Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Do FLDS women really need saving?

OK other pertinent news notwithstanding, AJ's pretty interested in things that make feminists go ZOMG! and also more generally in non-normative sexual/familial formations, so it's with some interest that I've been perusing the coverage of the raid on the FLDS's YFZ Ranch. In particular, alternet had an article recently, which Feministe covered, leaving my mindgrapes rather piqued.

  • AJ is wondering whether thinking about illiberal subjectivities might be a useful way to ponder women of the FLDS persuasion. (I think the answer might be PROBABLY YES.)
  • Does the MSM really care about FLDS women? (of course not stupid) SO WHAT IS UP WITH THAT. We already know that when ppl are like "im in ur country havin non-nuclear familes" Americans are all DO NOT WANT. Also those ladies wear weird dresses.
  • Apropos, feminist/progressive coverage of the YFZ ranch women raises questions for AJ as to the usefulness of our concepts of things like social control and also agency. In particular, it is interesting that the Feministe post focuseson the existence of autonomous internal social institutions that the FLDS had implemented (hospitals, police and court system) as evidence of the pervasiveness of FLDS coercive control of its members. Most the women who have now found themselves the subject of massive media scrutiny, of course, have expressed little other than ongoing devotion to the church--much to the consternation of progressives, feminists, and MSM alike, who now struggle to reconcile the imperative to recognize a "woman's statement of consent" (Feministe commenter) with the fact that they think the FLDS is like seriously fucked up.
  • Also the frequency with which the word "cult" (also "brainwashing") has been used in conjunction with FLDS is striking to AJ's mindgrapes. AJ is wondering whether maybe some of these blog commenters secretly think Islam is maybe a tiny bit cultish? Completely different only not: Feministing had a thing the other day that referenced Stockholm Syndrome re: a particular young person's recent decision to publicly invoke her sexuality.
  • As raised by a srsly LIBERAL friend of mine: "But AJ, do you really want to condone the abuse of women and children?" I GUESS NOT. But, as I was quick to point out, I am like PRETTY RADICAL and as such it is not my job to have "solutions," only to criticize ppl who do have them.
  • On a different note, Southern Poverty Law Center had a post on how FLDS h8s black ppl. Did we not already know that? AJ fails to see the smoking gun, tho it is fair to point out that the newz is usually pretty into ignoring racism. (Ok SPLC, upon further reflection, I AGREE!)
  • And um, wouldn't it be crazy if like, people of color (for instance, ppl of African descent) had like their own compounds somewhere with their own medical providers and internal mechanisms of enforcing law and order and they pretty much had authority over themselves and could govern themselves however they thought would best benefit their community and for the most part THE GOVERNMENT BASICALLY LEFT THEM ALONE? Zomg that would be so totally CRAZY!*
  • AND FINALEMENT If this post's title has raised questions in YOUR mindgrapes about why do I not just say what I mean, and you have not had the pleasure of reading Lila Abu-Lughod's piece, you may do so here.

* o wait i forgot we totally firebomb ppl like that.

1 comment:

RG said...

so many ppl need saving, starting with like a zillion kids whose both parent are dead and ppl in genocide and ppl calling DV hotlines and ppl who just lost their jobs, that i say this need not be a practical prob at all. just start with the people who ask for saving adn we'll have our hands full.

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AJ lives in Minneapolis and is interested in stuff that's political. AJ has a lot invested in his masculinity.


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