There is no shortage of hypocrisies found throughout secular liberalism in the Western world. Few have been as noxious as the oxymoronic crusading for multiculturalism. It has been said that the Left supports multiculturalism only in its appearances, not in its content. Pluralism is limited, and there comes a point when water does not mix with oil, a point where one must admit two opposing belief systems are not compatible. The West is afraid to admit it. The West has become so devoted to its unspecified goal of multiculturalism and tolerance that it cannot admit limitation and differentiation. There is no clearer example of this than the recent refugee crisis and mass sexual assault in Cologne.
Since the first writings to ever be dubbed feminist, there has been no short supply of harsh criticism of Christianity and Western tradition; whether it be directed against the Church, leftover Puritan habits, or the general ‘Other’ commonly called patriarchy. The only other ideology to face as much criticism from feminists as patriarchal Christianity has been capitalism in its unending commodification of a woman’s body. This history makes it that much more strange to find feminism silent concerning the spread of Islam in the West.
Present day feminism has taken plenty of heat for its obsession with the petty and often times outright fabricated injustices. The overly sensitive temperament of Millennials and severe shortcomings of Third Wave Feminism is a topic for another article. It is worth mentioning here in that present day Feminism continues to obsess over the petty and domestic, rather than acknowledging the looming global threats to women. Whether it be multiple African countries, parts of Southeast Asia, or the Middle Eastern region; the fact of the matter is where Islam is dominant, women’s rights are minimal and subject to severe and cruel injustices.
Of course this is not news, as NGOs and international powers have pressured countries to adhere to a certain standard of human conduct with mediocre success. What has been astonishing is how quick the West has dedicated itself to defending Islam from any and all criticism. This is a religion with traditions as patriarchal as medieval Christianity. It is as devoutly against feminist intentions as the most radical Evangelical in the US, if not more so devoutly opposed.
The immediate response is calling attention to moderate practicing Muslims, and while it is true that there are moderates in the West, it is not a fair and accurate depiction of the religion at large. As previously mentioned, regions that are dominantly Islamic have minimal liberty for women, and are prone to display severe injustices toward women. Traditional Islamic values and Western feminism is absolutely incompatible, and a small minority of moderates do not negate that.
The second response is that women within Islam are to judge for themselves what is best, and it does not require Western feminism to ‘save’ it. That can be debated, as to what extent is such a judgment coerced and indoctrinated, and to what extent should cultural differences be respected. I do not propose playing savior on a global scale, for I am addressing how feminism is handling (or not handling) the pressing issues here at home in the West.
In common discourse, the term ‘Islamophobe’ is employed as a rhetorical tool to shame those who harshly criticize Islam. Whether the criticism be legitimate and fair or outright irrational and ignorant, the critic is scolded with the label ‘Islamophobe’. The American Left will chastize and demonize Christian fundamentalists without a second thought, yet they are the first to defend Islam from verbal attack. Whether it be European nations or the US, it opens its borders to foreign Islamic importation, as if the nation were Christ himself embracing any who may approach.
An unwavering and overzealous commitment to multiculturalism has become a commitment to self-dissolution. When does the solvent cease to dissolve the solute, and when does the concentration of the disolute become too much? It is self-defeating, perhaps even an ultimate deathwish, to wholesale invite an ideology that is unapologetically counter to ones own values and lifestyle. Without the bulwark of Christian traditions and other cultural traditions, the secular vacuum left behind is all too vulnerable to stronger ideological influences. Feminism, which once fought the overbearing Church, has became so negative in content that it now doggedly embraces an equally tyrannical religiosity that is Islam, all in the name of tolerance and diversity.
Recently on the Eve of New Years 2016, in Cologne, Germany; there was a mass sexual assault. Multiple men of various ethnic background, suspected to be of illegal status or seeking asylum, groped and robbed women in a style of attack known as taharrash gamea (collective harrassment). These men were of non-European origin, and there have been several other identical cases from nearby countries in the region. This has not been the first nor last. Ironically, only a week before, multiple administers prided themselves in being messiah-like by taking in refugees and outwardly expressed their contentment.
The attacks in Cologne were sexual in nature and women were the victims. The style of harrassment itself is commonly used by men who circle a single or couple of women. Then begin to taunt/grope/rob the victims, and at worst rape them. What is striking is that outspoken feminists and other secular humanists have come forth decrying any whom have used these cases as evidence against multicultural crusading and mass immigration. This is when progressivism begins to eat itself. It increasingly weaves the rope which it will hang itself with, or have others pull the gallows lever.
It makes one wonder if progressives thought crucifying themselves would somehow further the banner of tolerance and universalism. Would they build themselves a cross and hand a hammer and nails to the nearby invader? Either feminism takes a solid stand against the archaic beliefs which they have willingly invited into their nation, or it ceases to call itself feminism altogether. Would we dare see The Woman’s Quran as we once saw Elizabeth Stanton’s The Woman’s Bible? Would the feminists decades ago be as inviting to Islam as progressivists are today? If feminism has indeed become relativist then it makes sense to find silence, for there is no voice to speak. If feminism actually still means something—it must stand taller than petty squabbles on the Internet—presentation of women in video games, and mythical college campus rape cultures.
Feminism must have positive content and value, not merely reacting to what it finds sentimentally offensive. Feminism must acknowledge and re-appreciate the West, despite its conflicted history, for it is the West in which feminism was born and has flourished. Feminism must define itself as the emancipated woman, the autonomous individual, an unbridled intellect. Porous values which are slavish in temperament only invite inevitable damage. Catering to the weakest, these positions are valued purely due to their utility in helping the disfranchised despite their obvious self-harm, and the smugness displayed throughout is a pseudo-martyr’s fate.
Whether it be capitalist commodification and vulgar materialism, or stifling Abrahamic religions, there must be an unwaivering stance that does not concede for the sake of multiculturalist fantasies. Feminism must not hang itself alongside secular humanism with a noose braided from progressivist values. There are opposing entropic forces which would gladly play executioner if given the slightest chance, much less willingly handing them that chance in the name of goodwill.
Natasha Maria Phoenix is currently a university student majoring in political science and philosophy. She is a cinephile, occultist, and aspiring writer with specific interest in pessimism, antihumanism, and horror fiction. She enjoys long romantic walks through the abyss. Her blog can be found here.