Phyllis Chesler has a piece up at the New York Post demanding to know why feminists refuse to challenge radical Islam in any of its manifestations.
The Middle East and Western Africa are burning; Iran is raping female civilians and torturing political prisoners; the Pakistani Taliban are shooting young girls in the head for trying to get an education and disfiguring them with acid if their veils are askew — and yet, NOW passed no resolution opposing this.
What is going on?
Chesler diagnoses rampant feminist cowardice, and she is quite correct. Feminists are largely spoiled, middle-class white girls unaccustomed to concepts like accountability or responsibility, and courage is a rare sight with this lot. But Chesler misses just what feminists are terrified of:
Feminists are, typically, leftists who view "Amerika" and white Christian men as their most dangerous enemies, while remaining silent about Islamist barbarians such as ISIS.
Feminists strongly criticize Christianity and Judaism, but they're strangely reluctant to oppose Islam — as if doing so would be "racist." They fail to understand that a religion is a belief or an ideology, not a skin color.
The new pseudo-feminists are more concerned with racism than with sexism, and disproportionately focused on Western imperialism, colonialism and capitalism than on Islam's long and ongoing history of imperialism, colonialism, anti-black racism, slavery, forced conversion and gender and religious apartheid.
And why? They are terrified of being seen as "politically incorrect" and then demonized and shunned for it.
All those things are true, but still not the heart of feminist's fear: they are afraid if they criticize Islam, they will end up dead. #JeSuisCharlie Radical Islam is their delusion of patriarchy come to life: radical Islam is misogyny personified, and real misogyny doesn't care how you sit on the subway or how you wrap Christmas presents.
Real misogyny shoots you in the head.
To be fair here, radical Islam is not only misogynist. Chesler leads her piece with the headline "As ISIS brutalizes women, a pathetic feminist silence", and certainly ISIS has an indisputable track-record of horrific violence against women, but it's not like men are getting a free pass. ISIS brutalizes everyone who does not share their vision of Islam. If anything, women get a minuscule amount of gender privilege in that they are allowed to live. And if you're still alive, you have one more day to fight. Better than being dead.
Peruse the mainstream media, and by far, the most grotesque images of depravity and brutality are against men. (Warning: some links contain graphic images and are NSFW) Burned alive in a cage? Thrown from a rooftop? Stoned to death? Beheaded? Men are not exactly being handed lollipops and male privilege cards here. Mad Max is a movie and Imperator Furiosa a figment of feminist imagination.
ISIS is real and Jihadi John has a sharp knife that didn't come from the props department.
What radical Islam does is remind feminists that if patriarchy were a real thing in our culture, if misogyny were a real thing, if men hated women and wanted them chained in basements we would be chained in basements. In actual fact, Western men are the most indulgent, permissive, tolerant men you will find anywhere on the planet, and in the face of real misogyny, whining feminists end up looking like petulant toddlers tossing expensive toys out of their designer prams complaining they are oppressed.
I think it's worth noting here that radical Islam is the face of misogyny at this moment in part because the Western media ignores male victims and prioritizes women, and in part because this is the moment we live in. Radical Islam has no exclusive claim to misogyny or brutality or murderous rampages through civilian populations. History is crammed with examples of reigns of terror which required neither religion nor gender. All it takes is radicalization. Radical anything tends to be a nightmare.
The Khmer Rouge didn't need religion to justify their atrocities. Neither did the KGB or the Kremlin. Mao Tse Tung went on an anti-intellectual murder spree that saw 40 to 70 million of his countrymen die, and he needed no approval from any god of any kind. Explicitly religious conflicts happen without genocidal levels of death. The Troubles in Ireland were absolutely religious in nature (in addition to other factors), but never reached anything like the brutality of ISIS. One can have a religious conflict without grotesque bloodletting, and one can have grotesque bloodletting without religion.
Feminists hide behind religion because they are terrified of the blood-letting. And they know that pissing off radicalized men is a very, very bad idea. Pissing off radicalized women isn't much smarter, but it does tend to be men who pick up rocket launchers and pipe bombs and chunks of concrete to mete out their definitions of justice. The media adores painting all women under radical Islam as helpless victims, trapped and silenced by the omnipresent patriarchy, but the exodus of young women from the West to join the Islamic State suggests that radicalization is gender neutral and there are just as many women who share the goals and dreams of ISIS as there are men. A lot of women hidden under burqas want to be there, and they will mount a spirited defense of their veiling if questioned by feminists.
Feminists tend to cave in on the issue immediately, again, not because they respect women's choices, but because they are afraid they will end up dead if they don't. It's much smarter to criticize Israel, where the men are Westernized into gentleness towards women than it is to criticize Palestine, where radical Islam holds sway. To reiterate, in case it's not clear, in reality, radical Islam tends to show a slight preference for women in letting them live. Feminists cast Islam as misogynist because they don't give any weight to male victims, and the feminist vision of Islam's misogyny is so frightening, they bow immediately. Another way of saying this is that radical Islam is brutal to everyone, but feminists imagine the brutality is aimed at women only (because they are only ever concerned about women) and what they see scares the shit out of them.
Feminist attempts to rationalize their fear of challenging Islam without admitting straight up that real misogyny is terrifying and they face nothing even resembling actual misogyny, can lead to some very odd proclamations. Amanda Marcotte, not the sharpest tool in the shed to begin with, was recently on MSNBC claiming that killing Osama bin Laden was silly.
"Do you think that society is changing and becoming less fearful, or at least, not as alarmed about terrorism and terrorist activity as it was in the months, days and, I guess, few years after 9/11?" Wagner asked guest Amanda Marcotte.
"Absolutely, without any doubt," the Slate blogger replied. "I think that, for instance, killing Osama bin Laden and finding out that he was kind of a feeble old man living in a bunker made it seem a little silly."
This is the same Amanda Marcotte who will write screed after screed after screed about how old, white Christian men are destroying women's lives by not letting them abort their babies the day before they're due or asking women to pay for their own birth control, but a terrorist who financed and orchestrated the deaths of 3 000 people is just a feeble old man, quite harmless really, and it was silly to kill him. Why, with feeble men like bin Laden in charge, we really needn't fuss over burqas and stonings and acid attacks, right?
Marcotte will attack white Christian men in her own country because she knows nothing will happen to her. No one is going to bury her in a pit to her waist and throw rocks at her until she is dead, because we don't live in a patriarchy and we don't hate women. She doesn't dare criticize an Islamic man who is dead because patriarchy and misogyny are brutality against humans is real in northern Pakistan and she's scared shitless of those "feeble men". I'm not terribly familiar with Pakistan, but if it's anything like Iran, a great deal of the imagined patriarchy is just as mythical there as it is here, but the feminist imagination is powerful thing that is not limited by facts, laws, evidence or proof.
Radical Islam is brutal, period.
Feminists get trapped by their own imaginations, particularly their delusions of patriarchy and misogyny. Radical Islam and radical Sharia law are easy to cast as both patriarchal and misogynistic, because they are, although they are not only patriarchal and misogynist. Sharia provides protections for women and obligations for men and any analysis of those laws without considering men's responsibilities in addition to their privileges is necessarily incomplete. Make no mistake, this is no apologia for radical Islam or Sharia law.
I will go to war to prevent radical Islam from infiltrating my country.
I would go to war to prevent radical anything from infiltrating, and quite frankly, radical feminism represents more of an immediate threat than radical Islam. Being a keyboard warrior is sufficient action at the moment, and I feel pretty confident that a war of words ending in the defeat of feminism is all that will ever come of this. And not because I think we are too enlightened or too culturally refined to engage in something as nasty as war.
Not at all.
It's because feminists are cowards. They are pampered, rich white women who have never worked a day in their life at anything truly challenging or difficult, have overcome no hardships more severe than a spilled latte, have triumphed over no adversity greater than running out of Play-doh in their safe space. Feminists can barely muster the intellectual stamina to fight with words, and generally resort to name calling and shrieking for a dictionary when challenged! They prefer to silence critics by using false claims of harassment. They would rather appeal to authority than take personal action or assume personal accountability.
Feminists will never go to war.
They're too chicken shit.
They'll never criticize radical Islam, either, because that would require courage and the willingness to face down men who haven't been steeped from birth in the "rich white women are precious, precious snowflakes who must be protected at all costs" brew of feminist, Western culture. Radical Islam doesn't think rich white women are special. They don't think women should be protected from the consequences of their choices. Radical Islam doesn't think anyone is special. No one is protected from the consequences of their choices. Radical Islam is the ultimate in gender equality, in a way.
The blade against your throat doesn't care what's between your legs.
Radical Islam frightens feminists because it makes it just so clear how very privileged, revered, fortunate and favored Western women really are. If and when push comes to shove, feminists are going to have to swallow every hateful word they have ever written about the men in their own societies and plead for their protection. You think ISIS is scary on a satellite feed beaming in from thousands upon thousands of miles away?
Try them on your doorstep.
Let's hope that day never happens. Let's hope, as with many previous movements throughout history, that radical Islam is colonized by moderates who want health and happiness for their children and their children's children. Let's pray that saner heads prevail.