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How Intersectionalism Betrays the World’s Muslim Women

I attended the infamous “#Feminist” speaking event at the Sydney Town Hall. It was a discussion between Roxane Gay, a Haitian-born intersectional feminist, and Christina Hoff Sommers, a self-described “equity feminist.” I went with the intention of confronting my growing disillusionment with the morally proscriptive nature of intersectional feminism and the broader leftist movement. I harboured hopes that the divisive behaviour I was seeing on social media was disproportionately represented by radicals and that the event would bring some sense to the madness. Instead, I left feeling completely alienated from a movement that once brought me so much hope.

It was my second crisis of faith in three years, the first being my renunciation of Islam at the age of 21. Free from the shackles of fundamentalism, I embraced the left-wing movement with open arms. Until only recently, I saw it as a celebration of everything I’d been denied as a devout Muslim. As a woman who’d been forced into the hijab at puberty, trapped within the Islamic guardianship system and restricted by groupthink, I loved the emphasis on individuality, choice and autonomy that I found in progressive politics. My exposure to abuses of power allowed me to relate to identity politics and victimhood narratives.

This began to change about six months ago when I became involved with the ex-Muslim movement. As I became acquainted with the activism of role models such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Yasmine Mohamed, Armin Navabi and Ali Rizvi, I began to recognise the cognitive dissonance afflicting the left, leaving them with a severe blind spot. A bizarre alliance with Islam, a set of very conservative ideas, has earned them the label of “regressive left’’ instead. Their misguided campaign against “Islamophobia” has failed to separate the ideology from the people, conflating prejudice against Muslims with valid opposition to the doctrine. The stigma has hindered constructive discourse and established a concerning trend whereby issues typically challenged by the left, such as homophobia and gender inequality are disregarded where prevalent in Muslim majority countries or even Muslim communities within the west.

Like me, many ex-Muslims have felt it to be their responsibility to fill this void in leftist activism. Yet we are often met with reflexive accusations of bigotry or intolerance. Despite lived experiences and intimate understanding of the doctrine driving our stances, we are denied a platform to voice them. This censorship of confronting ideas stems from the left’s fixation on distinguishing themselves from the right. A severe overcorrection has ironically pushed them into an illiberal territory. Affiliates of the left must conform to prescribed beliefs and behaviours to prove their loyalty. Those that pass the test are rewarded with the illustrious “woke” status. Failure to do so carries the risk of misalignment with “the enemy” and exile as a result.

The “factual feminist” Christina Hoff Sommers has thrown out the rulebook and defined her own moral boundaries. Like ex-Muslims, her liberal values are overridden by the defiance of select leftist orthodoxies. This also makes her a prime candidate for rejection based on guilt by association. This was demonstrated at the feminist event when Roxane Gay expressed an aversion to sharing a platform with her. When questioned about this, Gay explained that she considered Sommers to be “white supremacy-adjacent” for appearing alongside Milo Yiannopoulos and failing to adequately disavow his problematic views.

Prior to the event, the Southern Poverty Law Centre had also informed Gay of Sommers’ alleged association with “male supremacy” based on an “overlap” between some of her arguments and those found in men’s rights activism. Gay admitted that inadequate vetting was to blame for her “regrettable” involvement with the event. She vowed to be more thorough in the future to avoid such oversights.

Taking their cues from her, Gay’s supporters in the audience didn’t hold back in expressing their disapproval. They started out by giggling at Sommers’ first few points. Then it turned into full blown laughter. Then boos. Then heckles. Then stamping their feet to drown her voice out. She was forced to stop multiple times. Desh Amila, the moderator and organiser of the event, tried to intervene to salvage the conversation.

Desh made a point of explaining why he’d been forced to host the event himself as a last resort.  Despite his best efforts, he was unable to secure any self-proclaimed feminists to take on this role. His invitations were either declined or ignored. Given the opportunity to participate in a reconciliation of conflicting ideas, mainstream Australian feminists opted not to have the conversation at all. It was mortifying to realise that free speech among these feminists only applies to a narrow range of content.

“If your feminism isn’t intersectional, then it isn’t feminism” conveys the prevailing dogma of the mainstream movement. In this regard, Gay ticked another box for the audience and consolidated her position as the “real” feminist of the pair. Yet on the controversial topic of Islamic misogyny it was Sommers—often dismissed as a feminist fraud—who rose to the occasion with the application of a universal feminism. Gay’s commitment to intersectionality significantly compromised her engagement with the topic.

This was highlighted when Desh asked the speakers about our responsibility to address international misogyny, such as that seen in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. He added some depth to the question with a clip of Indonesian “Sharia police” pulling over adolescent girls on their way to school for perceived immodesty. They pointed to tight jeans and hijabs that didn’t cover enough and gave them more suitable clothing to wear instead. One of these men used Sharia to justify sexualising them at that age, explaining that a woman is required to observe modesty from the age of 9. An older woman reiterated the misogynistic mentality behind the hijab—that it fulfils a woman’s obligation to ward off male temptation and lust.

Quoted in Jesse Signal’s recently published piece in New York Magazine, Gay said:

I also think it would be really presumptuous of me as a feminist to know what’s best for Saudi Arabian women, who have been very effective at organizing—we saw this especially in recent years as they fought for the right to drive.…I don’t know that they need external intervention. What they need is our support materially, probably financially, and certainly in terms of highlighting voices in those communities who are leading these movements to create change. So I think support can come in a lot of different ways, but I don’t think it needs to come in an interventionist way, because I don’t think we know better than what those communities need for themselves.

I found this response severely lacking and outlined my concerns on Twitter shortly after the event. With politically charged references to an interventionist mindset, she avoids engaging in a measured and necessary discussion about oppressive Islamic norms. In deflecting to the West’s supposed imperialist tendencies, she chooses to focus on us rather than them—the women in desperate need of vocal support. Reading between the lines, I perceived there to be a cautionary message to feminists to stand back and wait for Muslim women, as representatives of their culture, to speak up and lead the charge against their oppressors. She uses a sugar-coated portrayal of Saudi activism to make her case, failing to mention the well-documented imprisonment, sexual assault and torture faced by the Saudi feminists involved in the “Women to Drive” movement. Implying that they are capable of managing their own advocacy when reality tells a very different story is negligent at best.

We need to acknowledge the socio-political factors that make dissent near-impossible in Islamic societies to understand why unapologetic and swift condemnations are needed from Western feminists. Taking Gay’s words at face value, Jesse Singal described my criticism as an “inflammatory claim” that “just isn’t true.” This is understandable when one overlooks the context of the “stay in your lane” sentiment subtly woven into her response. A political climate that stigmatises any criticism of Islam, however valid, pushes this topic outside the scope of mainstream feminism as it is. We can’t afford to remain silent when a prominent role model distances herself from the most important feminist crisis of our time.

During the event, Sommers echoed my concerns about intersectionality, likening it to a conspiracy theory of victimization. She outlined the rapid trajectory from its inception to incorporation into mainstream feminism, emphasising its fallibility like any other theory. As such, she was able to respond to Desh without hesitation, confirming our obligation to help women battle international misogyny. She cited Saudi Arabian Rahaf Mohammed’s escape from an oppressive society and abusive family to Canada in January as an example of the outcome when the world unites to support the cause.

Christina Sommers and Roxane Gay at the #Feminist event at Sydney Town Hall

Sommers expanded on this with the timely example of renowned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh’s case. In representing women prosecuted for protesting forced veiling, she is seen as legitimising opposition to the Iranian regime. She is now facing 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, proving just how defenseless activists are in a system based on subjugation and control. Exposed to such women through the U.N., Sommers described them as the most courageous feminists in the world. By highlighting the voices of resistance already out there, Sommers’ reveals the logical fallacy in Gay’s argument: a hands-off approach to Islamic misogyny has never been about letting minorities speak for themselves. It has always been about the willingness to listen.

The progress of Muslim reformers, dissidents and apostates is hindered by leftists that use cultural relativism as a basis for their activism. Within this framework, Western progress and improving standards of equality, justice and freedom is naively attributed to white privilege rather than a long and bloody struggle towards enlightenment values. To take responsibility for their imperialist past and its impact on other cultures, leftists operate under a perceived obligation to remain impartial to practices they wouldn’t accept for themselves. These double standards undermine the principle of international human rights and has been termed as “the bigotry of low expectations.” Refusing to acknowledge social justice issues where prevalent among Muslims allows the disparities in quality of life to continue while they pat themselves on the back for being “culturally sensitive.”

Misguided celebrations such as “World Hijab Day—and the recent New Zealand iteration, “Headscarves for Harmony,” which is designed to honour the victims of the Christchurch mass shootings—exemplify the misguided direction of western feminist activism. Rather than showing solidarity with Muslim women by challenging purity culture, moral policing and forced modesty, clueless intersectional feminists are actively normalising their oppression.

More welcome was the counter movement, “No Hijab Day,” which raised awareness about the coercion imposed on Muslim women to wear the hijab. In Iran, the trend has taken form under the banner of “White Wednesdays and “My Stealthy Freedom,” and has been spearheaded by New York-based Iranian activist Masih Alinejad. She sums up her frustration with western feminists beautifully: “Iranian women, they fight against the compulsory hijab and they are alone, they are on their own…the female politicians who visit Iran, the tourists, the athletes, the actresses, all of them—when they go to my beautiful country, they say, ‘This is a cultural issue. We wear it out of respect to the culture of Iran.’ Let me be clear with you, calling a discriminatory law part of our culture—this is an insult to a nation.”

In amongst the confusion, “#Feminist” has brought about pockets of clarity. Perhaps the most confronting realisation of all is that good intentions, of which the left has no shortage of, aren’t always enough. Intersectionality, with the best of intentions, has woven a tangled web of obsessive white guilt and fetishized victimhood. Without even realising it, western feminists and regressive leftists perpetuate inequality for their own gratification. Open dialogue and scrutiny of ideas has been essential to our progress as a society thus far and must continue to be prioritised in the future. Every one of us has a role to play in the protection of free speech. Every one of us has a powerful voice. Let’s make them count.


Omayama Mohammed writes for Faithless Hijabi. Follow her on Twitter @Omaymam_94 

125 Comments

  1. Morgan Foster says

    Roxanne Gay is always going to have a problem with a white woman who does not publicly take a subordinate role in any conversation regarding social issues.

    • George G says

      “Gay explained that she considered Sommers to be “white supremacy-adjacent” for appearing alongside Milo Yiannopoulos and failing to adequately disavow his problematic views.”

      Surely by her own logic Gay is white supremacy-adjacent-adjacent, for appearing with Sommers who appeared with Yiannopoulos?

      Any intersectional feminist that now appears with Gay will be white supremacy-adjacent-adjacent-adjacent.

      great article also.

      • Max says

        Does that make us all white supremacy-adjacent-adjacent-adjacent-adject, for reading this article, or does it make us apologists?

    • northernobserver says

      I guess that makes Roxanne Gay ISIS adjacent and an apologist for the Caliphate movement.

      • Hamilton Sunshine says

        Hush now, you’re not attempting logic to show how her own argument damns herself are you? Logic doesn’t work with intersectional feminism because it’s now become a cult and it’s own supremacy movement. At this point logic has left the building. There is only hate, power wielding, mantra, fervour and intolerance.

        • George G says

          @ Hamilton Sunshine

          you are of course correct, logic is a white-cis-male-patriarchal conspiracy designed to discredit indigenous forms of knowledge such as gut feelings or making stuff up.

          “There is only hate, power wielding, mantra, fervour and intolerance.” isn’t that the title of Gay’s last book? please don’t give her any idea’s

  2. BrainFireBob says

    There’s an old saying: The louder a man tells you he’s honest, the tighter you should hold on to your purse

    The left screams they are honest. Take a look at actions over words. The regressive left is the left. They’ve just screamed their honesty, and tarred the right so brazenly, that people don’t realize they’re actually centrists, because in popular consciousness, they accept the premise not being on the left is bad.

    They did this by highjacking language. Being progressive, as dichotomously opposed to regressive, is good. Being a political progressive is a different sense of the word. False association: Opposing social progressives doesn’t make one regressive. But when one side of a debate says “we’ll fairly divide teams, this is team rainbows and sunshine and that is team babykiller. Just arbitrary names. Now that is settled, who would want to be a babykiller?”

    They’re not interested in women’s rights. That’s cover. They’re interested in their power, which requires you being foolish enough to give them your support.

    Your allies are those who disapproved of BLM because they believed all lives matter- and who were frequently tarred, skin color unseen, as white nationalists or supremacists as a result.

    But take hope: there’s still a lot who love liberty. They’re the ones the intersectionalists hate and tell lies about.

    • E. Olson says

      BrainFireBob – I concur, Western feminism isn’t about helping oppressed women, its about power for elite women. There is no money or power in helping Muslim women in oppressive countries, in fact likely the opposite as you will be deplatformed and criticized by the Left if you express a desire to help Saudi/Iranian/etc. women. On the other hand, use biased and misleading statistics to complain about non-existent rape culture on college campuses, or non-existent gender gaps in pay, or non-existent discrimination against females in STEM, etc., and you are very likely to get some money (reparations), or gender quotas for high paid/high status positions, or new high paid positions in “gender equity and inclusion” administration, or leverage your protest efforts into a highly paid/status/powerful political office (as a Democrat of course).

      • Jay Salhi says

        “Western feminism isn’t about helping oppressed women, its about power for elite women.”

        Which is why a women like AHA, who has done more (by a considerable margin) to help oppressed women than the combined efforts of every left wing feminist alive today, is persona non grata in feminist circles. A woman who ought to be the ultimate feminist hero and role model is instead a pariah.

  3. Morgan Foster says

    What’s never really been explained very well is why Western feminists – most, if not all of them atheists – inflict so much hatred on Muslim women who become atheists themselves.

    • David Burke says

      Maybe because Western feminists are hate-filled in general?

    • Jay Salhi says

      When your worldview holds that the evil white patriarchy is the primary source of all the world’s problems, women like the author of this article who know what genuine oppression is are an inconvenience.

    • C Young says

      Simple – your enemy’s enemy is your friend (for extremely tribal people).

  4. Jeremy H says

    “A bizarre alliance with Islam, a set of very conservative ideas, has earned them the label of “regressive left’’ instead.”

    Not so bizarre in the end. At either extreme of the political spectrum the difference between conservative and liberal is subsumed by the increasingly authoritarian and puritanical nature of the dominating ideology. For the radical progressive left it’s the very simplicity of the Islamic moral universe, where all truths are revealed and immutable, that has them so bedazzled by the religion in the first place. They long for the same kind of authority enjoyed by the mullahs.

    What Islam believes is immaterial, you just deny or ignore it (good and bad); it’s the rigid and unified structure of society that is so appealing and, imo, has produced this (one-sided) alliance of seemingly opposed world views.

    • Morgan Foster says

      “this (one-sided) alliance of seemingly opposed world views …

      Is it one-sided? I’ll admit I’m having trouble seeing all the details but there seems to be an unspoken agreement:

      Western feminists attack Muslim women who have left their faith and in return, devout Muslims leave Western feminists in peace.

      Surely, someone like Ilham Omar, a devout Muslim, could only have nothing but the utmost contempt for an atheist, non-believing lesbian like Roxanne Gay, but …

      They leave each other alone. Not so one-sided.

      • Jeremy H says

        @Morgan

        Yes, I agree, that for the most part this is how it works. I suppose the one-sided nature of the deal I’m getting at is that the fawning admiration of the progressive left for Islam is not, as you point out in regard to Ilham Omar, in any way mutual.

        I also wonder how long this contract will last. In Ontario the recently elected Conservative government caused fits on the left with its plans to “scrap” the recently modernized sex-ed courses in public schools. Much of the political backing for this position came from devoutly religious communities of immigrant origin; a fact that has yet to be even acknowledged by the left. As the political clout of such communities continues to grow in the West it’s hard not to see an eventual collision between them and the progressive left.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Jeremy H

          Yes, you are correct. I think that the lefties also respect the islamists’ willigness to use violence in defence of their creed. I can just a lefty making the following argument:

          “Gee, Mr Muslim is prepared to hurt peope in defence of his beliefs. He must have suffered a terrible wrong if he is prepared to address it in such an anti-social manner.”

        • Ray Andrews says

          @Jeremy H

          “I also wonder how long this contract will last. ”

          The enemy of my enemy is my friend. What the woke and the Muslims have in common is a shared hatred of Western civilization (The Patriarchy to the feminists, The Infidels to the Muslims), thus they cooperate for the moment. But the Muslims intend to crush the woke as easily as one swats a fly once the caliphate is declared. The woke have only one weapon really, and that is whining. We choose to listen, so it has been effective.

          Folks like ISIS will not be listening. The entire wokocracy will be disposed of in a few days as the jihadis ‘trigger’ them, in a whole new way. Meanwhile the woke understand the Muslims to be a sort of golem or Frankenstein’s monster that is useful for attacking and destabilizing the West, but they seem to imagine that they will be able to control it in the future, which is truly fantastical.

          Meanwhile I suspect that someone is engineering the whole disaster. Follow the money.

          • Shlamazel says

            Ray Andrews. Very succinct description of the lefty/islamist alliance question. I believe you nailed it. I agree “follow the money”, but I’m reluctant to suspect an engineer behind a conspiracy. There is enough true belief in the bad ideas in Islamism and progressive-ism to drive this deal without looking for a hidden wizard. A brief reading of Machiavelli will review the historical fact that alliances with nasty actors usually end with one devouring the other.

          • E. Olson says

            Good comment Ray – clever use of trigger. Never bring a whine to a gunfight.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @Shlamazel

            ” There is enough true belief in the bad ideas in Islamism and progressive-ism to drive this deal without looking for a hidden wizard.”

            Indeed. Wasn’t it Napoleon who said that we should never look for evil where ordinary stupidity would explain? No, I’m not sure there’s a wizard, but I am tempted. One could not come up with a more perfect scenario to weaken a civilization. Dunno, maybe something so perfect has to be an accident. But if the global moneyed elite did want to make the social cohesion that might resist them impossible, how better than to convince your natural enemies, the left, that what really matters is DIE and transgendered bathrooms? Don’t defeat the left, rather get them to do your dirty work for you. Clever no?

          • Burt Furt says

            “Like, OMG, like, why are you like cutting off my head?”

          • S Snell says

            @ Ray
            I think you might be giving too much credit to the Left for actually thinking this thing through. I believe that the Left doesn’t think as much as it simply reacts. Ultimately it boils down to a series of simple binaries: Brown good; White bad. Female good; male bad.

            Inconveniently, most of the wokies are whiteys, which raises a problem. Hence the endless purity displays and performative outrages, which are ritual, highly visible, disavowals of this involuntary condition. In a similar way, male wokies must demonstrate that they are effectively neutered, hence harmless.

          • There was a wizard, but it kinda died in 1992, the Kremlin set much of this Progressive nonsese in motion decades ago. And its just been festering and growing on its own since the 60s. I say kinda because the remanats of the old USSR are still activly trying to destroy the USA.

      • Shamrock says

        Morgan
        “They leave each other alone. ”

        I believe this is because the Muslims view the western feminists as useful idiots at this time. Once they have more power they are unlikely to be so tolerant.

        • peterschaeffer says

          “Once they have more power they are unlikely to be so tolerant”

          Wow is that true. Look at what ISIS did to its victims. To them, a crane is a machine for hanging people.

      • Jay Salhi says

        There is a de facto alliance that goes well beyond leaving each other alone. When Omar was campaigning for office, she shared stages with lesbian feminists where they bent over backwards to praise each other.

        Omar embraces LGBT issues not because she actually supports them but because she knows her political support can only come from the left. Hence, she does things like writing a letter to a power lifting association telling them that refusing to let trans women (i.e., men) compete in the women’s division is bigotry. In return, the AOC’s of the world have Omar’s back. There’s little support for gay or trans rights in the Minnesota Somali community but they couldn’t care less. If this ruse is the price to pay to having one of their own in Congress, so be it.

        Muslims living in Europe vote for left wing parties. When these same people vote in their countries of origin, they support political Islamists. The world view of the identitarian left and the Islamist right is remarkably similar on many topics.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Islamists are not right wing, but leftist to the core. They want the government/religion to rule all aspects of life.
          A real far right person would be leive in no government at all.

      • E. Olson says

        Morgan – you mean the Western feminists are not only power hungry, but also cowards who don’t wish to offend a group with a well known propensity to use violence against infidels (i.e. some real purveyors of rape culture)? Say it isn’t so, because otherwise I’m going to start being disillusioned.

        • Jay Salhi says

          They are indeed cowards. But I don’t think fear of violent reprisal is what motivates them in this instance.

      • TarsTarkas says

        The Muslims will leave Roxanne Gay and her fellow travelers alone until they are get into power. Then it’s a bullet to the back of the head. If not something worse, or worse beforehand.

        • northernobserver says

          Just like when the Ayatollah came in. It was off to prison for 12 months and then a summary execution. When will the Left be honest with itself?

      • Royce Cooliage says

        Intersectionalism is all about victim identity groups who are “oppressed by the west.” Muslims fall into this victim identity category because they are people of color, thry have been subject to hate crimes and discrimination here in the US, and they have been subject to invading armies in their home countries.

        That’s really all there is to it. Once a group has officially gained victim status you cannot speak their name but to praise or defend them. As a group they can do no wrong. Any remotely disagreeable comment directed to any member of said group in any context is racist.

        Regarding the author’s description of the power play to show who was the real feminist in the room, I wonder if that sort of thing happens any time you put two or more identity politicians in the same room. I suspect that many of these people have a messiah complex. And of course, there can only be one messiah.

  5. Peter from Oz says

    ”Free from the shackles of fundamentalism, I embraced the left-wing movement with open arms”
    Isn’t that jumping from one kind of fundamentalism into another?

  6. BrainFireBob says

    Disagree. These nuts have internally defined the right as evil, white Christian’s as evil. Being ignorant of other cultures, they assume Islam to be inherently anti-Christian, and that the right must hate Muslims because most Muslims are brown, and obviously only racist whites can be right- it’s a child’s enemy of my enemy.

