Feminists Worldwide Owned By Man Wondering When #MeToo Will Condemn The Taliban
If there is one rightwing argument I never get tired of, it's "Why are you complaining about stuff in the country where you actually live instead of criticizing countries where things are worse for [insert minority here]." Mostly I like the dual implication that we are ungrateful and that they would be willing to get in on the fight for social justice were it simply being used as a cudgel against another country.
This argument is not, as it turns out, unique to the United States. This week, the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald out of the UK published a short and sweet letter to the editor from reader Matthew Laverack (a prolific writer of letters-to-the-editor it turns out), asking "When Will #MeToo End Its Silence On The Taliban?"
Given that Laverack went through all of the trouble to write an actual letter to the editor, rather than posting his thoughts on social media, we can all be assured that this is a very well-thought-out argument. And it does check a lot of boxes, including calling women "females."
In calling on City of York Council to 'end it's silence' on the Afghan refugee crisis, Labour cites the plight of young girls no longer allowed to go to school (End silence on Afghan refugees, August 24).
Females have far more to fear than a denial of schooling from the despicable Taliban, who ruthlessly impose strict Sharia Law under which a woman is regarded as little more than a chattel.
So when will the #MeToo movement be ending its silence on the matter? Or are they only concerned about deplorable conduct of certain males in western countries?
Well, I guess he has got us all there? How can we even stand ourselves with all of this rank hypocrisy?
Sadly, Laverack neglected to share with us all exactly how a disparate movement that at its core is just women and others sharing their own personal experiences with sexual assault and abuse online, as well as occasionally calling for their abusers to be held accountable for their actions, would officially come forward and issue a statement on the Taliban.
How would this go? Would we all vote for one woman to come forward on behalf of us all and apologize to the men of our own countries who have sexually assaulted, abused and harassed women, and thank them for not being as bad as the literal Taliban? Should every woman who used the hashtag to discuss how they had been sexually assaulted, abused, or harassed step forward and officially condemn the Taliban? Would he like to see members of the Taliban who participate in the oppression of women lose their jobs with ... the Taliban?
If it makes Laverack feel better, however, I am more than happy to say that the Taliban is bad. In fact, he can quote me on it.
"'The Taliban is bad,' says feminist Robyn Pennacchia, in an official statement.
For what it is worth, Afghan women and girls are also notably and bravely participated in the #MeToo hashtag themselves, which was actually the whole entire point of said hashtag.
There are lots of organizations that address human rights issues affecting women on a global scale, but not every organization or social movement can or should be all things to all people. But it seems less like Laverack doesn't understand that and more like he sure would like women to stop talking about "the deplorable conduct of certain males in western countries."
Hopefully his next letter to the editor will be better thought out.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse