Posted on | May 7, 2010 | 12 Comments
American Power takes National Offend A Feminist Week quite seriously, relating an incident wherein he quoted Alaina Podmorow, a 13 year old Afghan girl actually supporting the cause of oppressed young women.
Laura Sjoberg, like any ivory tower authoritarian or Barack Obama, is having none of this.
This is not to take anything away from the very bright, very passionate “little woman” whose blog post was appropriated on American Power. Her passionate writing is clearly intelligent, well beyond her years, and a valid and important point of view.
That said, it is, of course, not all there is to the issue. One cannot expect someone who has not yet had a college education to dig through decades and even centuries of theorizing and empirical work on gender relations in political and social life, and certainly activism on behalf of women, in whatever form, is far preferable to the sort of apathy that seems to be largely endemic in younger people now.
Alaina’s current thesis,
cannot be congratulated without a heavy dose of condescension. Alaina cannot be allowed to question whether the work of the academic behind the curtain adds much value, or, indeed perpetuates the problem as much as the racism industrial complex does those of skin tone. Alaina, similar to Joe, is not worthy of dialog.
Not having perused Sjoberg’s work, e.g. “Gender and International Security: Feminist Perspectives”, I’ll withhold judgement. But, having suffered through a bit of such navel gazing academic writing within the last decade, here is something I learned. A colon in the title of an academic paper is symbolic of the vampiric puncture wound left upon the neck of the reader, sucking life after the fashion of this paragraph:
Whatever is in Melanie Butler’s Masters Thesis (which, however excellent it might be, is not “the” statement of postcolonial feminism), it remains, in my opinion, crucially important to look at the complexities of providing aid, generally and in this specific case, especially as relates to the power relationship between the “aid givers” and those who are “aided.” In fact, I don’t know why it is so hard for us to envision that sometimes people offer people “help” they do not want and do not see as helpful (christian evangelism, anyone?)
Again, Laura Sjoberg (I hope) exceeds the stereotype of the academic, just as I hope(d) Barack would exceed the stereotype of the banana republic thug, and failed in Joe’s case. Donald at American Power is sort of a Rush Limbaugh in this equation, enabling the dialog and getting hammered for threatening the narrative.
Update: The Daley Gator calls attention to this fine post, which offers a fine solution to the Elisabeth/Erin fued.