    If the right suddenly made the voluntary human extinction movement and opposition thereof issue #1, these people would line up to leap off the nearest building while popping pills and cuttings themselves. Any survivors would blame the right for forcing them into it, too.

  7. Arche Lasalles says

    It’s as simple as “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” & the oppression of women outside the west are just collateral damage.
    Gay is a fraudulent feminist. She is a socialist & uses feminism/inter-sectionalism to unite support.
    Take note those looking for more ‘diversity’ of thought in the IDW, trying to engage with dishonesty in the interests of resolution is the road to useful idiocy.

  8. Amin says

    As a practicing gay gender fluid Muslim, I will affirm Islam as the most accepting of all ideologies. The author did not “leave” Islam, she was removed because she refused to embrace her true lesbian identity publicly. As an ally of the intersectional feminist movement I hearby remove the author as a feminist.
    I assure everyone that this alliance between the car breeding feminists and the religion of peace will continue long after the destruction of the Christian Patriarchy. (Burkas will be required for bio ladies)

    • Peter from Oz says

      “… a practicing gay gender fluid Muslim”
      Great satire, pseudo Amin

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Peter from Oz

        May as well say: ‘as a practicing orthodox Jewish Nazi …’. Best not to feed the troll.

        • Saw file says

          @bDolphin Ray
          You mean (adding: ‘alt-right’) Ben Shapiro, eh?
          :)))

    • Amin says

      @ Amin

      I am very influential! 🙂 I like how deep effect I have on some people…

      “I will affirm Islam as the most accepting of all ideologies”

      Actually the opposite and probably that is Islam’s best asset for survival. Unlike Christianty. Once a great religion.

      “the Christian Patriarchy”

      Long dead.

  9. Closed Range says

    Very good article. Hopefully Uri Harris will read it and take some of it on board.

  10. Jay Salhi says

    “Without even realising it, western feminists and regressive leftists perpetuate inequality for their own gratification.”

    I have doubts about the “without even realising it” part. But excellent article.

  11. The fact that Roxanne Gay repeadtedly said she did not know who Chistina Sommers was before she accepted this gig speaks to how introspective and myopic she has become with her success and reknown. Once an interesting woman she has become boring and staid and extremely awkward. It’s about time we found someone more authentic to guest speak in Australia.

    • Jay Salhi says

      She was probably lying about that to dodge any flack she might get for sharing a platform with Sommers. That way she gets her appearance fee and the publicity she would have had to forfeit had she no platformed Sommers.

  12. House of Shards says

    Roxanne Gay. Where to start. There’s not an original thought in the head of that wildebeest. It’s all about faux pain, like the hundreds of extra pounds she wields as a cudgel. It’s a great way to make money, though. Most of the anecdotes in her rape anthology, “Not That Bad,” aren’t rape. I began to wonder whether it really IS “that bad,” if this was all she could dredge up, but I suspect she’s one helluva lazy editor. Just picked the top ten off the pile. And then there’s the worn-out, unoriginal, scripted narratives that pass for lectures on feminism. And the columns for the NY TIMES — authoritarian — Trumpian — behaviors such as declaring that it’s not time for Louis C.K. to return to the public eye just yet. Indeed. Roxanne Gay is the one who decides. Roxanne Gay, who sees the penis as a knife.

    Take issue with her stupidity and she will accuse you of hating “a black woman with opinions.” No, Roxanne, I detest your small-mindedness, your blatant racism, misandry, and self-hatred. Holding you up as an authority on anything is only for the weakest willed drone.

    • the gardner says

      @House of Shards—- it’s going to take a lot of people like you voicing your final two sentences publicly and loudly to start beating her back. As long as she thinks she has a cudgel to destroy anyone who dares challenge her, she will persist. She’s a bully. Time to start using her own words against her.

  13. Aylwin says

    This piece is very well written. Great to hear another eloquent young voice. Long may you thrive.

  14. the gardner says

    These radical feminists admire Muslims because they are so good at turning the table, making their guilt into victimhood. Observe Omar and Tlaib—-legitimately accused of antisemitism and hate, they flip the conversation and profess they are threatened, they are the victim. And they maintain their power over those who so readily fold to their accusations. This is emblematic of Islam in general. Look at CAIR. Always crying victimhood. Islam never accepts guilt for the atrocities it inflicts on mankind, insists it is victimized by colonialism and western hegemony. The fact that Britian and the US transformed them from sand dune dirt poor countries to obscenely rich oil exporters who then extorted the hands that created them…well… never mind that kind of “imperialism”

    • Canadian Moxie says

      Radical feminists do not “admire muslims”. It’s the 3rd wave liberal feminists that do. Feminism is not a monolith and the use of the term “western feminists” is a useless term, since not all feminists subscribe to this lib fem nonsense.

      • TarsTarkas says

        Unfortunately Third and Fourth Wavers have seized the microphone and the mouse and in the name of tolerance refuse to allow anyone less woke than they to point out the insanity of their alliance with fundamentalist Islam. Because Orange Man Bad.

        • Jay Salhi says

          What is a fourth waver? I’m struggling to keep up.

  15. I wonder for long time, why is the west feminist in bed with islamist but do nothing for women in implemented Sharia law countries such as Iran or Saudy Arabia. When I read your thread on Twitter about feminist event in Australia before, I thought it was a great beginning to open moderate feminist eyes. Thanks for this great piece, Omayma!

  16. derek says

    I have a less charitable, if that is possible, explanation for the respect and support white feminists give to Islam.

    The issue facing white feminists is the hard reality that the utopia they desire, where a woman can be everything and have everything, requires lots of low cost labor. A household requires running; probably half the time of one person in the household. These women complain about men not doing it but they won’t marry or stay with or reproduce with a man who would.

    The solution are brown women. Quiet submissive capable women who would do a fine job running the household, looking after the kids. The Hispanics worked ok for a while but are becoming indistinguishable from white women who won’t tolerate these demeaning roles. There isn’t a powerful social force to keep them in line. Islam does that very well.

    Someone uppity like Ayaan Hirsi Ali is intolerable. Put on your hijab and shut up.

    Something to watch for. Progressive are masters at redefining language. Racism now doesn’t mean prejudging someone based on skin color, it means having a skin color. The best house help is indentured with no rights. A slave in other words. So the word just mean something else.

    A progressive woman was instrumental in reestablishing a slave market in Libya. Probably by accident, Hillary isn’t that smart. I often wondered who were the customers?

    Cultural respect demands that we appreciate and support the desire of brown women to be submissive and find their full expression in doing my laundry.

  17. peterschaeffer says

    As good as this article is, it actually understates the problems. The UK (Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Newcastle, Bradford, Huddersfield, Rochdale, Telford, etc.) has been racked by an endless series of scandals where Muslim immigrants have raped, trafficked, and coerced into prostitution a vast number of poor white girls.

    Sadly, in real life the British police have frequently aided and abetted the kidnappers and rapists and attacked the British parents trying to save their daughters. Why? Fears of being called ‘racists’ by the Left.

    You would think the feminist Left would be horrified by the forced prostitution of poor girls. You would think… But you would be wrong.

    The silence of the Left has been deafening.

    Note that similar issues have arisen in Germany and Sweden (including police coverups).

    For the current generation of (fake) Feminist (real) Leftists, rape is only ‘wrong’, if the ‘wrong’ person does it. So we have runaway hysteria over fake rapes (Rolling Stone magazine) supposedly committed by the dreaded, feared, and terrible ‘white males’ and utter disinterest in the real thing committed by non-whites.

    • Shamrock says

      Excellent points.

      I have been shocked about how effective the governments have been able to keep the incidents quiet.

