April 26, 2004


"Why is international public opinion not outraged at the treatment of women in Islamic fundamentalist societies?" asks Pamela Bone. "Why is it easier for millions of people around the world to see America as the great evil, rather than the countries in which governments ignore such horrific abuses of women?"

Hilariously, these questions are asked in, of all places, The Age.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 26, 2004 06:12 AM

Thank you Mr. Blair for providing all these insightful articles that remind us just what we're fighting for and against.

As a gay man, I fully understand the fate that would await me in an Islamists theocracy, and I'm absolutely appalled that so many gay people simply do not understand that fighting Islamism is a fight for our right to exist and live without fear.

Posted by: Dwayne at April 26, 2004 at 06:48 AM

Because Western feminists have gotten their value system so screwed up with Marxism they're no longer able to be relevant or useful.

Signed, An Old-School Feminist

Posted by: ushie at April 26, 2004 at 07:20 AM

The answer is quite simple. The women in those countries choose to live like that. To say that their lives are "bad" imposes a judgement call on them. Judgement calls are bad.

On the other hand, America is purported to be the land of the free. And yet, and yet: Paul Reubens has his life torn to shreds because he happens to be gay and appeal to children as Pee Wee Herman. Wouldn't want them "gays" affecting our kiddos. So the land of the free trumps up porn charges on the guy... we all know where it goes.

The reason people see America as evil is because America pretends to be free, open and accepting. And it isn't.

(*(The above is me trying to channel a semi-lucid LLL badge carrier. Did I succeed? )*)

Posted by: birdwoman at April 26, 2004 at 07:34 AM

i am sooo tempted to use term "bird brain" while responding to "birdwoman", but i won't yield to that temptation.

reubens was publicly trashed (unjustly IMHO) but years later, he managed to make a small come-back in entertainment business. in muslim saudi arabia, he'd have been stoned to death. need i say more?

western feminists fume over men creating "hostile working environment", simply by staring at them.
muslims solved that by forcing their women to hide behind veils. not a squeak of protest from NOW.
they insist that "right to choose" i.e abortion available in drive-through clinics be not tampered with etc.
what about a "choice" give to a sudanese girl, about to undergo genital mutilation?

Posted by: niels at April 26, 2004 at 08:15 AM

Not just burkas, niels.

We also have enforced marriages, sometimes to first cousins.

The "honor code" wherein male members of a family are not only allowed but encouraged to execute corporal punishment upon their daughters/sons for infractions. Said infractions include not only adultery but the perception of adultery.

Genital mutilations, of course.

The policy of "respecting" women by keeping them out of public places and segregating them into separate camps.

But here in the West, we're all about conflating dangers. Hence, a guy leering at a woman in the office is the same as some African imam slicing off his daughter's clitoris. And Bush=Hitler.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at April 26, 2004 at 08:24 AM

Why doesn't the sisterhood rip a strip off Islam?

Because feminism is form of organised whining for mostly real ugly gals, and in their hearts they'd sorta like to be covered from head to foot, which would make pulling a bloke a more even competition with the winsome shielas.

Posted by: superboot at April 26, 2004 at 08:31 AM

Many women don't "choose" to live in fundamentalist hell, whatever the strict orthodoxy, but non-Western culture now gets an enlightened 'pass' from feminists. I visited Australia a few months after 9-11, and heard over the radio progressive white women telling non-Muslim women to cover their heads that day to show solidarity with "women of color and culture" from around the world. In lugubrious leftist voices, they spoke of the need for cultural non-judgmentality on the part of Westerners, especially post 9-11.

In other words, radical Islam wants to extinguish our way of life that accords women equality and dignity after eons of struggle, and we western women should cover our heads in solidarity with Islamic life?? Why not just veil and whip ourselves, instead? Wouldn't that be more to the point?

And, Dwayne, you're so right. Gays in Islamic society have it even worse. What are some people thinking? They couldn't possibly be thinking

Posted by: c at April 26, 2004 at 08:43 AM

I just heard a report on NPR (National Paleoliberal Radio) about a women's march on Washington. The elephant in the room that no one at such a march would ever comment upon is that George W. Bush, that awful anti-abortion warmongering pig, has done more for feminism in the last couple of years than their side in the last 20-- freeing millions of women in the Islamic world, and providing a stunning example of a white man working side by side with a powerful, extremly intelligent black woman without the two of them ever once congratulating themselves on how enlightened they are about it.

Posted by: Mike G at April 26, 2004 at 10:14 AM

I will always retain the right to beat
the crap out of my girlfreinds when it
pleases me. Loose women are a scourge...
...yes dear, cominggggggg

Posted by: Allah at April 26, 2004 at 10:20 AM

Keith Suter, on 2BL radio, roughly between 9:10 and 9:20, made mention of plastic turkeys. He said something to the effect of "Those opposed to the war will say at least [Howard] didn't have a plastic turkey". He didn't really say that Bush had a plastic turkey on thanksgiving so much as some view it that way, but it should include him in G.O.B.B.L.E.

