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@Dianna Wilson @FundaMentalist I'm not sure it does a lot of good for the very serious and excellent points made in the article to paint the Middle East with one brush stroke. Mid East countries vary in laws, practice, and exposure of women to a variety of professions. I have a book I need to dig out that dramatically illustrates these differences, and most people who have traveled widely in the area say the same. It would behoove us in the West to be more educated about this. It doesn't mean we should let go of the very serious issues that the author gives voice to.
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/why_do_they_hate_us
@FundaMentalist @sasss31 FundaMentalist, we've been over this. It seems no rebuttal affects you. I agree we have a problem in the West with the objectification of women as part of our lame pop culture, but this is only part of our image of women. We have had women in every professional field, and our young people see the image of professors, politicians, doctors, engineers, firefighters, law enforcers, etc. I recall when I was a young girl, you could not find a female postal worker, doctor, milk man (when we had those), car salesperson, etc.--and it was common to see young men okaying a check used for a purchase in a grocery or pharmacy where a woman decades his senior was selling the product. That world is completely GONE, including in the rural and backwoods areas. We are now surrounded by strong powerful women whenever we leave the house, as well as in our homes. This change came about by changing laws and forcing the implementation of laws on the books about equal opportunity, and it worked. Within a very short time, the professional schools were filled with women and women were seen in all professions. Sex crimes, while not eradicated, are treated dead seriously. Millions have been spent on educating law enforcement and the medical profession on how to deal with this crime. And while, the sexy image of women is too much a part of our pop culture, as I said, no government mandates that a woman looks like this, and for most of us, it simply isn't part of our world. We in the west know we have our work to do, but to refer to us as "objects" is so far removed from our reality, that is demeans our huge strides in the last 40 years.
@rbecker @Paulette Powell rbecker, good rebuttal, but don't even try--she just digs her heals in deeper like a three-year-old.
@F.Maryam @micabana "I disagree with Mona, I cannot justify some of the attacks on her on the level which attacks her personal character"
But, F.Maryam, it's okay to attack micabana? Granted he cited a provocative experience, but it's his experience and it was relayed with passion and compassion. Your response is major step down from your previous notes.
@Paulette Powell @arshadfilms @Salma_Ahmed86 @monaeltahawy I made Salma go away? Avoid siding with a man altogether?
Oh, there ya go.
@Paulette Powell Heavens...take a 10 deep breaths. THAT would be constructive.
@arshadfilms @Salma_Ahmed86 @monaeltahawy Thank you! You're articulate and have a firm, respectful way of dealing with someone who has treated others less than kindly on this forum.
@Salma_Ahmed86 @RussellMark @monaeltahawy Salma....you said your mind was about to explode at what Mona wrote--now don't you be accusin' other people of lashing out.
Seriously, you make so many good points and so many outlandish ones, it's a little hard to follow. How about meditating and then come back to us?
Paulette Powell, go down several notes to Jollop; read hers and the several that follow. They refute your point apparently better than I did.
I have read many, many of the comments on this article and I have to say that the vast bulk of them have been pretty good in the respect department even when not agreeing with the author or each other. You're an exception, more typical of the type of unfortunate personal comments that one often finds in forums. Why don't you read through the comments for this article and then maybe reconsider how you frame your arguments.
My suggestion that you write an article on the US was well-meaning--you obviously are passionate about it and an intelligent, passionate article affects change.
I am baffled and sorry that I have offended you. I thought we were having a strong, but friendly argument.
@cuah @Paulette Powell My take is she aimed at people and institutions who used Islam to justify the atrocities--you can hardly deny that this has occurred. That's not the same as blaming Islam.
@Paulette Powell Of course America has a long way to go. But you're complicating a pretty simple point--the author has spent the bulk of her life in the area she writes about, as she should. Other people can write about their own cultures. Nobody's negating the pain of oppression women experience elsewhere, though there may be an argument that women in those societies whose government and institutions sanction said atrocities do have bigger fisher to fry than even our own troubled western country. You think that's an attempt to justifies prejudice--I don't.