    • Rev. Wazoo! says

      @peterschaefer
      Why accept an implausible explanation. (that police turned a blind eye for purely ideological/public relations reasons.} when a much more likely one presents itself?

      Criminal gangs generating huge sums of cash and need the police to look the other way so the most likely event is that they gave the police a cut and ‘avoiding the appearance of racism’ was used as cover, not a major motivation. Yes,, that cover was more effective because social services, the press and community policing orgsnizations were loudly singing from that hymn sheet but it was mostly cover nonetheless.

      • peterschaeffer says

        RW, I would tend to reject the ‘payoffs’ thesis for two reasons.

        First, some of these scandals have now blown up in the UK on a pretty large scale.Large investigations have been launched and many trials (criminal trials) have been undertaken. Police corruption (other than ideological corruption) has not been a material theme. Given that the rapists, groomers, kidnappers, etc. have every possible incentive to expose their collaborators, the absence of such ties is revealing.

        Second, the scandals in Germany and Sweden have involved very public events (concerts, New Year’s Eve in Cologne, etc.). These are not circumstances under which payoffs would even be possible.

        Now do I think corruption in the UK and on the continent is real? Yes, I do. The ability of Jimmy Savile to ‘get away with it’ shows that he had powerful friends in high places. Some of the horrific scandals in Belgium reek of high-level influence. None of the evils involved Muslims or Islam.

      • Jay Salhi says

        Nonsense. Some journalists wrote about the scandal years ago and were branded racists. After that, everyone shut up. The scandal only saw the light of day because a Muslim prosecutor had the courage to go after the rapists. It wasn’t so easy for the bien pensants to smear him as a bigot.

        • Jay Salhi says

          This was in response to Rev Wazoo’s bribery theory.

  18. Daniel V says

    Maybe I’m just remembering things with rose coloured glasses but the left I remember from my youth seemed so much more capable of dealing with uncertainty. They could say we support Muslims while also being critical of Islam and navigate the contradiction without much problem.

    However today it seems like thinking about anything in Both And terms, like saying Islam is both good and bad, just doesn’t happen. It’s now all or nothing. No compromise and no doubt allowed.

    And I think the main culprit behind this shift lies with American culture where, in contrast to Canada and Europe, society puts emphasis on seeing the world in Either Or terms. Even something like free thinking and scepticism, where doubt and saying I don’t know should be paramount, gets turned into a quasi religious movement after becoming popular in America. Ask an American new atheist what they think about agnosticism and they’ll tell you it doesn’t exist.

    It’s a critically important point to think about. Before nine eleven the Secular humanist tradition that existed outside of America always included three possible answer to the question of God. Likewise the nations where this tradition existed in a big way also feature at minimum three political parties. A big reason being because there was enough diversity of thought that it was required.

    It’s not the same in America where things are expressed as almost always being Either Or. Once secular humanism was filtered through American culture is came out missing agnosticism because that’s one position too many. It doesn’t fit into a Either Or framework and therefore if gets reworked so it does.

    Which is exactly the samething that’s happening with Feminism. So the real solution isn’t to fight Feminism. It’s to fight the American culture of either or and the danger this presents to Western civilization.

    • peterschaeffer says

      DV, I don’t see Europe or Canada as being all that different than the USA in this respect. Equally bad would be a good summary. I would note that deconstructionism was invented in France (apparently).

      A useful note is that Asia doesn’t seem nearly as crazy as America, Europe, or Canada. It probably not a coincidence that the global center of gravity has been moving rather quickly to Asia in recent decades

      • Daniel V says

        While it’s true deconstruction emerged from France it’s worth noting in the decades since their Feminism has not taken the same direction as in America. It was American thinkers that cooked up intersectionalism after all. So again I think we have an example of European idea becoming twisted once Americans have a go at it.

        It’s also interesting that Ian McGilchrist, author of the Divided Brain, found inspiration for his book after working in America and noticing people couldn’t grasp his dry British sarcasm. Mainly because they took everything literally. Which I would argue can mean taking things as Either Or. Sarcasm requires knowing what someone is saying is both true and not true. If you can’t think like that, you can’t parse sarcasm.

      • Closed Range says

        Agree with Peter – I don’t think the US has the monopoly on Manichean thinking. It is just another human tendency that can be either allowed to run wild (like now) or be tamed by better reasoning (as in the past). It is quite bountiful in Europe as well.

        • Daniel V says

          I wouldn’t say they have a monopoly either, it’s not like a nation either this way or not, but I’d definitely much more pronounced and permeates American culture. It’s no coincidence many Protestant denominations make Either Or a central part of their theology and that American is a Protestant majority country.

          As a Canadian I can observe a change in our politics from being very moderate and reasonable to something far more similar to America. There is a clear American influence on our culture and not surprisingly people are often more aware of American politics than Canadian. Won’t even pretend I’m not guilty of this as well.

          • Stephanie says

            DV, Canadians are far less capable of talking about the problems of radical Islam than Americans. Isn’t it already against the law in Canada, under the “hate crimes” umbrella? If not, it is considered a politically toxic opinion that is not allowed to exist in the media or politics. At least anti-Islam sentiment exists in public in the US.

            I’m not sure the two-party versus multi-page distinction means the US is more either-or, either. There is substantial diversity within the two American parties, while in many European countries all parties agree on the most important issues (immigration, globalisation, ect). Also, like in Canada most of these extra parties tend to be far leftists and socialists, so their existence isn’t useful except perhaps to divide the left vote.

          • Daniel V says

            Would all of you stop defending USA. It triggers me when I can’t blame USA. You have no idea the inferiority complex I have as a Canadian being out performed in every way by them. That is my truth and I KNOW they are bad. Canada and Europe are oh so pure, and smart, and good.

    • Erica from the West Village says

      It’s changing because the power is being re-concentrated in the hands of women who are not part of traditional Islam.

      Americans are somewhat naive and jaded by this transformation.

      They need to wise up & understand there are Fundamentalist Radical Islamists who want to turn us back to the 1500’s…and then there are Radical Marxist & Socialist Islamists who want us to convert to Communism.

      Think of the difference between Iran’s government and The Nation of Islam. Think of Osama bin Laden vs. Keith Ellison..the latter of whom was a follower of Farrakhan and is now in the extremely powerful position as Attorney General of Minnesota; coincidentally…Ilhan Omar’s state.

      They each possess totally different ideology, yet both use the Koran and Islam itself as the moral foundation to their cause.

      • Jay Salhi says

        Keith Ellison is about as Muslim as a ham sandwich. It was Farrakhan’s politics that drew him in. Ellision’s desire to hold elected office forced him to move towards more mainstream Islam but his ideology remains the same. Brain dead Jew hater who hates America in particular and Western civilization in general.

    • peterschaeffer says

      DV, I don’t see why Canadians would have an inferiority complex about America or vice-versa. The US. is better than Canada in some respects. Canada is better than the US. in some respects.

  19. Excellent piece! Well-written, concise, highly perceptive!

    One of these men used Sharia to justify sexualising them at that age, explaining that a woman is required to observe modesty from the age of 9. An older woman reiterated the misogynistic mentality behind the hijab—that it fulfils a woman’s obligation to ward off male temptation and lust.

    Radfems who rail incessantly about ‘rape culture’ in the West are silent on this.

    • Chad Chen says

      How wrongheaded can so many people be.

      This article is outrageous. Roxane Gay is not “Haitian-born”. She was born in the United States and went to the best American schools, starting with Phillip’s Exeter.

