Who Hates Whom

Many non-western cultures face a growing shortage of women as selective abortion and poor treatment leads to increased mortality. Some of this is detailed in an article by Ayaan Hirsi Ali recently republished at AEI called Women Go Missing by the Millions. Ms. Ali faced hostility and death threats when she was critical of Islam, especially the mistreatment of women. She recently moved from Europe to a safer and more welcoming environment in the U.S. and is now a fellow at AEI.

Please read the Wikipedia entry about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It is not surprising that she faced the hostility of retrograde religious leaders, but she also got in trouble with the PC culture relativists, whom she regularly castigated. They thought she was disruptive. This is what she said:

"Cultural and moral relativists sap our sense of moral outrage by claiming that human rights are a Western invention. Men who abuse women rarely fail to use the vocabulary the relativists have provided them. They claim the right to adhere to an alternative set of values - an "Asian", "African" or "Islamic" approach to human rights.

Many people are afraid to criticize and be thought to be judgmental. They have lost their moral compass in a sea of moral relativism. Criticism of Islam is off limits for two reasons. The first is ordinary PC irresolution. But more important is an actual physical fear.

The brave people who proudly stand up to Christian fundamentalists but give Islam a free pass are like those animal rights folks who splash red paint on old ladies in fur coats but conveniently overlook motorcycle gangs in leather jackets.

Ms. Ali stood up to real dangerous people and received little support from those who prefer to tilt at imagined oppression in our western democracies. Many people will not defend western values, but when you look closely at the alternatives maybe that is not a good way to go.

Posted by Jack at October 6, 2006 4:07 PM
Comments
Comment #186730

Whoa, there bud! You had better do a little homework on rape, incest, and assault by American men on American women before you try to take a moral high ground for the treatment of women in America.

They get paid less for the same work, they suffer harrassment from the military to corporate offices to mom and pop businesses in order to keep their jobs.

A little broader perspective is needed in your article, and resolution propositions for our own as well as other society’s abuse of women’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 6, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #186734

All culture is relative.

We Americans also glorify sex, destructive habits like smoking and alcohol and fatty foods, and place so much emphasis on material success that no amount of money is enough. Our culture is flawed (and not particularly christian, might I add), so are others. Don’t go touting the glory of “western values” when they aren’t always the best choice. our treatment of women has recently improved (though there are still many issues, as David mentioned above), but there are an infinate number of other areas where our culture is not inherently superior, or is indeed far worse off. Look at incidence of heroin or cocain addiction in the Muslim world and you will see a stark difference. They are also less commercial.

conclusion: culture is not an objective measurable thing, cultures are not better or worse than others. Culture is just a bunch of group habits, all of them based on nothing more than a collective belief they have something in common, even when they don’t. It’s part of human life, it can be violent, it can be peaceful, it can be artistic and brilliant, or it can be arcane and need to change. Either way, theres something wrong with everyone.

Posted by: iandanger at October 6, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #186736

Yes David, we are not w/o sin and as individuals it might make good sense not to cast stones. However as a society we cannot allow ourselves to be crippled by our imperfections. A person who takes a pencil from work and one who hits someone over the head with a rock to take his wallet are both thieves, but I can make a distinction.

Read the last link about western values. The author does not say that the west is perfect. Far from it. But he also points out that people doing worse can often silence us by playing the guilt card.

Ali, BTW, was born a Muslim Somali woman. Doesn’t at least she have the right to make a comparison?

Posted by: Jack at October 6, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #186738

iandanger
There are lots of aspects of Western Culture I dislike and aspects of others I find appealing. I let people make choices they want as long as it does not affect me. However, I have the right to judge by my standards and choose whether or not I support what they are doing. They have the same right to do so to me.

That give and take is the essential benefit of diversity. Without it we have a cacophony that usually leads either nowhere or to violence. All cultures are living and can be improved. If we stop testing (and judging) we stop improving.

Posted by: Jack at October 6, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #186741

Jack,

Theres a difference between individual issues and entire cultures. Cultural relativism is a theory that cultures are not inherently better or worse than each other, and that each must be understood in the context of the function the culture provides.

Murdering female children is terrible, so is using abortion to change birth patterns to the point where women are less and less the population. Lets work to address that without making it an attack on culture, because if there is one thing people tend to resist, it is attacks on their culture. Just look at the south after the civil war. Because the integration process was looked on as an attack on southern culture, we had an insurgency fighting against the northern troops, carpetbaggers, scalawags, and the native blacks who had just gotten their freedom.

make it about an ISSUE, not about culture.

Posted by: iandanger at October 6, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #186742

David,
You’re making an assumption that there is a perfect society that we should all compare ourselves to. News for you bud. There isn’t. The only measuring stick we have is against ourselves and America’s track record is FAR better than Asia, Africa or Islam as Ms. Ali states and Jack points out. Nice try creating a climate of moral incertitude. Your claim that women in this Country get paid less for the same work has been exposed as slight of hand trickery. Those reports did not compare apples to apples. When the exact SAME job was compared using the exact SAME experience it showed that women were actually compensated as well if not better than their male couterparts. The previous reports frequently compared women with LESS experience (e.g. a couple years experience) to men with far more. That is not a fair comparison nor was it intended to be. Also, having been in the military for quite a number of years I can tell you that the abuse is NOT suffered so much by women as the it is by men. There are far more instances of men’s careers being ruined due to false allegations made by women of:
1. Harrasment
2. Rape
3. Discrimination
Seems to me it is you who needs to do a little homework. You’ve done nothing more than spout myth and rhetoric. Jack’s piece was fair and accurate.

Carlo

Posted by: Carlo at October 6, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #186748

iandanger

I think we agree that culture is a current adaption to the needs of life. There is really nothing there to be relative. We may both be Americans. We might even live in the same town. But many aspects of our behavior, our culture will be different. When I lived in Poland, I found I had more in common with many people there than I did with fellow Americans I met in various parts of the U.S.

So we are not talking about a whole culture, because no such thing exists.

Some people have clusters of habits that we call culture. There is nothing sacred about it. Some of those habits used to have adaptive value, but no longer do. Some are still okay, but others are better and a reasonable person might change. And some are perfectly fine at this time. We do not need to accept the package and take the good, the bad and the ugly all together. And it might be that overall we would take more from one package than from another.

Western culture (to use the catch term) is more inclusive than most others because it has spread worldwide and absorbed aspects of so many others. An analogy is a world language. The current world language (English) has more words in current usage than most other languages because it has adapted and adopted from others. There are also more sorts of people using the language. That is not to say it is better, but there are more choices. BTW a former world language (like Greek) also has more ways to express things than one that was localized.

