Sunday, March 22, 2009

Islamic Gender Apartheid

I wanted to share with readers a couple of related essays: (1) Phyllis Chesler and Marcia Pappas', "Gender Apartheid - Not Our Agenda. Part One," and (2) Dr. Pat Santy's guest essay, "The Hijab: Thoughts of an American Muslim Woman."

According to
Professor Chesler and Ms. Pappas:

The issue of Islamic/Islamist gender apartheid is one of epidemic and global proportions. Although it has reached American shores, the feminist establishment here remains tragically ambivalent about how to deal with forced veiling, arranged marriage, separatism, and honor-related violence, including honor killings. Many feminists fear that, were they to tie the subordination of women to a particular religion or culture, especially to Islam, that they would be perceived as “racists,” or “Islamophobes.” This fear trumps their sincere concern for womens’ rights and womens’ lives.

The issue, quite simply, is whether or not non-Muslim white folks can discuss Muslim-on-Muslim crime or black-on-black crime or whether only people who share the same faith and skin-color are allowed to raise this issue.

The issue is also whether American feminists really support an American foreign policy, which both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have indicated can or should be tied to womens’ rights. Feminists viewed President Bush’s post 9/11 invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as morally outrageous and as far more hurtful to Afghan and Iraqi women than was their pre-existing subjugation. Some feminists believed that women had been better off, at least, in Iraq, before the American invasion. We may disagree with this analysis but, nevertheless, why would American feminists hesitate to condemn crimes against women which are being committed on American soil by immigrants, including Muslims, from Third World countries?
There's more at the link.

Professor Chesler and Ms. Pappas review the history of "mainstream feminist" indifference to the violent subordination of Muslim women. But see
the anonyomous guest essay at Dr. Sanity's blog:

Every once in a while I come across published material that makes an attempt to defend the state and standard of women in Islam. Such material compares the clothed and cloaked women of the Islamic world to the undressed vixen-like women of the West, exposing all the ills of the Western views on women, their exploitation of women and the miserable state of such women. The material then goes on and states how Muslim women are not oppressed, but liberated; that they are dressed in liberation of not conforming to the degradation of the Western world’s sexual standards and lack of values and lack of modesty. The rhetoric shouts out in the voice of all Muslim women, that the veil is the choice of the modest, the choice of moral beauty and the standard of chaise and respected women.

But somehow all the rhetoric out there written in defense of the veil and defense of the cloaked women of Islam and of Arabia, strike an odd chord of wounded faith in me. I cannot seem to find such usual irate tirade against the sinful, immodest and unchaste women of the West, to be appealing let alone material to be accepted and treated with respected discourse. Somehow demonizing one party just to prove that the other side is better doesn’t bode too well for logical reasoning and discourse. Instead, it is quite distasteful and demeaning to not only the non-Muslims but to Muslims as well.
Read the whole thing, at the link.

In both of these essays, we see, as noted by Chesler and Pappas, "a
politically correct 'cultural relativist' philosophy in which one standard applied to the West and another standard to the formerly colonized Third World."


Anonymous said...

I think these sort of feminists, deep down, secretly want to be abused. There's no other explanation for why they sympathize with misogynistic cultures and seek to undermine the West.

Tom the Redhunter said...

Clever, EZekiel, but no.

"...the feminist establishment here remains tragically ambivalent about how to deal with forced veiling...honor-related violence, including honor killings."

Isn't that incredible? Common sense would dictate that the liberal feminist groups would be screaming for the nuclear annihilation of half the Muslim world. That they would be at each USMC recruiting station permanently lined up around the block demanding that we invade Saudi Arabia etc to liberate their sisters. For that matter, the gay groups should be right along side them.

But no, they are "ambivalent."

We live in an insane world, do we not?