Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ophelia, Terry, and Alaina and the sorry Melanie

This was lovely.
UBC granted a MA for a thesis that proviked these responses from Ophlia Benson.
Some small citations (for context the original MA thesis is the ususal PoMo bullshit):
She wants to get her Master's degree, so she proceeds with her project of saying invidious things about an NGO working for Afghan women's rights, for another forty pages. She leans heavily on Foucault and Said, she talks much of knowledge-power and Orientalism, and she ploughs her academic furrow. Meanwhile the women who work for CW4WAfghan do that. I know which I admire.
I know which I do too and it ain't the thesis writer or her godforsaken supervisors. Canadian universities are cesspolls.
Later (earlier, actually in my link structure above):
So. Since a flood of people, which is to say, two people, have requested more extracts, I shall oblige.
At the heart of the relationship between feminism and imperialism is an Orientalist logic that posits Western women as exemplary and emancipated in relation to “Other” (Afro-Asian/colonized) women, thereby charging the former with the responsibility of saving the latter from their backwards (i.e. Muslim), uncivilized cultures.
Right. Tell that to the little girls in Ethiopia who don't want to be raped into marriage at age eight. Tell them it's an Orientalist logic that thinks they should have something better.
I wonder if Melanie Butler (author of this profoundly silly thesis) would really like to head into the maws of the world she so defends - actually, maybe does not quite so defend - instead she takes the easier path of slagging those who try to fight it. Gutlessness, I call that.
Now I would never have posted on this except for the wonderful post Terry Glavin put up, where a 13-year-old punctures this total piece of crap emanating as a master's thesis.
Alaina Podmorova speaks:
No one will ever tell me that Muslim or any women think it’s ok to not be allowed to get educated or to have their daughters sold off at 8 years old or traded off at 4 years old because of cultural beliefs. No one will tell me that women in Afghanistan think it is ok for their daughters to have acid thrown in their faces. It makes me ill to think a 4 year old girl must sleep in a barn and get raped daily by old men. It’s sick and wrong and I don’t care who calls me an Orientalist or whatever I will keep raising money to educate girls and women in Afghanistan and I will keep writing letters and sending them in the back pack of my friend Lauryn Oates as she works so bravely on the ground helping women and girls learn what it is to exercise their rights. I believe in human rights so I believe everyone has the right their own opinion, I just wish that the energy that was used to write that story, that is just not true, could have been used to educate a girl in Afghanistan. That’s what the girls truly want. That’s what the Women in Afghanistan truly want. I have a drawer full of letters from them that says just that.
Our universities have so much to answer for.
Alaina, when you get to university of your choice, please be one of the people to fix these godforsaken places. (I am an atheist so take that meatphorically.) They ASK Melanie Butler to waste a year ot two wading through such obvious bullshit that only her supervisors could recognize that it makes any sense at all.
Wonder what kind of job Ms. Butler will have got. Not one that I would have given her when I was a recruiter.

UPDATE: Ophelia has found Alaina's just retort.
I feel a bit soryy for Melanie, but she chose her academic supervisors, and they are clearly one sorry bunch.


At 12:30 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Are you sure Melanie Butler is not doing another Sokal Hoax, this time on UBC and the Cambridge Literary Journal (or whatever that rag is called)?

Sure sounds like it.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

That's a charitable thought! Given the gobbledygook I saw when I scanned the thesis, you may well be right.


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