They are taken with the woman in her pilot costume, they see her wearing her helmet, in their heads, they consider her as part of an ‘oppressed’ group, which is to say, Arab women, and they imagine her, flying in the air, as good a pilot as Maverick in Top Gun. They imagine her dropping bombs on an aggressive crowd of (in their imaginations) undoubtedly bearded men.
There’s nothing progressive about bombs.
Bombs explode. They make a mess. When they go off, they very rarely damage only the intended victim. A bomb is the most primitive way to kill somebody. More often than not, it kills collectively, which is to say – unselectively. Unlike a sniper’s reticle – it doesn’t see faces. A bomb kills indiscriminately. A bomb does not know if the head that it’s ripping off belongs to a terrorist, a freedom fighter, a doctor, a nurse, a woman, or a child. It, there is no other way to say this – explodes – and as it does so, it randomly distributes murder.
Airstrikes are even worse. You never even see the faces of the people you’re subjecting to your bombs; you can bomb them from a safe distance away, up in the sky. You can bomb from a height at which the people you’re hoping to tear limb from limb are barely, at most, specks on the ground. It is cold, brutal, senseless murder.
When the United States decided to bomb Afghanistan, and then Iraq – most of the world, especially the people of the world, said it was a bad idea. Governments declined to get on board, and people across the globe demonstrated against the invasion of Iraq. People understood that you could not ‘liberate’ Iraq by bombing it, just as they understood that you could not ‘liberate’ women in Afghanistan by bombing them.
People in the Middle East were enraged by what they regarded as unilateral collective aggression by the USA pretending to be acting on behalf of a coalition when, in reality, it was a mob – led by George Bush, cheered on by Tony Blair, and called a ‘coalition’ because a handful of other countries decided to rubber-stamp the invasion. Nobody was fooled, but the strikes went on, and today – it’s doubtful that anybody of sane mind would claim that Iraq or Afghanistan are better off…
None of these rules seem to apply if an Arab Woman is doing the bombing.
I’ve seen the news about her, and I’ve read as little of it as possible because the headlines themselves strike me as barbaric. We are told how a ‘bad-ass’ Arab woman is leading some of the airstrikes…
Let’s stop right there.
There’s nothing ‘bad-ass’ about dropping bombs on people. If some of the people you’re doubtlessly going to murder with your airstrikes are, indeed, terrorists, then they should be captured and tried accordingly. If found guilty, they should be judged accordingly. This is something that almost everybody with the slightest concern, or pretense of concern, for human rights, understands.
And yet, they are gleefully sharing news items in praise of this bomber who happens to be a woman, and the ‘angle’ is always the same – as though there was ‘poetic justice’ of some sort in the very notion that the murderer of these possible terrorists (who we are, it seems, supposed to assume are all men) is a woman, an Arab woman.
How have seemingly sensible, supposedly intelligent people been led down this hole?
Some women seem to idolize her (and yes, if you’ve changed your profile picture to the picture of the bomber, then you are idolizing her…) – out of some sense of empowerment. It’s a strange distortion of feminism that somehow takes pride in the idea that women are equally good at murder.
The fact that some of these people are, ostensibly, against murder doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Are feminists in the Middle East also looking for the first ‘female’ dictator? Do they anxiously await the rush of pride from discovering the Arab world’s first ‘female’ serial rapist?
It is an insult to feminism that you are impressed that a woman can fly a plane, and it is an insult to women to imagine that a woman who murders collectively is a symbol of ’empowerment’…
It is no strike for feminism for women to adopt the same weapons of mass murder that women have historically attributed to a surplus of testosterone in men. It is no bonus for feminism for a woman to wear a costume that you have historically associated with men. The men of ISIS are, almost certainly, of the oppressive sort. Still, they are certainly not responsible for any oppression that the women of the United Arab Emirates (from which this female murderer hails) have suffered. If you want to bomb her oppressors, you should chase after the oil-rich ruling families of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, and all the others…on whose behalf, and at whose behest, she is bombing others.
Finally, the people she is murdering are not exclusively bearded men, are not exclusively terrorists, and are not exclusively or collectively – guilty.
It’s a strange Middle-East…If American or European pilots bomb Arab countries, they are seen as racist murderers, but when an Arab woman does it, it’s feminism.