A deeply-bowed, indebted tip of the hat to Instapundit for pointing this article out. It is without a doubt one of the best pieces of work I have had the good fortune of reading in a long while, and I’m so glad not to have missed it. By all means, please do “read the whole thing” as Glenn suggests!
IN Tehran in June, several thousand people held a peaceful demonstration calling for legal changes that would give a woman’s testimony in court equal value to a man’s. The demonstrators, most of them women, were attacked with tear gas and beaten with batons by men and women from Iran’s State Security Forces, according to Amnesty International.
Iranian women may not travel without their husband’s permission but they are allowed to wield a truncheon against other women.
Do you think women in Western countries marched in solidarity with the Iranian women demonstrators? Of course not. Do you think there are posters and graffiti at universities condemning the Iranian President? Of course not. You know, without needing to go there, that any graffiti at universities will be condemning George W. Bush, not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (I concede Bush is easier to spell.)
You know, before you get there, that at the Melbourne Writers Festival starting this weekend the principal hate figures are going to be Bush and John Howard. You know there will be many sympathetic references to David Hicks but probably none to Ashraf Kolhari, an Iranian mother of four who has been in jail for five years for allegedly having sex outside marriage and, until last week, who was under sentence of death by stoning.
Thank goddess, as they used to say: a few Western feminists have begun to wonder why women who once marched for women’s rights are marching alongside people who would take away even the most basic of those rights.
It has bothered me for a long while now that Western feminists seem to have been largely and conspicuously silent on issues of women’s rights in the Muslim world, and on the subject of precious advances in that arena that have been made and ought to continue to be made in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Ironically, such feminists have often chosen to instead focus their ire on the very country and culture whose efforts have made most of those recent liberating advances possible. It does seem to me that Western feminism has taken a passive and obedient back seat to multiculturalism’s demand that we pander to notions of cultural equivalence, which I find has worrisome implications for women elsewhere in the world and for the future success of freedom at large. I sincerely hope we’ll start to hear more from corageous, independent-minded feminists like Pamela.