Where Feminism Went Off the Rails
Pamela Bone, an enthusiastic supporter, wonders if it was 9-11
These were exhilarating times. But between Beijing in 1995 and New York in September 2001 the unity was lost. Somewhere along the line it happened that only one part of that curious Beijing alliance could be seen as the enemy. While a US administration that refused to fund programs against AIDS unless they taught about chastity instead of condoms could rightly be criticised, the mullahs whose abuses of women's rights were very many degrees worse could not.
Was it before or after September 11 that thinkers of the Left - for feminism was a movement of the Left - decided that racism was a far more serious crime than sexism? When did cultural sensitivity trump women's rights? Was it about the time that Australian feminist Germaine Greer defended the practice of female genital mutilation because, as she pointed out, Western women put studs through their nipples and labia?
Actually, it was when feminism allied itself too closely with the Left. Among the Left there is always competition among grievance groups, and, quite reasonably, the grievances of "Western" women are not seen as quite grievous as those who are "suffering" from Western imperialism.