By lex, on May 31st, 2007
In the Weekly Standard (again, I know) Christina Hoff Summers avers that Islam may be reformed from within, as the distaff half of its human capital growingly demands ** first rank status from conservative-minded idealogues who’ll have none of it:
(I)n the Muslim world itself there is a burgeoning movement to address the miserable predicament of the second sex.” The number of valiant and resourceful Muslim women who are devoting themselves to the cause of greater freedom grows each and every day.
They have a heritage to build on. There have been organized women’s movements in countries such as Iran, Lebanon, and Egypt for more than a century. And many women in Turkey, Morocco, and Tunisia already enjoy almost Western levels of freedom. But as radical Islam tightens its grip in places like Iran and rural Pakistan, and as it increasingly threatens Muslim women everywhere, even some devoutly religious women are quietly organizing to resist. Mehrangiz Kar, an Iranian human rights lawyer, now a researcher at Harvard Law School, predicts that “a feminist explosion is well on its way.”
It’s a good thing that they’re organizing in quite this way, since – as Hoff Summers points out (at length) – the sisters are getting precious little help from the high priestesses of feminist ideology here in the West. Many of the latter are too busy trying to detoxify the American patriarchy to spare much thought for those poor benighted wogettes overseas, and in any case they don’t much tend to distinguish between a state-sanctioned movement willing to flog a woman until she bleeds for showing a little ankle – for her own protection, like – and a system of sex-based oppression visited on the sisterhood right here at home. Because they’re exactly the same!
Or might as well be. Per Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monlogues”:
We all have different forms of enforced burqas. Every culture has it. Whether it’s an idea or a fascist tyranny of what women are supposed to look like–so that women go to the extremes of liposuction, anorexia and bulimia to achieve it–or whether it’s being covered in a burqa, we all have deep, profound, ongoing daily forms of oppression.
In another lecture, Ensler goes on to state:
I think that the oppression of women is universal. I think we are bonded in every single place of the world. I think the conditions are exactly the same [her emphasis]. I think the nature of the oppression–whether it’s acid burning in one country, or female genital mutilation in another, or gang rapes in the parking lots in high schools of the suburbs–it’s the same idea. . . . The systematic global oppression of women is completely across the globe.
Well. I suppose…
Except of course, over here we’d put anyone who threw acid in a woman’s face, mutilated her genitals or gang raped her in a parking lot in prison for the rest of his life. A few of us hoping secretly – admit it – that he’d get a little of his own medicine once on the inside, even as we’re secretly ashamed in the knowledge that he very likely would.
But apart from that, point taken.
But getting back to the Islamic Reformation – nothing of the sort, cries M. Simon on the blog “Power and Control”: Radical Islam will not be overcome by the soft power of Islamic feminism, but rather through the power of our superior porn. (Entirely safe for work.)
Well, feminism, porn – whichever. Just get on with it.
And remember that while it seems scarcely possible that both can be simultaneously true, it’s worth pointing out that each is a result of a radical view of individual freedom as it pertains to moral choices.
You know: Kind of like the Reformation.
* 08-09-2018 Links Gone; no replacements found – Ed.
** 08-09-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.