Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The REAL War on Women

There is apparently a war on women raging in this country, or so the media and other ultra-liberal entities keep trying to convince me.  As a female, I should be filled with contempt and disgust, ready to arm myself with strongly-worded signs and join the battle of disgruntled demonstrators on the front lines of this raging battle.  "I'm a woman, damn it and I deserve to be treated like a freakin' human being!" I should be raging with my offended sisters.

Except I'm not.

Because it's not a war.  Thankfully, the majority of the women in this country have no idea what it's like to be really and truly treated as less than human.

The gist of this stylized "war on women" is that some women keep getting their panties in a wad about reducing or cutting federal funding for apparently fundamental rights like birth control and abortions and medically unnecessary ultrasounds.  (Sarcasm Alert!) You know, basic human rights...guaranteed in the Constitution and stuff?

Of course, I have greatly simplified the concept here, mostly because I don't feel like ranting too much about this whole discombobulating nonsense when there are more disturbing and violent and REAL wars going on.  Whether or not I can get free birth control or easy access to a free abortion seems pretty trivial to me, especially when I'm not being completely denied those services...I just might have to pay for them out of my own (*gasp*) pocket.  Actually, I don't understand why women want to so flagrantly throw away their own reproductive power into the hands of any governing body.  If the government can regulate it, it kind of takes the "freedom" aspect out of it. (So much for women crying about their rights to "reproductive freedom")...so I'll keep my own power over my own body and you can keep the federal funding.

I find it overly arrogant for the women citizens of this country to groan and complain about the apparent "atrocities" taking place against women.  Because there are very real and desperately disturbing atrocities against women taking place in other countries.  Nothing at all like our supposed war on women, in other cultures women are treated as far less than human, and it isn't in the shape of a fantasized wage gap or Hobby Lobby's opposition to abortifacient birth control.

There are women who face violence and other forms of maltreatment and oppression daily.  There are places where women cannot vote, or file for divorce, or own property, or choose who they will marry.  The horrors these women face in the form of genital mutilation, forced marriage, and honor violence make our petty desire for free birth control seem pretty...well...petty.  To be forced to live a life of complete subservience, without access to education or freedom to pursue a life outside of the one chaperoned by male family members doesn't seem like much of a life at all.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Enter Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a hero to human rights supporters worldwide and true soldier in the real war against women.  She is a very outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic countries, where often, under Sharia law, women are severely oppressed and physically abused.  She founded the AHA Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to protect and reinforce the basic rights of women.  These rights include the security and control of women's own bodies, the ability to work and control their own income, access to education, freedom of association, and freedom of expression.  Ms Hirsi Ali is also the author of several books.  She served as a member of the Dutch Parliament for several years, and in 2004, in cooperation with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a controversial film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures.  (Considering that the film resulted in the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamic extremist, it is safe to say that Ayaan Hirsi Ali put her life on the line with the production of that film.)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was scheduled to receive an honorary degree from Brandeis University during it's scheduled May 2014 commencement.  This week, Brandeis backed up the honorary degree-giving train.  Apparently, Ms. Hirsi Ali is a "notorious Islamophobe" (according to a Brandeis student newspaper) and too controversial for Brandeis University to publicly honor.

"We cannot overlook that certain of her past statements are inconsistent with Brandeis University's core values," said the university and a statement explaining their change of heart over Ayaan Hirsi Ali's honorary degree.

The president of the university has invited her to "engage in future dialogue", but considers it important to distinguish between inviting a public speaker who may air provocative and unpopular opinions and the awarding of an honorary degree which is essentially an act of affirming the recipients work.  Thank you Brandeis University for clearing up your stance on basic human rights.

Well, I might just be an Islamaphobe too if I had suffered what Ms. Hirsi Ali suffered at the hands of the religion.  It's laid out in her memoirs, including her horrifying and painful genital mutilation and her family's attempts at forcing her to marry against her will.  That's more than enough to make anyone a little hostile.

But in the name of political correctness, we have to sweep these things under the rug so as not to offend anyone.  We'll just pretend that stuff doesn't happen. We'll make the victim who cries out against her torturers the villain.  And in doing so we make the torturers the victims...of what I'm not sure.  Of having their feelings hurt?  Of being offended?

We live in a world gone mad.  This is what happens when one person heroically (and in a very outspoken manner) stands against true oppression of women. When someone exposes the REAL war against women,  she is painted as a bigot and a narrow-minded racist.  How horrible of her to offend anyone...even those who are guilty of horrendous violence.

Perhaps she should have stuck with the subject of birth control and abortion.  Then she still might be considered worthy of honor,

Perspective is everything.  Next time the women of this country start fussing about the war certain political parties are waging against them, they might want to consider that no one is attempting to take away our right to genital integrity or to vote or to divorce...or even access to birth control.   If we consider free birth control and easy access to abortions to be fundamental human rights...we might just need to see things from a different perspective.  Maybe we need to read one of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's books.

1 comment:

Patricia Moss said...

great article Alice

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