      Even with foreign-born Americans, we do not usually reference their place of birth unless we have sinister motives. I do not see Henry Kissinger described as German-born, even though he speaks English with a German accent.

      Then there is the reductionist BS about Islamic “misogyny”. The writer claims she was “forced” to wear a hijab. Really? That is most unusual because most Islamic women love the hijab, and we cannot make policy based on a few malcontents or outliers. I grew up next door to an Islamic compound and was totally impressed by the richness of the traditional Islamic family experience, which I believe is vastly superior to the rivalries, resentment and dysfunction of Western families. The notion that there is only one way to be a “modern” woman, and that is the American way, where women act like dominant males of the past, is absurd.

      • Shamrock says

        CC

        “I grew up next door to an Islamic compound and was totally impressed by the richness of the traditional Islamic family experience, which I believe is vastly superior to the rivalries, resentment and dysfunction of Western families. ”

        So do you live in a Muslim majority country then as you say it is vastly superior?

        • Chad Chen says

          No I don’t, because there are many criteria for choosing a place of residence. You cannot get everything you want in one place, but if you are looking to raise a family (which I am not), an Islamic society has a lot to offer.

          Raise a daughter in America, and you should not be surprised if she hates her father and contracts a sexually transmitted disease at an early age.

          • Jay Salhi says

            ” but if you are looking to raise a family (which I am not), an Islamic society has a lot to offer”

            By “Islamic Society” I assume you mean Muslim majority country. In which case it depends which country. I have spent two decades living in such countries. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia and Sudan are not desirable places to raise a daughter. Parts of the Levant, the Gulf countries (other than Saudi) and North Africa are much better. But those places are better because people are given choices. The author of this article was correctly pointing out that many places in the “Islamic world’ (including some communities in the West) women are denied choices. It varies from country to country, community to community and family to family.

          • Aerth says

            Raise a daughter in Muslim country and you should not be surprised when 30+ years old pedobear knocks to your door one day and want to marry her after she turns 9.

          • Charlie says

            Look at photos from the late 1960s of Cairo , Beirut and Kabul, few wore the hijab. The Hijab was reintroduced due to Saudi oil money post 1973.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Chad
        I am a die hard right winger, but I find your comment most interesting and informative.
        You are right that there is a lot to be admired in moderate islam. It has retained a lot of the things that Western culture has lost, mostly due to ”liberation” preached by the left for so many years.
        The line in your comment that stood out for me is that ”we cannot make policy based on a few malcontents or outliers.”
        I agree. That seems to be the whole mission of the left wing progressives these days. They want to make laws and recast society for the 1% who are LGBTQWERTY. the activists who claim to represent these people are definitley outliers and malcontents, even if the queers and co are not malcontents and outliers themselves. Yet we seem to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about their so-called problems.

        • peterschaeffer says

          PFO, “You are right that there is a lot to be admired in moderate Islam”. Serious students of Islam typically make the same point. See the writings of Bernard Lewis and Daniel Pipes on this subject. Note that serious students of the West in the Islamic world make the same arguments. However, they are unknown in the West.

      • Marian Hennings says

        How would you know whether or not “most Islamic women love the hijab”? Do you think most African Muslim females love getting clitoridectomies or being married off in their early teens to men in their 30s ands 40s? The prevalence of a practice in a given community does not necessarily mean it is voluntary, just that it is expected.

        • Chad Chen says

          It’s been pointed out over and over and over again that genital mutilation is practiced in many African and Asian countries by Christians, Jews, pagans and, yes Muslims. It is not even mentioned in the Koran, so it is an optional practice in Islam.

          Do not pretend that it is a specifically Islamic practice, because it predates Islam.

      • Stephanie says

        Chad, intersectionality is Gay’s game, her foreign background is an integral part of her worldview as she sees it. It was, however, good to point out that Gay was born in the US. Hopefully Quillette can edit out that mistake?

        As for your point about Islam, you should not presume that because things appear fine superficially from the outside, that everything is fine. The fact that women are legally compelled to wear the hijab is a clear indication that it is not voluntary for everyone: there would be no need for laws to enforce what everyone is freely choosing to do themselves. The discriminatory nature of the laws themselves makes them worthy of feminist attention and international condemnation.

        The legal aspect aside, the hijab is socially problematic as well. The hijab is imposed on young girls before they are old enough to make a free choice, and they are told that their entire worth and dignity is wrapped up in continuing to wear it. This is misogyny. It can hardly be counted as a free choice if you will be beaten, made homeless, exiled from the community, socially shamed, considered unmarriagable, ect if you choose different.

        I had a more intimate relationship with Muslims than you: I was close friends with a Muslim girl in high school who wore the hijab. She wasn’t allowed to go out much, but she had a birthday party at her house one year. When we got back to her place, the moment she walked through her door she swept off her hijab with a deep sigh of relief. It was the early days of Facebook, and a friend of ours took pictures of the party and posted them online. I got a tearful phone call from my Muslim friend, terrified that her father would find out and do something terrible to her. She wasn’t worried about her privacy, or her modesty. She was scared of her father.

        Now I’m sure if you asked her she would say that it’s her choice, but it would be little more than a cover and a justification. I also can’t help but compare her to two other Muslim high school friends, who don’t wear the hijab. She was controlled in every way, from her education to her marriage, while they studied what they wanted and married who they wanted (or didn’t).

        We do a real disservice to moderate Muslims and Muslim women in general by helping extremists normalise misogynistic customs.

      • Jay Salhi says

        “most Islamic women love the hijab”

        I was married to a woman who wore the hijab. It was her choice. She wasn’t raised that way and I certainly didn’t force her to do it. She wore it for five years and then decided to take it off. Again, her choice. But whereas her decision to wear the hijab was widely celebrated, her decision to take it off was met with different results. 10 year old boys in the building who used to call her auntie started calling her a whore. Most of her hijab wearing friends stopped associating with her. Even her friends who never wore the hijab gave her flak. “We looked up to you, you were better than us.”

        I live in a Muslim majority country. My work place has a lot of female Muslim employees. Some where the hijab, some don’t. The ones who don’t have husbands who give them the choice (I also have colleagues who started wearing the hijab after marriage at the husband’s insistence) . The problem arises when they visit the in-laws where the non-hijab wearers are often subjected to pressure to wear the hijab. The husbands are also subjected to pressure for allowing their wives not to wear it.

        If you could run an experiment where all coercion was removed and women would be treated exactly the same regardless of which choice they made, I am convinced that the vast majority would not choose to wear the hijab.

      • S Snell says

        CC

        You make a couple of excellent points in your last paragraph. I had the experience of attending a traditional Muslim wedding a few years ago. The bride was Pakistani but the groom was American white, the nephew of my girlfriend. the ceremony was beautiful and moving and pretty damned civilized. And everyone politely ignored the mother of the groom, who made a complete fool of herself. This was no small feat. The experience rather changed my mind, or at least opened it a bit. The attendees were overwhelmingly Muslim, so it wasn’t as though they toned it down for the sake of the Groom’s family.

        I like to think that this very civil, seemingly secular-ish group represents the Muslim majority, at least in this country. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. And maybe all the bloodletting we see is carried out by a few outliers. If so, however, these outliers are very, very active, and very, very vocal, and very very destructive, and accrue like-minded adherents in large and growing numbers. This is something you simply do not see in other religious cults. Not even close. And this taints the brand and makes the rest of us wary.

        Note that Pakistanis/Indians/Muslims as a rule are very clannish, and rarely out-marry. This matters because it means they are likely to persist as a distinct group for a long time, perhaps indefinitely. The wedding I witnessed was a genuine rarity. I would have been interested to find out how this was perceived by the bride’s group.

