Most important human right in our lifetime, Part 2

by Tony D'Amato

In my attempt to understand the mind-set of a Muslim woman, I will put into one combination speech the words of many Muslim women who have talked to me over the years, plusa lot from the scholarly literature of Western observers—primarily women—who have studied the lives of Muslim women:

We know more than you think about American women. We read your magazines and watch your television programs. More than half your marriages eud in divorce or abandonment, with devastating consequences for the children. In the thirty-year period from 1973 to 2003, over 44 million abortions were performed in the United States. Think of all the suffering and trauma hidden behind those statistics. In my country, the divorce rate is less than one per cent and there are hardly any abortions—only those necessary to save the life of the mother.

Instead of getting rid of a wife, don’t the men in your country simply add another one?

Polygamy makes everyone better off. Let’s say a man is not pleased with or satisfied by wife #1. So he goes out and marries wife #2. The deal certainly makes him better off, although he has to pay for it—a point I’ll come to in a minute. It makes wife #1 better off because she doesn’t have to “fake it” any more with her husband, and when he’s upset, he’s got a relief valve over in wife #2’s bedroom. And wife #2 herself is better off: she preferred a polygamous marriage to remaining single. No one forced her to make that choice.

Now let me get back to the man paying for a second wife. You cannot understand the situation of a woman in an Islamic country without knowing some of the basic things about property rights. A single woman usually has some personal property consisting of monetary assets and jewelry, and maybe land, depending on what her parents have given her and their economic status. When she enters into marriage, her personal property remains her own; her husband cannot take any of it. And she is under no obligation to use it for family purposes. For example, if the family is starving, she doesn’t have to spend any of her own money for food, though of course she may want to do so. The husband in a marriage is legally responsible for the welfare of the family. He must go to work if the family needs food or shelter. So you can see that marriage is a very good economic deal for the woman. She gets support and welfare throughout the marriage and does not have to spend any of her own money. That’s why I mentioned that the husband will have to pay for the luxury of having a second wife. Most husbands can’t afford it, and so polygamy isn’t much of a concern in practice.

In a magazine a few months ago I saw a panoramicphoto of the interior of a huge shopping mall in your country. There were shops of very kind selling clothing and goods from all over the world. There were over a thousand people in the picture. As I looked more closely, every one of them was a man.

Men like to shop. Besides, as I said, it’s their money. If a woman wanted to shop she would have to use her own money. Why not let her husband shop for the both of them on his money?

But wouldn’t you like the freedom of choosing your own clothes, shoes, accessories, that sort of thing?

It’s not freedom at all; it’s a nerve-wracking experience. If I were married, I’d have to think, “Will my husband like what I’ve chosen? If he doesn’t, it’s worthless; I’d have to leave it in the closet.” So the efficient solution, as you Americans might say, is to let him pick out my clothes and accessories, because that way he’s sure to like them. Besides, the silly fool gets a kick out of giving gifts.

But suppose you do want to go out and shop, or at least look around. You have to be completely covered in a burkah. Isn’t that oppressive?

No, it’s sexy. Girls can hardly wait till they get their first chador and burkah, because at that moment they become real, desirable women. They spend months picking out the lace for the burkah, because fine imported lace is the most important distinction between burkahs. Men are very good at spotting the women who have the best taste in burkahs.

How can a man find out what a young woman looks like?

Marry her. OK, maybe that was a bit glib. But the more profound truth is this: by being covered in black, Muslim women have achieved perfect sexual equality. Compare this to Western women. I’ve read that above 80% of American women are very unhappy with their own bodies, and more than 50% are actually ashamed of their own bodies. It’s worse for them when they see a television series like Sex and the City where the four friends are ridiculously good looking. But also the models, and magazine covers, and movie stars contribute to the neurosis and depression of the vast majority of young women in America. Young women feel that nature has played a cruel trick on them by giving them unattractive bodies. They should take a clue from us and solve their problem by getting themselves completely covered from head to toe whenever they go out of the house. Here are some statistics for you. The United States has a female suicide rate of 4 per 100,000. The more “liberated” countries are even worse: France has a rate of 9, Finland 10, Cuba 12, the Russian Federation 12, and Japan 13. Let’s compare that with the female suicide rate in Muslim countries: zero.

Well, you’ve made it difficult for me to argue that you are in fact oppressed and that your basic human rights are being unconscionably violated. But that is the argument I intend to make in Part 3, the final installment of this thread. My argument will be helped—or hindered, as the case may be—by readers’ comments on the first two blogs.

http://opiniojuris.org/2005/08/18/most-important-human-right-in-our-lifetime-part-2/

11 Responses

  1. My morning trip to Bloglines brought me this post, which would fit adequately in your series.

  2. It is a good thing that the radical Imams haven’t figured out the real divisive pivots in America yet. Islam could take the whole ball game without firing a shot if they ever did.

    Imagine if you will, if some highly motivated Imam came to the USA and said: “American men, you know that we don’t like abortion, and we don’t allow divorce without a strong reason, and we don’t particularly like adultry…in fact we stone women that do that…and your children? There are tens of millions of you! How do you let American courts separate you from your children? That would never happen in Islam. Every morning that you awake would allow your children to be with you. We are a religion of peace! No man should ever be separated from his children by a vengeful wife and certainly only an evil government would do that. Join in our great enlightenment and we will change your lives for the better, and under Sharia Law, no one will ever touch your family for any reason.”

    Yes, Islam could be very dangerous for the United States. It is a good thing the Imams aren’t very bright.

    Obtestor

  3. Obtestor,

    I’m afraid the horses are out of the barn:

    The radcial “Christian” religious fanatics you neo-fascists depend on for votes are every bit as nutty as any of the radcial Islamic fanatics are — and just as deluded in their “religious beliefs.”

    Peas in a pod — scorpions in a bottle.

    Find a faint clue, and may peace be with you always…

    Charly

  4. [The radcial "Christian" religious fanatics you neo-fascists depend on for votes are every bit as nutty as any of the radcial Islamic fanatics are -- and just as deluded in their "religious beliefs."]

    Do you have anything to contribute besides legendary intolerance?

    Obtestor

  5. Obtestor,

    You’re welcome to be just as foolish and deluded as you want as far as I’m concerned: where I draw the line is violence.

    Your intolerance towards Islam is both evident and distinctly un-Christian.

    Charly

  6. [You're welcome to be just as foolish and deluded as you want as far as I'm concerned: where I draw the line is violence.

    Your intolerance towards Islam is both evident and distinctly un-Christian.]

    *yawn* (terribly bored)

    Do you have anything beyond your sophomoric childish ad hom to contribute?

    Obtestor

  7. The success or not of any society depends entirely on the manner in which they treat their woman.
    The role of womanhood in society is so great that without her active involvement that society will fail.
    Alternative to woman in society is conbativeness or agressiveness, this means that a society which is continually at war or which is agressive to other societies can while this aggressiveness lasts avoid the downfall that will now rather later than sooner befall it.
    Moving away from superficial arguments like what to wear a burkha (no choice) or jeans (stress from to much choice) a society that results in more than half of it being compelled (required to conform) to act in a particular way means that that society has lost more than half of its diversity.
    (Without diversity the species stagnate).
    Trying to keep in focus the opening paragraphs of Part 1, it must be clear that the opportunity of a ‘wife/woman’ being able to properly or adequately defend herself must be exceptionally limited. It is noted in other settings that under Sharia if a woman falls pregnant out of wedlock she is condemned to death (Nigeria), but the man who caused the pregnance unless condemned by four other men will be found innocent. Then there is the incident from India where a woman was condemned under sharia to public rape
    by four men as punishment for the crime, which in this case she had not committed, and thirdly the incident of a woman who turned against Islam, and found out later that a fatwa had been issued against her, (no fair trial) which allowed any Muslim to kill her without not only the fear of not being prosecuted but also of going to ‘heaven’ in the company of seven virgins.
    All the above and more are symbolised in the apparel that woman are required to wear, and in their inability to voice their opinion by vote.
    Naturally there will be exceptions to the above and judging by some of the replies I am sure to be castigated for holding such views.
    But let the facts speak for themselves, which Islamic country taking into account their national income from ‘oil’ does not have a social problem with the comparative number of poor and with an rebellious and recalcatrint youth.
    The natural love of mother/son-daughter is normally sufficient to inhibit men from voluntary blowing themselves up for whatever cause. This family love will result in other solutions other than violence being found to the obstacles that Islam perceive that they cannot fight against.
    Once again I do not wish to strive to far from the point, because what was firstly related was that Islam causes men to resolve all their conflicts by violence, and too often such violence is directed against those who do not have a voice in their society. Women and children.

  8. [The success or not of any society depends entirely on the manner in which they treat their woman.]

    So that is an excuse to create a new totalitarianism using gender instead of race or class?

    Men like me disagree. I am thinking that all humans are created equal in the eyes of the creator himself. What is occurring today is not equality; it is anti-male terror.

    Maybe using military force internationally to implement gender fascism in Islamic countries as it has been implemented in the west might be a good idea. It will resolve the issue much quicker than western men are reacting to it. Perhaps only through another world war will this crisis get straightened out.

    Obtestor

  9. Prof. D’Amato posting is a marvelous piece in getting to know what many ” Muslim-women” think.

    The problem I have with this argument is, however, the sweeping generalization usually carried with the term ” Muslim-Women”

    It is as if a Catholic woman form France has the same cultural orientation and world view of a Catholic woman from Ecuador.

    Perhaps, it would have been more accurate of Prof. D’Amato to specify the cases of such Muslim women. For example, ” an Afghani woman, a Pakistani woman, Iranian woman. all of these women, true, are Muslims by faith , but all have different cultural setting, tradition, and language.

    For example, The attire and word Burkah are not Islamic, per se, or even Arabic, Islamic religion did not say that women should be wearing Burkah nor does any Arab woman in general wear Burkah or a Chadur. But cultures in Iran, Afghanistan have those traditional women clothing.

    The views mentioned by those women,in D’Amato’s posting, do not generally reflect the realities of Muslim women across the globe. Perhaps certain slices of,and in certain societies.

    Ali

  10. Obviously Charly wouldn’t know what to do with two women…Figures… A male proud horn… oops, horn was a rather bad noun… I think whatever floats your boat is just fine. I would be happy to keep my man satisfied if he had something to offer besides a great vocabulary. This world is full of pessimism.. We as americans could learn a thing or two if we stopped being so right. Not saying that anyone else is right. But who is the decision maker about anything??? I just paid 4 bucks for gas… Find an argument somewhere to help eliminate the fumeage… Cheri`

  11. I absolutely believe if there is another war that this world is un competent at obtaining anything by asking nicely… I still think here real soon it wouldn’t matter if anyone wore anything at all. The fact that we are smelling so much dang gas vapor is makin everyone dumb. I think that if there custom is content to wear a vail… fine by me.. I think the eyes tell you all you need to know.

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