The feminist deception

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Making the rounds on YouTube these days is a film of a group of manly looking women preparing for and conducting a “flash dance” in a Philadelphia food store. The crew of ladies, dressed in tight black clothes and sequined accessories, arrives at The Fresh Grocer supermarket, breaks into a preplanned chant ordering shoppers not to buy Sabra and Tribe hummus and telling them to oppose Israeli “apartheid” and support “Palestine.” 

 

From their attire and attitude, it is fairly clear that the participants in the video would congratulate themselves on their commitment to the downtrodden, the wretched of the earth suffering under the jackboot of the powerful. They would likely all also describe themselves as feminists. 

 

But if being a human rights activist means attacking the only country in the Middle East that defends human rights, then that means that at the very basic level, the term “human rights activist” is at best an empty term. And if being a feminist means attacking the only country in the Middle East where women enjoy freedom and  equal rights, then feminism too, has become at best, a meaningless term. Indeed, if these anti-Israel female protesters are feminists, then feminism is dead. 

 

IN 1995, then first lady Hillary Clinton spoke at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. There Clinton seemed to embrace the role of championing the rights of women and human rights worldwide when she proclaimed, “It is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights…If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”

 

Yet as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton – like her fellow self-described feminists – has chosen to single Israel out for opprobrium while keeping nearly mum on the institutionalized, structural oppression of women and girls throughout the Muslim world. In so acting, Clinton is of course, loyally representing the views of the Obama administration she serves. She is also representing the views of the ideological Left in which Clinton, US President Barack Obama, the human rights and feminist movements are all deeply rooted.

 

Since the height of the feminist movement in the late 1960s, non-leftist women in the West and Israel have been hard-pressed to answer the question of whether or not we are feminists. Non-leftist women are opposed to the oppression of women. Certainly, we are no less opposed to the oppression of women than leftist women are.

 

But at its most basic level, the feminist label has never been solely or even predominantly about preventing and ending oppression or discrimination of women. It has been about advancing the Left’s social and political agenda against Western societies. It has been about castigating societies where women enjoy legal rights and protections as “structurally” discriminatory against women in order to weaken the legal, moral and social foundations of those societies. 

 

That is, rather than being about advancing the cause of women, to a large extent, the feminist movement has used the language of women’s rights to advance a social and political agenda that has nothing to do with women. So to a large degree, the feminist movement itself is a deception. 

 

The deception at the heart of the feminist movement is nowhere more apparent than in the silence with which self-professed feminists and feminist movements ignore the inhumane treatment of women who live under Islamic law. If feminism weren’t a hollow term, then prominent feminists would be the leaders of the anti-jihad movement. Gloria Steinem and her sisters would be leading the call for the overthrow of the anti-female mullocracy in Iran and the end of gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia. 

 

Instead, in 2008 Ms. Magazine, which Steinem founded and which has served as the mouthpiece of the American feminist movement, refused to run an ad featuring then foreign minister Tzipi Livni, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch and then speaker of the Knesset Dalia Itzik that ran under the headline, “This is Israel.” It was too partisan, the magazine claimed. 

 

Leading feminist voices in the US and Europe remain unforgivably silent on the unspeakable oppression of women and girls in Islamic societies. And this cannot simply be attributed to a lack of interest in international affairs. Islamic subjugation and oppression of women happens in Western countries as well. Genital mutilation, forced marriage and other forms of abuse are widespread. 

 

For instance, every year hundreds of Muslim women and girls in Western countries are brutally murdered by their male relatives in so-called “honor killings.” Pamela Geller, the intrepid blogger at Atlas Shrugs website has steadfastly documented every case she has found. This year she ran an ad campaign on public buses and taxis in major US cities to raise public awareness of their plight. And for her singular efforts in championing the right to life of Muslim women and girls, she has been reviled by the Left as an anti-Islamic bigot. 

 

Former Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali was forced to flee Holland and live surrounded by bodyguards for the past six years because she has made an issue of Islamic oppression of women and girls. The Left – including the feminist movement – has treated this remarkable former Muslim and champion of women’s rights as a leper. 

 

IF ALL the feminist community’s policy of ignoring Islamic oppression of women did was keep it out of the headlines it would still be unforgivable. But the fact is that by not speaking of the central challenge to women’s rights in our times, the organized feminist movement, and the Left it is a part of, are abetting Islam’s unspeakable crimes against women and girls. It does so in two ways.

 

Tyranny unchallenged is tyranny abetted. And the first way that the organized feminist movement and the Left abet the oppression of women by Islamic authorities is by signaling to those authorities that they can get away with it. This truth is laid bare by the responses of Islamic authorities in the rare cases where their oppression of women has received Western attention.

 

For instance, in 2006, an Iranian Islamic court found Mohammadi-Ashtiani guilty of adultery and sentenced the ethnic Azeri kindergarten teacher and mother of two to death by stoning. She was later also found guilty of murdering her husband. Ashtiani’s confessions in both cases were extracted under torture. She has already received 99 lashes for her reputed initial crime. Not a Farsi or Arabic speaker, when her adultery trial ended, Ashtiani didn’t even know she was convicted or what her sentence was. 

 

In recent years, Ashtiani’s children assisted by Iranian émigré and non-leftist human rights groups launched a courageous campaign to save her life. Over the past year, the campaign was covered in the Western media and garnered the support of notables such as the French and Canadian prime ministers’ wives as well as international film stars like Lindsay Lohan, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Robert Redford and Juliette Binoche. 

 

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International got on board this past summer and decrie
d her treatment. Clinton herself gave a half sentence condemnation of Ashtiani’s persecution in August. Indeed, the international attention focused on Ashtiani may have been the reason the Obama administration belatedly voiced opposition to Iran’s election to the new UN women’s rights council. Iran was elected by acclamation in April, but later defeated by India when a roll call vote was called. 

 

Reeling from this criticism, Iranian authorities began backtracking. First they claimed Ashtiani’s death sentence would be cancelled. Then they said she would be hanged rather than stoned. Today her fate remains unclear and her life is still in grave danger. But if pressure on Iranian authorities keeps up, there is a reasonable chance that Ashtiani’s long ordeal will end in life, rather than death.

 

Ashtiani’s case is proof that when the West makes the barbaric abuse of women an issue, the Islamic world attenuates its abuse of women. Pressure works. In contrast, an absence of pressure empowers the oppressors.

 

THE SECOND way that the feminists and the Left they are a part of abet Islamic oppression of women is through their animosity towards Israel. When the Shariah- besotted leaders of the Muslim world see the Western Left devote its energies to attacking Israel – the only human rights and women’s rights protecting country in the Middle East – they see there is no reason for them to reconsider their willingness to tyrannize their women and girls.

 

Take Indonesia for example. In 2003, then Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri agreed that as part of a ceasefire agreement, the separatist Aceh province was allowed to institute Shariah law as the law of the province. In 2009, the Aceh parliament passed a law making adultery punishable by stoning. On the central squares of the province that is home to 4 million, people are routinely publicly whipped for offenses against Islam. 

 

For example, just last Friday Anis Saputra, 24, and Kiki Hanafilia, 17 each received eight lashes in a public ceremony outside a local mosque for being caught kissing in October. The two are reportedly married to other people and they apparently were given lashes rather than stoned to death because they had yet to consummate their alleged romance.

 

Last year the province also forbade women and girls from wearing pants. A France 24 investigation of Shariah in Aceh showed a traumatized 14 year old girl who was beset by Islamic police on her way home from school. They cut her jeans off in the middle of the street.

 

Yet rather than criticize Indonesia for these appalling developments, last month Obama visited Jakarta and waxed poetic about Islamic tolerance of differences and applauded Indonesia for its commitment to democracy. And while ignoring Indonesia’s repressive Shariah-ruled province where Islamic oppression is the rule not the exception, Obama devoted his criticism to attacking Israel for allowing Jews to build homes in Jerusalem.
 
THERE IS NO doubt that attitudes that discriminate against women exist today in Western countries as well as in Israel. Women in the free world have unique challenges to overcome because of our gender. But a sense of proportion is required here. These challenges are not overwhelming, systemic or in most cases life-threatening.

 

On the other hand, hundreds of millions of women and girls throughout the Islamic world are daily terrorized by everyone from their families to their judges. They have no reason to believe that if challenged their rights – even their right to life – will be protected. 

 

The fact that the ladies in Philadelphia decided to take their stand against Israel and that that Clinton and Obama attack Israel for building homes for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria while they all ignore the suffering of the women of Islam speaks volumes about the degradation of the West under the Left’s social and political leadership. It also tells non-leftist women in the West that being pro-women’s rights and being a feminist are increasingly mutually exclusive. 

 

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13 Comments

  • independentpatriot 12/14/2010 at 6:43

    Luckily the younger generation sees the feminist for what they truly are, hypocritical harpy whores,who deride any woman who chooses to enjoy her life choices of monogamy, children, and husband. In fact in some very public rejections even the off spring of feminists have derided’ their mothers philosophies of life. It is reprehensible that western women of any ilk decide that other women do not have the right to the same life choices they demand for themselves due to the inane, idiotic and truly disgusting concept of cultural relativism which is oft cited to allow for the oppression of women in Islamic nations.
    Truthfully, feminists turned on the Jews long before the Six Day War and blamed Judaism’s patriarchal bent on the destruction of the goddess culture. It is ironic that the leaders of the 2nd wave of the feminist movement (the first being the suffragettes)in this country were themselves Jewish or of Jewish parentage but along with other political movements of the 60s decided to destroy their Jewishness in order to belong to the Left. We see this even to this day throughout the Left leaning Jewish community (whether Beinart or Goldstone)in the US and even in Israel.(It was a Haifa University feminist professor who derided the IDF for their lack of raping Arab women. Instead of citing this as a sign of the ethics of the part of the IDF she cited it as evidence of the IDF’s racism against Arabs.You can’t make up this asininity.)
    Truthfully one of the major reasons that the majority of Americans hold themselves out as conservatives is the obnoxious rantings of the feminist left.The truth is that it is Conservative Americans who are the ones standing up for women’s rights worldwide and it is conservatives who carry the banner of the equality of women.Just look at who won big in the last US elections-Happily married conservative women who value family, children and morals.

    Reply
  • naomir 12/14/2010 at 8:17

    Caroline, as always excellently presented. I do not believe that the feminist movement in the ’60s paved the way for equality between the sexes. This was simply a self serving step by Gloria Steinem and her “feminist” friends to prove that they are as good as men. There is no question that women have been and in many cases are still treated as chattel by men, but we are not the same. Our differences in temperament, emotions and even physical capabilities for doing certain types of work is what sets us apart. Like the aishet chayil we are to be set apart and cosseted. This is what feminism is all about.

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  • Marcel 12/14/2010 at 9:02

    The feminists are only a small part of a larger Global Council of Evil whose main target is the Israel of God.
    Nothing but Israel’s destruction is more important to them as they work in symbiotic relationship.
    A world full of fearful,leaderless cowards are incapable of standing up to the many,many evils of Islam across the globe and so these weak and perverse souls (under the influence of the evil one) only have the energy to appease evil by attacking Israel.
    She,the Witch, is also representing the views of the ideological left,Islam,Obama,human rights groups,UN,EU,US, Amnesty International,world & Israeli media,feminist’s, assorted haters of God, satanists, hypocrites and their Commander in Chief,the Dragon whose goal is as you wrote;
    ‘in order to weaken the legal, moral and social foundations of those societies’ (for their destruction)
    It really isn’t that complicated.
    The reason Clinton,feminists and the godless left are so insync (silent) with Islam is because the serve the same Master,daddy.
    The Father of Lies,the devil,dragon satan.
    In this end time’s battle, defeat is assured to all of God’s many,many,many enemies.
    I encourage everyone not to be on the wrong side.
    9 “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
    15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman (ISRAEL), so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.”
    Revelation 12

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  • Charles Smyth 12/14/2010 at 19:26

    Also making the rounds on Youtube, when not being deleted by Youtube because the subject matter is deemed to be too disturbing, is the public whipping of a young Muslim woman, in that paradigm of islamic virtue…. Sudan*. The government of Sudan has complained because the whipping was not carried out in accordance with regulations, not because it shows the government of Sudan to be a sick and barbaric institution. And are our Philly, Flash dancers protesting about that? Not a chance.
    * http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBJRsh4bn3k

    Reply
  • Jana Rene Funkhouser 12/14/2010 at 23:04

    Thank you Caroline for speaking so truthfully about western secular/liberal feminism and its bent toward destruction of the traditional mores of marriage.
    I also applaud the few brave women from Islamic countries who take a stand against the depravity practiced in dark and ignorant societies. May we continue to speak out for our sisters in the Islamic world who suffer unspeakable atrocities simply because they are women.

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  • ripalinsky 12/14/2010 at 23:09

    As Harvey Mansfield carefully points out in his book “Manliness”, feminism is not favorable to women. He shows how modern feminism developed from Nietzsche, without his approval.
    “By their fruits you shall know them.” By its fruit we see that Islam is not much of a religion. Mark A. Gabriel explains why in his book “Islam and the Jews”.

    Reply
  • pkskymt 12/15/2010 at 16:34

    It is difficult to see what your complaint is. We hear similar complaints from Daniel Greenfield’s blog, that the left is a fraud and hypocrisy. That’s fine, but what makes them a fraud and a hypocrisy except if they are not doing or valuing things that the “left” is supposed to do and value? Then where do these values come from and who is to do the job they are supposed to do if they are functionally incapable of doing it? Is this actually the job of the “right”? Are these values more authentically grounded on the “right”?
    For all this tedious harping on the “left” or “liberals” we get nothing, not a clue as to what should be done and who should be doing it, certainly not a report on who is actually doing anything or what values they represent that stand up to the “left”. The failings of the “left” are not the virtues of the “right”.
    Let us not forget that women who find themselves victimized by Islam are typically themselves devout Muslims. At least they are until they find themselves up against Muslim belief. And this is true anywhere you find women oppressed as a class by some authority, legal or otherwise. Women are entirely capable of accepting oppression as just, even if you suffer as a consequence, just as anyone is. You cannot expect to confront the oppression of women without conspiring against the beliefs they hold that contributes to that oppression. What should the principles laying at the roots of such a conspiracy be? And if a woman in a Muslim country will not reject the beliefs that contribute to her oppression, then what is the point of such an effort?
    But if one goes to such a woman with their own narrow agenda, whether it be on the “right” or the “left”, then they are commiting something less than fraud. They are using the suffering of some person to advance the gratification of their own politics from a position of leisure. More convincing is it to confront the beliefs and the authorities who represent those beliefs and also the women themselves who embrace those beliefs. Whose job is that? Is it the job of the “left” or the job of the “right”?

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  • Amy 12/15/2010 at 18:10

    Feminism is morally bankrupt. While their old campaigns for the right to vote and other rights for women were laudable, their support for abortion showed that their claims to humanistic concerns were false. Unwanted babies are nothing but trash in a bin for them. So much for their concerns for human life.
    In the last couple of days I’ve heard even more reports of persecution and even mass killings of Christians in Muslim lands. No significant reaction from the Vatican or from any Christian Church.
    However, I bet that if you have a discussion about human rights in the Middle East with any Christian clergyman or any devoted Christian for that matter, the chances are very high that the conversation will focus on the “poor oppressed Palestinians” and the “starving Gazans”. They seem to have a blind spot for the horrors committed by Muslims against other religions. Evangelicals seem to be the sole exception.

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  • Anonymous 12/16/2010 at 2:25

    Sent by: Tuvia
    In her essay, The feminist deception (December 14, 2010), Ms Glick looks at the extent to which Feminists have chosen to ignore the “institutionalized, structural oppression of women and girls throughout the Muslim world”, and the extent to which modern Feminism uses the language of women’s rights to advance a Leftist social and political agenda, instead of addressing major international women’s needs.
    There appears to be evidence to support such criticism. In fact, I wonder if there is an academician afoot who would publish a book perhaps entitled, “Anti-Semitism and Feminism: how hate hurts women world-wide”.
    Apparently, the research would be easy.
    What is particularly—and tragically—ironic here is, who gets hurt the most by this anti-Israel hate (recall those women in the Philadelphia food store)? Muslim women.
    (Question: is this food-store anti-Israel theatre just an Anti-Israel attack, or is it Anti-Semitism? Read Abraham Foxman’s book, Never Again?–you’ll be able to decide for yourself).
    The tough part is, what does one do about these issues—women oppressed, and Israel attacked under the name of Feminism?
    There’s even another question here: does Feminism truly have answers for women’s concerns?
    Regarding Ms Glick’s questions, I can see three areas of concern to address: how women are treated, Feminist attacks against Israel, and internal, Israel-related women’s issues.
    First, the aggressive degradation of women, their physical mutilation and political/social oppression must be addressed. If current Feminist institutional structures will do little or nothing, then someone needs to create a new organization, one that is funded with enough money to act, and supported by individuals committed exclusively to those in need of assistance .
    We cannot walk away from this issue just because no one cares.
    The second area of concern is Feminist attacks against Israel. These attacks are serious, for they may not be legitimate criticism of Israel policy. As Mr Foxman points out in his book (see above), when other countries pursue policies that are far worse than what Israel does, and they get a ‘free pass’ while Israel is singled out to be viciously condemned and isolated, then that discrepancy becomes Anti-Semitism. Why? Because it singles out Israel for ‘special’ treatment not given to other countries, treatment such as women dressed as Muslims going into a store and calling Israel Apartheid when in fact women in Muslim countries are often brutally enslaved.
    See Foxman for a complete discussion of how anti-Israel and anti-Zionism can mean anti-semitism.
    The question of defining Anti-Semitism, and then testing Feminism according to an agreed-upon definition, should be simple enough because such definitions currently exist, and the Feminist public track-record is both ample and approachable.
    Of course, this work should meet the highest applicable academic standards. If we go on the offensive against these people, we must never put ourselves in a position where we can legitimately be accused of error or sloppy work.
    Put a less gentle way, if you’re going to get into the gutter with a skunk, you had better prepare properly, because if you make a mistake with a skunk (trust me on this) you are not going to have many friends.
    The toughest topic to address could be confronting the third area of concern, Israel-specific women’s issues. This will be tricky because Israel is indeed different, for here we have two sets of rules/ideals—those of a modern democracy, and those of a religion.
    Personally, I believe that the religious and non-religious both have something to offer here. To my way of thinking, when it comes to really serious women’s issues, each can bring important ideas to the table. But this is Israel, so nothing can to taken for granted: most discussions on this topic seem to present only one set of ideals and, since what one sees is mostly non-religious, these discussions too often do not have many nice things to say about religion.
    The dialogue in Israel over women’s issues does not, in other words, appear to be especially collegial. Instead of a secular-religious partnership–which I think could be very productive– we see a certain amount of hostility and name-calling.
    Not that name-calling is bad ( you’ll see where I’m going with this in a minute); in Israel, the name-calling I see—and reactions to it– look to me to be some kind of national mental-health program, so that citizens here under emotional stress don’t have to get doped-up with expensive medication in order to cope: they just start calling people names. Not surprisingly, religion seems to play a key role in the name-calling.
    Funny thing is, it seems to work, this marriage of religion and name-calling. Most of my Sabra friends, some of whom can get really angry about these things, are altogether a happy lot.
    Can name-calling make one happy?
    Is this some ‘Israeli’ thing that a new oleh has to learn about on his own?
    Perhaps upon settling further into the Israeli culture and lifestyle I, too, will discover the mental-health benefits of religion-focused name-calling; in fact, I will confess that, while on bus or street, I have already myself been provoked to consider some hastily-chosen nasty words or thoughts—and yes, curiously enough—it did make me feel better.
    Who knew?
    I didn’t realize religion could be so important.
    Nevertheless, it seems to me that if we in Israel wish to address the type of serious women’s concerns that Ms Glick describes, we might agree (after reading her essay) that Feminism may not have the answers.
    So if Feminism fails us, where do we go for answers? Are those who are secular free enough from current Feminism to help? If they cannot help, who can?
    I mean, is the only other option on the table religion?
    What?
    Haven’t we just concluded that Religion seems only good for name-calling, and whatever mental-health benefits we accrue from anger?
    Hey, we’re Jews. What does religion have to do with anything?
    Right?

    Reply
  • Anon 12/16/2010 at 7:13

    “But at its most basic level, the feminist label has never been solely or even predominantly about preventing and ending oppression or discrimination of women.”
    I strongly disagree. Women who cal themselves feminists and do not deplore how Islam enslaves women are not feminists. They are ___?____ who also call themselves feminist. The feminist side falls short.
    All of my friends who are feminists define being feminist in very basic terms: We want equality for women and girls.
    Defending Palestine, remaining silent in the face of blatant misogyny do not belong to feminism.
    Instead of slamming the term “feminist”, why not just point out how Islam does NOT ALIGN with the most very basic feminist goals, human rights and our constitution? Make THAT argument the prominent one, rather than directing anger at the so-called feminists, which then draws wrath-filled comments like that from “independentpatriot” who responds by immediately calling women “whores”. (I wonder how quickly he refers to men as being “whores”?)
    If we can point out how Islam violates both humanity and equality, we can appeal to both right and left and succeed. If we vilify a group of people based on self-proclamations of being feminist we divide our potential support and will lose.
    Divide…and be conquered!

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  • Jim Farnham 12/17/2010 at 8:20

    Thank you for a sane, well written “voice” in the wilderness. Very well done and appreciated.

    Reply
  • marcel 12/17/2010 at 9:13

    Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
    But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.
    John 8

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  • https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnHjAVONalTTl3aH7ZzOUlXt1CtWoLR7v0 12/18/2010 at 19:38

    This is an excellent article, Caroline, I’ve cited from it in my own blog where I have a post today about what feminism has wrought:
    http://zillablog.marezilla.com/2010/12/femininican.html

    Reply

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