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NYT: Saudi women depart from the script (refute Hughes)

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 11:45 PM
Original message
NYT: Saudi women depart from the script (refute Hughes)
Facing a restless college audience of nearly 500 Saudi women - teachers, students and professionals, but all covered in black from head to foot - Karen Hughes tentatively broached the topic of equal rights on Tuesday, expressing hope that one day "women will be able to fully participate in society."

But the response to the Bush administration's top "public diplomacy" envoy on her first trip to the Middle East seemed to take her aback, as several listeners complained vehemently that just because they were not allowed to vote or drive did not mean they were unfairly treated or imprisoned in their homes.

"We're not in any way barred from talking to the other sex," said Dr. Nada Jambi, a public health professor. "It's not an absolute wall."

Another charged that just as Saudi men were viewed unfairly as terrorists, Saudi women were seen unfairly as victims. "The general image of the Arab women is that she isn't happy," she said. "Well, we're all pretty happy." The room resounded with applause.

(snip)

"There is more male chauvinism in my profession in Europe and America than in my country," said Dr. Siddiqa Kamal, an obstetrician and gynecologist who runs her own hospital. "I don't want to drive a car. I worked hard for my medical degree. Why do I need a driver's license?"

more
http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/09/27/news/diplo.php#
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Uh, oh, that didn't go over too well, did it, Karen?
This administration is tone deaf....
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Saudi women on the norm are very rich and pampered
They have housemaids, cooks, and drivers. They have excellent health care and education avenues. Kind of like the rich in this country.

Some Texan is telling them they are disadvantaged? What a laugh.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 11:56 PM
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. My Rich GOP friend votes as her husband tells her to
She has no problem with it. She would care less if she had a driver. She already has a housekeeper. She loves her. Difference, please?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:07 AM
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. She has excellent health care and enjoys a good life.
That's much more than many American women have. Saudi women aren't stoned. They have a far easier life than the average American woman. They treat not being able to drive the same as not being able to do their own housekeeping. Oh, it so hurts. Voting is not that big of a thing to them. The Karen?Condi duo have a lot to learn.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:22 AM
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #19
37. I think there's a lot of partisan politics
in this thread.

If Karen Hughes were anti-Bush and represented a Democratic president and said the exact same thing, I believe the prevailing opinion on this thread would be entirely different.

I would expect a lot of posts such as

It's about damn time that someone went over there and spoke the truth to Bush's oil buddies and told them to stop abusing half their population like it was the #@$%ing Middle Ages.

I believe the audience sticking to the government line would be seen as women too scared to speak out their true opinions for fear of having their heads chopped off or being stoned, or women so brainwashed and cowed by their Bush-loving government that they don't know how abused they are.



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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:50 AM
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #48
49. Bushites talking about women's rights are about as sincere as the Pope
talking about child abuse. What crap! I'm glad the Saudi women gave her a hard time, but I won't believe any such protestations until the women speaking them are entirely out from under their male family members' financial and social control, and in another system, where their right to speak and act freely is protected. One might as well believe the words of a kidnap victim defending her abductors.

Also, do you think that any but very rich and privileged women--who have a large stake in supporting the established order--would be permitted an audience with Karen Hughes? I guarantee you that there were no POOR Saudi women there--not that anyone could speak freely in Saudi Arabia. It is the most disgustingly oppressive society on earth--with the princes running off to orgies of debauchery in western countries, and enforcing the severest sort of Puritanism on their wives and daughters. What hypocrites--on a par with the Bushites themselves and their rancid Christianity!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:06 PM
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Ben Ceremos Donating Member (387 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:12 AM
Response to Reply #37
52. Frankly, this is the same disparaging argument
which "Westerners" have been indicting other cultures with for centuries. Saudi society is DIFFERENT than American society. (I am NOT suggesting that they aren't as human as we are or such tripe.) Saudi, and Arabic cultures in general, place a higher value on family life, social cohesion and group dynamics than Americans and Europeans. I am not arrogant enough to destroy their way of life just to impose my ideas on them. Difference is the essence of the human experience, so why are we demanding homogeneity? Furthermore, has anyone in this forum considered that destabilizing another culture is the first essential in waging war on them? United we stand, divided we fall; as such, the Saudis are right to reject these fabricated critiques in order to save themselves from the same fate that has befallen all the other vaguely Westernized countries in the region, namely, internecine strife, civil war and dissolution at the hands of the Western political powers. All of these claims about women in SA being afraid to speak, etc. are hollow when compared to the fact that in the West, women are in deeper shit than in Arabic and Islamic countries. Lower wages, lack of health care (essential for the female anatomy)and domestic violence are the common lot of nearly all but the wealthiest American women. I must also say that American society ladies are just as "kept" as their Saudi counterparts, this I have experienced first hand. If husbands don't want them to do something, a stern look is all that is needed to telescope the subtle violence of male dominance.
If America is to ever climb out of the delusions that have ruined it in 5 short years, then Americans must begin to RESPECT DIFFERENCE while working cooperatively to advance the progressive causes in foreign lands. Anything less than this will lead us back to the hatred and suffering that are visiting the relationships we have with so many Arabic countries.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:15 AM
Response to Reply #52
92. Do you realize how many FUCKED UP ideas that argument would defend? nt
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 04:17 AM by BullGooseLoony
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #92
98. And any ideas except
those that aren't consistant with your own traditions are what? Fucked up? Eccentric? Out of touch?
Why not just different? Many of these come from long held cultural traditions. I would not want to be a part of them, but think they deserve respect.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. No, you're right. There IS no right and wrong. Only culture.
So, let's just throw out all of our standards and chalk everything up to ethnicity and grouping.

