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Interchange – White Lies to Brown Women: The Disingenuous Feminism of the Right


Our opening song is “Lagi” by Aziza Brahim, and she provides all the music for the program. Lagi is Arabic and means Refugee–the song’s opening line is “Ever since I arrived in this world I have lived as a refugee.”

In our show today with Sara Farris we’ll ask, what’s behind the right-wing demand for women’s rights in the context of immigration (hint, it’s the neoliberal economy, stupid), and why do racist nationalist parties mobilize behind the rhetoric of feminism when discussing the current “other” the Right loves to hate, the Muslim male? The answer just may be found Marx’s 1843 essay, “On the Jewish Question” which reveals an ideological racism exemplified in the US in Ann Coulter’s statement that Muslim countries ought to be invaded, their leaders killed, and the people converted to Christianity.

Farris begins by telling us that it IS important that there is a public legitimacy of women’s rights but that the policies of governments do not actually realize these rights. And further, that right wing politics in the US, the Netherlands, France, and Italy, make use of feminist rhetoric in order to demonize Muslim society as uniquely oppressive to women.

Sara Farris is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmith’s, University of London. Her work examines theories of racism and nationalism; the specific gendered forms of Orientalist/Westocentric representations of women in the Western public discourse; the mobilization of women’s rights by right-wing nationalist parties within xenophobic campaigns (‘Femonationalism”); the multiple forms of exploitation and domination that characterize female migrant labor in the care and domestic sector in particular; the commodification of care and social reproduction and its links to processes of racialization; the dialogue between intersectionality theory and Marxist feminisms. She’s the author of
In the Name of Women’s Rights. The Rise of Femonationalism (Duke University Press) and Max Weber’s Theory of Personality: Individuation, Politics and Orientalism in the Sociology of Religion

RELATED by Sara Farris
Racialising Sexism
Dispossessing the Private Sphere? Civic Integration Policies and Colonial Legacies
On anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe
Right wing parties are pretending to care about women to cover up their Islamophobia
On the Jewish Question” by Karl Marx

by Aziza Brahim
“Lagi” (Refugee)
“Invasores” (Invaders)
“Manos Enemigas” (Enemy Hands)
“Los Muros” (The Walls)
“Regresso” (Return)

Africa is a Country

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Assistant Producer: Rob Schoon
Board Engineer: Doug Storm
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

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