhere. It is illogical to begin campaigning against such things simply because they will continue to happen. Whether in private or in public.
We see people like Malal on TV and then switch to another channel to see Kate Walsh (here) debate a man over the insane injustice of calling a co-worker pretty and others often turning on other females for choosing a ‘non liberated path’ – the most recent headline stating “Model Attacked By Topless Protesters At Paris Fashion Week”. Feminism quickly then not only becomes unnecessary in the eyes of the general public but also becomes something of a fussy annoying sort of phenomenon that receives much more attention than is necessary.
I have, in the past, already seen quite a lot of Douglas Murray in debates revolving around religion.. And particularly those focused on my own: Islam. I think it’s safe to say that I disagree with him. On every level. On every bigoted arrogant religiously and racially aggravated word.
But just now I watched him give a speech on Middle Eastern Politics. I didn’t’ think it was possible, but apparently the fascistic nature all his speeches tend to originate from could apparently be upped a little…or rather a lot.
He should be applauded. It is rare for a man – an educated one at that, to display such audacity in proclaiming his hatred for a religion. He wears it proudly, his imaginary swastika.
I’m rarely this riled by any subject matter, but this seemed to hit me hard. It maybe a little intense for a first post. But also somehow fitting. Something personal.
Over the years, speeches he gave attempted to fuel the hatred towards Muslims in the West and even Muslims in a completely different part of the world. The Middle East that is. Anyway, he persistently lumped us all together with the terrorists up in the caves of Afghanistan. Apparently we share moral values – all 1.6 billion of us. According to him, my religion is one of evil and compels me to kill ‘infidels’. Whoever that is. He probably means Non-Muslims. Thank God (yes ‘God’) I don’t take pointers on my own religion from a man who probably wouldn’t recognize a holy book if it were labelled.
I find the fact that he takes moral high ground while touring Europe asking for mosques to be “pulled down”, saying that “Muslim immigration to Europe needs to be stopped” and calling the religion of a quarter of humanity “an opportunist infection” rather off-putting.
Before the mosque comment this is what he said:
“Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition. We in Europe owe – after all – no special dues to Islam. We owe them no religious holidays, special rights or privileges. From long before we were first attacked it should have been made plain that people who come into Europe are here under our rules and not theirs.”
“If that means that some Muslims don’t have a mosque to go to, then they’ll just have to realise that they aren’t owed one. Grievances become ever-more pronounced the more they are flattered and the more they are paid attention to. So don’t flatter them.
And if that little hate speech and obvious call for religious aggravation and alienation of an already marginalised group wasn’t enough, he also thinks European Muslims are a “them” and not part of “us”. Take a look at the whole speech. He’s practically begging people to commit hate crime and publicly cheering on the suppression of a minority.
You seemingly cannot be a European and a Muslim at the same time (he said this to a Swiss Muslim at a debate (30:15 – 31:40), even if you were born in Europe. Even if you’ve always lived there, even if you’re a convert and even if you’re blonde and blue eyed? Hmm…someone followed that philosophy once. ‘You’re of a different religion, so you are not one of “us”. ’You must go.’ Who was that again? The one that mass murdered those six million people, that one…
Last year he was publicly defending the Israeli’s treatment of the Palestinians. I can’t be bothered with too many of his repulsive quotes so take a look here. The part that caught my eye was: Why do people look at Israel? Look at Syria people die there too. Now I haven’t got his debating experience but isn’t that a rather rubbish argument to make? ‘That secular government is killing its own people so why can’t Israeli’s kill other people? They’ve already chased them out and made them live in poverty. They’re blocking food supplies and building illegal settlements on what little land they were given… Why are you all criticising them?’
(Child is Palestinian Mohamed Al- Durrah – shot dead a few moments after picture was taken)
There’s more. Here he criticises the Arabs for defending Palestine when the Israelis first came and took it over to begin their reign of terror. This time, he says, Israel should attack first. Nuke Iran. With its own illegal weaponry. Because Iran has a nuclear power station. No evidence of a bomb? Whatever. Hey this could be another Iraq. Why not? It’s ‘pre-defence’ really. Israelis could lose “good men”. Iranians, on the other hand, they’re almost Arab. Eh. He also claims that we (the rest of the Muslim population) will be somehow grateful to Israel for attacking a Muslim majority country and killing maybe another few hundred thousand civilians. “They will say ‘thank God’” he says. Go Murray, you wave that Israeli flag. Hold it high. People might not see the atrocious regime that lies behind.
I’m almost done ranting. Clearly Christopher Hitchens’ praise of a biography he once wrote when he was nineteen fried his excited little mind. He’s trying so hard to be like him. A lot worse I’d say. There that was the last jab. Whew. I didn’t know I had all this in me. It’s all out now.