Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Calling all Feminists!

Given the whining that NOW has been up to lately (do read Myrna Blyth's suggestion that they change their acronym to THEN), it's amazing that America's foremost "feminists" have been largely silent about the liberation of millions of Afghani and Iraqi women who had suffered under abusive regimes. Well, maybe not, because it would mean saying something good about a Republican administration and its war efforts.

However, there's at least one feminist scholar who is aware of the inherent misogyny of Iran's Islamic fundamentalists. Professor Donna M. Hughes, who holds the Carlson Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Rhode Island, wrote a piece in Front Page Magazine entitled, "Defeating the Woman-Haters" (Hat tip to Chrenkoff):

Twenty-six years ago in Iran, Islamic fundamentalists captured their first state. They turned it into a theocratic dictatorship and used its resources to fund terror abroad and pursue weapons of mass destruction. Since then, violence, expansionism, and terror against civilians have become hallmarks of Islamic fundamentalism. If the Iranian regime obtains nuclear weapons, it will use them to maintain control of Iran, intimidate countries within missile range, and expand their influence abroad.

To defeat the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, one must understand what keeps them it power. Insight into the role of misogyny ‑ hatred of women ‑ in the tyranny's ideology and its tactics of social control is the key to ending the reign of terror.
Professor Hughes concludes her case by suggesting a number of tactics governments, the UN, and NGOs should undertake in their dealings with Iran to subvert the misogyny and hence the mullahs' power. I doubt that her rather PC prescription is as strong a lever as she posits, but it's an interesting line of attack. Go read the article, and then imagine the impact of Secretary Rice making a state visit to Iran.