“穆斯林女性真的需要被拯救吗？” Lila Abu-Lughod，巴勒斯坦裔美国学者，著名文化人类学家。
Abu-Lughod, Lila. “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others.” American Anthropologist 104, no. 3 (2002): 783-790.
In other words, the question is why knowing about the “culture” of the region, and particularly its religious beliefs and treatment of women, was more urgent than exploring the history of the development of repressive regimes in the region and the U.S. role in this history. Such cultural framing, it seemed to me, prevented the serious exploration of the roots and nature of human suffering in this part of the world. Instead of political and historical explanations, experts were being asked to give religio-cultural ones. Instead of questions that might lead to the exploration of global interconnections, we were offered ones that worked to artificially divide the world into separate spheres—recreating an imaginative geography of West versus East, us versus Muslims, cultures in which First Ladies give speeches versus others where women shuffle around silently in burqas.
在19世纪末20世纪初的埃及，一个蕾拉·阿哈迈德（1922，埃及裔美国学者，重点研究伊斯兰教和女性）称呼其为“殖民女权主义（colonial feminism）”的现象极为常见。殖民女权主义是一种以专注于被认为是压迫标志的面纱来有选择性地关心埃及女人的困境，同时却不对女性教育提供任何帮助。这种思想被同一个在其本土反对女性选举权的英国人Lord Cromer支持着。
In Turn of the Century Egypt, what Leila Ahmed (1992) has called “colonial feminism” was hard at work. This was a selective concern about the plight of Egyptian women that focused on the veil as a sign of oppression but gave no support to women’s education and was professed loudly by the same Englishman, Lord Cromer, who opposed women’s suffrage back home.
Just as I argued above that we need to be suspicious when neat cultural icons are plastered over messier historical and political narratives, so we need to be wary when Lord Cromer in British-ruled Egypt, French ladies in Algeria, and Laura Bush, all with military troops behind them, claim to be saving or liberating Muslim women.
I do not know how many feminists who felt good about saving Afghan women from the Taliban are also asking for a global redistribution of wealth or contemplating sacrificing their own consumption radically so that African or Afghan women could have some chance of having what I do believe should be a universal human right—the right to freedom from the structural violence of global inequality and from the ravages of war, the everyday rights of having enough to eat, having homes for their families in which to live and thrive, having ways to make decent livings so their children can grow, and having the strength and security to work out, within their communities and with whatever alliances they want, how to live a good life, which might very well include changing the ways those communities are organized.