bourgeois feminism?

duy nguyen jislober at
Tue Aug 6 15:39:21 MDT 2002

The "bourgeious feminist" debate might be over and done with.  Sorry I 
haven't been checking my mail.  I would like to say a few things for those 
still thinking about the matter.  Some of the thoughts expressed in the 
emails I've read seem seem lacking from a dialectical, as well as historical 
perspective.  Furthermore much of both the male and female perspectives 
express seem in my assesment not only "bourgeous," and uncritically first 
world as well.  In opinion, sept. 11th has become more important to resolve 
or at least find some adequate way of thinking this issue more than ever.  I 
am thinking in particular of the case of the talaban, and the islamic world 
in general's treatment of women.  I think we have to ask ourselves, to what 
degree is it possible to condemn the oppression of women in islamic 
countries like Afghanistan (perhaps the third world in general) as 
objectively wrong, meaning universally wrong, regardless of historical, 
social and cultural context.  I think its important to address this question 
to ourselves because, since sept. 11th especially, it has become clear that 
what is referred to her as "bourgeois feminism" as become in many ways very 
much a rallying cry for conservatives and war hawks.  People like Ashcroft 
who have perhaps like nothing better than to erect his own christian version 
of taliban's system of oppression against wormn in this country suddenly 
began to talk about gender issues, equality and so forth.  And I heard more 
than one red neck deploring the horrible fate of woman under the taliban.  
What does it mean when feminism, its issues, its concerned, and its politics 
can be mobilized by the ultra conservative left for its imperialistic aims?  
It does not mean, of course, those issues, concerns and so forth are simply 
wrong.  Of course not.  But does lead us to question how objective the 
nearly universal condemnation of the talibam was.  Might multiculturalism 
and feminism, all the various radicalism of the past few decades become 
nothing more than a new kind of mission civilisatrice?

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