Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Response to Lorraine Ali's "Reform: Not Ignorant, Not Helpless"

Joshua Daniels
September 26, 2013
English 150-26

The author claims Americans view Muslim women as weak and timid people. She argues that these depictions are not the case. The author then claims that the West’s viewpoints of Muslim women has been tainted by what they perceive from the most severe forms of unfair treatment and cruelty that Muslim women go through in Muslim countries.

She says that Muslim women are uncomfortable to both conformities and are at the mercy of politics and that the West is just as guilty of using women as well. Lorraine Ali, the author of  “Reform: Not Ignorant, Not Helpless”, wants us to understand that Muslim women are strong. Her life and many others are exceptions to this depiction of Muslim women. She is neither weak nor timid.

Years later these issues are still present but not to the extent it was presented in Ali’s article. I agree that the people some people perceive Muslim women as weak timid people, however I would go so far to say that the west perceives Women in such a way. We have come to learn that what we see are only extreme cases of oppression. Today we have learned to agree with what the author states and we are no longer viewing a fraction of the world of Muslim women.

FEMEN leader Inna Shevchenko created 'Topless Jihad Day'. This was met with a lot of controversy and many women spoke out against her. They made it clear that they wanted to achieve their own freedom and did not need western interference. Notice how this woman is a Muslim but not American. The FEMEN group was created in the Ukraine. Americans have nothing to do with it. Still there are some that will continue to say this is our doing.

The only case of this being true is the Kiev University students who clearly are participating for the glory and exposure. With the support and gained exposure they created FEMEN USA. This again shows that there are just some people in the west who try to help where not needed. Americans are calling them out as practicing Sextremism and as a communistic approach.

Through likes of twitter and Facebook and over all the overwhelming popularity of the Internet we can easily understand how Muslim women feel about this. They are speaking up and we are listing.  During my research I saw many Americans talking to Muslim women in chats trying to understand them and their culture. Many of the Americans have stated themselves that all the stereotypes are not the case. I believe that the stereotypes of Muslim women have been put to rest.

We still see small instances of exploitation in the past but we don’t encourage it and even tarnish it. America is really growing up much to Lorraine Ali’s delight. Everything she sated that the west was and what perceived has quickly diminished. We now watch from the side. We know Muslim women have a battle to fight. But, this time we know that this is their battle and we respect them enough to let them fight it alone.

Works Cited
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. New York, NY: Pantheon, 2003. Print.
Ankerberg, John, and Emir Fethi. Caner. The Truth about Islam and Women. Eugene,        Or.: Harvest House, 2009. Print.
Ginat, J. Women in Muslim Rural Society. New Brunswick: Transaction, 2013. Print.
Khan, Shahnaz. Muslim Women: Crafting a North American Identity. Gainesville: University of Florida, 2000. Print.
Ali, Lorraine. "Reform: Not Ignorant, Not Helpless." The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily    Beast, 11 Dec. 2005. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.