Speaking Out for Women
Nick Cohen has written an excellent article in Standpoint highlighting the severe criticism authors Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom received following publication of their book “Does God Hate Women”. Aggressive criticism of the book came particularly from Liberal Westerners.
Cohen exposes the hypocrisy of those feminist women who demand one standard for themselves but are indifferent to the pleas of women from other cultures to have the same opportunities. It also brings to mind the brave stance from Ayaan Hirsi Ali who wrote Infidel, in the setting of limited Western support.
Cohen, in one paragraph writes:
“There are dozens of arguments against the bad idea of cultural relativism, but “women in Iran and in Saudi don’t like being stoned to death” can serve for them all. And yet the bad idea persists, undented and dominant, because of a deep selfishness in advanced societies. It comes in three forms, moral, economic and physical. People on the receiving end of repression notice the air of moral superiority as soon as Western liberals refuse them their support out of “respect” for the culture which intimidates them. Liberal relativists are in this respect the true successors of their imperialist ancestors. Where once Westerners denied rights to lesser breeds without the law who were racially unsuited to enjoy liberty, now they deny them to diverse breeds without the culture who are unsuited by accidents of history and geography to exercise the freedoms white Westerners take for granted or handle the complex arguments white Westerners take in their stride.”
Cohen’s take on the economic and moral arguments are equally hard-hitting, but well worth reading.