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[livejournal.com profile] delux_vivens never fails to bring the righteous, sweet justice. Especially with posts like this and statements like this:

I'm particularly tired of the idea that muslims and feminism are somehow mutual opposites, and for some reason, that people cant be both. Also, the complete ignorance of people who *are* muslims doing gender equity work *in* islam is appalling, from so many individuals who consider themselves well informed and deeply knowledgeable.




I find this to be relevant and especially important in the wake of the Elizabeth Moon debaucle (kerfluffle? failfest?), because what struck me in reading a lot of the conversation was the fact that even those who hold themselves to be enlightened and perhaps even anti-racist seem not to have gotten it into their heads in a meaningful way that part of feminism (or at least any feminism that's at all useful to actual women) is listening to the women in a particular situation and letting them be the ones to tell others about their experiences and oppression.

Which means that if we want to know whether Muslim women are being oppressed, we should be listening to actual Muslim women, and letting their voices be at the center of any efforts or movements to "liberate" them, if indeed they need any liberating at all. I find that when the U.S. media wants to report about religiously-motivated atrocities against women in the context of Islam, very little is heard from that woman (or women), from women like her. For some reason, it always seems to be the voice of a Western (usually white, given U.S. news media) person that tells the story and shapes it for the minds of a Western/U.S. audience. The woman/women in question are objects of pity, and more than that, object. They are symbols and examples and horror stories, but somehow never women. Somehow in trying to "tell their story", it stops being their story and starts being a narrative of all the reasons why the U.S. (generalized, as I realize there are many Muslims who identify nationally as U.S.-ian) is somehow justified in Islamophobia, because we are of course so much more enlightened and progressive in our treatment of women.

Sorry, I need to take a moment to look around at the blatant misogyny and sexism around and then laugh because otherwise I'm going to weep uncontrollably.

I can't say that Moon's bigotry or comments surprise me, coming from a culture where the stories of Muslim women are never told by Muslim women. Nor can I say I'm surprised to see this idea that Muslims are "demanding" things just by existing where Moon might be able to notice them (though how a woman who's LJ info places her in Texas can somehow be detrimentally affected by a worship center in New York City has yet to occur to me).

Because that's how this whole Islamophobia thing operates. Strip away context, strip away actual Muslim voices, have a bunch of non-Muslims tell the story the way they want to. And well, you end up with the absolutely nauseating protests against the NYC worship center and comments like Moon's, and worse yet, you get them from spaces and voices that ostensibly are fighting oppression - like, say, feminism.

Any statement, any movement, any con, any thing or space which says they'll support a woman in gender struggles, but then attack (or let one of their honored guests attack) her faith or culture or race or citizenship status or national identity, it's still exactly something that hurts women and when your feminism hurts women, it's has failed.

Which is something that's bothered me as I've been quietly listening and reading about this entire thing - that so many people were hurt not just by Moon's initial statements, by the slow actions of the organizers of Wiscon to make it clear that they weren't going to let women get hurt by the actions and words of a GOH, of a person they invited and chose to honor in the Wiscon space. When an ostensibly feminist space allows women to be hurt, can it really be deemed a feminist space?

Which all basically boils down to: yeah, what she said.
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