Friday, January 06, 2006

Everybody likes looking at Cameron Diaz

I've been thinking over the troubles in Australia, where Muslim men are harassing and sometimes assaulting women who don't cover themselves as the Muslim men believe they should. (This notion of saying "assault" instead of "rape" is sadly amusing. Orwellian in nature, the perversion of this word is beyond parody: The woman was thrown down, kicked in the ribs, punched in the face, and then assaulted. Okay then.)

This brings me to Cameron Diaz, who was so upset at President Bush's re-election that in an appearance on Oprah's show before the 2004 election, she said:

"Women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies. . . . If you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body," she advised Oprah's viewers, "then you should vote."

I read this quote in Mark Steyn's new essay on demographics, a long read but well worth it.

Cameron Diaz, like many other Hollywood actresses, has a great deal of empathy. She's a brilliant actress and that's perhaps the problem -- emotion is her talent and emotion can be manipulated. Her worries should be about whether or not she can safely walk an Australian beach in her tiny bikini. Strangely enough the person she has been manipulated to feel hatred towards is the one leader who's doing the most about Islamic fascism.

But not enough. I support President Bush in his war on terrorism but he isn't establishing women's rights in the countries where we've shed American blood. In Afghanistan, Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, an editor of a women's rights journal, was jailed for speaking out for, well, women's rights. He was freed January 3rd after women's rights groups worked for his release. He had to apologize, however, for speaking out against the death penalty for adultery and other sharia laws. The death penalty is only for women, you understand. Adultery in this sense includes forcible adultery, as in, rape. Or assault. Whatever you want to call it. In Afghanistan if you're a girl and you're raped, you get the death penalty.

This, this, in a country where our soldiers bled and died to free it from the Taliban! What does it profit us if we defeat the Taliban only to see the same form of government take place, this time under the watchful guns of our troops? How long until the enforced burkha, the denial of education and health care, the subjucation of women to a state worse than cows? (Cows, at least, can stand in their pasture and feel the sun on their faces. This is denied to a woman under sharia law. She has to wear a burkha at all times when outside.)

I want Cameron Diaz to walk freely on Australia's beaches. She's a young woman, an American movie star, and she is like a perfect sleeping puppy or a gorgeous sunset or a field of purple flowers: a gift from God. She displays her beauty in a bikini too tiny for words and I laugh in joy at that. You go, girl! May every girl have the right to splash in the ocean in whatever suits her, in freedom and safety.

She and every single woman in America, all of us, should be telling President Bush that he's not doing enough to establish freedom for women in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There is a quote, possibly legend, from a British Officer who explained to an Indian Raj that the British would not allow suttee in India. Suttee is the practice where a man who has died is burned on a pyre and his wife is burned alive next to him. The Raj said to the British Officer:

"But this is our sacred culture. This is what we do."

"Our culture hangs those who burn women alive. And that is what we do," The British Officer replied.

That is what we women should do. That is what we have failed to do. It is time for all American women to stand up for our sisters in Iraq and Afghanistan, to make sure our country guarantees them the freedom and safety that they deserve. Because that is what we do.


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