Women’s Rights are universal but do Western Feminists’ actions match their words?

Western feminists say that women’s rights are universal but their actions indicate that they are only interested in Muslim women’s rights if they live in a Western country and even then they are very selective about which rights they are prepared to speak up about. They become outraged when Muslim women are told to dress like French women in France but have no interest in Muslim women being forced to dress like Fundamentalist Muslims in Iran.

Even worse than this disinterest in the plight of Muslim women overseas is the sad fact that many feminists will turn on anyone who does have the courage to make a stand on these issues. Western feminist Nazi Paikidze made a stand for the Muslim women of Iran and was smeared as an anti-Muslim bigot by her fellow feminists.

At a conference for Women in Secularism 

Maryam Namazie outlined the absolutely heart-wrenching situation for women in Iran—a situation that gets zero traction from the same media outlets that flooded our news feeds with condemnation of the Burkini Ban.  Why are we so outraged when women are told what to wear in France, but we ignore the same situation in Saudi, Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc? Why are the women in France more valuable than the women in MENA? Where is the outrage? Where are our allies?

We will fight for your freedom to wear what you want…but not if you’re in the Muslim world

As if the universe had heard our pleas, a few days later we met Nazi Paikidze. She is the US Chess Grandmaster who refused to wear the hijab when competing in Iran. A Western feminist was finally standing up for the forgotten and ignored women in the Muslim world. She exhibited, what Asra Nomani calls, ‘moral courage’, pushing back in the face of an oppressive system and saying NO. She certainly didn’t need to. She could have easily thrown on a scarf, whatever… she could just throw it off a few days later.  But she chose to support the plight of women who cannot just throw it off. 

And what did she get for it? Condemnation. She was smeared as an anti-Muslim bigot, told to mind her own business, told to respect other people’s culture…the ludicrous onslaught of criticism continued.

Even prominent feminists in the Muslim world, like Mona Eltahawy, would prefer that non-Muslim women ‘shut up’ about the issue.

…Did white people in America shut up about Civil Rights? How about the ending of apartheid in South Africa? Did that happen because non-Black, non-South Africans decided to ‘shut up’? How about feminism in the West? Was that achieved because the men all agreed to shut up?

Asking your allies, who are in a position to help support your cause, to ‘shut up’ has to be the most nonsensical, counterproductive assertion ever.

Not all of us are this divisive though, many women see us all as sisters, regardless of race, religion, or nationality. Western feminist allies, please, do not be bullied into ‘shutting up’ because of a few narrow-minded comments. Identity Politics will only divide us, and divided we fall.

Let us all unite: men, women, western, eastern, I don’t care who you are.  I don’t care what your skin colour is or what your ethnicity is. If we agree on the same humanist values of equality, fairness, justice, respect, and rights for *all* women across the planet, then take my hand. Join me and the millions like me who are thankful for your support.

In the triage of Women’s issues: being assaulted, fined, and imprisoned for not adhering to a dress code mandated by your government is paramount. Tweet your support of #MyStealthyFreedom, #NoHijabDay, and #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen.

As Maryam Namazie said in the conference: Women’s Rights are universal.

If you do not agree with that statement, that’s your prerogative. Don’t support us. But, please just get out of our way. Do not hinder our progress by silencing us or by bullying our allies into retreating from supporting us.

-nicemangos.blogspot.co.nz


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