Posted by: Andjam at April 26, 2004 at 10:42 AM

And why would Allah's girlfriends stray? Could it be they're bored when he spends five to six hours a day drinking tea and coffee and smoking with his boyfriends and swapping stories over how their no-good women, Jews, and America have made their lives miserable?

Posted by: c at April 26, 2004 at 10:50 AM

Everyone understood that birdwoman was kiddin', right?

Posted by: Screamapiller at April 26, 2004 at 11:05 AM

The saddest, stupidest thing I saw in my wild and impetchus yoot' in New York was an NYU rally in Washingtoin Square in the 70's: "Women Against the Shah."

In other words: "Feminists for the Ayatollah Khomeini."

You can't talk to people like that. Best you can do is vote against them.

Posted by: Richard McEnroe at April 26, 2004 at 11:34 AM

Everyone understood that birdwoman was kiddin', right?

Evidently not. "Beyond parody" is a phrase that comes to mind often these days.

I was fooled by this article.

Posted by: Andjam at April 26, 2004 at 11:37 AM

This set of blinders is worth all the mocking it gets, but if I were to make a serious guess as to why it's acceptable to turn a blind eye to non-Western oppression is that it is a sick outgrowth of that "think globally, act locally" pap.

I've seen feminists compare their plight to the suffering of women in Afghanistan by saying "They can't show their faces in public. . . and I make less money at work!! Stop the oppression!", they use examples of severe problems as a call to arms to rally around wage differences. The irony is totally lost in the process. Because they think we can't affect the global condition of women in Afghanistan, but by God we can do something about that local glass ceiling!

It's a sick, stunted way of looking at things. Sure, we should worry about the glass ceiling, but all things considered, wouldn't it be better to ALSO do something about the women suffering from more serious oppression? These are not mutually exclusive ideals, and a government that goes after the latter should be praised for it, not hounded for failing to live up to the party line on domestic policies.

Hell, look at jerks like Nemesis who will, with a straight face, argue that interfering in Iraq is wrong because we've gone from a state of not-killing-people to a state of killing-people; somehow immune to the thought that not getting involved isn't exactly a high-minded way of addressing the world's problems. We have the power to act globally, we should use it, and not let quibbling over domestic policies detract from what we can and should do for others. We can't buy our freedoms and fair wages at the price of suppressing freedom for the rest of the world.

Posted by: Sortelli at April 26, 2004 at 11:44 AM

Homosexuality may be theoretically taboo under Islam, as it is under the Pope, but in practise it pervades Arab male life where culturally (as in Egypt) it is encouraged as a healthy & acceptable diversion from the temptation of women & the problems that can be associated with culturally unsanctioned heterosexual activity. In fact you might enjoy a short sojourn in Cairo where the fruit is very ripe.

Posted by: Abdul at April 26, 2004 at 12:51 PM

Abdul - i guess you already forgot about that:
9/23/03 : "In yet another massive crackdown, police in Egypt arrested 62 men from a well-known gay cruising area, booking each of the men on charges of “debauchery,” a euphemism for homosexuality."

Pope might condemn homosexuality as an act but will never condone any harm done to homosexuals as human beings. it's bit different under Islam, where killing or maiming are usual punishments

Posted by: niels at April 26, 2004 at 01:10 PM

Well, no telling what the Pope might get up to if he had the power and armies he had half a millennium ago...

Posted by: Mike G at April 26, 2004 at 01:32 PM

Multiculturalism and feminism (and the ABC and the arts) are all taxpayer funded industries. If one falls they all might fall. The domino theory. That's why they never criticise each other.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at April 26, 2004 at 01:56 PM

Exactly. Thanks for emphasising my point,'a well-known gay cruising area,'. The occasional 'crackdown' (excuse the pun) is to be expected. In any event the risk only serves to increase the thrill & heighten the senses. Like the good olde days a thousand years ago in Oxford St when the rozzers would charge the odd poof for sport.

Posted by: Abdul at April 26, 2004 at 02:03 PM

The Age. Newspaper of 'haughty indifference, zestless cliches and tired journalism'.

No wonder it needs a new editor when the outgoing one talks like this:

'I think people understand what The Age is about, I think its editorial positions have been pretty clear. I think that most of the journalists understand what it is that we’re trying to do. I think the readership is not confused about the paper and what it offers them, and I think those things have been achieved. I mean that’s what you achieve when you get seven years.'

Sounds like a jail term.

Posted by: ilibcc at April 26, 2004 at 02:08 PM

Maybe someone can answer this question, which has always puzzled me.

If homosexuality will buy a death penalty under Islam, and is totally against the teachings of Mohammed, how do adages like the following fit in?

