Fawzia Koofi, an Afghani female parliamentarian, has an article up at Salon arguing that the US should stay in Afghanistan to help secure progress made there towards women’s rights. She apparently thinks securing women’s rights is something only [American] men can do, not something Afghan woman can do for themselves.
The comments explore the interpretation that this is really a false flag article to plead for colonialist intervention, but that is another discussion. I am exploring something else.
Here’s the counter-offer, Fawzia – we American men send you all the weapons you need to fight for your own rights, (and by the way, that’s more than anyone did for us during those long centuries in Europe and later in North America when we were securing our own rights) because rights someone else fights for and gives you are not your rights, they are privileges those others grant you. Is that really what you want, or is that all you can conceive of?
There is absolutely no question that Afghan women and girls have been and continue to be grossly oppressed in their society. Girls are still taking their lives in their hands just trying to go to school. Women used to come down with vitamin D deficiency conditions because they were not allowed outdoors, and probably still do. The list of oppressions is long and horrible. So why does that not motivate Afghan women to fight their oppressors to get their rights? If Afghan women are unwilling to kill their fathers, husbands and sons, how does that suddenly become someone else’s job, some foreigner’s? Why is that always only a man’s job?
Bottom line, Fawzia – why are Afghan women’s rights worth more than American men’s lives?