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August 22, 2005

This Just In: No Reason To Promote Women's Rights

I watched part of Meet the Press yesterday, but switched back to This Week in time to (a)miss the interesting bits on TW and (b)miss the atrocious response of former Middle East specialist for the CIA, Reuel Marc Gerecht on MTP.

I was pointed to this Meet the Press minute by the Feminist Peace Network listserv:

MR. GREGORY: Fast forward to this morning. Gentlemen, we put this on the screen from The New York Times. "[American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay] Khalilzad had backed language [in the constitution] that would have given clerics sole authority in settling marriage and family disputes. That gave rise to concerns that women's rights, as they are annunciated in Iraq's existing laws, could be curtailed. ... [The] arrangement, coupled with the expansive language for Islam, prompted accusations from [a Kurdish leader] that the Americans were helping in the formation of an Islamic state." [...]

MR. GERECHT: Actually, I'm not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women's social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there's no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it's important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we'd all be thrilled. I mean, women's social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they're there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective.

This was the last exchange of the program and apparently there was no time to follow up on this horrific, neanderthal understanding of human rights. Apparently, the gains made by all waves of feminism are not necessary to creating a true democracy in 2005. When, oh when, will we vote out these ridiculous thugs in suits?

Full transcript: "Transcript for August 21: Trent Lott, Russ Feingold, Larry Diamond and Reuel Marc Gerecht," NBC News

Posted by cj at August 22, 2005 10:01 AM


Someday, women will actually be people, too.

I'm just amazed that a guy can get away with saying that women aren't people without getting mercilessly pummelled and turned into the biggest joke in the country. Sure, he's getting flak and deserves it, but nowhere near as much as he deserves.

Posted by: Hyoun Park at August 24, 2005 9:14 PM

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