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And the views of how many women have been represented by feminist discourse since its origins in the 19th century? Jason Hribal does to dolphins what Hillary Clinton is doing to the women of Afghanistan, but with a far more consequential intention than the razing of Sea World. Clinton and a large swath of feminists are justifying the military occupation of Afghanistan by claiming that Afghan women are current or potential “victims” of Sharia law and the Taliban. Yet only a small fraction of Afghan women have been asked in polls whether they agree with this assessment of their own lives; a majority who have been asked endorse Sharia law, and a significant percentage even endorse the return to power of the Taliban. If we liberate the women of Afghanistan, we will do so against the wishes of many of the liberated.
Speaking for the subaltern is not exclusively a practice of the left. Recently two fetuses testified against reproductive rights during a hearing of the Ohio state legislature. Lying on gurneys in the hearing room, two pregnant women were scanned by an ultrasound machine as a video monitor broadcast the images and sounds of their fetuses’ beating hearts. The fetuses were there to contribute their unwitting support to the “heartbeat bill,” which would ban abortions in Ohio as soon as a heartbeat could be detected, except in medical emergencies.
So let us use the apparent absurdities of this book to question our own equally absurd but also imperialistic claims about the beliefs and aspirations of those we do not know.
Bonus Reason.tv video: Watch Thaddeus Russell discuss the renegades who helped make America free.