International Women’s Day

There is no doubt that women have been discriminated against, hence the need for a day to focus attention on this issue.  In the West, the main current complaints are first inequality of pay, in general women are paid from 50-80% less for the same job done by men.  For certain tasks women seem to be better suited for the job, such as computer work, including computer assisted design, and anything requiring dexterity, careful thought and flair.  Such jobs become more available as computers and the internet expand.

The other complaint is of course sexual harassment and intimidation.  The Harvey Weinstein case has blown the lid off Hollywood exploitation of young women, as if we didn’t know.  The #metoo phenomenon has caught fire and many wealthy stars are now giving money to a fund to support legal expenses for young women who are being sexually exploited.  However, one must admit that this form of male domination is as old as man himself and it will be very difficult to stamp it out.

In the East, the plight of women is much, much worse.  In most Muslim countries, women are considered as chattel, property, to be bought and sold, more or less as slaves.  They have no rights, no education (most are illiterate) and their views are not considered.  They cannot own property, they cannot travel without the consent of their husband, they cannot even go out and shop without being accompanied by a male relative, usually a son.  In Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Salman has recently introduced two reforms, allowing women to drive by themselves, and allowing women to attend football matches and other public sporting events.  In this respect the Muslim world is about 200 years behind the West.  Also, with regard to marriage, Islam allows men to marry several women and often an older man will take a younger second or third wife, who has little or not say in the matter.  For a good example read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini.

I have always wondered why liberal women in the West, including many Jewish women, take great exception to the way Israel treats the foreign Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens (no worse than the US treats illegal Mexicans), yet almost completely ignore the constant extreme mistreatment of women in Muslim lands.  For example, why is there no women’s movement in the West against the wearing of abominable head to toe burkas for women in many Muslim countries, which by the way is not a religious requirement of Islam.  Also why is there no movement against multiple marriages.  They prefer to join the antisemitic focus against Israel alone.

If women had more say in life and politics in the Muslim world it would not be such a  violent and uncivilized place.  That is not to say that all women are against all exploitation and war.  For example, Marie Antoinette (“let them eat cake”), British PM Margaret Thatcher (the Falklands War) and Israeli PM Golda Meir.  But, generally women have a calming and civilizing influence on men and society.


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