Boko Haram and the Death of Feminism

girlsFeminism is dead and multiculturalism killed it.

Almost a month ago Islamists broke into a Nigerian secondary school and kidnapped hundreds of young girls which, initially, they were planning to sell into slavery but, according to Reuters, they are now willing to trade for their comrades in Nigerian prisons.

{By the way, the very notion of “Nigerian prisons” will probably keep me from sleeping tonight.  I am thinking Midnight Express… except without the joy.}

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Muslim apostate feminist scholar native to Somolia, tells us the following:

The kidnapping of the schoolgirls throws into bold relief a central part of what the jihadists are about: the oppression of women. Boko Haram sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated. The terrorists’ mission is no different from that of the Taliban assassin who shot and nearly killed 15-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai—as she rode a school bus home in 2012—because she advocated girls’ education. As I know from experience, nothing is more anathema to the jihadists than equal and educated women.

Malala1One would expect that given the outrageous violations of the rights of women among Islamist groups that western feminists would vehemently object to those violations, yet they do not.

Nor, of course, do they tend to stand with Israel which is the only country in the entire Middle East which stands with them.

If western feminists honestly objected to the abuse of women in other parts of the world – and if they honestly believed in universal human rights – then we would see some expression of that objection on places like Daily Kos and the Huffington Post.

Let us take a quick gander at

Do you see any reference to Boko Haram in the last month?  No?  That is, of course, because there is none.

There are fifteen “diaries” under the Daily Kos tag “feminism” since the attack and not a single one of them is concerned with those hundreds of Jihadi captured girls in Nigeria.   One of those fifteen, entitled, The Hijab and the West,  dares to reference Islam, but only to imply that perhaps robbing women of identity and individuality might be perfectly in keeping with western feminism.

Surely the Huffington Post would do better considering that Arianna is in charge:

One of the very top articles is this:

Self-Described ‘Feminist Fatty’ Responds To ‘Fat-Shaming Anti-Feminist Meme’

There is also an article about how Monica Lewinsky claims that she is not a feminist… which is important.

Although I do not know who Shailene Woodley is, apparently, unlike the editors of the Huffington Post feminism section, she Doesn’t Understand What Feminism Means.

What you do not see, however, is any reference to hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian school girls by Islamist forces.  Will they be raped?  Will they be sold into slavery?, a little institution that remains alive and well in certain parts of the world.  Or, will they be traded for the release of murderers?

This, from the Huffington Post Feminism Section, must be my favorite:

25 Signs You’re Truly a Girl’s Girl.

Most women enjoy the company of other women. But there is a special strain of human female who finds the company of women wholly preferable. There are social conditions that can create a girl’s girl — an awkward youth in which athletic activities and dating were eschewed for sneaky “Sex And The City” marathons and Jane Austen paperbacks, a stint at women’s college or a career in a female-heavy field. But ultimately, it is a choice of companionship every woman has the privilege to make.

Does not the economic privilege just reek from the above paragraph by Amanda Duberman?

And what smug “privilege” do those kidnapped and enslaved, if not raped, Muslim girls get to enjoy?

And how many of them are going to turn up dead?

And how is it that the feminist left remains virtually silent in mainstream progressive-left venues?

That is the question.

So, when Phillys Chesler claims that feminism is dead she needs to be listened to.

She also has a new book entitled An American Bride in Kabul.

Check it out.


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at