According to The Daily Beast the latest and greatest feminist thinker is Laurie Penny. A British blogger and journalist, Penny, The Daily Beast says, doesn’t “give a damn if you like her politics. She does want to make you think.”
Naturally, one is curious to see what passes for thought in the newly resurgent feminist ecosphere.
So we turn to Laurie Penny’s recent column about Islamophobia. This great thinker has concluded that when Western men protest Islamic misogyny they are merely trying to cover up the horrific, institutional misogyny in the West.
She wrote in the Guardian:
Structural sexism does take place every day in our universities, as it does in our offices, shops and homes – and we should oppose it everywhere. But demanding that feminists of every race and faith drop all our campaigns and stand against "radical Islam" sounds more and more like white patriarchy trying to make excuses for itself: "If you think we're bad, just look at these guys."
I am writing this as a white feminist infuriated by white men using dog-whistle Islamophobia to derail any discussion of structural sexism; as someone who has heard too many reactionaries tell me to shut up about rape culture and the pay gap and just be grateful I'm not in Saudi Arabia; as someone angered that so many Muslim feminists fighting for gender justice are forced to watch their truth, to paraphrase that fusty old racist Rudyard Kipling, "twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools".
Let’s see. Compare female genital mutilation—widely practiced in Muslim Egypt—with the female pay gap—largely exaggerated for political purposes. To Laurie Penny, the two are comparable, that is, morally equivalent.
The only reason that any white Western male would ever draw attention to the way Muslim women are living in the Muslim world is that he does not want to address the horrifying indignity of a pay gap that, when all aspects of the issue are factored in, is not really very large.
Or else, we might note the moral equivalence between the “grooming” of British girls by Muslim men in Rotherham, England with white men who make derogatory remarks about a woman’s physical appearance.
Apparently, Penny believes that the only reason anyone would be outraged about what happened in Rotherham is because he does not want to examine the vicious predatory sexism involved when he stares an instant too long at a woman’s….
What did Penny really think about what happened in Rotherham? She was happy to exonerate the Muslims who committed the atrocities against girls and women… because, to her mind, it was only about “scared, hurt kids.”
Shows you how much feminism really cares about women and girls. An ideologically-driven cult will always put ideas ahead of people.
We are the fools, if we believe that accepting aggressive distinctions between nice, safe western sexism and scary, heathen Muslim sexism is going to serve the interests of women. The people making these arguments don't care about women. They care about stoking controversy, attacking Muslims and shouting down feminists of all stripes.
Here, Penny gives the game away. She is the one who does not care about women. Surely, she does not care about the way women are treated in Muslim cultures. She believes that our interest in their living conditions is a diversion that prevents us from examining the rampant sexism in Western cultures.
Let’s note, for the record, that the virulently misogynist cultures in the Middle East have been fostering Islamist terrorism and that this terrorism has not only been brutalizing women to an alarming extent—witness the way ISIS has been treating women—but has been attacking Western civilization, through terrorism, threats and intimidation.
To that threat, Laurie Penny can only trot out her own mindless version of moral equivalence and attack Western civilization.
Perhaps they have different reasons, but Islamists and Laurie Penny have the same enemy. Who was it who said: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Ideology makes strange bedfellows.
If Penny wants to make us think she should start thinking herself.