I share Donald Feeney’s concerns in his May 10 letter, “Politically correct ‘straw men,” about modern political discourse, but it seems we are not reading the same letters. He implies that my May 3 letter accused him of claiming in his April 29 letter “that Western males were perfect with regard to their treatment of women.” I did no such thing. My response was specifically to his rendering of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s views, which he chose to include and present as: “White men are not oppressors, she says, but rather liberators.”
Feeney asks why it is “contemptible” and “obscene” to quote an internationally famous activist to make a point. I made no such complaint. My objection (May 3) was not to Hirsi Ali’s views, per se, but to his summation above, which was not a quotation. As for the courageous Ayaan Hirsi Ali, readers will find a very sympathetic critique of her views and her book, “Nomad,” by Michelle Goldberg at http://www.democracyjournal.org/18/6776.php?page=all
Feeney appears to be setting up his own “straw men” to knock me down. He wonders why I referred to “The Whistleblower.” I apologize if it was not clear, but the subject of the film is an example of white-male “liberation”: the trafficking of women into Bosnia by U.S. military contractors and U.N. staff for sexual slavery.
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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