Who gives a fuck?
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #52
96. Give me a break.
"in the West, women are in deeper shit than in Arabic and Islamic countries. Lower wages, lack of health care (essential for the female anatomy)and domestic violence are the common lot of nearly all but the wealthiest American women. "

You see some quotes from some of the most pampered women in the Arab world, and take it to mean all women there love their situation?

:rofl:

Oh, lord...

I bet you think Iraqi women are glad to be losing their rights, too, huh? Cause they just "want to be different" than us?
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #37
57. I think the reform has to come from people other than Political hacks
like Karen Huges or Condie Rice.

But I agree with you--if Dem--I think the mood would be different.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #57
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #74
82. Totally right and wrong at the same time.
"There is only one way and that is submission to Allah."

Indeed, Hamdulillah! You get the cigar on that one. In fact the term Muslim means one who practices Islam, ans Islam is submission to Allah.

But who decides the will of Allah? I take it that you are under the impression that Islam is a monolithic and static entity, or perhaps that all Muslims are arabs who answer to a single source, or receives their orders from one source. You couldn't be more wrong.

Far from being monolithic, Sunni Islam has 5 major schools of thought on the meaning of the Quran and Hadeeth (the sayings, actions of Muhammad(pbuh) and the Shia have 2 major schools. Each school interprets these sources differently, thus interpreting the meaning of "the will of Allah subbahanna wa Ta'ala" differently.

In Sunni Islam we have no priests, deacons, bishops or popes to pontificate "the will of God", indeed we must rely upon the opinions of our scholars (fatwa) and our own understanding and good sense in such matters (often if we disagree, we will seek an opinion we like or can live with).

And if you think all Muslim countries are like Saudi Arabia, again you are misinformed, and if you think SA is observing what Allah instructed and Muhammad taught about the treatment of women or others,or even the administration of government you are again mistaken. Often I have spoke at length about what Islam (The Quran and Hadeeth) really teaches about women, and if need be, I can go over it again.

As for "There are no reformers in Islamic countries" again you are sadly wrong, Muhammad himself was a reformer and quite revolutionary in the teachings and changes he brought to arabia and presently there are many in the west and elsewhere who seek to bring Islam back to what it was intended to be, a notable if under appreciated one, Mukhtar Mai, being among that number.

As for external pressure from the west forcing change, it will never happen. Freedom and democracy cannot be forced on one at gunpoint, and I don't think Islam wants nor needs the hypocritical "values" of the west for their own.

Peace.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #82
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #88
94. Interesting "points" you raise. I'll address each of them.
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 06:29 AM by PsychoDad
Your comments show a lack of understanding about what Islam is and isn't, so let's take a look at them.

It's a shame the saudi's aren't living by what you call Quranic values or the rights for women that were promised by Allah and exercised by the Prophet(saw) 1400yrs ago would be observed today.

Let's look at these Quranic values you claim to be an expert at.

Firstly, under Islam women were declared equal to men in the sight of God in the Quran. What was the ststus of christian women in europe 1400 years ago? What was it like for women in this country less than 100 years ago?

Following are some of the rights, which Muslim women have under Islam, and have had for over 1400 years. Rights which have regrettably been lost as "muslim" leaders have moved away from Islam and become more like their western counterparts.

The right and a duty to acquire an education.

The right to have her own property independent from her Husband or anyone else and the right to work and to earn money, which she keeps and does not need to share with a husband.

The right to equal reward for equal work. (american women don't even get that today)

The right to voice and express her opinion and to argue and advocate her cause or opinion without any fear of repercussion, not only to her husband, but to her government. (from reading about the reactions in Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Ms. Hughes, I think these sisters know this right quite well.)

The right to vote since 1,421 years. American women and women in most other western countries have only had this right for less than a hundred years!)

The right to provisions from her husband for all her needs and wants and the needs and wants of the family. She is not required to use any of her own wealth on herself or the family. She is entitled to everything the husband owns, and he to nothing of hers.

The right to negotiate marriage terms of her choice. In Islam the marrage contract is a literal contract and must be fullfilled or she may cancul the marrage if she so chooses.

The right to obtain a divorce from her husband, even on the grounds that she simply doesn't like him.

The right to get sexual satisfaction from her husband.

The right to custody of her children in case of divorce, unless she is unable to raise them for a valid reason.

The right to choose the husband of her choice and the right to refuse a proposed or arranged marriage. In Islam women cannot be forced into marrage.

The right to re-marry or not to after a divorce or after becoming a widow.

In addition to the above rights, women also have some exemptions form the required duties of a muslim, which men do not.

Exemption from fasting when they are pregnant or nursing or menstruating,

Exemption from praying when menstruating or bleeding after childbirth. Even when they are menstruating, on special days, like the two Eid festivals, they are still allowed and encouraged to come to the Eid prayers, and menstruating women can take part in most of the actions of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Exemption from the obligation to attend congregational prayers in the mosque on Fridays, which is mandatory for men.

They are not obliged to take part as soldiers in the defense of Islam or an Islamic state, although they are not forbidden to do so.

Islam also assures that under normal conditions women are allowed to do all the things that men do. Yes that means own a business, protest, or drive a car.

Islamic law also does not require that women confine themselves to household duties. In fact should a wife not wish to keep house, the husband is obligated to do it himself or find someone to do it.

Muslim women have been heads of Islamic provinces and states, like Arwa bint Ahmad, who served as governor of Yemen under the Fatimid Khalifahs in the late fifth and early sixth century, and women continue to be leaders to this day.

Pretty interesting attitudes to have 100 years ago much less 1400. What other legal or religious system at that time made such a statement about the equality and rights of women? In contrast Paul states in the New Testament that women should keep their heads covered and their mouths shut while in church, that women were unfit to teach or lead men, and that the proper position of a woman was in subserviance to the man as the church is to christ.

For more insight into this please have a look at http://www.uga.edu/islam/Islamwomen.html and http://www.mwlusa.org/publications/essays/legalrights.h...


As for the idea of democracy in Islam, please look here http://www.islamonline.net/English/introducingislam/pol... for an Islamic perspective on the relation of the state and individual.

A quote:
"Every individual in an Islamic society enjoys the rights and powers as the caliph of Allah, and in this respect all individuals are equal. Caliphate as a term has frequently been used to describe an Islamic political system based on monarchy, while the authentic notion truly refers to the authority of every single Muslim in his human capacity and his right to enjoy dignity and respect.

The notion of khilafah expresses how Islam empowers human beings and also how the government does not enjoy any special rights apart from those delegated to it by the political community.

The Hobbesian conception of the necessity of the State and its priority and seeing it as a condition for civility does not conform to the Islamic perspective. Yes, the formation of a State is a historical process, but the community comes first. No authority may deprive any citizen of his rights and powers. "

And perhaps here, Democracy in Islam: http://www.islamonline.net/English/introducingislam/pol...

From what we have shown to the world of western democracy, who would want it? Maybe we should clean our own house before insisting that our neighbor do so.


As for prophet(saw) sanctioned wife beating, that is a misconception held by both westerners and mysoginist muslim men and others who haven't taken the time to study the Quran's stand on the Issue. Let's take the time to clear that up that fallicy, shall we?

Let's look at the verses, (In the Ali Quran that most westerners are famillier with, and an "offical" translation from the Saudi royal family) Quran 4:34-36 "(34). Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct (acually the word here is NUSHUZ, better translated as marital strife, not rebellion), admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).

(35). If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family, and the other from hers; if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation: For Allah hath full knowledge, and is acquainted with all things.

(36). Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loveth not the arrogant, the vainglorious;"

There are a number of points one could make about the english translation as opposed to the meaning in the Arabic, but let us dwell on the point you posed. Wife beating.

I like to go to the original language used in a document, so let's look at the arabic. The Arabic word used in Noble Verse 4:34 above is "idribuhunna", which is derived from "daraba" which means "beat". It can also mean :

Adriboo (root: daraba): to beat, to strike, to hit, to separate, to part.

The issue with all of the Arabic words that are derived from the word "daraba" is that they don't necessarily mean "hit". The word "idribuhunna" for instance, could very well mean to "leave" them, or to end the relationship. You could say it is a phrase simular to "Beat it" in english.

To support this, Allah uses the word "daraba" in Verse 14:24 where he states "Seest thou not how Allah sets (daraba) forth a parable? -- A goodly Word Like a goodly tree, Whose root is firmly fixed, And its branches (reach) To the heavens". "daraba" here means "give an example", or to "put forth an example". If I say in Arabic "daraba laka mathal", it means "give you an example".

Allah also uses the word "darabtum", which is derived from the word "daraba" in Verse 4 :94, which mean to "go abroad" in the sake of Allah Almighty:

"O ye who believe! When ye go abroad (darabtum) In the cause of Allah, Investigate carefully, And say not to anyone Who offers you a salutation: 'Thou art none of a Believer!' Coveting the perishable good Of this life: with Allah Are profits and spoils abundant. Even thus were ye yourselves Before, till Allah conferred On you His favours: therefore Carefully investigate. For Allah is well aware Of all that ye do. (The Noble Quran, 4 :94)"

"Daraba" literally means "beat", or "go abroad", or "give" but not in the sense to as to do something by hand, but rather to give or provide an example.

Allah also in Surah 4 uses "daraba (4:34)" and "darabtum (4 :94)", which are both derived from the same root. He uses both words in the same Chapter, which tells me that "daraba" in Verse 4:34 means to desert or leave, since that's what its derived word meant in Verse 4 :94

But aside from this one verse which is used by the ignorant to justify their evil, let us look at other evidence in the Quran and Sunnah that suggests that harming one's wife in any way is not allowed in Islam.

The following few verses from the Quran and statements of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him} seem to very well argue against any "wife beating" being sanctioned.

In the Quran:

"...Do not retain them (your wives) to harm them...(Quran 2:231)"

"If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband's part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men's souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, God is well-acquainted with all that ye do. (Quran 4:128)"

"O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good. (Quran 4:19)"

"And among God's signs is this: He created for you mates from amongst yourselves (males as mates for females and vice versa) that you might find tranquillity and peace in them. And he has put love and kindness among you. Herein surely are signs for those who reflect. (The Noble Quran 30:21)"

Hadeeth:

Hadeeth narrated by Mu'awiyah al-Qushayri: "I went to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and asked him: What do you say about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139)"

Narrated Mu'awiyah ibn Haydah: "I said: Apostle of Allah, how should we approach our wives and how should we leave them? He replied: Approach your tilth when or how you will, give her food when you take food, clothe when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2138)"

Narrated by Abu Huraira: "Allah's Apostle said, 'The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Good Manners and Form (Al-Adab), Volume 8, Book 73, Number 135)"

"Muslim" nations need to get back to what Islam is, not what it has been used to excuse, much the same way christanity has been used as the banner for neo-con slaughter of hundreds of thousands and the economic rape of the poor, Just as athiesim was used to justify wrongs in the USSR, Cambodia and China. These are "values" which the leaders of Islamic and Western countries seem to share.

The direction for Islam is not in the west but in it's own past. Education and understanding of what Islam really teaches is the needed path for Islamic reform, not a selling out to western sexist and commercial values.

And that can only come from within, with support, not pressure from without.

Please do a little studying on Islam and Islamic countries before making your blanket statements about the "barbaric muslims", you may be supprised to find that the arab nations are the minority, and Islam is much more diverse and vibrant than you had known.

As always, peace be unto you.

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agincourt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #37
109. Since it's Karen Hughes,
It's hard to take her seriously. After all, she's a Right wing political operative and not remotely a women's political activist. You're right, I would feel different because of the source.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
27. It all balances out ...
Hey, I live around D.C. and would be THRILLED to be driven to work every day. Wait? I am driven to work ... through the "Slug lines!" LOL

This is where the other shoe drops. And Karen is ready and on cue.

"Gee, those SA women do like their lot in life AFTER ALL!" However, if you are not one of the lucky members of the Royal Family, life can be harsh.

This is all put *out there* to help muddy the waters and basically keep the American Sheeple confused and compliant to Dear Leader. All the while feeding the SA royal family's male egos.

Karen's little visit is nothing more than an elaborate "dog and pony show" for us little people who are expected to fall in line.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
20. Wouldn't that be up to them?
Can you think of anything more undemocratic than forcing people in another country to accept our version of rights instead of their own?

This is our own white man's hubris, that anyone with different values than ours have the wrong values. I'd certainly support any movement generated amongst Muslim women for the rights to vote and drive cars. On the other hand, Karen Hughes is speaking to highly educated women who are telling her they don't want what she's selling, and yet Hughes seems to be arguing with them over what's best for them.

Our record isn't that clean, anyway. We've conquered Kuwait only to give it back to all male dictators who refuse to educate women. We overthrew Iraq and now it looks like women won't have as many rights under the new government as under the old. We've done nothing in Afghanistan to give women the rights we claim to hold dear. And even here in America, our record is spotty. Women earn a percentage of what men earn for the same job, they are promoted less often, fired or laid off more often, and despite their right to vote still can't put significant percentages of women in political office.

We should work to achieve our own goals of equality in our own nation before we go insulting other cultures for not accepting our ideals.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #20
29. Deleted message
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #29
34. And I'm voicing mine
Self determinacy includes deciding to live differently than our perfect way.

Our central principle is a sort of secular liberty that includes complete equality. Theirs so far seems to be different. Islam is their central cultural identity, and within that identity they also have a cultural history specific to their part of the world. Their ideas of self-determinancy will be different than ours.
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w13rd0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #29
38. You know what I'd love...
...a more secular AMERICA with US out of the dark ages. That would be nice... Maybe someone can come liberate us and enforce their view of what democracy should look like on us...
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #20
30. Excellent post
Our country is anything but equal in its treatment of social classes.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #30
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #31
35. I think that Middle Eastern (or other regions) deserve the rights to
choose their own values. Forcing them to, or criticizing them for, having different values is just as bad as denying our own rights to our own people. We cannot commit a wrong on them and expect it to fix our wrong.

If you want to convince them our way is better, fight to clean up our way, make it perfect, and then leave it out there as an example. If they agree that our way is better, they'll try it. If they don't, that's their business. THAT's how we should spread our rights. The supremacist attitude and complete lack of respect Karen Hughes showed leads to us justifying the bombing of little children into bloody fragments, not to changed attitudes and greater freedoms.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:42 AM
Response to Reply #35
47. Deleted message
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #47
68. Two points
First, we weren't talking about executions or honor killings, and neither was Karen Hughes.

Second, how are we going to stop them? Overthrow their nations? Install our own governments? So far, that hasn't worked. You can change political realities with invasions, but you can't change people's values, and that's why our invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed.

And a third point for good measure: Karen Hughes is not on a mission to bring more rights to the Middle East. She is on a mission to improve our image in other countries. Lecturing down to a group of women more educated and informed than Karen Hughes could ever be over what rights Karen Hughes believes they should have is a poor way to do that. If Bush wants to push the Middle East for better rights for the people, he should send someone for that purpose. Then issues like honor killings and executions for adultery would be fair game.

Your last sentence I'm just not sure the purpose of.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #35
69. so you think that Hillary was just as bad?
http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?i...
Remarks made at awards ceremony for human rights activists:

"Perhaps the most egregious and systematic trampling of fundamental human rights of any person is taking place in Afghanistan today against women under the iron rule of the Taliban," said Clinton, with sharp condemnation.

In addition to citing Taliban decrees which forbid women from working and attending school, Clinton called special attention to the fact that Afghan women are dying from treatable illnesses, due to lack of proper medical care. "The Taliban has imposed a draconian Catch-22 on women," she said. "Health care for women has all but vanished. Women can no longer be treated by male doctors, yet women physicians are prohibited from working."

Doggone human rights activists...telling other people what their 'values' should be...

onenote
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #69
72. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #72
76. Has to do with the message, not who is saying it.
As I've posted twice now, so you can read those posts instead of inventing your own straw men.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #69
75. Hillary isn't telling a bunch of female doctors they are inferior for not
having the right to drive cars, she is talking about human rights abuses that are killing people.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #35
79. What you're missing
is that the ones "choosing their own values" are men. Right now, women don't get a voice in that choice. So it can never be valid.

I can't choose to limit someone else's human rights.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:46 AM
Response to Reply #79
89. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #79
95. No one is asking you to limit someone else's human rights
But the mentality that it is our duty to tell every culture what they should believe or accept on every issue is what leads to what we did to Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place. It's the first step in the dehumanization process that must occur before we start a war or, less dramatically, craft our diplomatic relationships.

You say women don't have a voice in that choice, but that's not exactly true. The women Hughes was speaking to here, and in Egypt and Turkey, are telling her that they are offended by the Western assumptions about them, that they are unhappy, or feel that they are not equal. These aren't the brainwashed drones of the poor, these are female doctors who studied medicine at western universities, who know full well the status of women in the West. THEY are the ones telling Hughes that her concerns are not theirs.

The women's suffrage movement in America, not to mention the Civil Rights movement and Abolition, all came from within America, not from outsiders forcing their views on us. We were one of the last nations to end slavery, and while the rest of the world pressured us to do it, they didn't have the ability to force us. If they had, North and South may have united against the outside presence and prolonged slavery.

Hughes is supposed to be on a "listening tour," learning the world's complaints of our behavior. Instead, she's lecturing them on how they should be behaving. That's bad policy, and counter-productive to her goal. I'm not saying we should openly endorse non-suffrage and gender segregation. But the arrogance of condemning other nations for what they do while their biggest complaint is that we have a habit of killing--though not in a gender biased way--large numbers of people for being the same religion as them... It's just not going to achieve ANYTHING we want to achieve, and it's naive in the worst way.

Don't forget that those who landed in the Americas in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries felt that they were improving the lives of the Native Americans by bringing them their most cherished right--Christianity. The bias of those Europeans caused genocidal slaughter of millions and millions of human beings. These "explorers" had no doubt they were helping all these people, even the ones they killed.

Cultural arrogance leads to dehumanization which leads to slaughter, even with the most noble of intentions. And don't say that's extreme, because one of Bush's main arguments for invading Iraq and Afghanistan was to bring them our version of "freedom." A quarter of a million people, at least, were killed in a couple year's time because of those invasions.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #95
100. Somebody needs a dose of Stepford......
Many "saved" women in this country will tell you that submission is their happiest state.
Those that are benefitting from the obscene class divisions in the Middle East would not want change anyway.
I seem to remember women getting their heads cut off for engaging in pre-marital sex.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #100
102. Again, Hughes was talking to western educated doctors
Not Stepford Wives, not fundamentalists.

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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
78. I can't agree
First, as has been pointed out, Hughes was talking to the very well to do of Saudi society. Talk to the poor or immigrant women and see if they think things are so fine and dandy.

Basic human rights should not be negotiable, and shouldn't be something we're willing to patiently wait for, or put aside in the name of cultural differences.

We SHOULD work to achieve our own goals. But until every woman is given full human rights, achieving for our own is a hollow victory.

The problem with Hughes position is not that she wants women's rights in Saudi society. The problem is that she seems willing to wait indefinitely for them so as not to piss off her Saudi pals.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #78
103. The question is whether
we have the right to force an entire culture to restructure itself to become more like us when there is no popular movement in that culture to become more like us.

ANy answer other than "no" is the same answer that has led to every great act of genocide this nation has been involved in, from the Native Americans to Iraq.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #103
106. Right to "force"? No. Right to use every diplomatic and moral
tool of persuasion we can muster to insist on human rights everywhere? Yeah. Be nice if we did it every once in a while.

And again, there is no popular movement because the people suffering under the current regime are without the power to create such a movement.

I don't accept women being treated as chattel as some sort of benign cultural difference that we're simply not equipped to understand. Some things are wrong, period.
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tainowarrior Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
54. hmm...i have mixed feelings
I'm all for the Saudi women knocking down Hughes and her American arrogance. However, it's not totally like Hughes is wrong. Those women's expectations are very low. I mean, think about it. If it were black slaves in this country, we'd be shaking our heads at how brainwashed and how "house nigra" they were. However, because it's Saudi women, we let it slide.

Are they pampered? Yes. Are they held back by their men and the laws of their country. ALSO YES. They're not mutually exclusive.

I'm also interested in knowing the composition of the room, because I'd suspect that if you're gonna have an envoy from the U.S., the 500 women that are brought to the place are not your regular Saudi Arabian women.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
77. I swear Hughes is clueless
She has no idea about the meaning of culture. Another waste of taxpayers' money.
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Tight_rope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
107. You bet me to the punch...
I'm sure many would be running for the boarder if things were just that bad. It's hard to hide much from the world nowadays.
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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
108. Who are their housemaids and cooks?
I'm guessing they're not Saudi men, but that's just my WAG. Are they other Saudi women, or non-Saudis? I don't know a lot about Saudi Arabia, but I'm curious.
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 11:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. good lord... don't these Bush "diplomats" know ANYTHING...
...about basic diplomacy?

Or communications?

Or even GOOD MANNERS?

Patronizing, condescending, "we advanced civilized people will stand up for you poor backward people..."

WTF did she expect? Coming in there like that?

The sad thing about this is that it's an opportunity wasted. Had she approached this correctly, LISTENING instead of talking, finding out what concerns the Saudi women THEMSELVES were willing to talk about and discuss, and proceeded from there to build trust and communications...

...then, sometime down the road, she could possibly have made this speech to a roomful of cheering Saudi women.

But no, Bush "diplomacy" is entirely of the bull-in-china-shop school.

Fer petesqueaks, even I know better than this.

disgustedly,
Bright
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Excellent Points, Sir
Like everything else about this regime, this is just an act aimed at sustaining the world view of the ignorant clot among the populace that will vote for them. The reaction of Arabs and Middle-Easterners and Moslems to the pronpouncements of this P. R. "Ambassador" are completely beside the point: the point is to set nodding "yes, that's good" the heads of those people in this country.
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lady lib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
39. Correct on all points, Bright.
Patronizing, condescending, ill-mannered...arrogant and clueless. It's like being a guest in someone's home and saying, "You know, I could help you get rid of that smell."
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keopeli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
6. The problem here is not the message. It's the messenger.
Imagine if a Muslim woman stood up and said the things Karen was saying.

The impact would be completely different.

Because Karen thinks her view of the world is accepted globally, she believes her perspective is etching itself into the public discourse.

But, imagine the roles being reversed. Imagine the Queen of Jordan or someone similar coming to the States and suggesting women should have no expectation of a right to drive cars in the US and would be pleased to see the law changed to enforce that some day.

Would a thought like that etch itself into our public discourse? Yes, I believe it would, but not for the reasons the Queen would like to imagine. She would be considered a laughing stock and an embarrasment...even if she had sound reasoning!

And that, my friends, is what is meant when we say there is a "disconnect" between the administration of Bush the Lesser and the world at large.
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Good post
Many Mid East women see American women as highly oppressed and exploited.
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A-Possum Donating Member (172 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
10. Maybe you don't like the messenger...
I don't either. But let's not allow the fact that =Hughes= brought this up get us into a lot of fairy tale stuff about "courtesy" and "diplomacy" as if Hughes made some kind of faux pas by mentioning this.

I'm sure this was a packed crowd of women. There are plenty of Saudi women who WANT to drive. Fine if some women like it that way, that's no excuse for the repressive enforcement of this against the others. And driving is only one among many religious repressions of women. (Recall the school girls who burned to death because they were beaten back into a school on fire by the religious police. That was a scandal even in Saudi, but not enough to change anything.)

The quote about "more male chauvinsism in my profession in Europe and America" than in Saudi is such extreme BS that I'm surprised DU'ers would fall for it.

The repression of women in Saudi and places like it is a blight on women everywhere. It's medieval. There's nothing "courteous" about pretending that just because it was Hughes who said something that she had no point and shouldn't have said it.

I'm kinda disgusted with the predominant DU reaction to this.
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. The women applauded their lifestyle
and rejected Karen's. Live with it. Or do you know better than them?
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Extend a Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #10
33. I think that the legal status of women in
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 12:57 AM by sad_one
Saudi Arabia is appalling.

However, I can't see how it is productive for a representative of our government to visit and treat her hosts in a condesending manner.

The living conditions for poor women in both the US and Saudi Arabia (and the lack of opportunities for advancement) are pretty appalling as well. It seems to me like a focus on finding ways to improve the lives of poor women might have been a better place to start a conversation with a group like this.

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tainowarrior Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
55. i agree with you
I don't like Karen, and I think she approached this from a "holier than thou" perspective that obviously didn't go well.

However, I'm not about to concede the moral high ground to women who are practically acting like "yassa massa" house negroes. Just because they accept the horrible and yes medieval restrictions in their lives, doesn't mean that it's ok, acceptable, and we should go on. I'm wondering the composition of these women (are they high class, pampered women) and I'm also wondering if their husbands or male relatives were in the room, because, I can assure you that if I knew I was gonna get beaten, I'd be singing about how nice it's living in Saudi Arabia too.

I, for one, think Saudi Arabians should decide their fate. But, I will never concede that what they are doing in their country is correct. That whole Wahhabi Islam interpretation is a warped bastardization of Islam and it ranks with Stalinist North Korea in its repression.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
11. Rule #1 of diplomacy
Never tell the people of the country you are visiting that their culture is backward and repressive.
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A-Possum Donating Member (172 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Meh
So you should lie to them instead?

Saudi IS backward and repressive. Amazingly so.
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. Offer some sort of proof for that
Otherwise you sound like Karen. The Saudi women resounded against her.

What's Karen going to do next? Hold a beef barbacue for the Hindus or a smoked pig for the Muslims. How long is W going to be in office, let me count the days.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. It is repressive, but people have a tendency to jump to
the defense of "their" team when an outsider criticizes it, especially an outsider who comes in with an arrogant Great White Bearer of Civilization approach.

I recall hearing reports from the first international women's conference in Nairobi, saying that the Western women wanted to talk about female genital mutilation, while the African women were more interested in talking about the other disadvantages that women face in various African countries.

TygrBright is correct. Karen Hughes should have asked the Saudi women what they thought their greatest problem was.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #22
60. yes, I agree


.....
TygrBright is correct. Karen Hughes should have asked the Saudi women what they thought their greatest problem was.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #22
84. That might be more productive...to ask them what they think
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 01:03 AM by fujiyama
But in all reality, that would mean nothing because women have no power. If Hughes did care, she would tell ass hole Crown Prince Abdulla what she believes.

Then again, this is one big dog and pony show. It's not the like the US cares about human rights in SA. They waived criticisms in various reports of their abuses.

This is just one of those things they can point to the small number of neo cons that are irritated with the Saudis and say, 'see we tried doing something. We addressed the issue'.

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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #12
104. And the U.S?
Women are mentioned once in the U.S. constitution. In the nineteenth Amendment. Other than that, we do not have equal rights. Because the Equal Rights Amendment was never passed.
There are however, 3rd world countries in which women's legal status is equal to that of men.
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cassiepriam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #11
51. Just like Brownie, she doesn't need no stinkin rules.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
14. Some of the biggest feminists I have met have worn complete cover
LOL...

The Bush administration are complete rubes when it comes to the Middle-East.

Middle-class ladies such as these women are highly educated, intelligent , and even feminists.

At the same time, many of them are very devout Muslims...

:)
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
15. I know a Persian lady who is quite happy with her role.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 12:39 AM by Carolab
She is a US citizen but her husband is still in the M.E. working. He "visits" for about 3 months out of the year. She has a lovely home, a PH.D. and lots of time to pursue her interest in her nonprofit organization (3rd world health care), art, gardening and baking Persian cakes. She has lots of time to visit her daughter and grandchildren who live in town. She felt that she was persecuted in Iran when she fled 16 years ago because she was trying to help women (teaching business in the ghetto). Lately she is not too happy with what's happening here, although she did get her citizenship recently and was quite happy about it. She has said to me that * is doing to us what Khomeini did to them.
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A-Possum Donating Member (172 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Beside the point
It doesn't matter how many are happy with the situation. What matter is that those who are not happy with it do not have the freedom to change it.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. My point was this: she had the chance to change her situation.
And although it is "good" right now, she feels that the US dream is slowly becoming a nightmare.

So how much did her situation improve in the end? One wonders.
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #17
26. It's strange how outsiders can see our country crumbling
but we can't. Yet, we indeed are crumbling especially with our living standards. Medical care is somewhat obtainable for some classes, dental care is impossible for the majority of our workers, college is obtainable for only a fraction of our kids.
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Journeyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
23. So Hughes did NO RESEARCH prior to setting forth? . . .
How many people said this idiot was unqualified and would do more harm than good? If they were truly interested in changing hearts and minds, it would seem knowing something about those hearts and minds would be important. . . but not to the Bushistas -- the world will form itself to their beliefs seems to be their standard MO, and all evidence to the contrary be damned.
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americanstranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
24. As usual, they pay lip service to a non-issue
while avoiding the fact that they let the Saudis slide on the ongoing sex trade - which they keep telling us they're so concerned about.

They are myopic and closed-minded, thinking the entire world wants to be us. It never occurs to them that large parts of the world are happy - even thankful - that they are not Americans.

To many around the world, we're not the solution - we're the problem.

-as
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
25. Anthropology
Look it up
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seriousstan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
28. I agree, women shouldn't drive or vote as long as they can earn.
:hide: :evilgrin: :rofl:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:56 AM
Response to Reply #28
36. Forgive me for saying this
But you didn't live up to your name on that post! :-)
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #28
40. hey you, shutup
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
41. the Woman with the MD, notice she's only treating women?
ob/gyn as she is probably restricted from treating men.

If a lot of these women have never experienced freedom, how do they know what they are missing. I wonder if they ask why they can't have four husbands? If they like sharia and their court system? Why do I think they are plants of the Saudi government?
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. I'm thinking the whole event was a sham
Set up to deflect from Chimpy's lack of condemnation of Saudi Arabia and of the diminishment of women's rights under the new Iraqi Constitution. See! Muslim women like oppression...Karen asked them and everything! :eyes:
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #42
70. Yeah, it was just weirding me out. I saw a tiny bit of it on TV
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #42
85. That was my thought
Now the admin can act like they actually care about human rights in SA.
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. Of COURSE they're plants!
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:11 AM by onager
That audience was as carefully selected as the Busheviks are for all of $hrub's photo-ops.

I was living/working in Saudi Arabia when 5 women staged a protest and drove themselves to a mosque on Friday. This was right after the Gulf War, when the religious insanity was already ratcheted way up due to all the Foreign Infidels in the country. (Saving the Royal Family's butts, I might add.)

According to the English-language papers, one of the women was a princess. I was frankly a little surprised that was reported, but it might have been part of the Shame Treatment.

Anyway, all 5 women were arrested and the Saudi media...almost as cowed as ours is right now...ran a bunch of screeching editorials.
They mostly denounced...guess what? "Foreign influence," like the Saudi women would have never thought of this if not for all those furrin' strumpets in uniform they saw gallivanting around during Desert Storm.

(I was really hoping the Religious Police would stop some female American soldier in a Humvee and tell her she couldn't drive. "Sir, this is an M-16 rifle. I can drive anywhere I please.")

The government put out a statement about how public protests were "not part of our culture" and denouncing the women drivers as part of a tiny, troublemaking minority.

We kwajis joked about it. (In Arabic "kwaji" can mean either "foreigner" or "enemy." In Saudi, it usually means both.)

"How did the police know women were driving?"
"Because they did something no man would ever do. They stopped and asked for directions."

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PatGund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #43
53. On the other paw.....
Women can drive here across the border in Qatar.

Quite a few don't want to though. That's what drivers are for, after all. And this in one of the more "liberal" of the gulf states.

*Sigh* Guess money = entitlement mentality. Just like Barbara Bush in a veil
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #41
56. Well, if she's OB/GYN
That does limit her audience. ;-)

The point here is really that, however saudi women up and down the ecnonic spectrum may personally feel about their situations, US coming in and telling them they are "disadvantaged" in our view, is nothing but condescending colonialism.

If we want to relate to Saudi women, we have to engage them where they are in their thinking now. Anything else, as Karen may quickly discover, will be rebuffed.
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antonialee839 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
44. Good going with that "listening" thing Nurse Ratchet!
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krkaufman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
45. Hughes laughably showing how out of touch she and this Admin are.
Pulling the wool over the eyes of furners is a whole lot harder than doing the same w/ dullard Americans.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:52 AM
Response to Original message
46. hughes is promoting the oil industry abroad under the guise of women's
rights. plain and simple. she wants more oil used more often. burn, baby, burn!
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cassiepriam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:35 AM
Response to Original message
50. Insulting all the women in a country, Good job Karen.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 05:36 AM by cassiepriam
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #50
59. Hughes thinks in black/white, good vs evil-like she teught JR as his
commications director. This is my concern-that she continues with this way of thinking and does not learn to think outside the binaries.

Maybe she will learn-maybe not.
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cassiepriam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #59
71.  repugs are slow learners when it comes to non- money matters,
Complexities not their strong suit unless topic has
dollar signs.
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adigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
58. ALL of my republican friends vote as their husbands
tell them to, now that I think about it. I don't have one friend who votes Democratic when her husband votes republican. So what does that tell me?? Republican men are big bullies just like Saudi men, and republican women are as oppressed as Saudi women.

So Karen should sit down and have a nice cold glass of shut the heck up.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #58
61. I know a few older "DEM" women that do the same. Change takes time.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #61
62. nominated. This is a good discussion (for the most part).
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
63. There are Muslim "feminists"
They work to improve the status of women while not abandoning their faith. Of course, Muslim women have many different lifestyles from country to country--& often within a country.

Hughes was never known as a feminist & exhibits cultural ignorance. The only reason she was picked for her current job is her relationship with Bush. Why should ANYBODY listen to her?
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
64. Thanks for the patronizing speech Karen
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 07:30 AM by formercia
Who wants to be a Butch like you anyway? By the way, have you had your testoserone ratio checked lately?
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dingaling Donating Member (95 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
65. The Saudi Women
are incredibly stupid. I think that they are thinking with their emotions instead of using common sense. Nobody is talking about whether they like to vote or drive. The topic is whether they have freedom to vote and drive. Saudi arabia is a country notorious for their lack of basic human rights. I think these women were handpicked for the occasion. I know that Karen Hughes is not the right person to be talking to them but this doesnt change the fact that Saudi women are some of the most suppressed in the world.
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tainowarrior Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #65
67. yeah, i'm confused myself.
I'm suspicious of the composition of the audience. Were they wives of princes, were they wives of powerful men. If so, it would obviously be in their best interest to be good little, Saudi Arabian Stepford Wives.

Karen Hughes wasn't the woman to say it (and I'm happy the Saudi women rebuffed her), but something smells rotten when people who are oppressed rejoice in their oppression. Smacks of "yassa massa" house negrodom.
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Baconfoot Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #67
86. What smells rotten? Women in THIS country opposed RTV
Why should any particular group fail to pick up on perceptions/expectations about that group? Their membership in it does not appear to be an obstacle. Witness the great effort which had to go into convincing WOMEN that THEY should have the right to vote in THIS country.

I would bet the audience wasn't handpicked at all.

They rejoice in their oppression just as we rejoiced (and I would say still rejoice) in our own oppression.

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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #67
91. Hey, maybe black people LIKED slavery.
:eyes:


I'm not getting this "We don't want our rights" shit.
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Baconfoot Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #91
110. Like it or not, women had to be talked into supporting RTV and many STILL
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 07:10 PM by Baconfoot
didn't support it even when it passed.

With a little googling I came up with this page describing this(to us counterintuitive) phenomenon as it manifested in Nebraska.

Opposition to Women's Suffrage
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
66. So why does Hughes want women's equal rights over there, but wants to
squash it here?!?
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peekaloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
80. Please Ms .Huge, explain the concept of 4 way stop. We understand
even the esteemed Ms. Bu$h has had difficulty negotiating that one.

}(
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
81. here's a clue Karen: they have a _different_ culture. as in, not ours
get over it, it is not the white-peoples burden to tell them how to conduct their lives.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
83. Hughes is an idiot
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 12:55 AM by fujiyama
and lecturing people on human rights when you're bombing people in a neighboring country doesn't work.

That said, those women are idiots and apparently have Stockholm syndrome of some kind. I understand that their culture requires them to wear a bee keeper outfit (and in all honesty I wouldn't want such a person driving a car anyways because peripheral vision is blocked), and requires them to be escorted around by men everywhere to go.

I'm a little stunned by the reactions. I don't support such a passe cultural relativistic stance...I think if women or any other humans are being treated like slaves (and well SA is so backwards assed that they practice child slavery), well, fuck it, I'll say so.
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clyrc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
87. Oh the joys of balancing cultural sensitivity with personal beliefs!
I live in the Middle East, and I don't think things are as bad for women as some seem to think. On the other hand, I'm a Feminist who believes in equality and freedom,and this leads to some interesting and delicate discussions. I would definitely say that some one coming in from the West and saying you poor women, this is what you need is a bad way to go about dicussing women's rights.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:06 AM
Response to Original message
90. I suspect that the reaction I'm seeing here from DUers is more
based on who said this, than what was said.

Because I know that when Howard Dean stands up for underprivileged black people in our country, we support him. We supported RFK, too, when he championed civil rights. I'm sure we would have supported Lincoln for freeing the slaves, as well. We're not all black, though.

If the subject of Saudi womens' rights to abortion came up, I get the feeling the reaction would- or at least SHOULD- be different than we're seeing here.

We all know that the Bush Administration likes to BS a lot. When they say things like this, they don't mean it. They don't *believe* it. It's disingenuous.

But, I wish we'd just say THAT. It's hard for me to stomach our own Democrats saying that Saudi women shouldn't have the right to vote. Just because Karen Hughes is the one mentioning it. That seems just as disingenuous.

Saudi women should have the right to vote, as well as a whole lot of other rights.

So....LOL... flame away.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #90
97. If Bush & Co really wanted more rights for Saudi women....
They would put serious presure on the Saudis.

When will that happen?
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #90
101. I am woman....
and I agree with you, BullGoose.
No flames here...
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Kailassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
93. Iraqi women could drive until we bombed them.
It is all a question of who is doing the speaking. However the women present felt about womens' rights, do you really think they would admit an unhappiness with their culture to a representative of a government who obviously despises it?

If I bomb your cousin's house, killing his children so I can steal their bread, then threaten you because I don't like the gun you might have, are you going to respect my suggestion that you should change your lifestyle? I'll guarantee that most of these women already feel insulted as arabs and as Muslims by the Bush government, and would have collectively held their breaths if the condescending bitch had told them they had a right to breath.
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
105. Someone spewing nonsense to a typical
American audience would give respectful nods and guilty approval. I think of the art students at Scalia's visit who listened. Of course ripping the idiot a new one in one's own country seems a little dicier.

No one competent. No one decent. No known who "does no harm" in the entire corrupt administration.
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