- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Veiled truth

“The women who constitute the American feminist establishment today are destined to play little role in the battle for Muslim women’s rights. Preoccupied with their own imagined oppression, they can be of little help to others —especially family-centered Islamic feminists.

“The Katha Pollitts and Eve Enslers … are women who cannot distinguish between free and unfree societies, between the Taliban and the Promise Keepers, between being forced to wear a veil and being socially pressured to be slender and fit. Their moral obtuseness leads many of them to regard helping Muslim women as ‘colonialist’ or as part of a ‘hegemonic’ ‘civilizing mission.’ It disqualifies them as participants in this moral fight.

“In reality, of course, it is the Islamic feminists themselves who are on a civilizing mission — one that is vital to their own welfare and to the welfare of an anxious world. … And if, along the way, Islamic feminism were to have a wholesome influence on American feminism, so much the better.”

— Christina Hoff Sommers, writing on “The Subjection of Islamic Women,” in the May 21 issue of the Weekly Standard

Unhitched

“[G]etting married and having children are among the few areas of life that may present more of a hurdle to twenty- and thirtysomething women today than they did to our mothers. In the wake of feminism and the sexual revolution, today’s marriageable women live in the midst of cultural confusion about male-female relationships and personal fulfillment.

“The path to marriage and motherhood can no longer be taken for granted — and that presents both a challenge and a tremendous opportunity to sharpen our sense of what makes these fundamental institutions worth pursuing. …

“Much of the ‘have-it-all’ counsel to young women today promises personal fulfillment through accomplishments. …

“The expectations formed in young women today will directly relate to the strength and stability of marriage and family life tomorrow. …

“Marriage is not primarily a contract for the self-gratification of adults; it is an institution for mutual care and responsibility, particularly for the welfare of children.”

— Jennifer A. Marshall, writing on “Single on Mother’s Day,” Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Corny politics

“Politicians everywhere are falling over themselves to become leaders in the environmentalist movement. … While certain elements of the environmentalist cause have some merit, some supposed solutions — particularly corn-based ethanol — overreach and cause more harm than good. …

“Americans universally believe the nation should be less dependent on foreign energy sources. However, replacing petroleum from abroad with a wasteful and inefficient fuel from home solves one problem while creating many more.

“Corn farmers in Iowa hold tremendous political clout in the presidential race. Every four years, presidential candidates extol the value of ethanol to Iowa farmers in hopes of picking up extra votes in valuable presidential caucuses. …

“This cycle of political kowtowing and government waste knows no party boundaries and seems unlikely to end as long as ethanol fuels greater profits for big business.”

— Grant Reid, Tufts University sophomore, writing on “Ethanol, Snake Oil for the 21st Century,” in the May 20 issue of the Primary Source

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