Poor joke about ‘liberators’

Koshigaya, Saitama

Having watched “The Whistleblower” (starring Rachel Weisz) on the same day as reading Donald Feeney’s April 29 letter, “Dogma gets in the way of joke,” I found his use of a black woman’s words in evincing the view that white men are “liberators” as bordering on the contemptible.

Were the white male U.S. military contractors and U.N. staff who trafficked women into Bosnia to be sold for rape and sexual slavery liberators? Were Barack Obama’s male Secret Service agents liberating the women of El Salvador and Columbia?

Do thousands of shelters exist for female victims of violence in Europe and the United States because white males are so progressive? Who is responsible if a quarter of the women in the United Kingdom and the U.S. report having have been subjected to a serious sexual assault? Or, in citing the contextless opinion of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is Feeney suggesting that nonwhite males are more culpable in the exploitation and oppression of women — something even more obscene?

That Sarah Mulvey expressed forthright views in her April 22 letter, “Disheartening stereotyped role,” and The Japan Times chose to print them, are to be admired. That the responses to her original letter have degenerated into that familiar refrain that we blokes are OK and that some women just cannot take a joke is a sad indictment of 21st-century awareness.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

nick wood