Peter Brimelow writes: I repeatedly say that VDARE.COM is a coalition. Our writers differ on many things; they need agree only on the need for patriotic immigration reform. VDARE.COM Editorial Collective member Brenda Walker regards herself as a feminist, environmentalist and as a Democrat. Here she uses the anniversary of the February 15, 1820 birth of suffragist icon Susan Brownell Anthony to reflect on the situation of women in America today. Hint: immigration is a problem—something I myself realized back in 1995 after the publication of Alien Nation. I was contacted by several women academics, orthodox liberals in every respect but distressed that no-one else would listen to their horror stories about maltreatment by fellow faculty members from the Third World. Brenda's 2007 Susan B. Anthony reflections are here.)
Here in the United States, there's little public concern that women's rights and safety could be eroded. Under ordinary conditions, women's social position as equal members of society appears assured after a century and a half of struggle. And huge progress has indeed been made since the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, when a small group began to organize for suffrage.
But these are not normal times. Nearly all of the millions of post-1965 legal immigrants and illegal aliens come from cultures where women are by no means equal, either under the law or within society.
Are women in America already on a downward arc because of misogynous immigration and multiculturalism? I think so. But there's no recognition of the problem, much less help in the offing, either from Washington or from Establishment feminists, who remain strangely attached to multiculturalism in spite of the ideology's innate conflict with women's rights.
One official feminist who should know better is Katha Pollitt, an opinion writer at The Nation. On one hand, she wrote a sensible response to Susan Okin's question (later an anthology), "Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?" Pollitt directly criticized cultural relativism: "You could say that multiculturalism demands respect for all cultural traditions, while feminism respects only traditions that indeed deserve respect." Yet Pollitt recently endorsed Obama, giving as one reason being his support for illegal aliens receiving driver's licenses, and she criticized David Horowitz for his interest in women's rights in Islamic countries. She dogmatically refused to believe a conservative would care: e.g. "David Horowitz, Feminist?", The Nation, Nov 1, 2007. (See JihadWatch.org's Robert Spencer commenting on YouTube about this matter.)
However, given the precious little attention given to the issue of Third World brutality against women in general, why didn't Pollitt welcome any publicity, no matter the source? (Ask her at firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is plenty of reform needed in many places—lots to occupy people of every political persuasion. In fact, the overall world scene shows little sign of improvement for women's issues. Instead, we see the same dreary and accepted misogyny that is part and parcel of the cultures we are daily urged to celebrate.
The worst places in the misogynous Third World revel in cruelty and discrimination. In 2002, 15 schoolgirls in Saudi Arabia died in a burning building when religious police prevented their escape because they were not properly veiled according to Islamic standards. Police from the Commission for the Prevention of Vice were seen beating girls trying to escape the flames.
Not only is immigration the new way of war, it is also the spearpoint of the attack on Western civilization's tradition of liberty and individual freedom.
Geography is a lovely antidote to diversity. If members of backward cultures would stay put we would all be better off, but they don't. The worst of the worst are headed this way due to the multicultural ideology underpinning US immigration policy as well as the Refugee Industrial Complex maintaining itself.
In fact, diversity is so extreme that Washington doesn't even bar criminal cultures like that of Somalia, where 98 percent of residents practice a form of child torture which is a crime in this country—female genital mutilation (FGM).
One of the most worrying trends is how quickly women's rights are discarded by host First World societies in the name of multiculturalism. The recent British dust-up when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams urged implementation of Islamic sharia law in order to "maintain social cohesion" in British's rapidly diversifying society is a sad example of the willingness of Establishment elites to eliminate western legal protections for women in order to appease Muslim immigrants.
For all the weakness in Britain's cultural resolve in recent years, however, the reaction to the Archbishop has been surprisingly intense and widespread. Perhaps the slumbering British people have finally awakened to the threat within. We can hope. (Contact the Archbishop yourself using this page.)
In 2001, Oslo professor Unni Wikan lectured her fellow Norwegian women that the "Muslim rape wave" against them was their fault. She said that "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes". The professor did not call for violent criminal aliens to shape up. Instead, she said that "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it".
(Honest observation reveals the burqa is a cloth prison designed to erase the individual personhood of women. If the all-encompassing garments were designed merely to enforce an extreme level of modesty, burquas would not need to be identical. And the lack of an opening for the mouth suggests disapproval of speech and eating.)
By a happy coincidence, a British study has just been released that opens a window on the stunning extent of Islamic violence against women.
"It warns that the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the "honour" of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest." [A question of honour: Police say 17,000 women are victims every year, The Independent, February 10 2008].
(You can download the 160-page report, Crimes of the Community; Honour-Based Violence in the UK in PDF from the Centre for Social Cohesion.)
The Daily Mail profiled one young woman who wants to lead an ordinary life as an individual of the West, Britain-born Khadeda Begum: I was forced to marry my cousin—it's normal in my culture, but SO WRONG, [By Alison Smith-Squire, February 12, 2008. ]
"And according to Khaleda—who today, having escaped 'the marriage from hell,' lives in hiding with her British partner, Phil—she is far from alone.
"'It is well known within the community that such marriages do produce deformed babies. No one talks about it, but it is one of the reasons why I found such a marriage to someone so closely related to myself to be so very repugnant. '"
Islam and Western civilization do indeed clash, because of the many irreconcilable cultural differences.
The truth is that spineless Western leaders fear violence from perpetually offended sons of Allah. They ate likely intimidated the worldwide swath of rioting that killed over 100 during the infamous Danish cartoon jihad. If Muslims become so angered at a few drawings, imagine the results if they couldn't batter their wives.
And Islamic scripture approves of abusing women. As Jihad Watch's Robert Spencer observed in his online Blogging the Qur'an, "Wife-beating exists in all cultures, but only in Islam does it enjoy divine sanction."
Add the failure of Muslim societies to achieve anything of value in the modern world—such as the famously sparse level of books published in Arab countries—and social frustration can become personal. Muslim culture around the world may appear pitiful. But in the castle of the home, a Muslim man can beat the tar out of his wives and feel both powerful and virtuous.
Is this the kind of diversity we should welcome?
Whenever sharia law pops up, as it increasingly does where there are Muslim immigrants, Muslim women are often the ones who beat it back because they have the most to lose. In 2003, Muslims in Ontario tried to get sharia law into family law courts, in an incremental stealth strategy. At first, the liberal tolerance police thought incorporating other legal systems would be a fine idea. But women and others organized and were successful in defeating the proposal—after a struggle lasting a couple of years.
Britain has been a poster child for the unwise choice of immigrants, and then coddling them rather than insisting on assimilation. But America is not far behind, though we are somewhat luckier in geography—if being the neighbor of Mexico can ever be called fortunate.
Of course, only American women foolish enough to become personally involved with Muslim males are likely to face culturally-approved violence.
But many American women have to interact with such unpleasant characters on the job and in classrooms. Why should any American be saddled with this unnecessary the aggravation?
Is this the future we want for America—Londonistan-style gender segregation, violence and murder? A "Muslim rape wave" like Scandinavia?
And guess what? The same general group that is bad news for women is often a national security threat consisting of persons who have come not to embrace American values but to overturn the Constitution and replace it with Islamic sharia law.
Sadly, even many who recognize the Islamic threat often don't connect the dots of causation. So I'll do it: if these culturally inappropriate immigrants remained at home, a lot of trouble could be avoided.
In short: It's the immigration, stupid.
Susan B. Anthony didn't spend her entire life in struggle for equality to have it undermined by an immigration policy that completely disregards women's rights and safety.
But her achievements can be sustained only if today's feminists wake up to the threat posed by multicultural immigration.
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She thinks that you can believe in multiculturalism or women's rights—but not both.