Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Femperialism No More

Femperialism No More: Why this Muslim woman has liberated herself from feminism by UmmAli Hijazi

In February of 2006, riding a wave of conservative political and cultural victories across the nation, the South Dakota legislature decided to pave the way for an assault on Roe v. Wade by enacting the most stringent abortion law in the country. The performance of an abortion for any reason other than saving the life of a pregnant woman became a felony. One month later, Cecelia Fire Thunder, President of the Oglala Sioux Nation on the Pine Ridge reservation, evoked tribal sovereignty. According to an report by author Tim Giago, Ms. Fire Thunder stated, “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the state of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

Across the blogosphere pro-choice feminists and their allies cheered and mobilized financial support for the proposed clinic. Though Fire Thunder became a hero to the numbers of privileged white commenters that frequent the newsmagazines, blogs and message boards championing her cause, her move created controversy amongst her own. In May, the tribal counsel voted to ban all abortions on Pine Ridge reservation land and suspended President Fire Thunder. In June she was impeached. The jubilation and praise for Fire Thunder quickly turned to venom toward her tribe. A poster on one popular Democratic message board accused the Oglala Sioux of “colonialist thinking.” That this group of America’s indigenous people should be accused of “colonialist thinking” is ironic; for the Oglala Sioux– like billions of people of color across the globe– colonialism is the heart of the issue.

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