Sunday, May 6, 2018

Gina Haspel and her sisters everywhere : The Right Wing myth of women empowerment

Last month US president Donald Trump made history for real when he fired his Secretary for department of State Rix Tillerson in a tweet without telling him face to face replacing him with right wing islamphobic and current CIA director Mike Pompeo.
In the same tweet he declared that he appointed Pompeo’s deputy Gina Haspel as the new director of the CIA adding that she was the first woman chosen for that position in the history of the United states.
Gina Haspel
Gina Haspel by EPA 
If his nomination is accepted by the Senate , it will be the first time for a woman to manage the CIA indeed.
Since that announcement , Trump’s supporters are describing how he chose Haspel to become his spy chief as historical empowerment of women !!!!!
I do not know what kind of empowerment honestly is that because one check in her background we will find a resume that insults the movement of women’s empowerment as well the agency she has been working for and  the country she believes that she serves.
The 1956-born Gina Cheri Haspel is accused by her own fellow Americans whether ex-Military or journalists of being a war criminal and a torturer due to her infamous role in the CIA torture program.
Aside from the right wing’s websites I have not seen any true credible or respectable news website describing Trump’s decision as empowering to women  !!
It is a joke , you got one of the most openly-misogynist presidents ever elected aided by the most conservative right wing figures and people are speaking about women empowerment.
This reminds on how unfortunately some right wing supporters in Egypt.

They have welcomed with extreme happiness the decision to appoint Ines Abdel Dayem as the minister of Culture in January in Egypt.
The decision to appoint Abdel Dayem was considered as another triumph for woman empowerment in Egypt.
She is already considered the first woman to occupy the minister of culture’s chair since 1958 when the name of the ministry was culture and national guidance.
Before that she was also the first woman to head Egypt’s Cairo Opera House.
Abdel Dayem is not an alleged torture queen as Haspel but I can’t just get the idea that we make celebrations and consider her appointment as a victory for women when we should wait for her achievements to see if it was a victory as woman empowerment or not.
In early March , we found out that actor and director Ahmed El-Garhy and the theater troupe of Egypt’s Shooting Club were referred to military prosecution for allegedly insulting the Egyptian armed forces thanks to lawyer Samir Sabry because of a play he directed and presented at the club’s theater !!
On 7 March , El-Garhy and the writer of the play as well other members of Club’s theater troupe himself were detained 15 days pending investigation by the military prosecution for insulting Egyptian armed forces.
Up till now , they have not been released.
The play is called “Soliman Khater” and it is about the incident of Khater in the 1980s, the Egyptian conscript who opened his fire and killed a number of Israelis  in Sinai.
I won’t discuss the incident and how it is perceived in Egypt or Israel as some did forgetting the main issue here.
I do not know either what that play says but its director El-Garhy made it clear that he did not insult the army in it from near or far and that his play was about a previous era “Mubarak’s era”.
Following his arrest , Ines Abdel Dayem stated to the media that the state censorship did not approve the play and yet the play was first presented in a theater festival for amateurs in Alexandria sponsored by the culture ministry itself in 2017.
It was reportedly praised by critics too according to friends.
Ahmed El-Garhy is a lawyer turned-into-comedian and actor who gained fame as being part of Bassem Youssef’s crew in his show “El-Bernmag”.
After the suspension of Youssef’s sarcastic show due to Egyptian-Saudi political pressure, El-Garhy presented an online talent show.
In 2017 , He returned to TV when he began to present a TV show called “The informant” based on the idea of the candid camera show but it also brought trouble to him.
The show that ran from March to November 2017 focused on corruption in society as well in governmental institutions. You can imagine why it was suspended and was not renewed for another season on ONTV. Since his arrest, I have not seen too much solidarity campaign with him especially it came during the elections jazz , which is a sad thing.
Back to Abdel Dayem , in early March too she announced that the culture ministry inaugurated headquarters for State censorship in seven governorates. 
Amazingly I remember how she and other Opera and Culture ministry officials stood against Morsi’s administration and the Muslim Brotherhood as part of their resistance to religious censorship and fascism.
Moving to another example that puzzles me on how it receives recognition especially from the international community : Egypt’s first woman governor Nadia Abdou.
I wrote about her before and honestly the woman is proving my point.
To encourage the people of Behaira to vote in the March Presidential elections , governor Abdou stated that the governorate would solve the “water and sewage” problems of the villages with the highest level of turnout in the elections !! That was even before the governors’ offers to voters in villages to vote on the second day of the Presidential elections.
Lady if you have budget to solve the villages water and sewage infrastructure problem , you solve them immediately because it is your job !! 
I used to feel sad to find people in Egypt who always cheers for pseudo-women empowerment since the days of Mubarak when we have the first woman judge , the highest number of women ministers and the highest women MPs …etc. when there are no true improvement for women empowerment for real.
It is not about quantity but rather quality.
I thought that Middle Eastern political regimes used those cosmetic achievements and policies in the third world countries but I was wrong.
It is a global thing the right wing always uses to beautify itself.


  1. Well said. I'll past the article on. Lets hope she isn't approved by the majority who are Republicans btw.

  2. Mike Pompeo isn't a racist.


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