The obstreperal lobe, of course, is the part of the brain discovered by the great Twisty Faster, gentleman farmer and spinster aunt. Mine sent me to the cupboard in search of panadol, as so often happens, following a look at a Fairfax thinkpiece.
Kim of LP has been pretty extensively insulted and misquoted lately in the ozblogosphere by right-wingers who have just gleefully discovered the disgusting practice of FGM (Most of you won’t need an explanation, but here’s one if you need it.) Because she refuses to take their simplistic “If you haven’t denounced X loudly in the last week, that means you’re too weak to oppose it!” statements seriously, and tries to explain some of the complexities of this rare but deeply embedded problem.
For her trouble, she’s been pilloried in the OpEd section of the AGE by Julie Szego.
Consider this little blogosphere spat inspired by [Ayaan Hirsi] Ali’s visit. During a discussion about female circumcision on left-leaning site Larvatus Prodeo, blogger Kim said: “It would also be useful to know more about what sorts of methods those working against the practice in Australia are using. It would seem to me counterproductive to have loud denunciations of it – the key thing should be to convince people it’s wrong.”
Which just goes to show, dear reader, that Kim and the rest of us feminists must support female genital mutilation; it’s logical isn’t it? Can’t quite see it? Well, Szego gets a quote from someone sensible on the other side to show what we should be thinking:
Conservative blogger Tim Blair pounced soon enough. “You’d think if there was one issue on which a Western feminist might be moved to loud denunciation, it’d be the genital mutilation of little girls. But no; this instead turns out to be an issue (one of the few) about which the likes of Kim are inclined to shut the hell up. In the rock-scissors-paper hierarchy of the modern left, sensitivity to Islam trumps clitoral scissors every time.”
This is the quote that Szego has chosen to single out for admiration. The sheer bad-faithness of the argument is bad enough – and there’s something perversely brilliant about someone who, in one short paragraph, can simultaneously accuse feminists of not being feminist enough while making it clear that it would be better if they shut up more. Then there’s the comments thread on the post she quoted:
Commenter “Blogagog” tries to lighten the thread up hurh, hurh:
Hey, this girl just ticked me off (she said ‘no’ when I asked her to dance in the club). Can I legally apply to get her genitals mutilated? I’ll become a muslim if it will help grease the wheels.
(Just a joke! I want no woman’s genitals mutilated. Wow, it really crushes the humor quotient when it’s attached to a disclaimer, huh.)
“MareeS” displays her touching concern for Muslim women thus:
re genital mutilation reducing odour, the women of islam wouldn’t smell if they washed each day (which many of them in Europe seem not to do with any regularity). Girls are taught from the outset that “down below” is a no-touchy zone for them. Slicing and dicing the offending spot removes the temptation but not the odour.
“Mojo” displays his:
An experiment: Let’s slice Kim’s clitoris off and see how she feels about it then.
While “Dave Surls” froths:
“FGM is an abhorrent practice, and I am very sorry that it was inflicted on Ali. But rather than preaching about allegedly universal values and some sort of right that “we” have to intervene…”–Lil Kimmie
Got news for you, twat. If I witness a little girl being tortured and mutilitated, not only do I have a right to intervene, I have a duty to do so.
Don’t tell me I have no right to intervene to put a stop to the torture and mutilation of little girls, you worthless piece of shit.
If this is the kind of company that Szego prefers to keep, good on ‘er, but it’s not going to do much for the AGE as an alternative to the tabloids.
Feminists have known about FGM (as well as many of the other atrocities taking place in “traditional” societies”) for many years, because other feminists have written about it, as well as other dreadful lefty organisations. The “conservatives” have paid scant attention to it until now, when it’s been discovered as a handy wedge. This is a truly disgusting attempt to use genuine suffering to try and score off your perceived enemies, and professional journalists should surely be alert to the faux “feminism” espoused by some people who really have no shame at all. Excuse me but I have to go and have a shower with steel wool now.