Part Two: Silence in America
In an earlier post, Gates of Vienna addressed the problems facing the women of Baghdad as they attempt to earn their college degrees. We waited to hear the outpouring of concern when reports of their abuse — acid-in-the-face, kidnapping and rape, etc. — surfaced in the MSM. Where there should have been a massive outpouring of support, there was only silence.
Where were the demonstrations to publicize the plight of women under Islam? How can thousands of women, in sisterly collegiality, converge on Washington D.C. to oppose the mythical repression of their abortion rights and fail to mention the all-too-real murderous captivity of their Muslim sisters?
American feminism is becoming a joke, especially to the younger generation, who see it as irrelevant to their lives:
“For women today, feminism is often perceived as dreary. As elitist, academic, Victorian, whiny, and passé…calling themselves girlie feminists, lipstick feminists, or sometimes just Third Wavers, they [the younger generation] have taken to flaunting the very femininity that Feminists had scolded would lead men to objectify them.”
Such an attitude angers The Old Feminists who see themselves as pioneers. Because of their hard slog, they say, women today have a depth and breadth of equality they wouldn’t have otherwise.
The Old Ones cannot see much past the mirror of their own reflection. Nor can they move beyond the walls of their Feminist Studies, a cloister which does not allow its postulants to deviate far from the received wisdom, the collective orthodoxy of patriarchal obstacles to freedom, an orthodoxy which increasingly is believed only by the inmates and their immediate superiors.
In other words, with their silence re Islam’s treatment of women (among other acts of omission) modern feminism has brought about its own irrelevance. Having missed the boat — actually, having failed even to appear on the wharf when the boat sailed — American mainstream feminism is doomed gradually to disappear as the 1970’s ‘pioneers’ age and shuffle off this mortal coil. None too soon, say those who follow.
Who among the young and idealistic cares to continue to batter the dead horse of abortion choice? Roe v. Wade is thirty years old; it’s not going anywhere. However, the insistence that the extremism of partial birth abortion is a legitimate “choice” turns away young women who might otherwise join the fray.
Who among today’s college students has not noticed that women now outnumber men in academia? Except for the cloistered postulants of Feminist Studies, who reads Carol Gilligan’s discredited work?
Who among these young women are willing to sacrifice their children on the altar of women’s autonomy? Today’s young women remember their own painful latch-key childhoods. They are in no hurry to inflict that history on their own progeny.
Today’s regnant feminism will eventually be replaced by the new generation of women with a form that more clearly meets the needs of these young women. Meanwhile, the banner protesting the abuse of women in Islam is going to be carried by others. The Old Guard has let its chance go by.