‘On Sept. 11, 2001, America awoke to the great jihad, wondering: What is this about? We have come to agree on the obvious answer: religion, ideology, political power and territory. But there is one fundamental issue at stake that dares not speak its name. This war is also about’deeply about’sex.’

So writes Charles Krauthammer in a column headlined ‘Abu Ghraib as Symbol.’  The photographs from Abu Ghraib were so disturbing, according to Krauthammer, to the Arab world because they showed women controlling men. ‘For jihadists, at stake in the war against the infidels is the control of women,’ writes Krauthamer.

‘Which is why,’ he continues, ‘the torture pictures coming out of Abu Ghraib prison could not have hit a more neuralgic point. We think of torture as the kind that Saddam practiced: pain, mutilation, maiming and ultimately death. We think of it as having a political purpose: intimidation, political control, confession and subjugation. What happened at Abu Ghraid was entirely different. It was gratuitous sexual abuse, perversion for its own sake.’

Male Arabs aren’t the only ones who are upset by the ‘gender’ implications of the bad-night-in-the-girls-dorm pix from Abu Ghraid.

Now that the woman factor is no longer the elephant in the room, feminists and anti-feminists alike are vying to say what it all means.
As noted yesterday, George Neumayr of the American Spectator blames the fiasco on feminism itself. Neumayr regards the behavior of the female guards as the natural outgrowth of feminist philosophy:

 ‘It [the alleged torture at Abu Ghraid] sounds like a Sci-Fi movie conceived in the mind of Betty Friedan: Misogynist Muslim males in an Iraqi prison under the control of a female general are leashed like dogs for the amusement of female guards during a game of carnal hijinks — “2004: A Sexual Space Odyssey.
‘What once was a men-are-dogs satirical cartoon in feminist magazines is now a photo on the front page of newspapers. Will Hillary Clinton, who sits on the Senate Committee on Armed Services set to browbeat Donald Rumsfeld today, apologize for the photo of the female guard leashing a Muslim male? Where did the female GI ever get such an idea — at the March for Women’s Lives? Hillary Clinton spoke at that vile event and wasn’t shocked by the crude behavior there. Why is she so shocked now?
‘Perhaps this female GI is in need of ‘understanding.’ What horrible oppression led her and her cohorts to write ‘I am a Rapest’ (sic) on a prisoner’s leg? Can’t the feminists who cried at Charlize Theron’s Monster understand the rage this GI must feel? Liberal Hollywood was so shocked at Charlize Theron’s performance as a truck-stop prostitute killing her clients it gave her an Oscar. Shouldn’t Michael Moore and company who cheered at Thelma and Louise, who applauded Demi Moore in GI Jane, who park their daughters in front of Xena: The Princess Warrior cut this GI a little slack?’

Meanwhile, the predictably PC Donna Britt of the Washington Post manages to find a pro-women in combat angle to the mess. I kid you not. Here’s what Britt says (in a column deliciously headlined “Athena in Iraq: Women at War Air Evil Truth”):

‘So we get female soldiers behaving as badly as their worst male colleagues? Why not? Women have always been as capable of brutality as men, a fact that has long been masked by the centuries-old dynamic that gave women far less economic and political power than their husbands and sons. Women in powerful positions’think Margaret Thatcher, female corporate bosses, and tough-girl playground bullies’often wield power as aggressively as guys’.’

‘That means we should steel ourselves for more appalling reports and photos of all-American girls engaged in behavior we assumed was ‘a guy thing”actually a bad-guy thing’.’

Britt goes on to note approvingly that many men are peace activists. ‘Come to think of it,’ she concludes, ‘in a world where men raise families and human cloning looms, Mother’s Day may no longer be a gender thing, either.’
In other words, get used to it?

An article in The Women’s Quarterly several years ago proposed that, despite all the blather about caring and sharing, women in power are actually as bloodthirsty, if not more so, than men.

The piece was headlined ‘How Do Women Rule’Just Like Men.’

‘Want to raze a village? Boadicea, England’s warrior queen, was just the gal to get the job done,’ said the article. An archeologist working at Colchester, a city destroyed by Ms. Boadicea, compared her policy to the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Balkans.

But is this an argument for women in combat (not to mention as girls-gone-wild prison guards)? I think not. Women are physically different from men; as Elaine Donnelly, a longtime critic of women in combat, notes, we are less likely to survive capture than men.

And why turn us loose on those poor guys?

They’re no match for us fierce women.