I was delighted to read Nick Wood’s May 3 criticism, “Poor joke about liberators,” of my April 29 letter (“Dogma gets in the way of joke“) because he proved something about so much of modern political discourse. I never wrote that Western males were perfect with regard to their treatment of women. Wood’s inference is a perfect example of the fallacious straw-man argument.
I did indeed quote Somali-Dutch activist/writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who said that “Western feminism still defines the white man as the oppressor, but right now it’s the brown man, the black man, the yellow man” (Feminism’s freedom fighter, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 17, 2009). Why exactly is it “contemptible” and “obscene” for me to quote an internationally famous activist to make a point?
Wood also fails to explain the significance of his reference to the movie “The Whistleblower.” What exactly is he talking about?
The writer David McCullough once told me that he felt political correctness was “like a plague” infesting modern education and thought. George Orwell warned us about jingoism and political propaganda replacing thought and reason. I chuckle at Wood’s knee-jerk response, but also worry that those two aforementioned writers had a point. Why is it that so many champions of “diversity” and “fairness” want everyone else to think the way they do?
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.
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