Journalist Mona Eltahaway Labels Me A ‘Misogynist Prick’
My patience is wearing thin with those who assume to tell people which causes they can’t support or have an opinion on due to their location, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.
It seems a form of identity politics where it’s more important to be seen ‘fighting the good fight’ than it is to actually win the war. It’s going to take more than every woman on this planet to achieve gender equality for instance. Excluding men is counterproductive because if men are the problem they need to be part of the solution too.
There will be many valuable voices in any movement, some with relevant, direct experiences and some without – but it’s going to take more than one particular clique, or a singular political persuasion to make progress on the big issues of our day. This is why sensible allies are vital.
Regardless of whether they have a personal link to the issue, sensible allies can also serve to support, promote and amplify good ideas and challenge the bad ones. And that’s a vital component of influencing changes to attitudes and behaviour. There’s nothing about this view in my mind that prevents one from listening to people directly affected also.
Now, I’m happy to have my mind changed on this view, but there’s one thing I’m certain of: arguing in favour of it a ‘misogynist prick’ does not make.
This brings me to Journalist Mona Eltahawy. Mona has taken to Twitter over the last few days to tell men, ex-Muslims, white people, Western Feminists and non-Muslims to ‘shut up’ on issues of equality and human rights.
This is particularly odd given she’s previously bemoaned the ‘global’ silence on FGM. ‘Shut up but speak up’ is a confusing message to ‘lead’ a movement with.
Below are my interactions with Mona before being blocked and defamed to her 200,000 followers as a ‘misogynist prick’. Can anyone spot the hatred of women in my tweets?
It’s especially disconcerting that she explains away the dissenters to her obnoxious views as ‘fuckboys’ whilst also ignoring the swathes of feminists and women disagreeing with her too. So much for ‘listening’. I suppose it’s harder to dismiss the leader of FEMEN, Inna Shevchenko as a ’misogynist prick’ or ‘fuckboy’.
Mona’s behaviour here is simply a case of someone reaching for the most incendiary label available to them because their arguments alone cannot withstand the meekest of scrutiny. Not only is it unjust, it blunts the terms involved and contributes to their dilution.
Mona seems to think she is some fearsome feminist warrior, slaying the male ogres that dare to disagree. To everyone else she is a divisive ideologue – losing the support of valuable allies, male and female. Muslim or not. No battle for equality has ever been won by alienating good people.
UPDATE –22 April 2016 – Mona throws Ex-Muslims under the bus
Given Mona spends her time fighting for the rights of women within Islam, I’d imagine a large portion of her supporters are ex-Muslims. They know more than most the struggle faced by women under Islamic rule or conservatism. It’s such a shame Mona feels she must alienate this minority within a minority too: