Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Moral Depravity of Radical Feminists

Last Thursday New York intellectuals welcomed Tariq Ramadan to New York with all the honors due a visiting dignitary. Having been barred from the country for years by the Bush administration-- Ramadan was charged with giving material support to terrorism-- he had been defended, successfully, by the ACLU. Recently, the Clinton State Department granted him a visa. Links here and here.

Being allowed to enter the country is one thing. Being honored in a public forum by New York's intelligentsia is quite another. The distinction does make a difference, even where most of the assembled thinkers asked hard-hitting and downright unfriendly questions.

When you honor someone you are not just allowing him to speak; you are saying that his thought is worth respect.

The panel was chaired by Slate editor, Jacob Weisberg. It included George Packer from The New Yorker, and Professor Joan Wallach Scott, from the Institute of Advanced Study.

Why did these distinguished thinkers accord respect to Tariq Ramadan? Perhaps they were evoking an ancient Arabian proverb: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. People who have spent their careers fighting Republicans, especially Bush administration, might have felt obligated to embrace someone the Bush administration had labeled a terrorist supporter.

Most panelists and questioners asked hard questions. George Packer asked Ramadan why he had not condemned his grandfather, the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, for having given unstinting support to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the Hitler era. That is, at a time when said Grand Mufti was wholeheartedly supporting Hitler's final solution.

It was a good question. Ramadan danced around the answer, offering some mild remarks to the effect that remarks had been mistranslated and misinterpreted. Packer found these answers unacceptable.

(For the record the Muslim Brotherhood is a violent Islamic movement. It murdered Anwar Sadat, and bred Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's second in command.)

While most questions criticized Ramadan, radical feminist intellectual Joan Wallach Scott was the exception. For a summary of Scott's position, see John Rosenberg's article: link here.

A while back Ramadan had caused some disquiet in leftist precincts by refusing to denounce the Islamic practice of stoning adulterous women. When asked whether he would condemn the practice, he responded that he would support a moratorium on stoning, but would leave the final decision to Islamic judges.

One might have asked whether he would also refrain from condemning honor killings and female genital mutilation, but I think we know the answer.

If one had expected a radical feminist to offer a full throated condemnation of these barbaric practices, practices that are especially designed to terrorize women, one would have been disappointed.

In reality, Joan Scott was wallowing in the slime of her own moral relativism, to say nothing of her guilt at being a citizen of the United States.

Who was she, a citizen of a monstrous country like the United States, to criticize anyone else's cultural practices? In Scott's view, someone who lives in a country that still, in some places, restricts access to abortion, Americans have no right to condemn anyone else's customs or mores.

As a Western woman, she cannot grant herself the authority to pass judgment on anyone outside of the West. And besides, she believes that the whole controversy over stoning-- and maybe also over honor killings and female genital mutilation-- has been stirred up to silence public debate about the high levels of Muslim unemployment in Europe.

Given the moral deficiencies of the West, she was persuaded that a ban on stoning adulteresses cannot and should not be imposed by the West. Different strokes for different folks... as the old saying goes.. and to Scott that means that we do not even have the right to speak out against these practices.

Only a mind in the grip of an idiotic ideology could conflate speaking out with sending in the Marines. Does Scott not know that the force of international public opinion has often sufficed to show foreign nations the error of their ways? Apparently, not.

You might ask yourself how someone whose intellectuals deficiencies are so clearly on public display could have been accorded the honor of a position of the Institute for Advanced Studies? I believe that the answer is obvious. Less obvious is the fact that, in her guilt-ridden angst, Scott does not even have the confidence to believe that her own views have enough value to be stated in public debate.

We know that Joan Scott does not believe in universal human rights. It appears that she does not believe that anything is universal. But then, would she believe that allied armies in World War II had the right to impose an end to the Nazi holocaust by force of arms? Was eliminationist anti-semitism just another cultural practice that we need all embrace?

I assume that Joan Scott would reject what happened when Japan occupied Taiwan in the late nineteenth century. What did the Japanese occupiers do? They put an end to the thousand-year-old practice of footbinding... by fiat... because they believed that it was deplorable barbarism.

Were the Japanese being too judgmental? Were Eisenhower's armies being judgmental when they shut down the death camps?

But Scott does not merely want us to tolerate these barbaric practices; she wants us to embrace them.

She believes that by refusing to respect those who practice honor killings (or stoning) we have caused them to hate us. By implication, if we embrace honor killings as a curious but not morally condemnable custom, the people who murder their daughters for holding hands with a boy will suddenly like us and will abandon their jihad against us.

This is what passes for serious thought in the best American universities.

As you might well imagine, people like Joan Scott are nowhere near as charitable toward those institutions that are opposed to abortion. And, as John Rosenberg reports in the above link, they will attack heretics within their own movement with a viciousness that resembles the attitude of those who stone adulteresses.


Fat Man said...

Way back in the last millennium, when I was a mere slip of a lad, more than 40 years ago, I was an undergraduate at the world-famous University of Chicago*. I majored in American History (but, alas, not practical math).

