Thursday, September 29, 2005


Dymphna discusses the "gilded cage" over at the Gates of Vienna.

It is too true that many Islamic women happily defend their suppression. Like Dymphna, I have witnessed the same phenomenon in battered women who defend the men who abuse them. I talk about this in a previous post about International Women's Day in Iran.

The only response to women who enable their own oppression is that, how they live and under what conditions, is clearly their own choice. But as long as there are other women in their society who do not choose to live that way; who are forced to wear certain clothing; prevented from driving or acting independently and freely of their own choosing---then the protestations of happiness and contentment have no validity whatsoever and cannot possibly be binding on anyone else.

They are only exhibiting the same symptoms of "identification with the oppressor", denial, and reaction formation that almost all battered women display --even toward those who would help them.

When women (and men for that matter) are free to choose or not to choose Islam; free to discard the restrictive clothing; free to move about independently and without fear of reprisals for their choice; free to achieve their own individual dreams and aspirations--then it will not be any of my concern that some women appear to enjoy subjugation and humiliation.

But, sorry. You will never convince me that this is what all women in Saudi Arabia; or under the Taliban; or even in an Islamic gilded cage-- truly desire.

Even if there is only one single woman anywhere under Islam's tyranny who desires to be free to live her life as she chooses, then I am completely, totally, and irrevocably on her side.

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