The funniest thing about the unconscious is that we all have one and mostly its contents are the same as everyone else’s. The details may vary a bit, but basically it’s the usual morass of anger, lust, envy, fear blah, blah, blah. We’re simply hiding what we all share, but somehow, somewhere along the line we’ve picked up the belief that it’s only us who has these feelings and we really need to make sure no one else finds out otherwise there’ll be all kinds of trouble!! This is how we collectively prevent anyone else owning up and ensuring that no one points out what’s really going on in the human psyche.
Horror stories about Muslim misogyny have long been used by western patriarchs to justify imperialism abroad and sexism at home. The Guardian’s Katharine Viner reminds us about Lord Cromer, the British consul general in Egypt from 1883. Cromer believed the Egyptians were morally and culturally inferior in their treatment of women and that they should be “persuaded or forced” to become “civilised” by disposing of the veil.
"And what did this forward-thinking, feminist-sounding veil-burner do when he got home to Britain?" asks Viner. "He founded and presided over the Men’s League for Opposing Women’s Suffrage, which tried, by any means possible, to stop women getting the vote. Colonial patriarchs like Cromer … wanted merely to replace eastern misogyny with western misogyny." More than a century later, the same logic is used to imply that misogyny only matters when it isn’t being done by white men.