Tuesday, February 27, 2007

To The Pigheaded, Everything Looks Like Pork

Despite what you may have read and heard for the past, oh, several decades, Phyllis Schlafly wants you to know that American women are actually doing fine--there's no violence perpetrated against them at all, so move along, nothing to see here:

The WHO report asserts that one in three of the world's women, in some countries as many as 70 percent, experience violence in their lifetime, usually from their own partner, which is the rationale for calling it domestic violence. I'm surprised feminists don't claim 100 percent, because "violence" is broadly defined to include nonphysical "psychological and economic" actions.


You can bet that a primary purpose of International Violence Against Women Act money will be to lobby the U.S. Senate for ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women so that its U.N. monitoring committee can force U.S. compliance with feminist goals. That agenda includes everything from requiring unlimited abortion rights to rewriting schoolbooks to eliminate so-called "stereotypes" and gender-specific references.

Wow, Phyllis, paranoid much?

Curious as to what the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women could possibly have to do with unlimited abortion rights and schoolbook rewritings--indeed, with the dreaded "forced compliance with feminist goals" (more radical agendas emanating from the famous Feminazi Cooter, I bet!)--I decided to go to the source and read for myself what the United Nations is going on about as it begins the 51st session of the UN’s women’s commission this week (my bolds):

Much work remains to be done before goals of gender equality – and their resulting positive impact on primary-school enrolment, maternal mortality rates and women’s economic independence – are reached, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General told the opening of the 51st session of the UN’s women’s commission today.

“Most egregiously, violence against women and girls remains pervasive – perpetrated by family members, strangers and agents of the State in all regions of the world, in the public and private spheres, in peacetime and during conflict,” warned Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, the highest-ranking woman in the Organization.


“Let me…encourage the Commission to take bold steps to improve the lives of girls everywhere,” said Ms. Migiro, herself a mother of two girls. Several girls have been invited to share their experiences with the Commission during its session at UN Headquarters.

In 2005, Member States found that, at the 10-year mark of the landmark 2005 Beijing Platform for Action, an extensive blueprint for promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls, the goal of fully protecting girls had not been realized. Girls remained at high risk of being sexually abused and sexually exploited and trafficked for commercial purposes.


“Ending this pandemic will require our individual and collective commitment,” Ms. Migiro said, listing several possible ways to solve the problem. “It will require us to create an environment where such violence is not tolerated; to work for the full implementation of existing legal norms and policies; to make focused efforts to prosecute and punish perpetrators; to dedicate sufficient resources; and to fully involve men and boys in changing stereotypical attitudes and behaviour.

No mention of altering schoolbooks and building rows of abortion clinics. There are, however, plenty of initiatives in the UN's proposals that deserve the support of every nation, including the United States.

Schlafly, like all good conservative talking-point-spewers, wants people to worry about all the money--feminist pork, as she terms it--that America will be pouring into this dreadful, heartless effort to improve the lives of women and girls all over the world. And she points out that many of the countries who are discussing it have--*gasp*--horrible women's rights records themselves, as though that should disqualify them from trying to work toward gender equality:

All these countries are eligible to sit on the convention's monitoring committee of 23 "experts" who monitor "progress" and order compliance. All U.N. projects to improve the lot of women follow the feminist model: Break up the family, force women into the work force, and send kids to day care.

Again with the paranoia! This time, Schlafly invokes the dreaded break-up-the-family and force-women-to-work anti-feminism chestnuts. As if Schlafly herself were not a working woman. As if mothers all over the world were not, by definition, working like maniacs, whether it's in an office, a house, a field, or a battlefield.

Then, Schlafly's pièce de résistance (warning: swallow your coffee before reading):

U.S. women are the most privileged class of people on the face of the earth. That's because we are the beneficiaries of the Judeo-Christian civilization, including the requirement in the Ten Commandments to honor mothers and the Christian religion that honors the Virgin Mary and respects women.

Ah, no. U.S. women may be among the luckiest women on earth, but they're certainly not the most privileged class of people to walk on its surface. According to the US Census Bureau, women in America are hampered by higher poverty rates and lower earnings than men. And, according to the National Organization for Women, women here are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by someone known to them, and young women, women who are separated, divorced or single, low-income women and African-American women are the victims of violence and sexual assault in even more disproportionate numbers, as are gay women and men.

And as for this "privilege" of American women having come about courtesy of the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of American culture (not, as Schlafly implies, law), I'd remind her that both religions, along with some other ones, too, were practiced in the country for quite a long while before American women were even afforded the same right to vote as men--in 1920--and that this came about not through theocratic mandate, but rather, because the nation's feminists fought, and fought hard, for it.

Just as the nation's feminists today will continue to fight, and fight hard, for the rights of women and girls both here and abroad. To sneeringly belittle such efforts--to call them feminist pork--when there are towering slaughterhousefuls of Republican-supplied pork currently filling the coffers of war profiteers and disappearing by the billions--by the ton!--in Iraq...well, I'd say such anti-woman nastiness was unbecoming of a lady, but I suppose one has to consider the source.

Also at Shakes' place.

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