Friday, May 18, 2007

Subordinate Status in the Islamic World

Christina Hoff Sommers explores the oppression of women in the Islamic world and concludes that American feminists are AWOL. An excerpt:

Take psychology professor Phyllis Chesler. She has been a tireless and eloquent champion of the rights of women for more than four decades. Unlike her tongue-tied colleagues in the academy, she does not hesitate to speak out against Muslim mistreatment of women. In a recent book, The Death of Feminism, she attributes the feminist establishment's unwillingness to take on Islamic sexism to its support of "an isolationist and America-blaming position." She faults it for "embracing an anti-Americanism that is toxic, heartless, mindless and suicidal." The sisterhood has rewarded her with excommunication. A 2006 profile in the Village Voice reports that, among academic feminists, "Chesler arouses the vitriol reserved for traitors."

But Chesler is right. In the literature of women's studies, the United States is routinely portrayed as if it were just as oppressive as any country in the developing world.