Returning to culture, my “culture” is very different from that of my father. Culture is carried by individuals and changes each time one of them changes his mind (or dies). Islam changed for the worse when some people adopted that murder for virgins crap. Murdering civilians with bombs was not part of traditional Islam. It is a recent creation and a bad one. Certainly everyone has a right to object and ridicule something like that.

Posted by: Jack at October 6, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #186754

iandanger and David

Besides, is it criticism to state a simple fact. Many non-western cultures are facing a shortage of women. In some places you are looking at 120 men for every 100 women at age 13. We can be culturally relative and say this is their business, but doesn’t it strike you as kind of stupid? In fact, I am not PC enough to refrain from judging it as VERY stupid.

Posted by: Jack at October 6, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #186755

Why is the left always criticizing my Republican values? Don’t they know that it’s my culture?

Who are they to judge someone else’s culture?

I’m joking, sort of, but it is strange how the left shows enormous tolerance for the peculiar ways of folks overseas but so very little for the beliefs of their own countrymen. Seems to me that charity should start at home.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 6, 2006 5:56 PM
Comment #186759

I think you’re missing one huge point: Islam isn’t the problem, so criticism of Islam would not be the solution. The probelm is fundamentalism versus progress. The treatment of women in more advanced Muslim countries such as Turkey or Egypt is completely different than in Iran or Syria. There are fundamentalist Christian movements who believe it is wrong for women to work, that their place is at home raising children. What is the difference? Mostly the stage of societal evolution each is at, but as the recent spotlight on polygamy shows it can be very difficult if not impossible to convince women who have been mistreated in the name of religion that they are in fact being mistreated.

Posted by: David S at October 6, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #186762

I know of no one who defends the subordination of women … well, let me rephrase that. I know of no liberal who defends the subordination of women or selective abortion.

I don’t get the point here. Who is afraid to criticize Islam? For that matter, who here knows enough beyond sound bites to say anything intelligent about Islam? Read the comments about Islam here on Watchblog — even with my own inadequate understanding, I can perceive that people select “evidence” to reinforce their foregone conclusions. There are a few here, I know, who seem to have a deeper understanding, but let’s face it — most Christians are woefully ignorant of their own sacred texts, let alone those of other religions.

Once again, I think there is a confusion here. Trying to understand something does not per force means one accepts it.

What is the point of this article? Is it an attempt to justify the wrongheaded policies of the current administration? If there, there is a fallacy here — supporting Western values does not go hand in hand with supporting this country’s inept foreign policy.

Posted by: Trent at October 6, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #186764

David S, what fundamentalist Christian movements believe it is wrong for a woman to work and that she must stay at home raising children? Sounds like you’re imagining things.

If such a movement actually exists outside of left-wing stereotypes, it’s a tiny and irrelevant fringe group somewhere in the desert or the mountains of Idaho. Something that most Christian fundamentalists have never even heard of, much less subscribe to.

I don’t know much about Turkey, but in Egypt a husband can file a paper at the airport to forbid his wife from leaving the country for any reason. An Egyptian woman can get a divorce if and only if she agrees that she has no right to her husband’s money or other assets. And Egypt is actually a leader in the treatment of women in the Muslim world.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 6, 2006 6:30 PM
Comment #186768

Jack said: “However as a society we cannot allow ourselves to be crippled by our imperfections.”

We also must not allow other nation’s treatment of women distract us from our moral obligation to women right here at home. It’s fine to recognize women don’t have it good in other nations. It is abominable that we continue to have the problems with treatment of women here at home. Acknowledge elsewhere, but, work on it here at home where it the problem and the solutions are far more readily avaialble to us if only we have the will.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 6, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #186770

Carlo said: “You’re making an assumption that there is a perfect society that we should all compare ourselves to. “

Wrong, right out of the gate! I make no assumption like that at all nor even imply one. You are seeing things that are not there. The only assumption I make is that we can do more to remedy the rapes, incest, and murders of our women here at home.

A reasonable assumption, I might add.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 6, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #186771

Neo Con,

Thats my entire point, people live and die by their excessive attachment to cultures. If we want to talk about specific behaviors, then I agree, but when we start talking about our culture being superior, or their culture being inferior, we’re missing the entire point. A culture is a set of behaviors thats is shared comunally for whatever reason, and it serves a function. The moment it ceases to be functional, it should be changed, which is hard to do, but it should not be treated as an attack on the culture itself.

If you want to change people, you have to be cautious about it. Just last night I was reading about the first women’s centers set up around Baghdad under the CPA. The night of the grand opening of the one in Baghdad ended with the private security guard having his throat slit and grenades being lobbed into it. The others were also soon attacked. Why? Because Iraqis saw it as an attempt by the west to infiltrate their women and destroy their culture and values. Also, at that point anything associated with the USA was targetted for destruction.

So how do we solve this problem? I don’t really know, its not as though we have any means to change the way women are treated in these countries. In the case of China, the population controls they have taken were never intended to favor one gender or the other, but in an ironic way, this very bad occurence (far too many men) is exactly what they are looking for. By reducing the ration of men to women, they guarantee the population will start to shrink in the next generation, faster than they originally planned. Granted, a fast decrease in population isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t necessarily good either. China’s population should never be as high as it is now, and in other parts of the world action will soon need to be taken for the same reason. At a certain point, population in a third world country cannot be supported by its resources.

So, what are your solutions everybody?

Posted by: iandanger at October 6, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #186774

Jack,

All your posts are good but this one was a cut above the rest. Reading some of the comments to your post it makes me wonder why I even read this board.
Trent writes:

I don’t get the point here. Who is afraid to criticize Islam?

I guess the answer Trent would be any public figure such as a journalist, politician, film maker, or even Pope who values his life.

As for Davids comment:

Whoa, there bud! You had better do a little homework on rape, incest, and assault by American men on American women before you try to take a moral high ground for the treatment of women in America.

Maybe you could do a poll of women you know and ask them if they would prefer to live in a Muslim society as opposed to a western society. Somehow I think they will agree that the moral high ground belongs to the West but just my opinion.

