“Western” Feminists and White Male Ignorance

I was reading an article by Mark Steyn from Maclean’s entitled "The left’s strange hostility to Hirsi Ali." Steyn is very conservative and I disagree with many of his beliefs, but sometimes he gets it right. This time, he does not. He is discussing Ayann Hirsi Ali, the former Muslim woman who is guarded 24/7 because of death threats from Muslims. I have respect for this woman and am glad somebody is standing up to Muslims. Steyn says,

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s great cause is women’s liberation. Unfortunately for her, the women she wants to liberate are Muslim, so she gets minimal support and indeed a ton of hostility from Western feminists who have reconciled themselves, consciously or otherwise, to the two-tier sisterhood: when it comes to clitoridectomies, forced marriages, honour killings, etc., multiculturalism trumps feminism.

I want to know how many "western feminists" Steyn knows. I am pretty sure I qualify, and I have written about the disgrace of honour killings, and many other "western feminists" have written about the horrors of female genital mutilation. We do not have one good thing to say about either. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I read more "western feminist" blogs than Steyn does, yet he thinks he knows us better than we know ourselves? This really infuriates me. These are issues I care about and I do not support any notion of "two-tier sisterhood." Multiculturalism does not trump feminism!
Steyn is a Conservative white male and he demonstrates his ignorance with this statement. If you want to tell Mark Steyn that real "western feminists" do care about these topics, send him an email to mailbox@steynonline.com. I have no idea if he will read it, but it is worth a shot.
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  1. As a young South Asian woman, I am just glad I have a strong Canadian and Pakistani feminist role model in Tahmena Bokhari. She balances east and west and is such as strong advocate for women.

  2. Somia, I have never heard of her but I will definitely go and look her up! Thanks for the information; I am always looking for feminists that offer a unique position. Many of the feminists I know of are white, so it is nice to know that there are minority feminists out there.

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