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The White Woman’s Burden

I’m so sick of being told the United States must keep 10,000s of soldiers in Afghanistan in order to safeguard the strides that Afghan women have made.  When your feminism becomes a crutch for imperialism, then you’ve invalidated feminism.

But won’t the Taliban roll back the advances of Afghan women?  On the contrary, the reason the Taliban are still a force to be reckoned with has much to do with the fact that no one in Afghanistan has made great strides over the last decade.  War is about initiative.  Afghanistan is the highlands of Central Asia.  America had a chance to fundamentally change the culture of Afghanistan by spearheading economic and political development with gusto as soon as combat had initially abated.  Unfortunately, Bush Jr. decided to invade Iraq instead, thereby stymieing development, and losing the initiative.

I do not deny that the Taliban regime is the most misogynistic regime on Earth but if you believe that the American military goes around the world liberating women, then you’re a fool.  If the American military could liberate women, then Southwest Asian women would be the most liberated on Earth.

Do you know how many women in Haiti are denied education?  Do you know how many women in South Africa are raped every day?  Of course not, because neither Fox News, nor CNN, nor NBC, nor MSNBC, nor ABC, nor just about anyone else care to tell stories about South Africa or Haiti (unless Oprah’s making the voyage, in which case we’ll get a week’s worth of coverage).  Why then, do I have to constantly hear about Malala Yousafzai and honor killings?

Finally, I was talking to a Pakistani friend of mine the other day about the war.  I told him I could not believe that grown men, Taliban or otherwise, could find 11 year old girls sexually appealing.  Without missing a beat he explained that an 11 year old girl’s vagina feels most like a 7 year old boy’s rectum.  How many females are raped every year in Afghanistan? A whole lot.  How many males are raped every year in Afghanistan?  We’ll never know.  But is it any surprise that little Afghan boys who are molested and raped grow up and forcibly marry 11 year old Afghan girls?  Is it surprising that one of the myths about Mullah Mohammed Omar’s origin is that he put a stop to the rape of two boys?  I don’t think so.  If you’re not willing to look at the whole problem, then you’re not seeking to solve it; you’ve an ulterior motive, like imperialism.

In the Pentagon there is a map of the world, and over Afghanistan there is an American flag.  Espousing feminism or female solidarity so as to keep that flag there means that the white man’s burden has become a white woman’s burden.  Noted literary theorist Spivak once described colonialist propaganda as, “white men saving brown women from brown men,” now it seems those white men with swords, pens, and dollars have white cheerleaders at home.

Gun Control Galore

We need stricter gun control in the United States.  European countries, Australia, Japan, and South Korea all have less problems with gun deaths, primarily because they have less guns. I am going to deconstruct all of the arguments raised by the NRA, and quite easily as well.

  • Guns don’t kill people, people kill people: I’m aware that guns are inanimate objects.  I’m also aware that guns are designed specifically to kill.  Cars can kill, but they’re designed for transportation.  Hammers can kill, but they’re designed for construction.  Guns are tools designed with a single purpose, to take life.
  • You cannot infringe on 2nd amendment rights: on the contrary, there is already great infringement on the right to bear arms.  Surface to air missiles are illegal, as are howitzers, mortars, recoilless rifles, Gatling guns, and a whole host of other arms including anything chemical and biological.  People like myself would never say that Americans should not have the right to have a pistol for self defense, or a three shot hunting rifle, but we draw the line where assault weapons are concerned, as they are designed specifically to kill human beings.  Also, regarding constitutional amendments in general, we have freedom of speech (amendment #1), and yet blackmail is illegal.  If I were to follow Tom Cruise to a bar, photograph him making out with a man, and then post the picture on the Internet, that would be legal.  If I were to follow him to a bar, photograph him making out with a man, and then ask him (the optimum word being ‘ask’ i.e. speech) to buy my silence or else I’d post the photo online, that would be illegal.
  • But if you make it illegal for responsible people to have certain weapons, only criminals will have them: criminals also use explosives, are you arguing that explosives should be legal?
  • The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun: yes, but if you can stop him from acquiring the gun in the first place, it certainly helps mitigate the wanton destruction of a bad man.
  • Bad people are going to do what they do regardless of whether they have a gun or not: yes but if someone goes to a school with a knife, he ends up stabbing 2 or 3 people.  If he comes to school with a gun he shoots 20 or 30. Guns don’t make people bad, but they facilitate bad acts.
  • Movies, video games, goth culture, and rap music are to blame: Japanese and South Koreans play more video games than we do, yet they have extremely low instances of gun deaths.  Germany has hardcore rock music, and France has lots of violent rap lyrics, yet none of these places suffer from gun violence like the United States.  In 1924, two teenagers in Chicago inspired by the work of Friedrich Nietzsche murdered a young boy to prove themselves ubermenschen.  Should we therefore ban Nietzsche?  Every time a boy murders his father, should I blame Dostoevsky?  Every time a man commits infanticide, should I blame the New Testament?  The Bible has spurred more heinous acts than any video game.
  • There’s nothing to be done, we’ve a violent culture, unlike Japan and South Korea: yes I agree, we’ve a violent culture (Anglo-Saxons were barbarians after all), and yet you want to allow us, these exceptionally violent people, to have assault weapons? Think logically before you vomit all over me.
  • Places with more gun ownership are safer, cities such as Washington D.C., with lots of rules and regulations regarding firearms, are less safe: yes but Washington D.C. borders Virginia, whose gun laws resemble Afghanistan and Somalia.  You want to compare guns and death in the US, the only fair comparison is between geographically isolated places.  Hawaii has severe restrictions on guns, and low gun deaths.  Alaska has few restrictions on guns, and many gun deaths.

In the end, the NRA is a product of the military industrial complex.  Who makes guns and bullets, who makes money from the fabrication of said arms?  Supporting the NRA is supporting the same people who brought you the Iraq War; an M16 is an M16 regardless of whatever “civilian variant” sticker they put on it.

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