One of my professors then was a young man named Donald Scott, who had recently received his degree from some Ivy League school. He was a very nice fellow and a good teacher. But, I was told that the real reason he was there is because the University wanted to hire his wife, the above mentioned Joan Wallach Scott, who was deemed to be a superstar on the rise in the then new, (but even then oxymoronic) field of "feminist scholarship".

Mr. Scott (and for the record all UofC profs were called Mr.) and I spent many pleasant hours together in the course of my studies. But, I only meet Mrs. Scott briefly at department social events. She struck me as a stone cold bitch. But, that is based on superficial acquaintance, and for all I know she could be a really lovely person, although, it is more likely that she is a stone cold psycho bitch.

What she saw in him was obvious, he was tall, fair, and athletic. He had played football at Harvard as an undergrad. He told me that Harvard recruited him because he was on the same football team as Bob Ferguson, who was so big and strong as to make sure that no one else on his team was defended. Ferguson was an All-American at Ohio State on their 1961 national championship team, although he did not play much in the NFL due to injuries.

What he saw in her was not at all clear. She was a not very attractive, small, Jewish girl. These days she probably looks like an uglier Ruth Ginsburg. There are some psycho bitches who do spectacular things in the rack, so much so that it is possible to forget what really wretched human beings they are. Of course they might have had some other kink going. The possibilities are endless.

As for Mrs. Scott's academic career, who cares. feminists have nothing interesting to say. Depending on the phase of the moon, they whine about how unfair it is to treat them as women, because either women are no different than men, or women are different than men, and better. Her multi-cultural view-point is neither new nor interesting. It is a gift from the French academy to third world bad actors everywhere.

I did not know whether the Scotts stayed married, or had children. But, when ever I hear about her, I think of him.

Now that I checked, Wikipedia says that Don got lucky.

"Previously married to Donald Scott, a professor of American history at CUNY, she is the mother of A. O. Scott, a film critic for the New York Times. She is niece of actor Eli Wallach."

*Mostly infamous now for having afflicted us with President BO and his harpy.

Susan Walsh said...

Wow. Just read up on Joan Wallach Scott. The moral relativism is simply astounding.

Mother Effingby said...

About ten years ago, it was fashionable to be against female genital mutilation and honor killings, so long as you spread the blame around to the Christians who, of course always do the exact same things as muslims.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Many thanks for the added information about Joan Scott... as you say, it does not come as a surprise.

I did not recall that it was once fashionable to be against honor killings, though I do recall that some feminists tried calling female genital mutilation ... circumcision... the better to avoid having to take a stand against barbarism.

RileyD, nwJ said...

You sure know how to turn a phrase, "... wallowing in the slime of her own moral relativism, to say nothing of her guilt at being a citizen of the United States." Have to say I agree with the sentiments.

George From NY said...

Love the 'blog, Mr S.

May I suggest one thing, though? It's not moral relativism on display here. It's a matter of priorities.

This woman may very well hate misogyny. She just hates something else more. Guess what it is?

I wrote this awhile back for another 'blog and it seems apropos here...

The real engine - the beating heart - of modern Leftist thought is not Progressivism, classical Liberalism or Secular Humanism. It is nihilistic self-hatred; a cultural death-wish which some have called 'Suicidalism,' for lack of a better term.

It goes like this: The West is bad and shameful. America, as its champion and most powerful member, is especially wicked.

The more alienated you are from it, the more honorable you are. If you’re an avowed enemy of it, more the better. If you’re part of it - as Leftist intellectuals are - you must do what you can to weaken and reduce its power on the world stage and cripple it internally.

America (and the West in general) gets the blame for everything and the credit for nothing. Those opposed to America, on the other hand, get the benefit of every possible doubt and then some.

Every other self-proclaimed value and ideal of the modern Left is negotiable and expendable towards the real objective of bringing America down in the world.

This is why Leftists spent most of the 20th century praising, defending, apologizing for and romanticizing the Soviet Union and other so-called peoples’ republics.

Everything they claimed to believe in, from liberation to democracy to civil rights and due process to “peace” was tossed aside in the almost-religious hope that the USSR, China or wherever would incubate a Socialist Utopia which would then sweep the world and replace awful American capitalism, imperialism, racism, etc.

And this is why, today, Muslims get a pass from the Left for beliefs and conduct which would get a WASP cursed as the devil incarnate - so long as the Muslims in question are adversarial to America and the West, that is. If they’re working with America to rebuild Iraq or Afghanistan then they are Uncle Tom sellout imperialist lackeys in the Bad Guys category along with the Americans themselves.

Suicidalism is the key that unlocks the entire contemporary Leftist intellectual and political project. it is the very lens through which they see reality; it is their Gospel.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you, George. I think your point is well taken. At times it feels like the radical American left is mired in self-loathing; at other times it feels like they love their ideas so much that they really do not care about any of the consequences they might produce.

But it is strange indeed to think about why they hate the West, America, and the Anglosphere so much.

The sad part is that I am not even sure that they know.

Y'all R Wrong said...

Please, feminists DO NOT give a pass to FGM. I've been reading feminist articles AGAINST it for years.