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April 25, 2014

'Tis A Silly Thing

I've been following the incredible hypocrasy at Brandeis University regarding the the rescinding of an award of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born activist whose work has focused on the barbaric misogyny rampant in Islamic societies like the one in which she was raised, for her humanitarian work. Originally, all I knew about this story was what I read at Powerline, who are known for their adherence to complete discloure and as much accuracy as is possible at the moment. I had not, for instance, read the Sydney Morning Herald interview where she said, "The white man is held to a moral standard that, in the West, men [who have immigrated] from other cultures are not held to," she told the Herald. ''If a white man sold his daughter into marriage, most people would be appalled and there'd be an outrage in any national context in any country in the West. But when it's a man from Pakistan or Somalia or Yemen or India, then what you see is this: 'Oh yes, but …'"
Today, however, brings a post from Ace with a little more information about those who were amongst the most vehement in their opposition.

The Brandeis professors who demanded that Ayaan Hirsi Ali be "immediately" dis-invited wrote that "we are filled with shame at the suggestion that (Hirsi Ali's) above-quoted sentiments express Brandeis's values." The professors also castigated Hirsi Ali for her "core belief of the cultural backwardness of non-western peoples" and for her suggestion that "violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam." The professors note that such a view "obscure(s) such violence in our midst among non-Muslims, including on our own campus."
[snip]
Eighty seven professors or 29% of the Brandeis faculty signed this letter. These professors teach Physics, Anthropology, Near Eastern and Jewish Studies, English, Economics, Music, Film, Computer Science, Math, Sociology, Education—and Women and Gender Studies. Four percent of the signatories teach Anthropology, 6% teach Near Eastern and Jewish Studies, 9% teach Physics—and 21% teach Women and Gender Studies.

I have to admit that I have always wondered what the hell one is supposed to do with a degree in Women and Gender Studies other that to pontificate about that which has baffled men and women throughout the ages, and while it may get me many a hiss and cat call, I just don't see a viable job in the degree program.

Quite frankly, the whole feminist movement, while happening whilst I was literally in that perfect age group to influence for the next generation, just never sat well with me. Yes, I found a lot of judgement cast upon me based upon the fact that I was a girrrl. This was mostly because I was a Daddy's girl and therefore grew up doing stuff at my Pop's side where usually you would find a son. I knew the difference between a crescent and an open/box wrench by the time I was 8. I could change the oil, chop wood, mow the yard, shoot a gun and had my first rifle by the time I was 10. Also, having two older brothers without any clue whatsoever as to what to do with a little sister while Mom and Dad were at work, I was also very well-versed and talented in the popular sports of the day - football, basketball and baseball - and, without sounding too pompous, was better than pretty much all the guys at my (albeit small) high school. So, when I looked for jobs, my interests lay in areas that, unless you were the boss' daughter, usually went to the young guys in the area. I got that. I took it as a challenge to prove that I could do the job just as well, if not better, than any of the other boys that applied. I guess I just wasn't taught the *right* way to think by my parents. It has never occurred to me to say that I was owed a job simply because I was a girrrl. So, from it's inception through when it really started getting it's strongest political support in the late '70's to early '80's, the feminist movement has always seemed a bit militant to me, and it surprises me not to see what it has become.

Who could deny that the problems identified by feminists in America are serious? Here are just five recent examples of how bad women have it in the States, each followed by a look at a minor problem faced by women in other parts of the world.

American Problem #1
Gendered toys being distributed McDonald’s.
Did you know that McDonald’s distributes toys with its so-called Happy Meals? And that these toys come in “boy” and “girl” varieties? Can you believe what a human rights violation this is? Slate [link deleted] is on it, thank goodness. This must be stopped.

Global Problem #1
234 girls kidnapped from Nigerian schools last week by Islamist extremists.
As the Associated Press reports:

The kidnappings are believed to have been carried out by Nigeria’s Islamic extremist rebels, known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram — the nickname means “Western education is sinful” — is violently campaigning to establish an Islamic Shariah state in Nigeria, whose 170 million people are about half Muslim and half Christian. Boko Haram has been abducting some girls and young women in attacks on schools, villages and towns but last week’s mass kidnapping is unprecedented. The extremists use the young women as porters, cooks and sex slaves, according to Nigerian officials.

