Friday, October 10, 2014

Malala Yousafzai is the Future of Feminism

A breath of fresh air needed to combat the perverted Progressive version of feminism we have here in the US.

Malala Yousafzai is the Future of Feminism:

Of all the hashtags that have trended in recent memory, there is one that really has stuck in my mind.


It’s just so good, and I find myself inadvertently coming back to it several times a day. The generic brand dishwasher pods that I am trying out leave my dishes with a few annoying crusties. My Volvo needs a part that I can’t find. I am having a squabble with my insurance over something.

One problem I’ve never had to deal with? Tyrannical psychos trying to shoot me on my way to work, or my daughter on her way to school. No, those are not first world problems.

When I find myself complaining or thinking negative thoughts and the #firstworldproblems hashtag flits through my mind, it almost takes my breath away. I think for three seconds about the problems faced by women around the world and am absolutely mortified by my own disgruntledness over what for many of them would be pure privilege.

This happened to me this morning when I was caught in a cycle of negative thinking and anxiety about various things and saw the smiling and freakishly poised face of Malala Yousafzai, this year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

As most people know, Malala was shot in the face trying to go to school, because she was a girl trying to go to school. She survived, and has blossomed into a lovely young woman campaigning for the importance of female education despite the great hurdles women face all around the world, starting with gender-based violence.

Her presence softens the image whenever she appears, often in colorful headscarves and with a strangely calm and peaceful smile in a sea of black and grey suits. I’ve long been doubtful about the merits of the Nobel Peace Prize, as past recipients range from the reprehensible, like the violent PLO leader Yasser Arafat, to the laughable, like President Obama for his work on “climate change.” But I am truly delighted to see the world honor her and all that she stands for.

I also hope that she can become a sort of rallying point for feminism.

If there is such a thing as first world problems, there most certainly is a first world feminism. Critics of Emma Watson’s feminism speech argued that she squandered a good opportunity to talk about violence against women by dragging in first world problems like girls not succeeding in sports. I’ve written three different posts now about five different celebrities, Taylor Swift, Lena Dunham, Emma Watson, BeyoncĂ©, and Emily Ratajkowski all embracing feminism and the cacophony of definitions they have offered. But in almost every case, violence against women comes up. Emma Watson probably got the most mileage on the topic, as she was specifically speaking for a new UN campaign about violence against women around the world.

But it is interesting to note that gender violence remains a baseline for women still clinging to feminism. Conservative feminist writer, Christina Hoff Summers, wrote last year that if we are going to save feminism and ever make it something that women can rally around together, we need to get back to non-first world problems faced by the majority of women not living in peaceful democracies like the United States. She said:

Who needs feminism? We do. The world does. But an effective women’s movement needs to be rescued from its current outcast state. Anyone who cares about improving the status of women around the world should be working to create a women’s movement that resonates with women…Most of all, make common cause with women across the globe who are struggling for their basic freedoms. Supporting truly oppressed women would give today’s Western feminism something it has lacked for many years: a contemporary purpose worthy of its illustrious past.
So it’s really beautiful to see Malala being honored for her authentic courage and graciousness on behalf of women and children in the face of great suffering. But it’s also exciting to think that she might be able to help refocus women everywhere on the aspects of feminism where we can and should agree. While Malala’s ordeal seems like a thing belonging to a barbaric past, sadly it is a reality of modernity for so many women, and she is the first spokeswoman in recent memory that has the potential to re-point the dial of feminism back towards a more illustrious future.

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