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View Diary: SoS Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Announce Cease-Fire Between Hamas and Israel (163 comments)

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  •  It depends on who you speak with (10+ / 0-)

    If the voices you speak with are only those who benefit from this arrangement, such as men, you may hear the story that it is integral to maintain non-democratic status. This is, in fact, the exact story one would hear in some spots in West Africa if only the most dominant voices are listened to.

    But there are whole groups of people who go unvoiced in these regions who may have very different perspectives -- women, mainly, but also LGBT folks.

    American values are, in no way, universal. I agree with this wholeheartedly and caution people against adopting neoliberal modes of thinking. But historically speaking, when we have been privy to the voices of the nonprivileged in a society, we often get a different picture of the needs and desires of a people. And thus I did mention Africa. On first glance, one would think that many regions favored war lords running amuck with child soldiers doing their bidding. Not so. As soon as Democratic elections are held where women are able to vote, different stories emerge completely about the desire of the people. I would suggest we'd see an equally shifting narrative were more Islamic women's voices included in the conversation, if not by local Patriarchy, by those in other spaces who can listen to what women say too and better understand the whole culture.

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