Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Finding equivalence at all costs

A democracy movement has been unleashed in the Middle East with the blessing of Western liberals. These liberals are taking one hell of a punt. They are obviously hoping that Middle Easterners deep down are just like themselves and will accept the primacy of liberal values. But it could just as easily turn out that the masses in the Middle East will use their vote to establish hardline Islamic governments.

Lawrence Auster has already reported on the takeover of the town of Derna in Libya by a group linked to Al Qaeda. This group has declared the establishment of an Islamic Emirate of Barqa. It may not last long, but the armed takeover of the town does reinforce the differences between Western and Middle Eastern politics.

Included in Auster's post was an interesting Wall Street Journal editorial on the issue. The editorial does recognise that there are significant differences between Western and Middle Eastern civilisations. But it still pushes for America to intervene to bring Western style government and secular liberal values to the region.

However, the WSJ position is a lot better than that coming from some on the American left. We learn from the editorial that:

Others question whether a fully Islamist Middle East is even a bad thing. PBS host Tavis Smiley argued Friday on "Real Time with Bill Maher" that Americans have no basis for criticizing the culture of the Middle East because "when we have these conversations about how they treat women, as if somehow we treat women better in this country, it demonizes Muslims."

So according to the left-liberal Tavis Smiley, we have to consider the treatment of women in the Middle East and the West equivalent, otherwise we are guilty of demonising Muslims. Nor is he alone in this view. Carol Muske-Dukes is a professor at USC and the Poet Laureate of California. She has first hand experience of how women can be treated in Middle Eastern countries:

Years ago, because of a flight delay, I spent a long and terrifying night alone in a hotel in Morocco -- male (Muslim) hotel employees repeatedly tried to break into my room.

But she still wrote a column in support of Tavis Smiley. Her argument was that although there are differences in degree, the misogyny of the Middle East is also the misogyny of the US:

It's the misogyny, stupid. And it cuts across all cultures: far worse in some, somewhat tolerable in others. And the "F" word is fundamentalism -- whether it is Islamic or Christian -- the symbol of battle for control becomes the female body.

I do not want to live in a country that forces me to smother myself in veils, a country that threatens me with violence for an inch of visible wrist, a country that does not allow me to vote or drive.

For the record, I also do not feel safe in a country with a House of Representatives that is capable of canceling all funding for Planned Parenthood...

The state legislature of Georgia would like to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking and domestic violence to "accuser" -- in effect, denying victims their right to accurate representation by description...

Programs for low-income women and children are being slashed left and right and MoveOn reports that there is a move to eliminate all funding for the only extant federal family planning program...

Misogyny keeps this country's brutality to women -- rape, murder and domestic violence -- at staggering levels, along with the pitched battle against a woman's right to control her own body, her right to choose.

I was terrified when I was nearly assaulted in that hotel room in North Africa long ago, but I have also been attacked by "Right to Life" crowds when entering an abortion clinic in my own country.

I know which country most women would feel safer in. Ms Poet Laureate is kidding herself. She thinks that there is no difference in kind between a lack of public funding for abortion and the sexual molestation of unaccompanied women - because both are violations of absolute female bodily autonomy.

Her desire to find an equivalence is so strong that she doesn't react to her terrifying experience in Morocco as a less ideologically driven woman might - by appreciating the relative security created for women within Western countries.

21 comments:

  1. ""She thinks that there is no difference in kind between a lack of public funding for abortion and the sexual molestation of unaccompanied women - because both are violations of absolute female bodily autonomy.""

    And that is the mentality of the liberal mind. EVERYTHING must be equal, if it is not equal and someone says so they are "Causing division" and "Stirring up hatred".

    The liberal mind seems to see abstracts as more concrete than observed reality. Ideas seem more substantial to them than reality because the ideas are considered so "noble" that mere material reality is far too grubby by comparison.

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  2. Liberalism kind of reminds me of Satan disguised as an angel of light sometimes unfortunately.

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  3. "She thinks that there is no difference in kind between a lack of public funding for abortion and the sexual molestation of unaccompanied women - because both are violations of absolute female bodily autonomy."

    "Absolute female bodily autonomy" is a concept with little emotive appeal. So note how she transforms this into "I do not feel safe". A woman's safety is highly emotive for both men and women. It speaks of a primordial demand that women place upon men, and to which men are conditioned to respond.

    Thus, we see an abstract liberal concept transformed into the visceral appeal of a woman for protection. It is ultimately through emotional manipulation rather than reason that liberalism gets its way.

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  4. Wow we're islamists now, I feel pretty bad.

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  5. So we're the Taliban and must be fought, but the actual Taliban are ok and should be left alone?

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  6. ""People in Melbourne's outer north, including the shires of Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Hume, recorded Victoria's highest rates of negative sentiments against Jews (31.4 per cent), Asians (26.8 per cent) and Britons (12.8 per cent).""

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/were-a-land-of-racists-survey-shows/story-e6frf7l6-1226010370052

    Glad I only live NEAR Nillumbik!

    Gotta love these surveys showing how "racist" we are. If the MRA crowd want to whinge about "shaming language" why not start there?

