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Third class citizens

ALWAYS THE LESSER PRIORITY

By David Podvin

John Lennon wrote, “Woman is the nigger of the world”. Woman should be so lucky. She does not rank nearly that high, and she never has. A typical example recently arrived from the Supreme Court, which ruled that saving a female life is insufficiently relevant to justify performing a late term abortion. The justices stressed that although the lives of women are important, there exists a higher priority.

There always does. Throughout history, women’s rights have been subordinated to greater causes, the greatest cause being homage to the Almighty. Judaism and Christianity and Islam differ greatly, but misogyny is the place where true believers meet to greet. The pious agree that in accordance with God’s will females must be tormented.

Toward that end Orthodox Jewish men thank their Messiah for not making them women and coerce females into second-class status. Fundamentalist Christian men codify misogyny into law and stigmatize those females who resist the social roles of antiquity. Traditionalist Muslim men demand that women be wrapped like mummies before public appearances, mutilate their clitorises to discourage wayward lust, and engage in honor killings against those distaff dissidents who exhibit subversive feminist tendencies. This sectarian persecution is never done in the name of malice. The ecumenical party line is that females are abused only because the Lord wouldn’t have it any other way.

Primitive superstition notwithstanding, women deserve better. Yet as with all oppressed people females require allies to help ensure that they are treated humanely, and those allies have been preoccupied with more important matters. Although American liberals support women with eloquent rhetoric, progressives have loftier goals than protecting females. Democratic senators could have prevented the recent abortion ruling by denying confirmation to John Roberts and Samuel Alito, but the calculus was that regaining control of the senate would be facilitated by “low-keying” the abortion issue. Consequently, reproductive choice has been sacrificed, not because Democrats oppose freedom but so that liberal politicians can exercise power. It is a matter of priorities.

It is also a matter of priorities when Speaker Nancy Pelosi submissively wraps her head in a scarf while visiting Damascus. There is a very small and very brave Syrian women’s rights movement demanding that females be endowed with basic liberty, including the option to dress as they choose. Pelosi does not oppose granting freedom to Syrian women but she too has higher priorities, in this case establishing herself as a significant foreign policy player. It may be unfair to cite Pelosi since every powerful American politician routinely betrays women, but the Speaker made a big deal about becoming the first woman to lead the House. If being a female Speaker constitutes anything more significant than achieving a personal accomplishment it must involve promoting the universal rights of women.

The same principle applies to being the first woman president. Seeking to become the initial female commander-in-chief, Hillary Clinton has trumpeted the relevance of her gender while simultaneously placating misogynists. Even though abortion is legal in every American state it is unavailable in ninety-three percent of American counties. Across the United States religious conservatives have circumvented Roe v. Wade by waging a terrorist campaign. Clinics have been bombed and doctors have been murdered. Rather than decrying the right wing jihad that deprives many women of access to a legal medical procedure, Senator Clinton is making conciliatory gestures towards abortion opponents. Hillary is not indifferent to reproductive rights, but winning the presidency is her higher priority.

Even feminist activists have a higher priority than advocating the rights of women. Increasingly, feminists have argued that women share an immutable common cause with “people of color”. That multicultural convolution explains the vulgar silence on the Left when Third World females are being tortured and murdered. Feminism theoretically advocates protecting women no matter the ethnicity of their tormentors, but when those tormentors are “people of color” far too many feminists find themselves stricken with moral laryngitis.

The cynical calculations of political movements… the burning ambition of leaders…the multiculturalism that emphasizes respecting misogynistic societies over defending females. From the liberal perspective, there is an extended litany of priorities more important than women’s rights. And for conservatives, every priority is more important.

The recurring narrative of human history is that females are assailed by their very real enemies while being abandoned by their very false friends. Women are not baby machines to be alternately glorified and repressed by the right wing, nor are they eternal children to be endlessly patronized and betrayed by the left wing. They are human beings, and are therefore entitled to all the rights inherent in being human.

Attaining those rights remains an elusive quest. At home and abroad, misogynists are on the march. While some privileged females rise higher than ever, women worldwide are generally scorned as inferiors. There are a few heroines seeking to stem the tide, intrepid souls like Ayaan Hirsi Ali who risk their lives by insisting that women everywhere must be treated humanely. Yet theirs is a lonely fight, and they are losing.

