Western feminism’s failure to confront the problems raised by Islam, Chesler believes, is a result of the creation of a hierarchy of sins, “an intellectual culture in which racism trumps gender concerns”. The example she cites as the embodiment of wrongheaded priorities is “gay and lesbian movement activists rooting for the Palestinians who, meanwhile, are very busy persecuting homosexuals, who in turn are fleeing to Israel for political asylum”.
The result, she argues, is that “instead of telling the truth about Islam and demanding that the Muslim world observes certain standards, you have westerners beating their breasts and saying, ‘We can’t judge you, we can’t expose you, we can’t challenge you.’ And here in the west you have a dangerous misuse of western concepts such as religious tolerance and cultural sensitivity so that one kind of hate speech is seen as something that must be rigorously protected. That means, principally, lies about America and lies about Jews.”
In our society moral relativism has started to reach new lows, particularly in academic circles. Witness this article by Roger Sandall about the film Masai Women where anthropologist Melissa Llewellyn-Davies describes female genital mutilation as “a bit like a white wedding.” Llewellyn-Davies spared us the horror of this rite by doing some judicious editing,
According to his 1993 report on the editing of Masai Women, the girl’s agony was in fact recorded on audio tape during filming, and “a lively debate took place in the cutting room later about how the issue should be handled”. One view was that “perhaps the girl’s screams should be heard, thus giving symbolic expression to what was visually too horrific.”
To this kind of judicious editing (both moral and cinematic) Phyllis has issued a challenge:
The way I see it: Everything is at stake, it’s all up for grabs, this is no time for nihilistic or tedious party lines. This is not the time to think in ways calculated to please or to least offend one’s peers. My goal is quote the opposite. I do not want to offend my good feminist friends; on the contrary, I would like to bring women and men together – from both the right and the left – in order to make a real difference. This is a time when we, the good people, have to think clearly, creatively, boldly, and morally.
Join us this evening at 9PM Eastern for a most interesting discussion.