“Your Women Are Oppressed, But Ours Are Awesome”: How Nicholas Kristof And Half The Sky Use Women Against Each Other
Would Kristof, a middle-aged male reporter, so blithely ask a 14-year-old U.S. rape survivor to describe her experiences in front of cameras, her family, and other onlookers? Would he sit smilingly in a European woman’s house asking her to describe the state of her genitals to him? Yet, somehow, the fact that the rape survivor is from Sierra Leone and that the woman being asked about her genital cutting is from Somaliland, seems to make this behavior acceptable in Kristof’s book. And more importantly, the goal of such exhibition is unclear. What is the viewer supposed to receive–other than titillation and a sense of “oh, we’re so lucky, those women’s lives are so bad”?
I don’t agree with every point the author has brought up but it’s an interesting critique. If you’ve seen or read Half the Sky I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
The piece definitely made me think of this travesty: