Wednesday, March 12, 2003

NOW tries to revive ERA – tells Muslim women: TS

Last week, the Wall Street Journal/Opinion Journal ran a powerful piece by Kay S. Hymowitz called “Liberation’s Limits” with the telling subtitle: “Feminists to Muslim Women: Drop Dead.” In the article, she berates American feminists for being so focused on their own culture of victimization, they willfully ignore the persecution of women in the Middle East:

Feminists had an extraordinary opportunity after Sept. 11, when pictures of other-worldly creatures in blue burkhas shocked even beer-chugging Super Bowl fans into becoming women's rights advocates. But instead of seizing the moment to revive an anemic movement by raising their voices against genuine female oppression, they have given the ultimate illustration of their preference for partisan politics and smug resentments over principles.

Today, NOW president Kim Gandy put out a press release with this concluding paragraph:

Women need a constitutional equality amendment to effectively counter what is already a full- blown campaign to weaken and limit civil rights and to diminish women's rights. As we look to a future where conservative ideologues will dominate judicial thought and action, progressive leaders must stimulate debate among our elected representatives, women's rights advocates and the public-at-large on the meaning of equal protection for the sexes under the law. Passage of a strong constitutional equality amendment will assure that this most important advance in human rights is undertaken. [Emphasis added]

Put aside the vast-right-wing-conspiracy paranoia for a moment. According to NOW, the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution – essentially a re-iteration of the 14th Amendment – will be the “most important advance in human rights.” Moreso than, oh, say the Magna Carta or the Emancipation Proclamation, or the liberation of Afghanistan from Taliban rule. This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. It’s Marie Antoinette logic: “How can we worry about the murder of girls in Saudi Arabia when women in America are only making 80 cents to a man’s dollar?” Pitiful.

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