Posted by: Carnak at October 6, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #186775

Jack,

As usual, a fundamentally good post. Too bad, as usual, you throw in unsubstantiated talking points “Many non-western cultures face a growing shortage of women” was not supported in your link, neither have I heard of that interpretaion in any respected publication. I will applaud your effort at highlighting the abuse of women in many countries despite your “white mans burden” and attempt to assign “goodness” to “christian fundamentalism” to “western values” contortion. Beware of throwing stones in glass houses dude.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 6, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #186776

sorry, meant to say “institutionalized abuse of women”

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 6, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #186778

Dave1-20-09

Where are you coming from, “dude”? I couldn’t find reference in Jack’s posts to “white man’s burden” or any reference which suggested he was attempting “to assign “goodness” to “christian fundamentalism””

Posted by: Don at October 6, 2006 8:11 PM
Comment #186782

Trent

The woman in the article was not afraid to criticize some of the practices associated with Islam and she got death threats. The Pope quoted a Byzantine emperor and a riots and the a nun was murdered. A 200-year-old Mozart opera was cancelled in Berlin after threats from Muslim groups. Cartoons published in Denmark resulted in dozens of deaths. Those are just what I can think of without thinking much. You could walk through the Vatican with a T-shirt making fun of Jesus. You would have an excellent chance of NOT being assaulted. Try doing the same thing about Mohammed in Mecca. We all know that a reasonable person IS afraid of Muslim extremism. Those same guys who proudly display at piss Christ or a manure Mary would not dare do the same to Islam.

David

Re treatment of women in the U.S. Women do just fine here. We have problems of violence, as any society does. These things are illegal. Let’s not pretend things are so bad.

Iandanger

I do worry a bit about these ratios. I don’t know how many men this excess represents, but given the Chinese population a bet it is about 100 million. Do you think that many men are just going to accept not having women? We have never before faced a situation like this. The only analogy I can think of is the legend of ancient Rome and the rape of the Sabine women. The population of Rome back then was probably in the dozens. What will 100 million horny Chinese guys do?

Dave 1-20-09

I thought the gender ratio issue was general knowledge. You can read this about China (or Google gender ratio china or gender ratio India).

Re burdens and fundamentalism, while I am fond of some Kipling stories, I don’t subscribe to his general philosophy and neither am I a fundamentalist.

Posted by: Jack at October 6, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #186789

Ah well, I guess I haven’t read dozens of articles and comments here slamming Islam, usually by quoting a few selected passages from the Koran.

Posted by: Trent at October 6, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #186797

David R. Remer,

You state:

“You had better do a little homework on rape, incest, and assault by American men on American women before you try to take a moral high ground for the treatment of women in America.”

What exactly are you implying here if not that because we are not perfect we do not have the ability to judge others?? Your implication is that we need to be perfect before we can judge others and that is garbage. As I stated, since there is no perfect society we have only ourselves to compare against…..and we come out shining compared to other societies.
Th real point of Jack’s article is ponting out what someone from another culture; namely Islam, is saying about the abuse present in Islam and how those in Western Culture seem to have no fear of criticizing their own culture, where women enjoy more freedoms and equalities than anywhere else in the world, and yet fail to criticize other cultures where abuse exists in amounts that far outrival what happens here in America (or most 1st world Western Nations). Your claims about the “abuse” suffered here in our Nation is exactly the type of bahvior that Ms. Ali points out and condemns……a refusal to point out and criticize the more common, real and FREQUENT abuses of women by other cultures.

Posted by: Carlo at October 6, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #186802

Carlo, it’s a very interesting liberal reaction, isn’t it?

Because we live in a society where rape, though illegal and harshly punished, has not been 100% eradicated, we have no right to question the cultures of those who perform legally-sanctioned female gentital-mutilation and honor killings.

The liberals, however, tend not to hold themselves to such high standards. In fact, I have a liberal neighbor who does not properly seperate his recyclables at the curb but nevertheless makes some very harsh remarks about industrial polluters.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 6, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #186805

Actually, Neo-Con, I hold this country to far higher standards than you appear to. It’s heartwarming that suddenly the right cares about women, but we have greatest influence on things in our own country. Protect the Constitution, treat prisoners with some basic dignities, support intelligent and moral people for leadership — do these things and then I’ll listen to your concerns about human rights in other countries. All this rhetorical and political posturing rings very, very hollow.

Posted by: Trent at October 6, 2006 11:22 PM
Comment #186813

Trent -

“treat prisoners with some basic dignities”

…usual list of false issues…

What basic dignities are missing for 99.5% of the prisoners?

Or are you talking about the few cases where problems ONCE existed and small number of prisoners who were ONCE mishandled? Where’s your evidence that they are STILL being mishandled?

So, stop with the old news.

Posted by: Don at October 6, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #186815

Carank uttered the funny comment: “Maybe you could do a poll of women you know and ask them if they would prefer to live in a Muslim society as opposed to a western society.”

Maybe you could do a poll of American women and ask them if they believe men in America have tremendous room for growth and development on improving their treatment of women right here in the U.S.A.

But that would reframe your perspective and argument and you wouldn’t want to do that, now would you, especially not for American women.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 7, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #186816

Neo Con Pilsner flapped: “Because we live in a society where rape, though illegal and harshly punished, has not been 100% eradicated, we have no right to question the cultures of those who perform legally-sanctioned female gentital-mutilation and honor killings.”

First, show me where anyone on the left said we have no right to question other cultures? Absurd on its face.

Second, “not been 100% eradicated” ? Here are a few facts you should observe:

# One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 10% of sexual assault victims are men.

# In 2003-2004, there were an average annual 204,370 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.

# About 44% of rape victims are under age 18, and 80% are under age 30.

The GOOD NEWS is rape, incest, and sexual assault are on the decline. Let’s keep it that way by not losing our focus on making improving women’s rights here in the good ole’ USA, eh? No harm in keeping on eye on what is happening to women elsewhere, as long as we keep the trend moving downward here at home.

My underage daughter’s assaulter is still dodging trial here in Texas, roaming free to assault other girls, which he has, now 3 YEARS AFTER he was indicted. Texas has bigger fish to fry like pot smokers and demonstrators along side the roads.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 7, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #186818

David, you’re on. Why don’t we just do that little poll of American women then and see what they think of American men?

If you think that anything close to a majority of American women has anything but enormous and reciprocated love, respect and honor for their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands, then you’re in for a giant surprise. And the key word there is “reciprocated.”

A poll of American women asking them if they thought men had room for “improvement” would show complaints about toilet seats left up, about loafing around watching football on Sunday afternoons. Perhaps they would express a wish that their husbands would share more in the housework.

But honor killings? Burqas? The right to own property? To enter into legal contracts? To own businesses? To drive cars? Genital mutilation? To attend college? To hold public office? To vote?

Your extremely dogmatic and negative view of not only the relationships between American men and women but America itself is totally out of touch with reality.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 7, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #186821

David Remer flapped: “First, show me where anyone on the left said we have no right to question other cultures? Absurd on its face.”

Exhibit A: David Remer’s post, the very first one in this thread, in which he complains about Jack having claimed a “moral high ground” for America when Jack merely pointed out that a woman herself had decided to move to what SHE-not Jack—believed was a friendlier environment in America.

Flapped David: “Whoa, there bud! You had better do a little homework on rape, incest, and assault by American men on American women before you try to take a moral high ground…”

Perhaps David should direct this criticism to the woman herself instead of Jack, as David obviously feels that this prominent and heroic women’s rights activist has placed herself in imminent danger of being raped by American men now that she’s been so foolish as to flee persecution in Europe and the Middle East.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 7, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #186825

Wow! Great replies Neo-Con. Also, Carnak Awesome.

Posted by: andy at October 7, 2006 1:58 AM
Comment #186828

David,

I think that you’re making a false comparison when you refer to the abuses women suffer in America. While I think that no one will deny that women do suffer these abuses, the difference is that in America and the West in general, they are reviled for it. No man can simply abuse a woman in the ways you described and hope to just get away with it. Neo-con Pilsner is correct, the aberrant and abhorrent behavior of some American men is not comparable to societies that condone and encourage abuses far more violent.

The problem today is that political correctness and moral relativism make it increasingly difficult for Americans and Westerners to defend our values. David is correct about the negative aspects of our own culture, but that doesn’t mean its wrong. People the world over would love to live in America or Europe and part of it is the very material prosperity David blasts. The PC hacks have made being white equivalent to being a crime and so saddled us with white guilt that many refuse to take pride in our culture and notice the good things. Western culture has been responsible for terrible injustices, but we’ve also been strong enough to recognize them, something that not too many other cultures seem interested in doing nowadays. A sense of regret for past mistakes should not dissuade us for standing up for our own culture which pioneered the ideas of democracy and inalienable rights to begin with.

Also, I disagree with your assessment of the military. Have women faced discrimination and harassment? Yes. Has the military stepped up and done the right thing about it? By and large yes. Having worked in both the civilian sector and the military, I will tell you that the military has far less problems with racial or sexual issues than I think does our society as a whole. In fact, I think the military’s record on these issues can go against any corporation or other government agency out there and come out on top.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 7, 2006 2:53 AM
Comment #186831

White guilt can be an effective deterrent against standing up for what is right. But now, there are less white americans and less guilt. America has always been a force for good in this world. I am proud of my country. Dont let your guilt drag me down.

Posted by: JoeRWC at October 7, 2006 3:17 AM
Comment #186833

Jack,

I am confused here. I thought you lived in Virginia. Apparently you live in a country where it is not possible to criticize Islam. (Iran, maybe?) Here in the United States, the extremist elements of Islam are frequently criticized in the popular media.

The brave people who proudly stand up to Christian fundamentalists but give Islam a free pass…

If it seems like liberals are over-concerned about Christian fundamentalists, it probably has something to do with the fact that they run the frigging country at the moment. Sure the radical Muslims could blow me up, but they aren’t in Washington, DC making policy. Well, not directly anyway…

So to sum up: Muslim extremists are bad. Christian extremists are bad. The former blow things up. The latter make legislation. Both inspire fear and opposition in the Left but it manifests itself in different ways, because they are different types of threats.

Speaking of women’s rights, consider this list of countries that haven’t ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW): Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Nauru, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Tonga, Saudi Arabia… and the United States.

Do I need to tell you that it is the cultural conservatives in this country who see eye-to-eye with the Muslim states on this one?


Posted by: Woody Mena at October 7, 2006 7:20 AM
Comment #186839
So to sum up: Muslim extremists are bad. Christian extremists are bad. The former blow things up. The latter make legislation.

So making legislation is now equivalent to murdering people in the left’s view. Where are all these Christian fundamentalists in congress? Can you name one?

Posted by: Duane-o at October 7, 2006 7:52 AM
Comment #186840

Duane-o,

I’m not saying their equivalent. It’s apples and oranges. Both are legitimate causes of concern. Let me put it this way: Suppose it’s January 2009, and the Democrats now control both houses of Congress and the White House. Are you concerned about the legislation they will pass in regard to taxes, health care, abortion, etc., or is your mind so focused on Islamic terrorists that you ignore these concerns?

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 7, 2006 8:00 AM
Comment #186841

Oh to answer your challenge: Trent Lott, Rick Santorum.

I’m sure there are many more but life is too short…

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 7, 2006 8:04 AM
Comment #186843

I guess I should have written “Evangelicals” instead of fundamentalists because Santorum is Catholic like those fundamentalists Kennedy and Kerry from Massachussetts, and Trent Lott is a Southern Baptist, making Al Gore a Christian Fundamentalist as well. As to your fantasyland in 2009, you will first have to find a way to gain a majority in this country, and if you do, you won’t be able to keep it very long if you start passing legislation that strikes fear in the hearts of Christians.

Posted by: Duane-o at October 7, 2006 8:21 AM
Comment #186846

Duane-o,

We’re are talking about how people read the Bible in regard to political issues, not which denomination they belong to. As your examples show, people can belong to the same denomination and have pretty different views.

you won’t be able to keep it very long if you start passing legislation that strikes fear in the hearts of Christians.

You have made my point. In such an environment, right-wing Christians would still be concerned with other things besides terrorism.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 7, 2006 8:42 AM
Comment #186849

Woody,

You, and Rosie O’Donnell, put Christian fundamentalists and Islamic radicals in the same sentence, saying they were both dangerous to you. With the evangelicals you are in danger of legislation which may make you uncomfortable, with the Islamic radicals you are in danger of becoming room temperature.

Posted by: Duane-o at October 7, 2006 8:51 AM
Comment #186851

Neo-Con Pilsner, you still haven’t shown where anyone on the left has said we shouldn’t question what happens in other cultures.

And, I am not a leftie, so that makes you wrong on that count twice by quoting me.

Third, there are millions of miles of American soil where women dare not walk alone in the evening. Is it better in terms of human rights here than in some other places, of course. But, too, there are other places where it is far better than here, as well. Hence my reference to Jack’s taking the moral high ground. If relativity is involved, then our moral high ground is not so high as others in places like China, and some N.E. European nations, where women can and do feel safer walking alone wherever they choose.

Our girls are not even safe in their schools, for Buddha’s sake, where they are molested and murdered by homegrown suicide terrorists.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 7, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #186854

Duane-o,

I said both kinds of extremists were “bad”, not dangerous. And it was JACK who put them in the same sentence. Quoth Jack:

The brave people who proudly stand up to Christian fundamentalists but give Islam a free pass …

I keep repeating the same point, and you are either being deliberately obtuse or really don’t get it. Let me try one more time. To paraphrase what you wrote: With the liberals you are in danger of legislation which may make you uncomfortable, with the Islamic radicals you are in danger of becoming room temperature.

But the right-wing is concerned with both, no?

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 7, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #186855
If relativity is involved, then our moral high ground is not so high as others in places like China,where women can and do feel safer walking alone wherever they choose.

Unless of course, if said women are found to be pregnant with a second child, in which case they will be taken against their will and be forced to have an abortion.

Posted by: Duane-o at October 7, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #186858

David

Women live longer. They make up 56% of the people in college. Men are more likely to be murdered or injured on the job. I wrote a post about why men earn more. We can always treat people better in general, but the idea that women are systematically oppressed in the U.S. is an outdated concept.

We may differ about the METHOD for improving things. When addressing any problem, I believe you have to assess both strengths and weaknesses. It does no particular good to just look at the half empty glass. You need to put more time and energy into solving the most acute problems AND real problems. For example, we spent a lot of useless energy in the 1990s talking about how to help girls academically in grade school. This is not a problem. Girls do very well. Do not pretend we have that problem. The problem of assault is a real one, but it is not evenly spread. There are riskier groups and riskier situations. You go after the most dangerous ones first.

Re Islam and women - this is rapidly becoming an American problem. We have to be ready to address it in Muslim immigrant populations. These people are in America and subject to our laws. How sensitive do we want to be to cultural differences? There is currently an outcry in Holland where some people want to create separate hospital wards for Muslims where the sexes would be segregated. This is the kind of tolerance we should not show.

BTW - boy and girls are murdered and molested. It is not a gender issue. The pervs attack children because they are weak and vulnerable. Boys are more likely to be victims of violence. More than 75% of the underage murder victims are male, for example. I certainly support the death penalty for anyone who murders a child. It doesn’t do much good against someone who plans to kill himself anyway. As a parent of both genders, I worry about such things, but what to do about it is not a gender issue.

Woody

I criticize some practices of Islam and I do it with impunity because I am DO live in a free country AND I am not a very important person. But we clearly self censor. All these guys with their piss Christ do no dare to that to Mohammed. Have you ever seen (or heard about) a piss Mohammed? Don’t get me wrong. I am offended by piss Christ and would be offended if someone did that to Islam. But there is clearly a double standard.

Re UN ratifications, I don’t think we need such a thing.

Posted by: Jack at October 7, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #186863

Jack,

You can always find double-standards if you look hard enough. But think of this way: Would you rather be caught in a dark alley wearing a turban or a crucifix? In 99% of the US, I would go with the crucifix.

People talk about “Piss Christ” as if it was the cultural event of the twentieth century. It was one photograph. Which guys are you talking about anyway? You make it sound like dunking crucifixes in urine is a common activity. As far as I know, no one has done it since 1988.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 7, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #186866

Here is a listing of various human rights organizations across the world, including Amnesty International. It doesn’t appear to include the Carter Center, though.

Posted by: Trent at October 7, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #186872

Woody

I would not want to be in that dark alley. You are talking about criminals. Let’s talk about just being on the street or in the workplace.

The west is simply speaking more tolerant of diversity than other places.

Posted by: Jack at October 7, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #186877

Jack, of course the west is more tolerant of diversity. That’s our strength. Is anyone debating that? If the left objects to cultural comparisons, it’s because it suspects the right is merely engaging in a rhetorical ploy to somehow justify the very atrocious actions this country has been guilty of. It’s essentially saying, well, we’re not as bad as everything else, as if that is the standard. It’s not. The standard is the ideals we supposedly adhere to in the United States, and how far we have fallen short of those ideals. Some of the very people here who pooh-pooh the torture of prisoners or this administration’s attempts to circumvent or rewrite the international conventions on torture are now suddenly concerned with human rights? Sorry, it doesn’t wash. You are much more thoughtful, Jack, than most of your peers in this column, so I can believe that you are genuinely interested in human rights, but some of these others — their newfound concern is merely more patriotic rah-rahs. Frankly, it’s disgusting. Despite all the moral arguments against torture, it is also unreliable on more pragmatic grounds. Hell, much of the “intelligence” from ali-Libi, reportedly obtained through “harsh” interrogation techniques, was bogus, a fact known while the administration was repeating it ad naseum to rally support.

Concern for human rights in other countries is laudable, and the left, which you call morally relativistic, has been involved in that cause for a long, long time. But we have our own house to get in order. We have a president making executive branch power grabs, who violates the Constitution, who has played into extremists’s hands to a degree they probably never hoped for. Where was the talk for human rights when the right cheered on the destruction of Lebanon, the death of thousands of innocents, the displacement of hundreds of thousands? It just rings so very hollow to hear the right now pat itself on the back for being concerned about human rights. So, yeah, I see it as a cheap political ploy to further justify the disastrous and shortsighted policies of this godawful president.

Posted by: Trent at October 7, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #186881

Jack said: “We can always treat people better in general, but the idea that women are systematically oppressed in the U.S. is an outdated concept.”

According to you. Millions and millions of men and women in America disagree with you wholeheartedly. The fact that female oppression has vastly improved since WWII, does not make the current level oppression via wages, sexual harassment, job discrimination, marital status discrimination OUTDATED!

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 7, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #186885

Duane-O,

“Unless of course, if said women are found to be pregnant with a second child, in which case they will be taken against their will and be forced to have an abortion.”

Good or bad, there was a reason for that decision.

China has a population that is more than 4 times that of the United States, yet is geographically only slightly larger.
It’s a matter of survival.


Some one on this thread, proposed that we should fear Muslim extremists.

Why?

Because they wish our death?

Personally, I don’t feel the need to fear either the extremists, or death.

To quote Herbert; “Fear is the mind killer”.

Fear allows only for the thought of that which you fear, and by doing so allows those you fear to defeat you more easily.
Death, on the other hand, no matter how hard we work to eliminate it, is inevitable.
Death happens.


Jack,

To say that American culture is the best doesn’t allow for any improvement.
The American culture is made up from many cultures.
E PLURIBUS UNUM, remember that?

David is mostly correct. While women have made great gains in our society, these gains are only recent in American history.
To think that we can drag other cultures, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, and have them adhere to Western ideals no matter how noble, may be a fool’s errand.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t attempt it, but we certainly shouldn’t expect it to be easy.

Posted by: Rocky at October 7, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #186887

I loved this post, as I feel like I’ve just entered a male high school locker room.

Jack,

Re: treatment of women in the U.S. Women do just fine here. We have problems of violence, as any society does. These things are illegal. Let�s not pretend things are so bad.

and
Carlo
There are far more instances of men’s careers being ruined due to false allegations made by women of:
1. Harrasment
2. Rape
3. Discrimination
Seems to me it is you who needs to do a little homework. You’ve done nothing more than spout myth and rhetoric. Jack’s piece was fair and accurate.

And your points are what? Just because women in the US live better here than in the Middle East makes the treatment of women here fine and dandy? What country do you live in any way?!!! Are you guys sure you live in the USA?

David R. Remer came the closest of all of you to tring to show how women are treated in this country.

While I totally agree that women in the US have much better lives than those in many natons,Jack, I would hardly say that we

do just fine here.

Carlo, please site you resources or references for your statement ,

far more instances of men’s careers being ruined due to false allegations.
I find that a hard statement to swallow.

I’ve been discrimnated by colleges, local chian restaurants, had sexual remarks that threaten my job, and simply made me very uncomfortable in my work eniviroment, and been phyically assaulted and threatened.

While in college I was told that “…since women are so much smarter than boys,…” the multiple choice test I handed in should have had MORE imformation than what the men had filled out.

I’ve been told “you can’t lift that mop or clean the mens’ room… or clean the windows…”, and then if I asked who cleans the bathrooms and windows at home at home? Recieved no answer in reply.

Those are merely two of the very mild acts of that have taken place in my life.

Anyone ever heard of the the glass celing?

I don’t even want to discuss rape, incest, or violence with you guys.

While it was great to read how all the men here are horriflied by the horrible basic enslavement of Islamic women, I suggest that you might try talking to your wives and girlfriends at home before you start trying to compare them with us. You might need to clean up your own acts first.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to support the movements to help women everywhere to gain the humanity and respect they so rightly deserve. Not just the Islamic women, but all women, here and aboard.

It’s always nice to discuss wrongs, but much harder to correct them.

Posted by: Linda H. at October 7, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #186889

Yes, David, I disagree with these millions of people you mention. I do not think gender discrimination is a significant net problem for women. That does not mean that women do not suffer discrimination, but so do men. When I graduated with my MBA, several firms interviewed ALL the women before any of the men. One of my female colleagues had a job offer from a firm I wanted to join BEFORE I had my first interview. We all - men & women - could make long lists, which probably indicates things are in balance.

Rocky and David

I don’t want to drag these cultures into the 21st Century, but I don’t want them to drag me back to the 12th. If I go to the deserts of Arabia, I will be subject to their rules. When they are in the U.S. they are subject to ours. We have the choice of how much we want to tolerate. My belief is that we should merely treat everyone the same under the law and let everything else take care of itself.

Linda H

I have heard of the glass ceiling, but never actually seen it. It might be like those problems girls have in school, so that only 56% of college students are female. Or maybe its is like that inferior health care that lets women live only six years longer than men on average. Or it could be those tough work conditions that allow three times as many men to be killed or injured in industrial accidents.

Rape, incest and violence against women are all illegal. I am against them. I have never known anybody to support them. I have never done any of them and do not tolerate those who do. You can talk about them, but I don’t know what you would say to disagree with me.

Posted by: Jack at October 7, 2006 2:38 PM
Comment #186892

Jack:

You quote this woman:

“Cultural and moral relativists sap our sense of moral outrage by claiming that human rights are a Western invention. Men who abuse women rarely fail to use the vocabulary the relativists have provided them. They claim the right to adhere to an alternative set of values - an “Asian”, “African” or “Islamic” approach to human rights.”

and Bingo - all “cultural relativists,” by which you mean liberals, are the cause of women hatred.

But we see that conservatives, especially those who have firm convictions, who hate women. Look no further than the extremists in Islam and the way they treat their women. Then look at the Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. and see how they subordinate women to men.

Liberals believe in freedom for all - men and women alike. Extreme conservatives believe that a woman should know her place.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at October 7, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #186897

Jack,

“If I go to the deserts of Arabia, I will be subject to their rules.”

And that is how it should be.

If you went to Mexico, you would be subject to Mexican law, as anyone that has been in a Mexican jail can tell you.
Likewise in France, Brittan, Israel, and so forth.
You’ve traveled enough to know that.

My point is that, many on the right accuse Liberals of being elitist.
How could expecting other countries to adhere to America’s laws be any different?

Hell, in this country, laws are different from city to city, and state to state.

You can’t expect the same freedoms in other countries if we can’t even agree on them in our own.

Posted by: Rocky at October 7, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #186910

Since the dems have had so many sex scandals they should have nothing to say about Foley, right? Because our society is better than others or the best doesn’t mean we don’t have room to improve. I have yet to read anyone on the right say we are perfect and speaking from on high to the lowly sinners. Must the left disagree with everything from the right just for the sake of disagreeing.

Posted by: lllplus2 at October 7, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #186911

lllplus2,

“Since the dems have had so many sex scandals they should have nothing to say about Foley, right?”

What the hell does that mean?

Just because the Dems are just as guilty, it makes it ok for the Reps as well?

A pox on both your houses.

Posted by: Rocky at October 7, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #186912

BTW,

“Because our society is better than others or the best doesn’t mean we don’t have room to improve.”

Do you know the definition of “best”?

Best is the apex, there is no better than best, you can’t improve on “the best”.

It’s kind of like giving 110%.
You only have 100%, that’s all you have, you can’t give more.

Posted by: Rocky at October 7, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #186916

Rocky, it is called sarcasm. BTW, if you got a 95% on a test and that was the highest score, you were the best on that test. Do you still have room to improve? It seems there is 5% improvement left. In sports the best team tries to improve themselves to stay on top. Best does not equal perfect.

Webster’s
best, most good;having qualities in the highest degree; exceeding all others.

perfect, finished; complete; faultless.

Posted by: lllplus2 at October 7, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #186920

lllplus2,

So what you’re saying is that your definition of “the best” is “at best” relative?

Isn’t that kind of like saying “we’re the best, but we could be better”?

Posted by: Rocky at October 7, 2006 10:41 PM
Comment #186927

Rocky, do you not read the complete post. I answered your question before you asked it. Are the words I am using too big for you? We are all human and not God. There is always room for improvement. The “best human” is still flawed.

Posted by: lllplus2 at October 7, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #186929

lllplus2,

“perfect, finished; complete; faultless”

Were those your words or mine?

Posted by: Rocky at October 7, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #186931

that was the definition of perfect in webster’s. Finished; complete; fautless. Best and perfect are not the same thing.

Posted by: lllplus2 at October 7, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #187000

Jack, Jack, Jack,

Of course you’ve never seen the glass ceiling. It’s never been a problem for you!
Even my 26 year old daughter, with a 4.0 law degree from Duke has already found the glass ceiling in the district attorney’s office where she currently works.

YaYaYa… If women in the USA have it so good, then how come we’re paid less that a male of equal stature, we’ve never had a female president, ( excluding Hillary :->) a female vice president, we’re still fighting who controls our bodies, women or men, finding a women doctor can be next to impossible, and women in the military are still considered ‘odd’.

