Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dexter Filkins and colonial feminism

I talked about colonial feminism before. But colonial feminism in the American press is when American reporters (males or females) who have no connection whatsoever with feminism in their home countries assume that they become relatively feminist among the Muslim believers because they believe that they are superior to them in that regard. Here, Filkins reveal his ignorance that Muslim women laugh: "The girls burst through the school’s walled compound, many of them flinging off head-to-toe garments, bounding, cheering and laughing in ways that are inconceivable outside." Yes, Mr. Filkins. Muslim women never laugh or joke except when surrounded by Westerners, rest assured. And then he makes a classic colonial argument: "Building new schools and ensuring that children — and especially girls — attend has been one of the main objectives of the government and the nations that have contributed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction." Yes, Mr. Filkins. US and other armies went to Afghanistan only to build schools, just as Britain went to India to build schools. And why do you think France occupied and colonized Algeria? To build schools, of course.