Redditor Claiming To Be Arab Woman Living in Middle East Slams Western Feminism

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By Heat Street Staff | 10:08 pm, December 22, 2016
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A Redditor claiming to be an Arab woman living in the Middle East posted a heartfelt takedown of Western feminism and the non-issues that it focuses on.

Despite being posted in /r/TwoXChromosomes, a feminist women’s forum, the post shot straight to the top, reaching the front page of Reddit. While some commenters disagreed, many welcomed the outside-in critique.

The poster argues that silly issues like “showing off menstruation blood” and “manspreading” distract from the the real and important injustices happening to women around the world. And Western feminists are too laser focused on minor issues in their home countries while completely ignoring abhorrent crimes against women happening outside their countries.

Here is the post in full:

I’m an Arab woman in my mid-20s, living in the Middle East. I appreciate this sub and the support and comfort it offers to women from different backgrounds, so I thought it would be a great platform for dialogue on an issue that somewhat troubles me.

As you know, women in the Global South face immense challenges and hardships on different levels in order for them to be able to live as “normally” as possible that range from simple, mundane things like driving and going out to major challenges in education, marriage and careers.

I feel resentment when I see western women taking up causes such as:

  • Freeing the nipple
  • Showing off their menstruation blood
  • Manspreading/mansplaining

I find these causes extremely belittling and trivial when compared to women get killed, imprisoned or mutilated just because they wanted to study, or to not marry a certain man, or not be forced to adopt certain clothing.

Example: A woman can’t show off her nipples in New York. A woman in Karachi can’t show her face because it’s been destroyed in an acid attack.

Do you see how privileged and disconnected it sounds to us, on the other side? Is that truly what oppression and suffering means to the Western women taking up these causes?

I expect angry responses. I truly am not trying to be antagonistic or undermine any group of women. It is just extremely difficult to comprehend how these issues are considered revolutionary when there are much more deeply rooted problems, particularly economic and political, that should be at the forefront?

I do understand that causes are not mutually exclusive and one can take up a fight on multiple fronts (socio-cultural-political-economic).

It just feels like there is an immense disconnect and lack of intersectionality between women in the Global North and in the Global South. Yes partially it is because of the difference in living standards which accordingly dictate different issues and problems, but ..just help me understand. Why are these issues important to you, and how do they make sense to you in the bigger [global] picture?

Thank you.