"A woman for getting children and a boy for pleasure" (or words to that effect)

And the old folk song which begins:

"Theres a boy across the river with a bottom like a peach, but alas, I cannot swim".

Just a bit more of that old Islamic hypocrisy? Like killing rape victims instead of dealing with the rapist?

C - I was waiting for the idiots encouraging Australian women to cover their heads like Muslims to ask me - so I could spit in their faces, but unfortunately, it didnt happen. But I
suppose the minute number of Australian women who covered their heads was one form of a spit in the face.

Posted by: dee at April 26, 2004 at 02:43 PM

I wonder how Iran handles homosexuals in "well-known gay crusing areas"? Ah well, let us not judge Egypt for only arresting some gay men, since it makes it more exciting for everyone else. . .

Posted by: Sortelli at April 26, 2004 at 03:58 PM


Do you remember Natasha Stott Despoja covering her head in solidarity. She looked like something out of a Marie Claire beach shoot with a loose fitting white scarf half draped over her head. What a half arsed effort I thought I wanted to see the tight black Hijab or the full monty Burkha. And then wear it for a month and see how she liked it!

Posted by: Dog at April 26, 2004 at 04:46 PM

I've lived half my life in Moslem counties in the Middle East and have had the best gay sex there ever. Of course Arabs and Turks don't like screraming queens, but if you're discreet, you can have a great time. Most men are actually very tolerant and have few hang-ups - it's much freer than in many Western countries.

Posted by: narkynark at April 26, 2004 at 05:45 PM


I saw even worse than that shortly after Sept 11, at Town Hall station in Sydney. There was a bunch of schoolkids on a school excursion. Some of them (male and female) were wearing fake cardboard-looking headscarves, presumably as a gesture of solidarity. I can only assume they were encouraged by their teachers, who probably wonder why parents are so anxious to send their kids to private schools.

Posted by: Clem Snide at April 26, 2004 at 10:18 PM

I think The Age, if it has any sense, will make Pamela the new Editor in Chief.

The silence of feminists about the return of the religious police in Afghanistan, and about the state of women - not just those in Islamic countries, but in plenty of other screwed-up tribal excuses for nations - is as deafening as calls by moderate Muslims against terrorism.

Posted by: Peter Ness at April 26, 2004 at 10:19 PM

I think that cartoon is very apt, I'm fed up with all the crap my student union sees fit to cram down my throat at every opportunity about howard being an evil fascist, sexist, rascist warmongering arse-licker etc
I am tempted to print out as many copies as i can and post them all over the uni like they do with their propaganda and see what reaction I can get.

Posted by: RhikoR at April 26, 2004 at 10:50 PM

The answer should be obvious. The reason that international correct thinking doesn't complain about Islamic societies' treatment of women is because it recognizes the far greater threat to women: Israel.

Publicizing the oppression of women in many Islamic countries would only divert attention from the greater evil to women and indeed all people presented by Zionism. Besides, since Israel is an American ally, doing anything which might present Israel in a comparatively favorable light would provide aid and comfort to American neo-imperialism.

A poster above points out properly that we're in no position to carp about female mutilation when many American women are subject to leers or off-color jokes. I mean, sure, many Moslem societies segregate women, deny them basic civil rights, and do little or nothing when they're murdered by male relatives over family honor. But as long as women can't join the Augusta country club, who are we to talk?

Posted by: Alex Bensky at April 26, 2004 at 11:10 PM


Posted by: Brian. at April 27, 2004 at 02:33 AM

Sortelli et al:

There is no "glass ceiling." There is no "wage gap." That nonsense came from radical feminists (at Amherst College, if memory serves)who issued a "study" of wages and earnings that lumped them all together since 1900 then divided them by gender. This let them pruduce the absurd conclusion that women in the 1980s were making a third less than men.

The methodology was completely bogus; even the authors said as much in their press release. But the media ignored that then and does to this day.

I was a copy desk editor in 1986 when the US Census Bureau issued a detailed statement that completely discredited the notions of wage inequality. It said JOB FOR JOB, women made as much and perhaps a little more than men. This data crunch was based on the 1980 census, so the information was AT LEAST six years old when I got it. As far as I know, mine was the only paper to run it.

When it comes to accuracy, some things never change.

Posted by: gary at April 27, 2004 at 05:30 AM

Actually, many feminist groups did complain about the situation of women in Afghanistan. They stopped when Bush did something about it. It's just like the WMD issue - everyone agreed on it until Bush took it seriously enough to do something, and then it was changed around.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 27, 2004 at 05:51 AM

Actually, many feminist groups did complain about the situation of women in Afghanistan. They stopped when Bush did something about it.

Well, Bush obviously tried to make them obsolete with that...can't have that, you know. I mean, what else are they supposed to do other than Fight For Their Cause - work?

Posted by: PW at April 27, 2004 at 06:34 AM