It is gratifying to receive emails from women in Europe who are sympathetic to what Gates of Vienna is saying about the plight of Islam’s women. Since I haven’t obtained their permission to thank them by name, my gratitude is limited to a group thank-you.
When the prime minister of the Netherlands takes Ayaan Hirsi Ali to task:
Premier Balkenende said Friday he wondered “whether this (Hirsi Ali’s speech) helps enhance the debate in the Netherlands”. He did not wish to say more because he is seeking “de-escalation”. Balkenende did say that Hirsi Ali’s plan for a sequel to her short film Submission is “her own responsibility”.
…you can’t help but compare him to the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and his outspoken monarch, Queen Margrethe II.
Which brings us to a comparison between the plight of Islamic girls — vulnerable to gang rape, honor killings, acid-in-the-face retaliation, and severely circumscribed options (including forced marriage to cousins) — with the situation of American girls. “Trivial” doesn’t begin to describe the travails endured by adolescent American girls.
Here’s an example: recently, CNN featured an approving story about several young women who have formed an anti-abuse group for teenage girls, since purportedly they are the group “most vulnerable” to “relationship violence.” Translated from MediaSpeak to English, this means there are a number of girls being shoved around and intimidated by their boyfriends.
First, a description of one “victim’s” experience:
Shaina Weisbrot says she was 13 when she got into her first bad relationship. Some of the things her boyfriend would do: “Pulling my hair, shoving me, shaking me, covering my mouth with his hands, screaming at me in my face, driving so fast — like a hundred miles an hour — until I was crying and telling him to stop.”
She says it was a relationship based on fear: “I was taught to fear him.”
And here’s what her friend has to say:
…Carrie Speiser, 14 at the time, says her boyfriend was “controlling what I wore, who I spoke to, what I was doing. The phone calls became so constant that they were checking up on me.”
It then escalated from control to manipulation to physical abuse, she says. On one occasion, her boyfriend tried choking her with a T-shirt.
One mother’s account excuses herself in this way:
Carrie’s mother, Susan Schankler, tried to limit the amount of time her daughter spent with her boyfriend.
The strange thing is, she says, “Carrie at the time was getting straight A’s … I couldn’t say, ‘Well I’m blaming your bad grades on the boyfriend.’”
The mother of another teenager, Katie Falco, says she was hurt but not surprised by her daughter’s choice.
“I raised my daughter to have a good heart,” says Lora Speiser. “I feel that’s what made her more vulnerable and more susceptible to someone. She didn’t understand that people really were trying to hurt her.”
So, you’re thinking, where are the parents of these children? Why is a 13-year-old in a car being driven a hundred miles an hour? When a mother says, “I raised my daughter to have a good heart,” you want to ask her, why did she raise a wimp? Sure, we need to teach our children compassion, and mothers often do that well. But we also need to teach them strength. Compassion by itself ends up as spinelessness. Strength by itself merely produces a bully.
If you read this sympathetically-written article, you will not see one father mentioned. Where are the fathers of these girls? Where are the fathers of these boys who confuse controlling behaviors with caring relationships?
Because the parents have abdicated their moral authority, these girls have founded a group called TEAR — Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships. Though they have since gone on to college, the girls travel to schools in their area to “teach others how to avoid dating violence.”
I ask again, Where are the parents? The legislators, in particular Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), have solved the problem by sponsoring a resolution to make the second week in February “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.”
Wonderful. First the kids have to take care of themselves. Then the government steps into the breach with busy-mouth work. Government solves social problems with high-minded resolutions.
How about this? How about we bring back the parents, especially the fathers, whom we seem to have shoved aside in the stampede for some grotesque “equality”?
What we need is: SPARN — Stop Parental Abdication Right Now.
And Sen. Crapo could propose a better resolution: “Bring Back Parental Authority Month.”
Perhaps our readers can supply even more cogent resolutions or acronyms.