I do not and will not play the gender game with you.

This is a subject that you will never be understand, simply because you are male, just as I can not understand being male. Many women don’t want to go to war, or can physically do some of the dangerous jobs men do. But heaven forbid if a woman tries!!!

Just remember who changes the bandages when someone gets gets injured from the industrial accidents. Remember who ran this country during WWII? The women who made sure there were airplane parts, food, clothing, bandages,kept kept the farms going, etc. The same women who were told to go home and be good little wives.

However the man who cares for his family, stands straight and tall and has nothing to fear doesn’t have to fight the gender war. (Neither does the same type of woman.) He respects women as his counter-part, and does not have to be afraid simply because many women will be living on very tight incomes for 6 years longer than their husbands.

Just maybe there’s a reason women live longer - who knows - maybe in the long run it’s to clean up the mess. ;->

Posted by: Linda H. at October 8, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #187006

Linda H,

I don’t think your assessment of women in the military is accurate. Women are treated with respect and it is understood that sexual harrassment and assault will not be tolerated. Its not perfect, but I do think women have just as good, if not a better shot, at advancing in rank to positions of senior leadership as in any sector in the civilian world.

I also have to disagree with your beliefs about why women live longer. I’ve always figured it was because they ran their men into early graves.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 8, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #187013

Women are the majority in our country. If you are looking for more and higher ranked female elected officials look in the mirror. You control the vote. Mondale gave you a chance and he got murdered at the polls.

Posted by: lllplus2 at October 8, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #187030

For that matter, there are more women college students — I forget the exact number, but think it’s about 56 percent now.

Patriarchy isn’t just a male thing. I’ve been shocked recently to hear some of my female students say they don’t think a woman can handle the presidency. When I mention Margaret Thatcher to these 19 year olds, they look at me in puzzlement. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m much more of a feminist than the average female college freshman.

Posted by: Trent at October 8, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #187051

Jack,

A brief reply:

1 - China + India is not “Many non-western”. Although, those two countrires clearly make up for a lot of people and I think many of the Chinese girls end up getting adopted here. (fortunately for them)

2 - The implications of your post, when combined with prior posts, are that christian western “values” are superior.

If I were to reply narrowly to individual articles that would take aways some of its value, don’t you think?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 8, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #187053

Jack

I agree with you that religiously motivated beliefs about the relative value of humans is an evil. Best you and your conservative buddies dump all those right-wing fundamentalists you are addicted to in order to maintain your power.

One trick you guys always use is to point to others and say they are much worse. How many times have I heard a conservative pundit say that it’s okay that we torture, because some terrorists have cut off people’s heads. Of course, those incidents followed the early revelations that CIA torture killed several suspects in custody, the first found to have had their legs beaten to a pulp until heart failure ensued. Give me a beheading any day.

But back to the main point. Saying that there are worse people in the world than us does not give us the moral high ground. Try to keep in mind that we are the richest, most powerful nation on earth. We need to hold ourselves to the highest standard, not just better than the worst out there. Sabe?

Posted by: mental wimp at October 8, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #187066

Exactly right, mental wimp. Our ideals as expressed in our founding documents should be our standard.

Posted by: Trent at October 9, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #187076

Duane-O,

“Unless of course, if said women terrorists are found to be pregnant with a second child having intelligence vital to preventing another attack, in which case they will be taken against their will and be forced to have an abortion waterboarded.”

Good or bad, there was a reason for that decision.

So, you can see the reasoning behind forced abortions on innocent Chinese women, but pouring water in the face of Khalid Sheikh Mohammad is so cruel and should be stopped?

Posted by: Duane-o at October 9, 2006 7:36 AM
Comment #187082

In Countries like SA, Egypt, Yeman, ect. many women are shatels because of the culture of Islam. This eats at them. Not too long ago many cultures left their girls out in the elements or sold them. I have a dear friend in Israel whose real Chinese parents left her in the market of Shanghi, during the 1960’s. An American couple found her and after a lot of investigation, never finding the biological parents, the Goverment allowed an adoption.
I know of woman in the Sudan who were forced to be “circumsized” (Let me tell you it is a bloody mess and many women who under go it get massive infections.) This act is to dull the womans pleasure. Many of the fundamental groups want women for sex, to procreate, but other wise silent and unseen.
Many of you talk about rape and harassment in western culture. In reality it is rare. Those cases where the men are caught up with becomes a media and legal circus. I don’t think a rapist has been exicuted since Chessman.
Another thing is misunderstood by many in the west. Judaism, stripped of “Western values” has a quite unique place for women. It is hoped that after she achives her “majority” That she will remain “pure” for her husband. Many marriages are arranged by the members of your social circle. I know one person who arranges marriages for close to 50 years, close to a thousand, reciently she had 2 divorces, up to 1996, she had 4 divorces in her group. She arranged my marriage which lasted over 25 years.
When you look at Islam on the ground, there are all flavours and colours - Like Judaism or Christianity. The militants need ignorent and scared people to follow them. Their theroies of life and politics go back to the sack of Damascus and Bagdad - they represent a truth in Islam but have carried it too far. What happens to a culture that implodes? Sunni and Shea have never seen eye to eye. Each has its place for you, me, its women and children. It is a place made out of their search for meaning and order. Do we have a better way? I believe we do in many aspects. We are not w/o problems or what you call sin. Life is a journey of trying to make sense about the world we live in. These last 2 centuries has brought challenges to old communities - but the so called “modern” man has a lot to ingest from his past and the path he took with his cultural grouping. Remember primitive is a socio-political lable one culture gives another if the humanity and cultural worth is denied.
K

Posted by: Kuzriel at October 9, 2006 8:08 AM
Comment #187092

Dave 1 20

Let me write something more about western values in a different post.

