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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today's dose of stupid from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Since our tax dollars are helping to subsidize the ridiculous paranoia and vapid concepts disseminated by the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), it's only fair all of us paying for it should derive some benefit.

Fort Stupid on Toronto's Bloor Street
The Institution has entire departments devoted to nonsensical ideas, like that of gender being a psychological construct and that racism is OK for some but not for others, as well as an innumerable slew of crackpot theories, so it's unlikely any yield will ever emerge from OISE advancing the field of Education.

However, at least they can give us some laughs.

Today's amusing bit of stupid from OISE is supplied by Professor Shahrzad Mojab of their "Leadership, Higher and Adult Education Department" (Reading what they produce, I figure the emphasis is on working to get higher than Harold and Kumar).  One of Ms Mojab's areas of focus is women's rights in the less developed parts of the planet.

Now, when it comes to the erosion of women's rights in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, you might come to the natural conclusion that has something to so with the latest spread of Islamism and its repressive misogyny in those regions.  

More fool you then, if Ms Mojab is to be believed. She writes the real culprits are western governments, which are "in concert with large charitable foundations and corporations to actively suppress and dismantle social movements, including the women’s movement."

That's right, you got it; repression of women in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories is is not due to Islamism, but is part of an evil western capitalist conspiracy.  

How silly to think it could be anything else! If you are experiencing  any disbelief of Ms Mojab's assertion, it must undoubtedly be due to the globalizing mind control drugs the capitalists are sneaking into Coca-Cola, so get over it!

It's really all so obvious, as she explains:
"International donors working with the political elites, shifted resources away from the highly political women’s movement toward absorbing women leaders into ministries.  Another shift was removing funding away from organizations whose goals were political transformation and the national liberation struggle toward organizations that fit into the framework of state-building. "
Ah, those clever, wicked capitalists! 

They were using women's groups to support women in underdeveloped countries by helping them attain roles in critical decision making mechanisms like government. Oh, those crafty, devious capitalists! They have devised a sinister plot to assist women by directing funds to enable them to gain leadership roles in their societies rather than by financing Communist or Islamist revolutionary groups! The fiends!

Here's some more hilarious gobbledygook from Perfesser Mojab:
“The Marxist-feminist analytic guides us to relate the suffering and resistance of women in imperialist wars and reconstruction projects to the local/global and particular/universal whole instead of fragmenting or isolating them.  It is often the fracture in this continuous whole which lends itself to culturalist analysis, which is interested in notions of the war of civilizations/religions or privileging the Western ethics and morality over the rest.  My argument is that an anti-imperialist feminist critique is necessary for any interrogation of the continuity of the imperialist project as it is infused with post-conflict reconstruction projects, funding schemes for women’s NGOs, and building peace.  It also helps us to expose the war/peace binaries as two opposites of one unity; the masculine-imperialist peace is the continuation and reappearance of the masculine-imperialist war.  Given this, I insist that feminists need to be cautious and critical of the ways in which the women’s rights agenda benefits from imperialist rule. The point is that the gender agenda attached to masculine-imperialist post-war reconstruction, development, or even peace building, often operates with the approbation and collaboration of many forces within neo-liberal, racist, and patriarchal agenda.”
 (If you have the time you might enjoy reading all of her 4 page paper - it'll just seem like 83-  available through this link.)

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