A Note on Patriarchy in the Middle East and Imperialist Feminism

Of course there is misogyny in the Middle East.

Of course there is oppressive patriarchy in the Middle East

…of course there is also patriarchy in America and in Canada, in Britain and in Italy.

Point me to the place with no patriarchy and I’ll be there in five minutes.

But Middle Easterners (a very diverse group who are bunched together under this blanket term) deserve, just like people in the ‘West’ deserve, just like ‘Western’ women deserve, to negotiate notions of gender on their own terms.

How do you expect Middle Eastern women to gradually dismantle oppressive gendered systems, to weed out the patriarchy – as everyone everywhere has to – when we in the ‘West’ often don’t even allow them to have the right to life? When we play video games with real weapons that spell death for them and their children?

It is not our deadly ‘benevolence’ that is admirable, but the fact that women in the ‘Greater Middle East’ are still fighting, and will always fight, and have undying strength, in spite of us.

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