Overnight, I got flagged in two different posts on Facebook denouncing me in rather crazy-assed terms for defending the hijab–something I’ve done consistently, if not also belligerently, since Islamophobia (& specifically the hijab & burqa) began to be used to justify US wars & military actions.
One of the criticisms was that I dared to address cultures I know nothing about. I’m an American; most of us don’t know squat about most cultures. But I was not talking about other cultures since I try not to talk through my hat. I was talking about feminism & its use in war propaganda & those are things I do know something about. There is little culturally specific about manipulations & scare-mongering for war.
I didn’t stick around the vituperations against me for long; I try to preserve adrenalin for the things that matter. But what was observable among the comments was the liberal veneer to peddle intolerance–a style they learned from the rightwing crap they read.
There were criticisms like “Will she support if Chinese girls start binding their feet just because they wish to?” & a comment that I had “blood on my hands” for naming the woman I was criticizing for her attack on women who wear the hijab–though she wrote her banal article for The Nation, with a readership of thousands. Her opening sentence in the article stated her own reactionary politics about the Indian occupation of Kashmir when she said: “… the attitudes towards females covering up for modesty were always conservative but turned quite ugly in 1990 with the breakout of the Pakistan-backed Islamist insurgency in Kashmir against the Indian State.” So now we know which side she’s on in the Indian occupation of Kashmir & why Indian nationalists were so supportive of her & insulting of my critique.
In the two posts I was denounced for speaking from white privilege & called, by men & women: a moron; drug-addled from the 60s; having a psychiatric past; dubbed Mary Scurrilous; called a bitch, “Osama’s ho”, a “puta” (whore or prostitute in Spanish). Sorry, but none of that rang true. I’m something of a prude in my personal style.
Several people involved in these posts wanted to make sure I read their vituperations so they tagged me. Some were my FB friends–but are now regrettably in FB hell after I booted them. Let me be frank: you don’t stay a woman activist if you cry every time somebody calls you a naughty name.
My favorite comment has to be the guy who posted that he informed “Dr. Phyllis Chesler” about my polemics against her. I’ve wanted to kick her ass for nearly 50 years now–beginning with those boring books she wrote about women’s psychology & mostly for the racist crap she writes ad nauseam about Palestinians & Islam–particularly targeting Muslim women & the hijab. If he could provoke her into a debate with me, making chopped liver out of her would be child’s play. She’s so hateful she could be taken out with a feather.
You gotta wonder why my defense of hijab evokes such ugly outbursts. But not really. They want to hoodwink feminists into supporting Islamophobia & when we don’t buy their crap, they go ballistic. No big deal. Just don’t tag me so I have to read it.
(For those who have time to kill & want to read the stupid article, here is the link; don’t blame me if you wind up regretting the waste of time. Just use it for toilet paper: http://nation.com.pk/blogs/24-Dec-2015/it-s-hard-to-accept-hijab-as-a-symbol-of-liberation-in-free-societies-when-millions-are-oppressed