The Other Charlotte’s tart ruminations on status-driven mother Judith Warner, author of a book that details the exquisite agony of arranging children’s toys according to color, is the perfect counterpoint to the real plight of women in other parts of the world.
Today is International Women’s Day, and Real Clear Politics has an excellent summary of the status of women in places where oppression isn’t a figment of some PhD’s imagination.
The good news is that there are signs of change in the Middle East. RCP notes that yesterday in Kuwait more than 500 women staged demonstrations for the right to vote. “Despite being some of the most well-educated and liberal women in the Arab world, they are still denied the franchise and the right to stand for office,” RCP observes.
While there are hopeful indicators, especially in Iraq, where women turned out in droves to vote, RCP quotes a Yemeni woman on the abuse she has suffered–it sounds far more painful than, say, having Larry Summers raise an issue about the one percentage of the population that will engage in the higher mathematics:
“How does it happen then, that I–as well as every Yemeni woman I have spoken to–am constantly harassed when men should not even be looking at me? Every single day in Sana’a I suffer horrendous verbal abuse. Often I suffer physical abuse.
“It seems illogical to me that the gender that is stared at, ogled, harassed, molested or even spat upon in wholly unprovoked attacks is expected to cover with the sole intention of preventing these occurrences, while the harassment–the crime–is taken as a cultural normality.”
Given the reality of women’s lives in the Middle East, you’d think that American feminists could find some less trivial pursuits than beating up on Larry Summers or complaining about how hard it is to be a mother in one of those million dollar plus houses in Cleveland Park.