Women in Muslim countries are routinely beaten, raped, stoned, and murdered by the men around them. As such, the Muslim world is the main front in the battle for sexual equality. Of course, you wouldn't know it by the way that American feminists act or speak.
Eve Ensler takes this line of reasoning to equally ludicrous lengths. In 2003 she gave a lecture at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University in which, like Pollitt, she claimed that women everywhere are oppressed and subordinate:
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.
That's from Christina Hoff Sommers' article in this week's edition of the Weekly Standard.
Feminists are also completely unable to tell the difference between American Christians and Afghan Taliban:
Katha Pollitt, a columnist at the Nation, talks of "the common thread of misogyny" connecting Christian Evangelicals to the Taliban:
It is important to remember just how barbarous and cruel the Taliban were. Yet it is also important not to use their example to obscure or deny the common thread of misogyny that connects them with Focus on the Family and the Christian Coalition. . . .
Soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Katha Pollitt wrote the introduction to a book called Nothing Sacred: Women Respond to Religious Fundamentalism and Terror. It aimed to show that reactionary religious movements everywhere are targeting women. Says Pollitt:
In Bangladesh, Muslim fanatics throw acid in the faces of unveiled women; in Nigeria, newly established shariah courts condemn women to death by stoning for having sex outside of wedlock. . . . In the United States, Protestant evangelicals and fundamentalists have forged a powerful right-wing political movement focused on banning abortion, stigmatizing homosexuality and limiting young people's access to accurate information about sex.
Ah, yes. Limiting young people's access to accurate information about sex is exactly the same as having acid thrown in your face. Christina explains, in her article, that none of America's feminists are willing to help out Muslim women:
One reason is that many feminists are tied up in knots by multiculturalism and find it very hard to pass judgment on non-Western cultures. They are far more comfortable finding fault with American society for minor inequities (the exclusion of women from the Augusta National Golf Club, the "underrepresentation" of women on faculties of engineering) than criticizing heinous practices beyond our shores. The occasional feminist scholar who takes the women's movement to task for neglecting the plight of foreigners is ignored or ruled out of order.
As a result, she has some fairly harsh words for American feminists:
Muslim women could use moral, intellectual, and material support from the West to improve their situation. But only a rational, reality-based women's movement would be capable of actually helping. Women who think that looking like a pear is an essential human right are not valuable allies.
Extremely true. Is it any wonder that many people would like to marginalize American feminists and do everything possible to keep them away from the reigns of power?
It's unfortunate that American feminists are unwilling to join the battle in any meaningful way. Sexual equality in Muslim nations could go a long way towards ending the cycle of terrorism that infects those nations:
Women's equality is as incompatible with radical Islam's plan for domination and submission as it is with polygamy. Women freely moving about, expressing their opinions, and negotiating their relationships with men from a position of equal dignity rather than servitude are a moderating, civilizing force in any society. Female scholars voicing their opinions without inhibition would certainly puncture some cherished jihadist fantasies.
Read the entire article in this week's edition of the Weekly Standard. It's well worth your time. You'll discover the America is just as harsh towards women as Uganda and Pakistan. You'll also discover organizations like the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity (WISE) which work to help Muslim women in oppressive societies. Consider donating to the cause. Unlike America's feminists, I think these women are worth supporting.