- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2001

The secret of feminine power

Mona Charens Commentary column about the way young women dress (or, rather, undress) in public these days really hit the mark ("Modest assessment," May 7). Doesnt it strike anyone else as ridiculous that after 80-plus years of supposed feminist "progress," the vast majority of young women are now reduced to looking like streetwalkers? How is it progress or freedom to be dragged down to the lowest possible common denominator in dress?
Women cannot expect to be honored, cherished, cared for or kept free from harassment and even assault if they do not dress for respect. Feminists tell us our foremothers were "restricted" by the long petticoats and all-covering gowns they wore back in the "dark ages." But is it really liberating to be stripped bare and paraded around like so much meat? Ill take Edwardian garb any day.
The secret of feminine power is secrecy itself. Its time to return to maidenhood and modesty. Girls, respect yourselves and conceal your charms. What is given away so cheaply is not appreciated. As my sainted grandmother used to say, "Who wants to pay for the cow when the milk is free?"

Rileyville, Va

Looking to the problem for a solution

It is ironic in this day of electricity shortages and skyrocketing energy costs that the media seek comment from environmental clubs and so-called public-interest groups on the energy situation. Have the media forgotten so soon that it was these very organizations that bullied public-service commissions, elected officials and even the energy companies into saying "no" to new power plants, transmission lines and refinery construction these past 20 years and introduced "rolling blackouts" into the working lexicon of Californians? How will you respond the next time you answer the door and someone from an environmental organization asks you to donate to stop a local utility from constructing a power plant? How do you think Californians will respond in the future?

Las Vegas

Dan Kane was president of the Council on Energy Independence from 1974 to 1988.

Nation of 'tolerance' seeks to Hinduize people

Moorthy Muthuswamy asserts that because India is secular " must be a reflection of the Hindu majoritys tolerance and inclusiveness" ("Columnist correct about Pakistani extremists," Letters, May 11). I wonder if he is aware of what is happening in todays India, which is being ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the ideological auspices of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Through their shared ideology of "Hindutva," or Hinduness, they are seeking to Hinduize Indian society. Their intention is to create one country, one culture and one system, to the exclusion of all others so much so that they are replacing history books used for decades to teach schoolchildren with new curricula that have an obvious pro-Hindu religious bias. Mr. Muthuswamy should be worried about the extremists in India, not those in Pakistan.
I also cant help notice that the Pakistan-phobia of some in India and their friends abroad has reached ludicrous proportions. Holding Pakistan responsible for everything that goes wrong in India does not even merit a response. Therefore, I will ignore Mr. Muthuswamys implication of Pakistan, not Hindu extremists, in the attacks on Christian churches in India.

Lake Ridge, Va.

How to deal with expulsion from the U.N. Human Rights Commission

Recent dual Commentary columns by Jeane Kirkpatrick and Amos Perlmutter ("Europes hand in eviction at U.N.," May 10) and by David Limbaugh and Georgie Anne Geyer ("Global betrayal on the wild side," May 11) touch on several points with respect to the United Nations that need to be emphasized.
The U.N. Human Rights Commissions decision to expel the United States from the commission should come as no surprise. The signals from the Europeans have been loud and clear for the past 10 years that the European Union is a larger provider of voluntary contributions to the United Nations than the United States. Also, there was a growing sentiment that the United States should not automatically be entitled to head all the major funding organizations, such as the World Food Programme, U.N. Childrens Fund, World Bank and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP). This culminated last year with the selection of a European to head the UNDP. Then the United States was voted off the powerful U.N. Advisory Committee on Budgetary Questions for one term.
Ms. Geyer makes the key point that the United Nations has not changed much since the end of the Cold War. True, it remains pretty much the same institution, with its rules and organization designed for that era. This must be changed. In the meantime, to blame the State Department or the lack of a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations begs the real question . The day-to-day "heavy lifting" responsibility for the U.N. Economic and Social Council falls to the U.S. ambassador to the council, a post yet to be filled, not to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who spends most of his time dealing with the Security Council and related matters. The same can be said for the U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations in Geneva and Vienna, home to the U.N. human rights and drug agencies, respectively.
Calls to discontinue U.N. funding are misplaced, and President Bush is correct in rejecting them. However, given the events of the past month and trends over the past several years, the administration needs to select an ambassador to the council as well as ambassadors to the U.N. agencies in Geneva and Vienna who possesses the diplomatic and political skills that will enable the United States to reassert leadership on the council and regain membership on these important commissions.

U.N. Industrial Development Organization

In response to the loss of a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the United States could insist that members of that body be required to meet a high standard of respect for human rights in their own countries. We could press for a system of permanent seats, as is done in the United Nations Security Council. Or we could abandon the commission permanently and pursue other means of human rights advocacy, because the idea of allowing countries that abuse human rights to be on the commission is incompatible with a body that sits in judgment of human rights practices.
It is wrong, however, to cut U.S. payments to the United Nations, as the House of Representatives voted to do last week ("House votes to withhold U.N. cash," May 11). Responding to U.S. pressure, the United Nations has reformed its operations and reduced U.S. dues. The U.N. system serves a number of U.S. interests, from refugee aid to peacekeeping, and it makes little sense to threaten those interests because we lost one seat, as frustrating and preventable as that event was.

Chief executive officer
Lexington Institute

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