new blog exposes hideous double standards

Via Dr. Helen, I learned that Dr. Phyllis Chesler (author of The New Anti-Semitism -- a great book!) now has a Pajamas Media blog.

There's already a lot of great stuff there, but I was drawn to a reference in this post to a truly appalling situation -- a left wing feminist who is helping justify female genital mutilation:

Can it be true? Did a woman anthropologist actually compare the ceremony at which young Masai girls are genitally mutilated to "a white wedding"?

Yes she did. It's true. The anthropologist's name is (or was) Melissa Llewellyn-Davies MFA. In case you're wondering, the initials do not stand for Master of Fine Arts; they stand for Marxist Feminist Anthropologist. Ms Llewellyn-Davies compared genital mutilation to a white wedding in her chillingly misleading narration for the film Masai Women, a Disappearing World production. You can buy it today from CD Universe for $13.49.

I was reminded of this episode when Ayaan Hirsi Ali passed through Sydney recently. It should be said that on the subject of female genital mutilation, and the cultures where this abhorrent practice is found, her own writing in Infidel and The Caged Virgin is the place to start. The general circumstances in which helpless girls have the labia minora, clitoris, and sometimes more than this inadvertently cut off could not be better described and explained. Moreover, Ms Hirsi Ali also tells us that it is still practiced by Somali and Moroccan immigrants in Europe today.

The denial in which this Feminist Marxist Anthropologist engages is quite sickening. She cares nothing about the suffering of the girl; in fact she edited out her awful screams, and instead presented the lying reassurances of a tribal elder:
Her screams were edited out and replaced by the voice and image of an older tribal woman smilingly telling us how happy she is, while Ms Llewellyn-Davies--whose bleak British diction has to be heard to be believed--pours a bland sociological interpretation over everything. Those interested in general arguments about truth and lies in documentary film-making are referred to an essay at this site where these matters are discussed at greater length--see "Matters of Fact". For the story of the editing of Masai Women see Peter Loizos, Innovation in ethnographic film. University of Chicago Press. (1993)
While I don't know whether such lefties actually enjoy seeing poor Third World people suffer, starve and die, reading things like that make me wonder. Certainly, condescending attitudes like that of the filmmaker do nothing to help rid the world of such barbaric practices as female genital mutilation, and it would not surprise me at all if the goal were to perpetuate them -- most likely under the rubric of "preserving" the indigenous people's "cultural DNA."

Laughable as it sounds, many Post-Modernists do think that way. I don't see much logical difference between preserving the Masais appalling cultural practices and preserving the medieval Islamic fundamentalist practice of stoning women to death for "adultery," amputating limbs of thieves, or executing homosexuals and "apostates."

Little wonder Ayaan Hirsi Ali is systematically ignored by the "feminists" at NOW.

I'm sure they're quite uncomfortable with her criticism of barbaric Islamic practices. As Dr. Chesler has documented, such criticism is increasingly seen as hate speech -- ironically by people who themselves quite arrogantly engage in hate speech. This one-sided approach to hate speech is touched on here:

....The Veteran Feminists of America, hosted a plenary panel about the future of women, world-wide, at Barnard last year. They refused to allow me to speak about Islamic gender Apartheid. When I asked to do so, I was told that several women of color had already been invited and that no doubt, they would cover all the relevant issues that affected Third World women. Of course, they did not do so. One woman of color, a woman I rather like, instead railed against the host feminist organization because most of its members were "white." Otherwise, the august panelists did not stray from their politically correct concerns about racism which trumped all and any concerns they might have had about gender.

No amount of dispassionate (and passionate) arguments have been able to sway the politically correct western faculties and administrators who believe that hate speech deserves all the trappings and protection of both free speech and distinguished university platforms and presses. The most heinous recent titles have all been published by once prestigious presses.

They believe that their hate speech should be protected, but that if you disagree with them, you're the one who's guilty of hate speech! (What the new anti-Semites are saying boils down to, "we are free to malign Jews, but if you disagree with us, you're guilty of hate speech!")

Obviously, the idea is that some hate speech should be protected while other hate speech should be prohibited. But what are the standards? While the people making these ridiculous assertions have no standards (which means that their nonsense may be freely disregarded), I suspect they'd like to create a "protected hate speech" category along "cultural DNA" lines. Because it is part of some people's cultural DNA to hate Israel, kill homosexuals, and treat women like property, what they say is not hate speech, but criticism of them is.

But what if another crackpot comes along and argues that what we call "Western Civilization" is part of his "cultural DNA" and deserves special protection?

(Don't look at me; I prefer the simplicity and elegance of the First Amendment.)

posted by Eric on 10.11.07 at 10:04 AM


I don't know whether lefties enjoy seeing poor Third World people suffer, starve and die, either, but they clearly derive personal satisfaction from ensuring that they suffer, starve and die.

guy on internet   ·  October 11, 2007 12:57 PM

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