        The Left has basically taken the stance that Muslims can do no wrong, and that’s just nuts. There clearly is a sickness in this religion, like it or not, and a large number of people are causing a great deal of harm explicitly in its name. And they would do a great deal more if we were so foolish as to let them.

        • Jay Salhi says

          “Note that Pakistanis/Indians/Muslims as a rule are very clannish, and rarely out-marry.”

          That applies to the Hindus and Christians from the region as well.

  20. Farris says

    More proof wokeness supersedes ideology and practices.

  21. PaulNu says

    “I loved the emphasis on individuality, choice and autonomy that I found in progressive politics” — Omayma Mohamed

    That’s like saying you love the ferns of the Sahara.

  22. Erica from the West Village says

    There are several things at work here…all at the same time.

    First, the women who are Leftists who largely embrace the hijab and other traditional Islamic symbols are attempting to coopt some of the morality from Islam itself to give amplify their voice in a crowded marketplace of idealisms.

    Second, the author either didn’t realize it..or attempted to ignore it…that much of the AltLeft’s embrace of Islam is rooted in Islamic Socialism.

    When you unpack the life of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and her ongoing attempt to assuage the fears of her Jewish donors while citing verse after verse of anti-Semite vitriol, you come to realize she was born into the Somalia Revolutionary Socialist Party..funded largely by the USSR.

    These people are faithful to Islam, but only so far as to turn the world into a Socialist/Communist utopia…where the proletariat seizes power from the capitalist imperalists known as Westerners.

    Ilhan grew up in a home where her grandfather and father were indoctrinated into this belief system, so why does it surprise anyone that she too would hold these ideals and dogma’s close to her chest?

    The only “intersectionalism” people need to be aware of is the nexus between Islamic Socialism and the Nation of Islam.

    These people are not a threat to anyone for imposing Sharia Law, nor believing the way Iran, Afghanistan or any fundamentalist Islamic Nation rules their country from a Fascist approach..is tolerable.

    The threat to this country is (and always has been) allowing truly committed Socialists and Communists from gaining actual power. The fact that Omar and Tlaib are but 2/435th’s of one body of our federal government means they can say whatever they want…and it’s just white noise. The danger for the Democrat Party in the U.S. is if leadership starts cow-towing to these radical members that gives them currency to spend towards influencing policy.

    The Anti-Semitic statement that was supposed to be made post Ilah’s Anti-Semite rant is a small example where Pelosi is threading a needle here to placate these Socialists in her own party…for fear of alienating many inner city minorities that Omar and Tlaib claim to represent…yet don’t.

    When you subtract the Christian African Americans along with Catholic Hispanics and even right of center Muslims…from their constituency…you realize that each of these women have a constituency as large as AOC’s…which was about 16,000 people in the Bronx who actually showed up to support her.

    Islamic women who are not Marxists need to be careful who they associate with in these forums. You’re playing with dynamite..and it’s not good for peaceful relations in a highly diversified society.

  23. Farris says

    “Misguided celebrations such as “World Hijab Day”—and the recent New Zealand iteration, “Headscarves for Harmony,” which is designed to honour the victims of the Christchurch mass shootings—exemplify the misguided direction of western feminist activism.“

    Why isn’t this cultural appropriation? More proof there are no rules to this game, it is only the identity of the participants that matter.

    • Closed Range says

      It is sad that we have been so exposed to this ideology that this was also my first reaction when I read that passage. To be clear, appororiation theory is BS, so I’m glad the author didn’t comment on it.

      • Farris says

        What’s the distinction between BS and madness?

    • E. Olson says

      I wonder if there would have been so much eager participation in cultural appropriation if it had been “world genital mutilation day”?

  24. the gardner says

    Earth to lefty feminists— Islam in Saudi Arabia just beheaded 5 gay people. You still good with Islam?

    • E. Olson says

      Gardner – Don’t you know that it is very presumptuous of Westerners to judge the practices of other cultures? Perhaps the beheadings are a Saudi version of the “scared straight” program. Or perhaps it was a test of faith, and if any survived their beheading it would be a sign that Mohammad was ok with their homosexuality, and if they didn’t it meant that their homosexuality was an unforgivable sin against Islam.

      Who are we to judge – I mean in some places in the US it is impossible for gay people to buy a wedding cake – so are we really any better?

      • the gardner says

        E Olson—from you, it is irony. Sadly, it is not from others.

    • Kencathedrus says

      @gardner: they’re scared that if too much negative attention is given to Islam, that men will wake up and see that Western women aren’t oppressed at all and are actually the most privileged people on Earth.

  25. Sydney says

    Good piece and lots of good comments. Really glad ‘Quillette’ covered this event.

  26. Saw file says

    I find it somewhat surprising that the author was surprised, by what happened at the debate.
    Possibly because of age or maybe her own ideological grouping’s, I don’t know?
    Australia has long been a hallmark international hotbed of such leftist intersectional feminism and misandry (such as,Gay).
    In certain ‘academic’ circles there, just the mention of Christina Hoff Summers or Bettinna Argnt will cause self-ejected handfuls of blue and red hair to go flying all over the seminar room.
    Mix islamamism in, the shrieking is never ending….

  27. My sides are aching says

    Ah, feminism. The gift that keeps on giving. Thanks for the laughs ladies 🙂

  28. Stephanie says

    Thank you to the author for your courage. It isn’t easy to see through indoctrination and even harder to fight against it publically. The future of feminism rests with people like you.

    I’m sorry the left wasn’t as welcoming as you’d expect. I encourage you to try the right. They’re the ones keen on individuality and combating radical Islam, and there is a demand for people who can speak from personal experience. Your time with the left has undoubtedly left you with an unpleasant view of the right, but I suggest you try them out for yourself.

  29. Closed Range says

    I agree that the courage of the author is incredible. Remember that apostasy from Islam carries a death sentence in large parts of the world. It is essential that we point out the wrongs of Islam, the left, and other ideologies lest they gain ground and harm people like the author.

  30. dirk says

    In Iran, the scarves are shifting down into the neck area year after year, whereas in the NL, ever younger girls wear an all covering scarf. Some of them (all born in the NL) are invited to talk shows, and treated always like wellcome guests (“so courageous of you to be with us”), and telling that a scarf is, of course, ones own choice (of the 9 yrs olds !!). Nobody dares to doubt that. Feminists in Germany, after Cologne, no longer know how to position themselves in these affairs, for or against cultural relativism.

  31. dirk says

    And I’ve been thinking why western women (whether feminist or not) find it so important to know whether the scarf or hijab is your own choice or not? Before you question yourself about that, of course, one has to be aware that our humanistic individuality is an all overpowering factor and consideration. Imagine (let me try) , I was a moslima, in that case there is little choice, I would love to wear what my mother my sisters and my aunts wear also, it’s as simple as that. And if I decide at 25 to quit it?? In that case, my religious feelings, devotion and belongings are becoming rather westernised and humanistic, also quite logical I think.

  32. peterschaeffer says

    Jordan Peterson has asked the following question

    “Do feminists avoid criticizing Islam because they unconsciously long for masculine dominance?”

    He hasn’t answered the question in the affirmative nor will I. However, he appears to think that it is an important question to ask.

    • Jay Salhi says

      It the same conversion, JP made an observation about the popularity of the book Fifty Shades of Grey.

