The Synnergy of Sex and Intellectualism
April 26, 2012 1 Comment
Usually, Foreign Policy hits a pretty dry note. It’s purely an intellectual publication, at least when I read it. So I am going to come right out and infuriate my sexism nerve by pointing out the obvious.
Way to go Foreign Policy. You got me. A patina of glistening obsidian flesh, a slit for seductive eyes and a lustrous crude oil-colored mane. You win. I am sexually interested in reading this piece about women being objectified in the West and abuse in the worst ways in Arab and Muslim countries. You win by losing. Now I am stuck with the worst task imaginable: intellectually engaging with the actual content of the (I have to assume galled) female writer.
Any quote I pull does the article a huge disservice as a whole. It’s simply a must-read. But, here’s something:
I turn again to Saudi Arabia, and not just because when I encountered the country at age 15 I was traumatized into feminism — there’s no other way to describe it — but because the kingdom is unabashed in its worship of a misogynistic God and never suffers any consequences for it, thanks to its double-whammy advantage of having oil and being home to Islam’s two holiest places, Mecca and Medina.
And we’re in the middle of a revolution in Egypt! It’s a revolution in which women have died, been beaten, shot at, and sexually assaulted fighting alongside men to rid our country of that uppercase Patriarch — Mubarak — yet so many lowercase patriarchs still oppress us. The Muslim Brotherhood, with almost half the total seats in our new revolutionary parliament, does not believe women (or Christians for that matter) can be president. The woman who heads the “women’s committee” of the Brotherhood’s political party said recently that women should not march or protest because it’s more “dignified” to let their husbands and brothers demonstrate for them.
My reaction boils down to the argument of a militant vegetarian. Yes, we all agree eating meat is bad and evil considering American factory farming practices. However, actually addressing the problem is much more complicated than shouting how bad and evil everyone is for eating meat. The only practical solution is voluntary removal from the system you disagree with and not sweeping changes from an outside (or revolutionary) force.