So is everyone else who believes that defending women must involve more than rhetorical self-indulgence. The endless assault upon females constitutes a crime against every person who values women. Integrity demands that the criminals be vanquished, but most people – even most good people – are just too busy worrying about higher priorities.

There can be no higher priority. At stake is the liberty of more than half the human population. For people of conscience, securing women’s rights must be the ultimate priority. 

It is a mistake to believe that the tide of history guarantees such progress. In the United States, women stopped progressing economically decades ago and are now regressing. Meanwhile, their social gains are being systematically eroded by wholesome, clean-cut, bible quoting degenerates. Across the globe, more women are currently enslaved than at any time in history, usually by religious zealots so saturated with Godly love that they pray towards Mecca five times daily.

So where is the outrage? And where is the pushback?

Nowhere, mon frère. There has long been an all-out war pitting a multicultural coalition of misogynists against women, but only one side has been fighting. Until that battle is joined the savagery visited upon females will not end. Feeble Feminism must be replaced by Kick Ass Feminism. The time has come to stop turning the other cheek and start turning the cheeks of the reprobates.

That vigilance begins where all vigilance begins… at home. Ostensible allies must be placed on notice that the free ride has ended and the Era of Earned Support has begun. Democratic politicians must have it impressed upon them that they can enable misogynists onto the Supreme Court or they can have the votes of people who care about women.

Choose.

Of course, the approach works only if women are the top priority. If other matters are considered more urgent the lesser of two evils canard comes into play. When innocent females die because their reproductive rights have been confiscated with Democratic complicity it will be cold comfort to remind oneself that the Democrats are marginally less evil than the Republicans.

Insofar as religious conservatives are concerned, it is time to discard diplomacy and invoke candor. Misogynists are not sincere people possessing misguided views. They are implacable enemies of decency who must be aggressively confronted and ruthlessly defeated.

This is the first in a series of essays addressing the highest of all priorities and the rarest of all realities: the female entitlement to full human status. Given the prevailing indifference about women’s rights this effort may constitute the ultimate when it comes to tilting at windmills. But there are worse things in life than tilting at windmills, and first on that list is passively accepting the unacceptable.

The status quo is unacceptable. Women must be treated with respect. Misogynists must be treated with contempt. Only then will justice have prevailed.

Podvin on Women

Podvin, the Series

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Comments (6) left to “Third class citizens”

  1. tseving wrote:

    Caro, I found this article so timely and impressive that I posted the first two paragraphs at Politics Plus with a link back for my readers to see the rest here. Well done!

  2. quixote wrote:

    Yes, yes, yes, and YES! I’ve been saying this forever. It seems to be such a foreign concept, that I started to realize that women must not be human — in most men’s mind’s that is. It’s a sad statement that when I went to look for the author of this great screed, I was shocked to see it was someone named “David.”

    The thing I find hardest to take is the attitude of progressives. The troglodytes and the Taliban are bad, but when your friends don’t understand why it’s a problem that half the human race doesn’t count, then I start to despair.

    (To be absolutely precise, more than half the human race.)

    This post is a breath of fresh air. I know it sounds stupid, but I don’t know how else to put it in words: THANK YOU.

  3. quixote wrote:

    Minor point: wasn’t it Yoko Ono who pointed out that woman is the nigger of the world?

  4. caro wrote:

    Thanks, Tom!

    Quixote (by the way, Don Quixote was one of my favorite reads when I was studying Spanish), John and Yoko recorded a song of that title.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_is_the_Nigger_of_the_World

  5. David Podvin: ALWAYS THE LESSER PRIORITY « The Agonist wrote:

    [...] « Watchdog accuses Google of invading the privacy of its internet surfers    MI6 probes UK link to nuclear trade with Iran » David Podvin: ALWAYS THE LESSER PRIORITY By Caro, on June 10th, 2007 David Podvin is back, and he’s angry about how women are treated. This is the first in a series of essays about the maltreatment of more than half of the world’s population. From Make Them Accountable: ALWAYS THE LESSER PRIORITY [...]

  6. | Chopped hands don’t matter … over there | Acid Test by Quixote wrote:

    […] On the road to Aztlan and Mecca, makes the same point I’m making here, but more obliquely; Podvin, Always the lesser priority; quixote, Are women are […]

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