Ace collates the family-friendly boxcars of freight from my train of thought on this subject into a much more coherent sentiment than I could ever hope for,

"Hirsi Ali's own story of genuine oppression, and her agitation about important, fundamental rights of, and dignities owed, to women, makes our own neurotic prattlings seem rather silly and fluffy by comparison.
[snip]
Hirsi Ali's story is a threat to this version of Post-Feminist trivial pursuits, as that letter readily admits. Hirsi Ali is speaking of real rape -- not "rape culture" -- and real, physical aggressions, clitorectomies, daylight murders, all of which have the inevitable effect of making the pet obsessions of the Brandeis Women and Gender Studies Department seem rather more ridiculous than they already might appear."

*Post-Feminist* is exactly what is left of the movement now. And now the question is, will they, having accomplished what they set out to do, which was to bring about the change that results in equal opportunity for women and men - a truly heroic quest for those, and these, modern times - will they now ride, heroically astride their white steed of honor, into that well-deserved sunset of reverence?
Or will they continue in the ways of late that soil the truly worthy foundation of what has become a not-so ivory tower?

Posted by DL Sly at April 25, 2014 12:00 AM

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Comments

I read Hemingway's article yesterday and was baffled by it. It's the classic tactic of cherry picking all the dumbest/most trivial arguments of your opponent and contrasting them with the strongest arguments for the other side. You then suggest that your opponent has no more serious arguments than the ones you present (and that your opponent doesn't care about these more serious abuses going on in other countries).

IOW, nothing even approaching an honest criticism.

She could have made the same point by accurately quoting the feminist arguments about domestic violence, or the point (a very fair one, by the way) that it's hard to find a major american city that doesn't have literally thousands of unprocessed rape kits. There would still have been a contrast, because America is still hands-down a better country for women to live in than Pakistan or Iran.

My problem with the radical feminists has been and continues to be that their remedy for situations in which they think women are treated unfairly too often involves treating men unfairly or creating what amount to preferential treatment for women.

That's just unacceptable because two wrongs don't make a right. But it bothers me to see conservatives make such obviously slanted arguments. I don't think it strengthens our case any.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 08:46 AM

One more question: how many feminists are seriously arguing that America is worse for women then Pakistan or Iran? Even the title of the article seems like a bit of a straw persun.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 08:56 AM

But Cass:

You don't understand. All that matters are FEELINGS which rule everything. Ignore those pesky facts, it's what's RIGHT as determined by FEELINGS that matters.

endeth heartfelt rant.

Posted by: CAPT Mongo at April 25, 2014 09:06 AM

Personally, I don't see too many feminists that seem concerned about Pakistan or Iran, at all.

Problems in US = X
Problems in Pakistan/Iran is neither greater nor lesser than X. It's NULL.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 25, 2014 09:10 AM

But according to the Brandeis University Website, they have 24 Women's and Gender Studies Faculty(of which I think it's a safe assumption that all 24 would be feminists). If 21% of the 87 signatories are WGS Faculty, that mean that at least 18 of the 24 (or 75%) of those particular feminists seem much less concerned with the condition of women in Islamic countries.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 25, 2014 09:24 AM

Well, Dear Hostess, I would say that while an opinion piece may present a jaundiced view of the opposing side, do you disagree with the core point of the piece? That it is ridiculous to compare the abuses that Ayaan Hirsi Ali campaigns against to the abuses that the objecting professors raise? Do the objecting professors have the right of it? That Ali is wrong to bring attention to these abuses because it suggests "violence toward girls and women is particular to Islam"?

I personally believe these professors have their heads so far up the backside of multiculturalism that they cannot abide any argument that smacks of "not all cultures are created equal". I believe their real objection (which they can never admit publicly) is that she is bringing cultural issues to light that they would rather have swept under the rug. I cannot say for sure what motivation they have (because it implies that some cultures ARE better than others, because they think it's racist to claim that Islam DOES encourage violence against women, because it throws their pet grievances into stark contrast... I do not know), but clearly they do not want her experiences heard by their students.

Posted by: MikeD at April 25, 2014 09:30 AM

And I've mentioned this before, but as a political movement, does it not make sense that American feminists would primarily concern themselves with OUR political system rather than one in which they have no realistic chance of having any influence?

I don't fault Republicans for not crusading abroad to spread Republican ideas. They're more concerned with what goes on here in America, and rightly so (I think).

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 09:30 AM

I don't fault Republicans for not crusading abroad to spread Republican ideas.

I don't expect them to crusade, but republicans aren't exactly shy about about decrying communism and socialism abroad and sure as helk wouldn't try to get a speaker addressing the horrors and abuses under those systems removed. They'd be supportive all the way.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 25, 2014 09:39 AM

I'm sure I've been guilty of relying too much on the slippery-slope argument, as in, "If you endorse this seemingly trivial reliance on stereotypes about women, it's a short step to the sort of horrors that women were subjected to in our history, and even now are subjected to in the hellholes of Southeast Asia." But surely an appropriate curative attitude is NOT "It would be wrong to highlight the horrors perpetrated on women in Southeast Asia, because that would imply that no American man ever insulted a woman by offering to hold the door for her, which would be racist hypocrisy."

Posted by: Texan99 at April 25, 2014 10:03 AM

And I've mentioned this before, but as a political movement, does it not make sense that American feminists would primarily concern themselves with OUR political system rather than one in which they have no realistic chance of having any influence?

Ok, I can understand that. But why dis-invite her and be "filled with shame at the suggestion that (Hirsi Ali's) above-quoted sentiments express Brandeis's values"? This is not merely "this isn't in our wheelhouse" this is "get her OUT of here!" If their objection was merely, "the issues she brings to light, while tragic, are not issues that affect the lives of Brandeis's students", then it would merely be isolationist in nature. But they are actively hostile to her crusade.

And furthermore, I will note, that she is not just talking about issues facing women in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is concerned with the treatment of women in the West who live in Islamic families. When she speaks of selling daughters into marriage, she's not just speaking of girls in Somali, but those in the US, and Canada, and the UK, and the Netherlands. When she speaks of female genital mutilation, she's not just speaking about it occurring in Africa, but in Europe and the US as well. When she speaks against honor killings, she's not just talking about it occurring in the Middle East, but here as well.

And she's not making this stuff up.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/girls-escape-forced-marriage-by-concealing-spoons-in-clothing-to-set-off-metal-detectors-at-the-airport-8764404.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26681364
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/honor-killing-under-growing-scrutiny-in-the-us/

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is bringing attention to uncomfortable facts that these professors (again, for whatever reason) are embarrassed to have brought to light.

Posted by: MikeD at April 25, 2014 10:04 AM

Mike, it's not just the documented problems you cite, but a deeper one also.
To read these things and make a logical judgement about what is right and wrong, would then lead to a very subjective judgement about relative cultures.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has made a personal subjective judgement about the culture/country she was born in. She got out to save herself. Naughty, selfish thing that was.
The Academics and such do not want to ever make some kind of subjective judgement that puts one culture above another. Because they are intellectuals and their thoughts transcend any moral priniciples that glue a particular society together. So dissolve the social glue, things fall apart, and all cultures are relative.

They will not, under any kind of duress, admit publically, privately or otherwise, that there is something really wrong at the root of aspects of Islamic culture, as it is expressed in Somalia, Pakistan or elsewhere. And Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a living refutation of this intellectual proposition.

And that's why they have to use fancy rhetoric to tell her to "shut up!".

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 25, 2014 10:19 AM

...do you disagree with the core point of the piece? That it is ridiculous to compare the abuses that Ayaan Hirsi Ali campaigns against to the abuses that the objecting professors raise?

Yep. But I also think it's pretty ridiculous to suggest that the fact that women in these countries aren't even really considered to be human beings to be any kind of yardstick, against which the US should measure itself.

America is a great nation precisely because we set a higher standard for ourselves. Personally I think the radical feminists are trying to set our bar unrealistically high, and as you know I oppose that and always have.

But I've never been a huge fan of the "count yourself lucky we don't act like barbarians" school of rhetoric :p

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 10:28 AM

why dis-invite her and be "filled with shame at the suggestion that (Hirsi Ali's) above-quoted sentiments express Brandeis's values"?

My sense is that most of the outrage has to do with (wrongfully) conflating culture with race. Which is a different argument, actually.

You see the same thing with American blacks - you can't criticize popular black culture because if you do, you're saying that blacks are inherently "that way"... because they're black, not because popular culture is debased and dsyfunctional.

Academia is rife with this view. It's wrong. And feminists (not all feminists by any means, but lots of them) make the same argument: "You can't criticize the way women act - which, to some extent is a function of popular culture - because that amounts to saying "Women are bad".

FWIW, too many conservatives do the same stupid thing when male behaviors we would normally find reprehensible are brought up. Too many of us reflexively defend disgusting and dysfunctional behavior in some wrongheaded (and muddleheaded) belief that they're defending masculinity itself.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 10:34 AM

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is concerned with the treatment of women in the West who live in Islamic families. When she speaks of selling daughters into marriage, she's not just speaking of girls in Somali, but those in the US, and Canada, and the UK, and the Netherlands. When she speaks of female genital mutilation, she's not just speaking about it occurring in Africa, but in Europe and the US as well. When she speaks against honor killings, she's not just talking about it occurring in the Middle East, but here as well.

This is the wrongful conflation of skin color and culture again. It's a mainstream practice among progressives. It's why they're OK with Obama saying the same thing Paul Ryan says (but it's racist for Ryan to say it!).

In their minds, Obama's black so he can't possibly be motivated by racism, but Ryan's white so we read racism into statements that are substantively identical.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 10:37 AM

You don't understand. All that matters are FEELINGS which rule everything. Ignore those pesky facts, it's what's RIGHT as determined by FEELINGS that matters

OK, that made me laugh out loud :)

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 10:38 AM

Sly and YAG are right. The inattention to worldwide issues isn't merely tactical, i.e., about what they can likely influence. It is rather fundamental to the programs with which it has made alliance, because they are all built on questioning the foundations of Western culture. Any stick is good enough, as long as it is a stick that won't break over the back of the West.

Posted by: Grim at April 25, 2014 10:47 AM

But I also think it's pretty ridiculous to suggest that the fact that women in these countries aren't even really considered to be human beings to be any kind of yardstick, against which the US should measure itself.

I don't think anyone's asking anyone else to measure the US by a barbaric Pakistani yardstick.

I actually like your analogy to republican's concerns about international politics. I don't ask republicans to crusade in Cuba and I don't expect republican's to roll over on issue X because it's "not as bad as barbaric communist contries".

But I also don't see the College Republicans or any Republican college faculty (or pretty much any republican anywhere) petitioning against an anti-communist speaker's appearance in pretty much any venue.

I would be shocked and incredibly disappointed if they did.

All I expect is that these so-called feminists do the same.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 25, 2014 10:51 AM

It's actually not about feelings. It is about an intellectual construct that exists in modern literature and in the minds of those who would oppose Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking freely.

To oppose that construct is to be deemed some kind of 'other'. The point of Brandeis University rejecting Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her thoughts, opinions and ideas is to make her "the other". This is symbolic to being shunned.

All "correct thinking" people must now follow suit and continue to reject her. It is an ugly specter of self - censorship that has risen in America, where we were once thought of as a free people.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 25, 2014 10:52 AM

Ali wasn't disinvited because she dared to defend women's rights under Islam. She was disinvited because of statements she made in the past saying that the West is at war with Islam:

"Once it's defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It's very difficult to even talk about peace now. They're not interested in peace. I think that we are at war with Islam. And there's no middle ground in wars."

I think some of her statements were taken out of context, and I think Brandeis is dumb to make such a big deal out of this. But it's not terribly surprising to me that progressives (or feminists) would object to declaring war on an entire religion ... unless of course that religion is Christianity :p

That kind of talk makes them uncomfortable because it smacks of actually doing something (as opposed to talking about how you feel about things. And because war is an artificial construct of patriarchal hegemony wherein privileged, pasty penis-havers perpetrate violence upon helpless brown-skinned folk.

I tried to work a rape culture reference in there, but couldn't quite manage it :p

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 10:56 AM

To oppose that construct is to be deemed some kind of 'other'. The point of Brandeis University rejecting Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her thoughts, opinions and ideas is to make her "the other". This is symbolic to being shunned.

Which is pretty much the opposite of tolerance and inclusiveness :p

All "correct thinking" people must now follow suit and continue to reject her. It is an ugly specter of self - censorship that has risen in America, where we were once thought of as a free people.

Exactly! It's OK to be intolerant when you're condemning the intolerable (a sentiment that never quite seems to be applied to Ms. Ali) :p It's not OK for HER to be intolerant wrt to genital mutilation, forced child marriage, honor killings, etc. because she's not a prog.

These folks really are messed up.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 10:58 AM

But it's not terribly surprising to me that progressives (or feminists) would object to declaring war on an entire religion

Well, at least we know that for these particular feminists talking about being at war with an entire religion or even being in favor of actually doing something about it is a greater sin than the actual horrific treatment of women in another country.

The rapidity that these feminists are willing to throw foriegn women under the bus is rivaled only by Obama's own ability.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 25, 2014 11:22 AM

But remember, it's Republicans that are waging a war on women.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 25, 2014 11:22 AM

And because war is an artificial construct of patriarchal hegemony wherein privileged, pasty penis-havers perpetrate violence upon helpless brown-skinned folk.

Here, let me help:

And because war is an artificial imperialist construct of a Western patriarchal rape culture hegemony wherein privileged, classist, pasty penis-havers perpetrate violence sexual, emotional, and physical upon helpless innocent and yet culturally equal/superior brown-skinned indigenous folk.

Posted by: MikeD at April 25, 2014 11:40 AM

I think I deserve an honorary degree in Women's Studies for successfully completing that sentence.

Posted by: MikeD at April 25, 2014 11:41 AM

I do too! It was pitch perfect :p

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 11:54 AM

All I expect is that these so-called feminists do the same.

I completely agree, YAG. I think a big part of what ails this country right now is that people on both sides are backed up so far into their own corners that they end up defending the indefensible under the guise of attacking their opponents.

Sort of an ideological own goal, if you will.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 25, 2014 11:58 AM

The “arrogant judges, the academic deconstructors, the teacher-union multiculturalists, the media guilt-mongers, the love-the-world pacifists, the criminal-lovers and family-breakers, the inventors of bogus rights and destroyers of cherished traditions, the haters of normality and scoffers at restraint, the enterprise-destroying litigators and pain-feelers (litany courtesy of John Derbyshire) etc - haven’t it in mind to conform – and demand everyone else conform – to social theories in service to utopian benevolence at the highest level of abstraction – peace, love, equality, etc. It is all pretense for the purpose of destroying normal. What the demolishers have in common is militant atheism so virulent it exposes itself as a pox of such uncommon hatred as is hard to imagine possible in anything but evil.

Observers take it all into account at the periphery, as political Left/Right or philosophical contretemps when, in its essence, it is theomachy, fought on two fronts - political and cultural. Dostoyevsky understood this. Solzhenitsyn knew it too well and intimately. The hatred of God is great. As 'they' have no way of getting at Him they attack his creation, nature itself, nature in its entirety - all that is natural. Life is an enemy – abortion. Further down that maelstrom are the less than fully human – euthanasia. And further down the subhuman – herd them naked into gas showers.

Then the natural dynamic between man and woman is attacked – no, not the sex - the issue from it - children/family. Before Marx, after Marx, for temporal forever, the family will come under attack. Such is the determination to prove themselves an enemy of God that 'they' cannot help but become an enemy of man – and woman, and children, and life.

All of which is to say that we have missed the point of that which disturbs us. It is not their feelings, their pretenses, their abstractions, their preachments, and their indictments of what had been, for millennia, normal. It is their utter hatred. Our response should reflect the dire circumstances. Take them for what they are not for what they say.

Posted by: George Pal at April 25, 2014 12:11 PM

To my eye, the best part of this is that Brandeis University has invoked the Streisand Effect to publicize Ayaan Hirsi Ali's message (it might have been good if it was intentional, but I suspect it wasn't.) The degree that they would have awarded Ayaan Hirsi Ali would have gotten little press attention. Honorary degree from Brandeis, yawn. At least for most of the American public, who know of Brandeis only as a school that doesn't have national champion sports teams.

I sneer a lot at celebrated "heroes", who are more celebrated than heroic. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a real heroine, who needs more celebrating.

And the Brandeis fools need to look at the actions of their founders, who are surely covering the faces in shame at what has been done in their name.

Posted by: htom at April 25, 2014 04:02 PM

OK, I'll play straight man . . .

I'm of an age when what I saw and experienced when quite young reflected long standing social conventions that had fairly strictly differentiated roles for men and women in society. Those norms included 'feminine' behavior like how a lady should walk, talk, sit and speak; and oh yeah a lot of those norms and legal rules absolutely were sexist.
- I've always retained the belief that a gentleman holds the door for a woman (etc), but all of the worst sexist practices are now pretty much illegal; male control over joint property, job discrimination (etc).

That said, the lingering social norms that some American women find objectionable are mostly small potatoes in the big scheme of things, particularly compared to the fate of the very large majority of most women on earth.
- women in Canada, Nothern (continental) Europe (especially Scandinavia), and New Zealand may arguably be as relatively well off or even better in some ways than American women,
but
- nearly ALL women in Africa, Asia (especially South Asia and the Middle East), South and Central America, Southern Europe and most of Eastern Europe have more real significant issues; heck, many live in dreadful societies.

The complaints by Brandies faculty (a school founded in large measure to address explicit religious discrimination) reflect an incredibly self centered spoiled politically intolerant attitude that is the antithesis of classical liberal education. for shame.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at April 25, 2014 09:59 PM

The complaints by Brandies faculty (a school founded in large measure to address explicit religious discrimination) reflect an incredibly self centered spoiled politically intolerant attitude that is the antithesis of classical liberal education. for shame.

You'll get no argument from me on that!

Posted by: Cassandra at April 26, 2014 07:27 AM

"Ali wasn't disinvited because she dared to defend women's rights under Islam. She was disinvited because of statements she made in the past saying that the West is at war with Islam:"

Actually, the professors state that my previous quote in the post is the very reason why they objected. The suggestion by Ali that Islamic men were anything less than the misunderstood civil barbarians for which the liberal/progressive cabal must do all to protect and defend was more than they could let stand, and to give her further attention could possibly undermine the real violence that women on US campuses face every day.
Not to demean the actual violence that does occur on college campuses (or anywhere in the US for that matter. Take away question: Why are they only concerned with making sure the violence on campus voice isn't drowned out?), but to compare the truly relative safety that most women enjoy on campus to the day to day living conditions and real life threats Islamic women endure is so idiotic as to almost leave one speechless.

"Ayaan Hirsi Ali is concerned with the treatment of women in the West who live in Islamic families. When she speaks of selling daughters into marriage, she's not just speaking of girls in Somali, but those in the US, and Canada, and the UK, and the Netherlands. When she speaks of female genital mutilation, she's not just speaking about it occurring in Africa, but in Europe and the US as well. When she speaks against honor killings, she's not just talking about it occurring in the Middle East, but here as well."

I'm not sure how this has anything to do with skin color. Ali is speaking about the reality of the demands of Islam - no matter where it is practiced. Can you show me so I can see where I'm missing your point?

Posted by: DL Sly at April 26, 2014 05:37 PM

"And because war is an artificial imperialist construct of a Western patriarchal rape culture hegemony wherein privileged, classist, pasty penis-havers perpetrate violence sexual, emotional, and physical upon helpless innocent and yet culturally equal/superior brown-skinned indigenous folk."

Sorry, Mike, your syntax error in not placing the adverbial descriptors (sexual, emotional and physical) in the front of the verb (violence) clause, not to mention, had you done so you could have completed the alliterative phrasing perfectly. For these reasons, I had to chop you from the honorary degree program.
Better luck next time!
Thankyeeewwww fer playin'.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at April 26, 2014 05:46 PM

I'm not sure how this has anything to do with skin color. Ali is speaking about the reality of the demands of Islam - no matter where it is practiced. Can you show me so I can see where I'm missing your point?

I think you're referring to Cass' point here:
This is the wrongful conflation of skin color and culture again. It's a mainstream practice among progressives. It's why they're OK with Obama saying the same thing Paul Ryan says (but it's racist for Ryan to say it!).

And if so, what she was saying is that the Brandeis University professors are conflating race with culture and therefore believe Ayaan Hirsi Ali to be making "racist" statements. Which is untrue. Cass wasn't saying I was conflating race with culture (I don't believe), she was saying they were. And since "racism" is the most mortal of sins for the modern liberal, they had to shun her.

And there may indeed be something to that. But the fact of the matter is, I will never know what was in their hearts when they objected to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's appearance at their school. I have only their words to judge them by. But if you asked me why I think they objected, I would say because they believe in moral equivalence between cultures in a way that a devout Catholic believes in transubstantiation. And they cannot abide her bring evidence to light that casts their belief into question.

Sorry, Mike, your syntax error in not placing the adverbial descriptors (sexual, emotional and physical) in the front of the verb (violence) clause, not to mention, had you done so you could have completed the alliterative phrasing perfectly. For these reasons, I had to chop you from the honorary degree program.

This was the unkindest cut. How like a viper in the bosom is an ungrateful Dark Lord.

Posted by: MikeD at April 28, 2014 10:50 AM

Ungrateful?
Bah!
I only cut you from the degree program. My English prof would have flunked you for that error without reading any further or considering the alliterative brilliance you were bordering on.
Be happy that I am an understanding and forgiving Dark Lord.
*snort*
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at April 28, 2014 12:13 PM

Unwise, this professor, to pass me not!

Posted by: Yoda at April 28, 2014 04:34 PM

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