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  7. Have you ever considered that progressives real goals are to establish Islamic governments? I don't know why they want it, but all their actions point to it.

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  8. The progressives (stooges of the elite) want to shove liberalism so far up our collective but holes that it will illicit a fascist outlash.

    Global caliphate, Christian ecumenism, Chinese nationalism, etc.

    Its all in the Protocols people.

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  9. "People in Melbourne's outer north, including the shires of Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Hume, recorded Victoria's highest rates of negative sentiments against Jews (31.4 per cent), Asians (26.8 per cent) and Britons (12.8 per cent)."

    What a surprise, the areas with the most Muslims (Broady and Dallas are in the city of Hume) have the highest amount of anti-Semitism. Would have been interesting if the study had tried to gauge anti-Australian sentiment in Melbourne's suburbs.

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  10. Wavevector wrote:

    "Absolute female bodily autonomy" is a concept with little emotive appeal. So note how she transforms this into "I do not feel safe". A woman's safety is highly emotive for both men and women. It speaks of a primordial demand that women place upon men, and to which men are conditioned to respond.

    Well observed. She resorts to supporting a liberal value by appealing to a non-liberal one.

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  11. What a surprise, the areas with the most Muslims (Broady and Dallas are in the city of Hume) have the highest amount of anti-Semitism.

    Yeah but Whittlesea is middle class Anglo/Wog mix and Nillumbik is a leafy left wing paradise full of artists and alternative types.

    Personally I think the whole survey is a bit off. A few things dont quite fit.

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  12. One of the abstractions by which ideological points are scored is to dissemble that human conduct which is founded on moral principles and the virtue of prudence, is "equivalent" to whatever unprincipled and irresponsible exceptions are being proposed or defended.

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  13. Isn't this more a case of her genuinely wanting to criticize 3rd world Muslims, but that just isn't allowed by Lefties and so she throws in a perfunctory criticizm of the U.S. male, too?

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  14. Equivalence between Christians and nutcase muslims is a big one.

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  15. "Well observed. She resorts to supporting a liberal value by appealing to a non-liberal one."

    Good point wavevector. Lawrence Auster has noticed this too. He calls it the unprincipled exception.

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/002053.html

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  16. Muske-Dukes should ask herself whether the appalling sexual assault as experienced by CBS journalist, Lara Logan would occur in any Western nation. The liberal left can carp on about the so-called Apartheid State of Israel all it likes, but it is the safest country for women in the Middle East by far. Built on the foundation of the liberal traditions of the Enlightenment, it guarantees the political and civil rights of females. However, "absolute female bodily autonomy", in the shape of abortion, violates the principles of justice, as it impinges on the rights of the unborn child.

    Foxy Brown in London, England.

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  17. The leftist explanation for the lack of women's right in the Middle East is poverty.
    They argue that these countries can't afford to give women the same rights as the West can, and that there poverty is due to western exploitation.

    However, there is no clear relationship between freedom for women and income levels of Muslim countries. For example, women have more freedom in Indonesia than they do in Saudi Arabia, although Saudi Arabia is much wealthier than Indonesia.

    This also goes for popular attitudes of Muslim citizens in general. Young Iranians for example, are much more in favour of becoming more western than young Saudi's or Yemini's are. Iran is about the only Middle Eastern country that wants to become less Muslim.

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  18. ""Iran is about the only Middle Eastern country that wants to become less Muslim.""

    Even then that feeling is mostly confined to the urban middle classes [although to be fair they feel it VERY strongly], which in Iran make up more of the population than most Arab states.

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  19. They have always been about West-hating equivalence.

    I remember how they were during the Cold War, when I was in college. For a year we were actually living in West Berlin surrounded by almost a million Soviet troops, an "island city" surrounded by a frigging wall that the communist government had built ... and there were *still* many leftie students in my classes who were adamantly equivalentist.

    The reality is: they hate the West, because their entire worldview is based on the idea that the history of the West prior to 1968 is not much more than a catalogue of crimes, and that its history since is characterized by the "good guys" of the left fighting a winning battle against the "bad guys" of the right, who defend the old regime, and hence are the defenders of the catalogue of crime -- racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, and on and on and on.

    They are the inevitable product of Western liberalism, but they hate the West, as it has been known for centuries, with a burning passion. I have seen it expressed many times, unfortunately. But equivalence in the face of non-Western evil has *always* been their game, and frankly this was one of the nails in the coffin for me, even at a very early age, in sealing my ideas about the left (I had arrived in college, actually, as a moderate leftist as a way of teenaged rebellion against my conservative parents ... boy did that change during the course of college, lol).

    They're dunderheads, one and all, really. Dangerous dunderheads, unfortunately, but dunderheads all the same.

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  20. Thank you to Mark for completing my thought, and to Elizabeth for the vocabulary to describe it.

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  21. "They are the inevitable product of Western liberalism, but they hate the West, as it has been known for centuries, with a burning passion."

    Great observation. Liberals love *their* created West and not the West itself or the West as it has been for centuries. Don't forget at the same time while liberals despise the West they still live in it and it's pretty much like a parasite sucking the host dry.

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