In her book “Women and Gender in Islam,” Professor Leila Khaled coins the term “Colonial Feminism” which she defines as the cynical practice of preaching concern for the well-being of women in order to advance colonial interests.
For instance, Khaled notes the famous case of Lord Cromer, Britain’s colonial governor in Egypt, who repeatedly feigned concern for Egyptian women and how only Britain could guarantee their rights in order to justify Britain’s continued occupation of Egypt. “Colonial Feminism,” as Khaled further notes, often has an ironic twist. Those very same people who champion feminism in colonized lands are usually noted misogynists who oppose the emancipation of women in their countries. Cromer, for instance, was opposed to the suffragist movement in Britain.
“Colonial Feminism” is back in full force since the age of Bush. In the march to the war in Afghanistan, strangely George Bush all of a sudden sounded like a feminism expressing his desire to see Afghan women freed.
In the liberal group Feminist Majority was enlisted to rally the nation to war and has diligently continued to champion U.S. war, bombing and occupation in Afghanistan for the supposed benefit of the women there. For such despicable, racist groups; the women of Afghanistan need to be freed by way of the White Man’s bombs no matter how many of them they kill and leave childless.
This is not universal concern, this is dangerous patronization. Several feminist groups are now working with the Pentagon to preach the doctrine of U.S. war and occupation. The Pentagon now works with feminist groups to craft a message of support for the brutal war in Afghanistan. This is the face of American Liberalism: feminist war hawks believing that the Brown women of Afghanistan need U.S. war planes to bomb them into freedom.
For years they have preached this doctrine without any sense of shame. It was nice to see this feminist doctrine of war get slapped down in this exchange between Democracy New host Amy Goodman and liberal Howard Dean. Unlike most American feminists who look down on third-world women and appropriate themselves as spokespersons for them without ever talking to them, Ms. Goodman actually spoke with a real feminist and Afghan and here’s what she said about women’s rights and the U.S.-led war:
AMY GOODMAN: We just interviewed an Afghan parliamentarian, Dr. Wardak. She said the opposite. She said, yes, she agrees with you on the way women are treated, but that this is worsening the treatment, that the increased number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the huge number of troops that are coming in right now, are alienating the Afghan population.