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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Its the women, stupid. (April 26, 2003)

What is the biggest problem in the Middle East? Its the women, stupid. Its not the oil, dictatorships, lack of democracy, Jews, Christians, Muslims, history or any other number of seemingly important elements in those countries. More than a decade after the first Gulf War women in Kuwait still can't vote. And in many countries nobody can vote. Or, like in Iraq, your vote is a joke. Did Saddam really win 99.9% of the last vote for President of Iraq? Probably not.

In many Middle East and Asian countries women must completely hide themselves from the view of all but family. Millions of women are not only invisible socially, but female infanticide is believed to have done away with millions. Males in this area of the world are considered more valuable than females. A hard pressed family will feed the males and let the females starve. Consequently, men, besides being more numerous, have less contact with females in a society. Polygamy simply makes the problem worse by making an even smaller number of women available for marrying. Then there are the stories about the ruler of Kuwait and his harem. He divorces one of his four wives each week and marries a new teen bride. Making one woman a week unmarriable or turns her out to prostitution. All this from a man who is good friends with many powerful, but good family values Christians, in Washington.

The Taliban, during their rule, were said to place white flags above the houses with young unmarried women. This was so that the warriors would know there were women who needed special protection. In reality it was said that the most successful soldiers were allowed to take the women as brides.

So millions of men deprived of a normal relationship with women, and no sex with any but prostitutes. But not if they were faithful Muslims. So how might this lack of the softening influence of women play itself out? Would they become more aggressive or inclined to go to war to capture women from other tribes or countries? There is certainly historical information about this phenomenon. Alexander the Great's men certainly took slaves/women from this and other areas they conquered. And any number of others before and after.

But we are here today. As are those millions of men unfluenced by women and many with no hope of ever marrying. Then there's the virgin solution. Kill heathens and do yourself in and go straight to heaven and have your very own private harem of 36 (or 64 or 72 or whatever--just like with Christianity, where sects are divided, and have killed each other, on the basis of how many angels can stand on the head of a pin) virgins. Or go to war against the tribe next door and steal their women. Or become successful at killing infidels and win an extra large share of the women in your tribe. All of these factors mean that women will be even more important as little more than property as larger numbers of men fight over a diminishing number of women. Similar phenomenon can be seen in first world countries and the smallest tribes in the remotest parts of the world.

This writer does not know how women will get the right to vote, own property, decide who they want to marry, etc. It seems very likely nothing much will change unless those qualities of life become available to every woman, half the people on this planet. On the other hand this only took 150 years to accomplish in the United States.

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