SJWs have attacked the US women’s chess champion for apparently running the wrong kind of pro-women’s rights campaign against oppressive Iranian hijab laws.
A writer for woke millennial news site Mic.com and a professor this week took a swipe at “white savior” Nazi Paikidze, who rocketed into the headlines last week with her decision to boycott the women’s world chess championships.
Paikidze swore not to compete because of Iranian modesty laws which would compel her – and all other players – to wear a hijab in all public appearances.
— Sarah A. Harvard (@amyharvard_) October 10, 2016
In an interview with Iranian activists she said she would even sacrifice her career to stand up to Iran’s authoritarian religious rule.
Since then she has started a petition urging chess officials to strip Iran of the right to host the competition – which has now attracted more than 15,000 signatures.
But her stand – praised by chess luminaries including Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short, as well as national chess officials – earned the ire of Mic’s Sarah Harvard and an academic she interviewed – who concludes Paikidze is part of a “white savior complex”.
A message to the people of Iran: I am not anti-Islam or any other religion. I stand for freedom of religion and choice. ✌️ I'm protesting FIDE's decision not because of Iran's religion or people, but for the government's laws that are restricting my rights as a woman. My personal experiences with Iranian people have been nothing but wonderful ❣️ One day I hope to visit Iran and see women having complete freedom and equality. 🙏
According to Harvard, Paikidze advances a “standard Western media narrative” which seeks to erase Iranian women and their struggle.
She backs up her perspective by talking to Dr Fatemeh Keshavarz, a professor of Persian studies at the University of Maryland. Keshavarz said: “Besides the fact that Muslim women do have agency themselves, the main trouble with this narrative is that it treats these women like children and becomes an instrument of disempowering them.”
Unfortunately their hit job has to skirt around some awkward facts – the first of which being that Paikidze’s story only took off because of Iranian activists.
The champion’s interview with My Stealthy Freedom, a social media campaign founded by Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, is essentially the reason the story reached the public at all.
That post was noticed by outlets, including Heat Street, and helped turn a relatively faceless scrap, born in the pages of the Daily Telegraph into a widely-read human story.
Paikidze has also prominently mentioned that many Iranian women have sent her messages of support.
For pretty obvious reasons they may not want these to be public.
Besides emphasising that Paikidze and her efforts are *problematic*, Harvard and Keshavarz have little advice for what could be done instead.
When Heat Street contacted Harvard over the post, she claimed the piece was not in fact critical of Paikidze, but declined to answer further questions.