Posted by: Jack at October 9, 2006 9:42 AM
Comment #187100
I’ve always figured it was because they ran their men into early graves. Posted by: 1LT B at October 8, 2006 03:14 PM
Finally, something I can agree with a conservative on 100% — lol Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 9, 2006 10:10 AM
Comment #187104

Dave 1-20-09,

I figured I’d get roasted for being a chauvanistic pig. Good to see some sense of humor from the left on this. On a more serious note, we do judge cultures on a daily basis, whether we say so explicitly or not. While we all share a common American culture, different people view it differently. To many liberals, conservatives are a bunch of fundamentalist, homophobes who think a woman’s place is in the kitchen cooking dinner while they sit on the couch drinking beer and watching the NASCAR race. By the same token, I can be judgemental of liberals. However, we do share common values that we universally regard as being of value that are part of our culture. Our judgements about the role of women in Islam is based on what our own culture says about the value of women and what are appropriate roles for them. By our own standards, the role of women in Islam is not the right one, but this is a cultural judgement. Slice it however you want it, but saying that women are not given a proper place in Islamic culture compares it negatively to western culture, which is an explicit judgement. This doesn’t mean that we are wrong, but it I think it is impossible to make a statement like women are mistreated in Islam without some sort of judgement making Islamic culture inferior to the West.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 9, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #187112

I think it is impossible to make a statement like women are mistreated in Islam without some sort of judgement making Islamic culture inferior to the West.
Posted by: 1LT B at October 9, 2006 10:27 AM
______________________________________________

Remember primitive is a socio-political lable one culture gives another if the humanity and cultural worth is denied.
K
Posted by: Kuzriel at October 9, 2006 08:08 AM
_________________________________________________
I believe both these folks are correct in some respects. Even so, why is it wrong to judge, given Islam’s treatment of women in the present? Perhaps a millenia ago Islam was correct in their societal ways, but they have not evolved from that. Do we ignore the present and live in the past? No. We are far from perfect, but unlike some, I believe our culture is enlightened and certainly chose to evolve.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at October 9, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #187127

LT,

I could agree IFF you would agree that we are talking about elements of a culture. There are many fundamentalist christians in this nation who would approve of some of the Taliban edicts. E.g. Prohibition, no premarital sex, criminalization of homosexuality, etc…
Culture is too complex to simplify into sound bites and talking points. Those bites and points are only used to prejudice. An example: The GOP political talking points against “the decline of family values” to me is 80% nonsense and judges one set of values as superior to another with no justification other than perspective. Seminoles point of “enlightened” is one I would support. To me that means the further enabling of individuals to live freely and reach their highest potential.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 9, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #187178

Dave,

Actually, I think we do agree. Whether we call it culture or civilization, we view the world with a common set of assumptions about what is positive and negative. Seminole is right, our culture has evolved, one need only read (perhaps with a bit of nostalgia) one of those amusing home ec guides for a wife’s duties to see that. Our culture informs almost every aspect of our opinions and forms a common set of assumptions. In our culture, we judge individual rights to be important sometimes even at the expense of the whole. I served for a year in Korea, and they don’t see things this way. They appreciate individualism, but not in the same way we do, and they definitely subordinate individual good to the common good.

In the case of women’s rights, our culture has gone forward to see women as more than wife, sweetheart, mother, and domestic goddess. Looking through the lenses of Islamic culture, we can’t control our women and they are shameless whores who don’t know thier place. This is only one aspect of culture, but both cases involve value judgements that I don’t think we can really ever get around. We being cultures might agree to disagree, but I find it doubtful that we could ever appreciate the differences.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 9, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #187213

LT,

I assume you refer to the famous “Greet your husband at the door with a smile no matter the problems you had. He surely had a harder day at work and needs a smile and a drink ….” or something like that. Not quite the same as “treating as property”.
But, to the rest, some differences don’t require appreciation. They can simply be left alone to each others world. The problem is “No man is Free if even One man is a slave”. What does one group do when another sovereign entity has an abhorent policy? Or, what happens when one expands intrusively or dangerously close? I think those answers are better made by a liberal.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 9, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #187255

1LT B, Trent, Dave1-20-09 and others
Ha ha ha! Only because men can’t catch up with them !!! :->
And Hey, I’d love to be treated as a Domestic Goddess - hummm… maybe not - too hard to train you men to get it right!!!

A Joke, just for you folk:

The Silent Treatment

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day,he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5:00 AM .” He left it where he knew she would find it. The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, “It is 5:00 AM . Wake up.” Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

Hope no one minds…

Posted by: Linda H. at October 9, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #187269

Good one Linda, of course here’s another one, much longer:

Let’s say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else. And then, one evening when they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: ”Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?” And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I’m trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want, or isn’t sure of.

And Roger is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I’d have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward … I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready
for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Roger is thinking: … so that means it was … let’s see …February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means … lemme check the odometer … Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Elaine is thinking: He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I’m reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed — even before I sensed it — that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that’s it. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He’s afraid of being rejected.

And Roger is thinking: And I’m gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what those morons say, it’s still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a goddamn garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Elaine is thinking: He’s angry. And I don’t blame him. I’d be angry, too. God, I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.

And Roger is thinking: They’ll probably say it’s only a 90- day warranty. That’s exactly what they’re gonna say, the scumballs.

And Elaine is thinking: maybe I’m just too idealistic, waiting for a
Knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I’m sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I’ll give them a goddamn warranty. I’ll take their warranty and stick it right up their……

”Roger,” Elaine says aloud.
“What?” says Roger, startled.
”Please don’t torture yourself like this,” she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. ”Maybe I should never have . . Oh God, I feel so……” (She breaks down, sobbing.)
”What?” says Roger.
”I’m such a fool,” Elaine sobs. ”I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, and there’s no horse.”
”There’s no horse?” says Roger.
”You think I’m a fool, don’t you?” Elaine says.
”No!” says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.
”It’s just that … It’s that I … I need some time,” Elaine says.
(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)
”Yes,” he says.
(Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)
”Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?” she says.
”What way?” says Roger.
“That way about time,” says Elaine.
”Oh,” says Roger. ”Yes.”
(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)
”Thank you, Roger,” she says.
”Thank you,” says Roger.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it. (This is also Roger’s policy regarding world hunger.)

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: ”Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?”

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 9, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #187351

Dave,

You hit the nail on the head! I don’t know if a liberal is always better about making the arguments you describe, but I suppose that’s life. Good story, by the way, sounds eerily familiar to many stories of differences between guys and girls.

Linda H,

Men aren’t hard to train, we just need to be properly motivated. My girlfriend has discovered a variety of ways, most of them not suitable for discussion in the public forum, to modify my behavior. It does take constant effort on her part, but it works. Also, I would listen to Chris Rock, who points out that men are handicapped in arguments with women, primarily by the need to make sense! Anyways, have a good one, gotta go do great things for the Army.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 10, 2006 4:27 AM
Comment #187490

Oh hell. Whenever I’m ever in an argument with a women, and I wrong, I eventually apologize. If I’m right, I immediately apologize.

Posted by: Trent at October 10, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #187543

I just remembered a line by Jack Nicholson in a movie “As Good as it Gets”(?). He’s an author of “chick books” and was asked by a fan “How do you right so well about women?” His reply:
” I think of a man, and then take away all reason and accountability.”

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 10, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #218161

i love your please sent my sex

Posted by: ahmed at April 23, 2007 2:18 PM
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