  33. dirk says

    That they unconsciously long for masculine dominance is more than well prooved, I think, by the wordwide succes of ” 50 shades of grey”. Absolutely not a grain of doubt about that, that’s clear for me. And if you read phantasies stories in whatever woman’s glossy (mostly with some sports teacher or therapist, one-night stand mostly, it must be proportioned of course), it’s same story and stuff. You don’t need to be a professor of psychology to see that.

  34. Rick says

    Very well written and articulate article. You had me after the first 3 paragraphs.
    I very much admire these young women, and men, who are willing to look at cultural history with honesty.

  35. Claire Hunt says

    So very well reasoned and well written! And so fair that you let me understand Islamophilia , although I still oppose it. Those that do support or celebrate Islamophilia are, with blinders on, encouraging oppression.

  36. Pingback: “This began to change about six months ago when I became involved w… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊)

  37. “white supremacy-adjacent”

    A dishonest way of implying that someone might be a white supremacist without having to present any actual evidence. I once stood next to a Black Muslim. I guess that makes me “black supremacy-adjacent.”

  38. Condemning and calling out Christian fundamentalism doesn’t make a person a “Christianophobe”, so, just for for once draw the logical conclusion, people of the Left.

  39. Some time ago, I was asked to admin a Facebook group for men to become involved in actions against domestic violence. It didn’t work because it soon became a forum where men were afraid to post because they were automatically attacked by angry misandrist women and it devolved into a group where ‘TERFS’ and ‘SWERFS’ argued vehemently about whether transgender or sex worker females have the same rights as other women.

    On the same-sex marriage debate I was similarly dismayed with the inability of that bandwagon to accept that some have a faith in what they believe is the word of God and that the story of Lot/Lut is written in the Torah, Bible and Quran and cannot be unwritten. Simply, religious people wanted to say, ‘we feel obliged to give you this message, it does not mean we hate you but this is something our faith requires us to say.’ Of course the angry (again) response was that they must be bigots and homophobes.

    I have observed this trend in social media over roughly a decade, that an idea becomes a trope becomes a bandwagon and you’re either ‘of the Mindhive’ or you’re the enemy. Its anti-intellectual, hypocritical and entirely frustrating. One set of ideas quickly turns into a lynch mob allergic to other ideas.

    As a revert to Islam of four years, I was also dismayed by the with the social media response to the massacre in New Zealand. It was the kind of ritual that collectives of people employ to reconcile themselves when they perceive something in their society is broken while denying that something is actually broken. NZ PM Jacinda Ardern was applauded for leading a heartfelt and human response to the crime., She became a totem whose hijab-wearing image was displayed on the front pages of paper media and public buildings. However, Ms. Ardern had campaigned for election on an anti-immigration platform (slashing the intake of foreigners by tens of thousands because migration was blamed for everything from unaffordable housing to stagnant wage growth and overcrowded roads).

    NZ was lauded as an humanitarian exemplar for offering to accept 150 of the refugees held by Australia in offshore camps. But New Zealand takes one quarter (per capita) of the number of refugees that Australia does.

    ‘This is not us’ became the headline response from New Zealand. However, that nation had a rising problem with white supremacist hate crimes and the NZ government keeps no comprehensive record of hate crimes, despite requests to do so from agencies like the UN more than a decade (the govt said it wasn’t necessary).

    Women who had previously argued a feminist position that the hijab symbolised Islam’s oppression of women, now donned head scarves.

    Political leaders who had given poor service to the Muslim community were now speaking on behalf of that community. PM Morrison, who had spent years vilifying Islam and many Muslims felt this had enabled right wing and white supremacy, was not welcome in Muslim communities but still he turned up at Lakemba, Sydney, for photo opportunities anyway.

    Ardern made a potent image of a caring leader but such white heroism reduced the Muslim identity for some Muslims and belied the reality of their lived experience as a vilified minority. They felt disenfranchised from the public reaction to the massacre and that the attack had been ‘whitewashed’.

    A virtue-signaling trend in social media told Muslims the correct response to the killer was forgiving. Sharia law says that is the right of the families of the victims, not those who were not personally affected, but no one was listening, everyone was too busy snapping selfies in a hijab for Facebook.

    I’ve left Facebook now, I don’t find that Groupthink tank a healthy place, but before I deactivated my account, I did try expressing some of the above ideas post-Christchurch. The angry (again) response was that i was ungrateful for the flowers and hakas and divisive instead of joining the ‘movement  of love’ and must be suffering some kind of vicarious trauma for even questioning the whitewash.

    Finally, I’d say it is incredibly sad that independent thought has become subsumed by en masse movements and worrying in that social media does inform mainstream media and even politics, since both are forced to respond to and even ape them.

  40. bill53 says

    Most Americans pay no attention to this nonsense. I haven’t a clue who either one of these creatures are and don’t want to know. The subject of this article and what these creatures talked about isn’t a “thing” or a subject. This is all nonsense spewed out by an obese slob and a used up lesbian. All of the commenters here act like this is actual scholarship, it isn’t. I thought actual real issues would discussed on this web site. Boy was I wrong…..

  41. Barney Doran says

    Next time I see one of these in the intersection, I will speed up.

  42. At this point, I see the problem as with Islam, not with radical Islam. The entire religion is corrupted, evil, and not worth support from non-Muslims.

    • dirk says

      It’s not islam,george, but evolution yes or no of religion. A lot of negative points experienced now from islam, are the same ones I recognize of my catholic youth: intolerance, belief in the literal truth of only your God, we were even taught that those horrible crusades of once were for the good of mankind, martyrs (like the ones now under islam) were highly venerated, difficult to understand now, but we still have veneration for them in our churches (though, only in some dark corners). Read Hirsi Ali on this, she also does her best to stimulate a moderate, sensible , humanist islam.

  43. 4M says

    Roxanne Gay’s characterization of Christina Hoff Sommers as “white supremacy adjacent” reminds me of a debate in which Michael Eric Dyson characterized Jordan Peterson as an “angry white man.” These characterizations are both cop outs in the context of a debate/discussion and are also just incredibly cruel and anti-egalitarian, reducing the recipient to the color of their skin.

    It’s so easy to just dismiss people with attacks on their character; it’s much harder to critique and debate ideas. I consider myself a Leftist materialist. And I probably do disagree with Sommers and Peterson on a number of issues as they would probably consider themselves “classical liberals.” But I do believe that they raise valid concerns about the excesses of identitarianism – even if I don’t agree with characterizations like “cultural Marxism.” Many of us in the materialist Left do not consider identitarians “Leftist” at all, but that’s probably a topic for another comments section.

    I agree with this writer’s assertion that identitarianism has a major blindspot when it comes to valid criticisms of extreme appropriations of Islam. While Roxanne Gay might be correct in saying that Christianity is the dominant religion in some Western countries (although that is increasingly not the case) and has been used to justify discrimination recently and violence historically, there are countries in which Islam is the dominant religion and is used as justification in a similar manner. Hinduism, Shintoism and Buddhism have also also dominant in certain countries – and we can certainly see how the Muslim minority is treated in Myanmar and the existence of Hindu nationalism in India as evidence that Christianity is not alone in its appropriation as a tool of domination. And there are countries in which Christianity is the minority faith – not to mention the fact that atheists and agnostics are a minority in a lot of Western countries.

    Gay unwittingly reveals her Western-centric view of the world and blindspots in ignoring these inconvenient facts. It really trivializes the violence and repression occurring in non-Western contexts. This isn’t to say that violence against women in the United States and other western countries does not exist but certainly not at the same levels as in other contexts.

  44. Merrick says

    Pretty sure Roxane Gay was born in Nebraska, not Haiti.

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