Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Shed Your Unwanted Brains - Embrace Imperial Feminism!

"There was a time when the women of Afghanistan - at least in Kabul - were  out there. They were allowed to study; they were doctors and surgeons, walking free, wearing what they wanted. That was when it was under Soviet occupation. Then the United States starts funding the mujahideen. Reagan called them Afghanistan's 'founding fathers.' It reincarnates the idea of 'jihad,' virtually creates the Taliban. And what happens to the women? In Iraq, until before the war, the women were scientists, museum directors, doctors. I'm not valorizing Saddam Hussein or the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, which was brutal and killed hundreds of thousands of people - it was the Soviet Union's Vietnam. I'm just saying that now, in these new wars, whole countries have slipped into mayhem - the women have just been pushed back into their burqas - and not by choice.  I mean, to me, one thing is a culture in which women have not broken out of their subservience, but the horror of tomorrow, somebody turning around and telling me: 'Arundhati, just go back into your veil, and sit in your kitchen and don't come out.' Can you imagine the violence of that? That's what has happened to these women. In 2001, we were told that the war in Afghanistan was a feminist mission. The marines were liberating Afghan women from the Taliban. Can you really bomb feminism into a country? And now, after twenty-five years of brutal war - ten years against the Soviet occupation, fifteen years of US occupation - the Taliban is riding back to Kabul and will soon be back to doing business with the United States. I don't live in the United States, but when I'm here (in the U.S.- ed) I begin to feel like my head is in a grinder - my brains are being scrambled by this language that they're using. Outside the United States it's not so hard to understand because people know the score. But here, so many seem to swallow the propaganda so obediently."

------Arundhati Roy, Things That Can And Cannot Be Said, p. 21-22

No comments: