October 19, 2003


Hating women (Shmuley Boteach, Oct. 19, 2003, Jerusalem Post)

The awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian judge and women's rights activist, was as courageous as last year's to Jimmy Carter was cowardly. While Carter, of course, deserves a Nobel Appeasement Prize, the peace prize belongs to those who fight for the disenfranchised rather than those who stand up for the dictators who do the disenfranchising. And what group today is more discriminated against than women, both in Islamic culture and in the West? [...]

When Moses first encounters God in the desert, he is commanded to take off his shoes lest he trample on holy ground. Chivalry too was once predicated on the idea that men had to mind their manners in the presence of creatures that reflected the divine spirit. Only feminine sanctity can recreate masculine dignity.

Some suggestions in that direction include a return to single-sex education where girls can learn to discover their identities as individuals before being immersed in an environment where popularity among the boys is the determining factor of their significance.

Likewise, boycotts organized by women leaders, who thus far have been shamefully silent, against companies and TV networks that move products by demeaning and exploiting women would be welcome. Finally, an emphasis on the ability for attentive fathers to provide their daughters with a healthy form of male attention that will make their daughters less dependent on pimply pubescent boys is a really good idea.

Most urgent of all, Islamic imams must emerge to state that it is bad enough that their once glorious faith has instilled such hatred in young men that they are willing to sever the arms and heads of little children in buses. But if even their women become murderers, who will ever save them?

If you're writing about the exploitation of women in the West, abortion, abandonment and divorce seem more significant than reality TV shows.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2003 3:46 PM

Most Nobel Prizes are awarded after many years of experience, after seeing what research issues have staying power.

The Nobel Peace Prize is typically given for what has happened within the last one to three years. It seems to me that, confirming what turns out be successful in resolving cultural conflict, would take EVEN LONGER than the duration that's needed for the authentic Nobel Prizes. Consequently, those Norwegians demonstrate a pattern akin to premature ejaculation.

Posted by: Larry H at October 20, 2003 6:58 AM