Monday, May 24, 2010

Bollocks, Bafflegab and Pathologically Clueless Moral Relativism (Also, No Mention of Jihad and Sharia's Built-In Oppression of Women)

In an article about how Canadian women have tried to help Afghan women, "scholar" Melanie Butler achieves the above-mentioned Po-Mo trifecta. Here's the abstract from her article, as quoted by Lauren Oates in her rebuke on the Butterflies & Wheels site:Oh, man (or should I say oh, woman?). How can people actually write such outright tripe and actually keep from laughing out loud?
Canadian women have been at the forefront of the international movement for women’s rights in Afghanistan since the rise of the Taliban in the late 1990s. Focusing on the prominent group Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan), this paper looks at the role its advocacy assumes in the context of the “War on Terror”. In Canada as in the United States, government agencies have justified the military invasion of Afghanistan by revitalizing the oppressed Muslim woman as a medium through which narratives of East versus West are performed. While CW4WAfghan attempt to challenge dominant narratives of Afghan women, they ultimately reinforce and naturalize the Orientalist logic on which the War on Terror operates, even helping to disseminate it through the Canadian school system. Drawing on post-colonial feminist theory, this paper highlights the implications of CW4WAfghan’s Orientalist discourse on women’s rights, and tackles the difficult question of how feminists can show solidarity with Afghan women without adhering to the oppressive narratives that permeate today’s political climate. It is only by employing alternative models that contextualize the situation of Afghan women in relation, rather than in opposition, to our own, that feminists can begin to subvert the mutually reinforcing narratives that sustain imperialist violence and women’s subordination.

4 comments:

skyhook8 said...

from her paper: "By explicitly focusing on how the second half of this mandate is pursued, my aim is not
to discredit what CW4WAfghan may have accomplished in Afghanistan, but rather, to
see how this work might be undemiined by becoming part of the War on Terror’s neo-
imperialist project of knowledge construction."

Wretch!! Her thesis project is just an application for employment at some cozy progressive university.

Tim Johnston said...

I did laugh out loud :D

It has the all the wonderful progressive cliche'd language,
"dominant narratives", "Orientalist", "post-colonial", and of course, "imperialist violence".

Priceless.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Orientalist? I don't even like Chinese food!

scaramouche said...

Heh. That's where we differ, Cat. I love Chinese food. I can't abide progressive cant, though--with or without the MSG.