Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dr. Phyllis Chesler: Tom Paine Has a Sister

It is time for feminists, both women and men, of all faiths, and of no faith, to stand together for a woman’s right not to be murdered in the name of family honor. Indeed, we welcome men and women of all faiths, including Islam, to stand with us against female genital mutilation/castration, forced veiling, child marriage, arranged marriage, polygamy, and “honorcide,” and in favor of a woman’s right to live as a westerner in the West without being threatened and beaten for refusing to wear hijab, wanting to have non-Muslim friends, wear makeup, attend college, drive her own car, or end an abusive marriage. Muslim and Sikh women have been honor murdered in North America for all these alleged crimes against their religion and their culture…A Universal Doctrine of Women’s Rights, Phyllis Chesler and Marcia Pappas, Pajamas, 3/24/09

Dr. Chesler, who has taken some serious hits for daring to suggest that white American feminists are hypocrites for falling for the cultural relativist argument regarding the conditions of women in other countries, will most likely take many more for this remarkable manifesto written with NY NOW President Marcia Pappas. It is difficult territory she’s working, though. When a bestselling author from another country tells a local population that they have to start acting human toward all of their citizens, it’s all too easy for a local rabble rouser to start shouting about imperialism. It is hardly disputable that conditions on the ground won’t change until local women take up the cudgel. If they’re quoting Dr. Chesler as they make their speeches and take their actions, don’t be surprised. As a woman who lived in the conditions described in her article, both in her life in an Arab country, and as an Arab’s wife, she’s not writing off the top of her head, but from experience. That has a moral authority rarely granted to authors of theories. Read the rest of the piece; click on the link. You won't regret it.


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