There's a watering down of the specific story Mona tells when one accuses her of generalization (even when she provides links to astonishing numbers) and of not considering the global problem enough. Of course the latter exists, but has been used to silence the speaker and results in a "helpless because it's just too big" response. That may not have been your intention, but I've seen it happen a lot.
There's a time and a place for the global discussion, but if it's used to detract from her powerful arguments and examples, along with accusations of "generalizing", then her points get pushed aside, and there's not time for that. Her vociferous and well-articulated anger are movtivations for acting NOW in the area, about the abuses she raises.
You go a long way in making assumptions about people wishing to justify their own culture. Don't do that--it's a good way to make enemies when people are willing to hear your point. I'm just saying--that America is not the point of her article. Pretty simple.
Maybe it should the point an article YOU write. And should your detractors attempt to devalue your point by saying, "it happens everywhere", don't let that derail you away from your focus.
@Sunshine7 @iGreen @HildeK Beautifully stated. Your analysis is sound and you write well. And, for once, we see how demeaning the whole situation is for men as well as women, and how men are encouraged to view themselves as having poor impulse control. That's insulting to a whole gender. Would love to see you publish on this topic.
@JoanaSaba Do you wish it died out? Sounds like it. Complexity is no excuse for the arocities the author describes. And very dedicated femininsts, women and men, who are will to sacrifice are excactly what's called for. Where is your outrage? Or, at the very least, concern?
@sposting1 I really, really am tired of women's expressed anger being referred to as a "rant". That's a demeaning term, usually used by men to shut women up. Stop. These issues ARE highly emotional--we don't always have to adhere to rigid neutral standards of writing; she wasn't writing a straight news story. My 30 years involved in feminism has shown over and over again that the people brave enough to really put it out there are the ones who push the boundaries so that various types and levels of discussion can then ensue.
"I know many, many men in that region who would disagree, who would go to bat to help empower women, and who are also working tirelessly to give women back what is (rightfully) theirs in various forums." Then let's hear from them--loudly and now.
@Calorus @sausagesfortea I too agree with some of what sausagesfortea says, especially when it comes to the prolific images of naked or otherwise ridiculously sexualized images of women, which, by the way, certainly gives fuel to the East for criticism of the West. But the institutional sanctions of violence against women just aren't here.
@sausagesfortea Maybe that is why she chose the medium she did; of course, she knows the west supports these regimes.
@wa7da I agree that we can't generalize about all the countries in the Gulf area equally, but don't blame her using statistics. These numbers show that the behavior is not merely annectdotal and that kind of information is needed to move people to act.
@bouchra Yes, it is always sad when women perpetuate the discrimination and limitations, not to mention abuses, of gender. But there's a few things we have to remember: The fact that women do this just goes to show how very deeply entrenched the culture is, so much so that not even some of the women can imagine anything different. Other reasons: well, let's face it, not all women are alike. Not all women are particulariy bright or self-analytical. Not all women connect the dots of what's going on in their world. And not all women can see beyond what has been pounded into their heads by a partriarchal society. So, don't be too hard on them and don't exepct ALL women to rise up. By the same token, we should expect liberal men who are progressive to definitely speak up--loudly.
@Paulette Powell I am very sorry for the suffering you have experienced. And your statements about not generalizing and other cultures guilt do have some merit. But the author was writing about the culture she KNOWS--it's not her job to detail abuses in other cultures unless she's lived there. Also, she's not wrong to paint the picture with wide strokes and she proves this in many ways including citing the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report. The numbers are simply to many to NOT treat the issue as more than simply isolated incidendents; rather, they must looked on as cultural phemomen that has widespread insidious effects.
@Yasmine_at "Nag"? Are you a guy?
And, yes, the author did "step up" and write, as you suggested. Allow her the anger she so eloquently displays--she deserves this.