Jared Kushner Double Insult
posted by alias A.Davey on Wednesday 24th of May 2017 11:01:05 AM
Writing today about Melania and Ivanka in Arabia, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker gushed: "All politics aside, Melania and Ivanka Trump stood as beacons of light in a part of the world that remains cloaked in the darkness of religious fundamentalism and oppression." Did Ms. Parker really say that? Unbelievable! First, when you're at the center of a presidential entourage on a state visit, there is no putting politics aside. Secondly, this incredibly tone-deaf piece of writing is a jaw-dropping example of Western cultural imperialism. We might as well be reading the Times of London ca. 1850, when brave Christian women went to the darkest outposts of the Empire to civilize the natives.. Where diplomacy has failed, Melania and Ivanka's long, flowing locks and knock-'em-dead fashion sense are sure to bring down Islam's misogyny overnight. But the double standard doesn't end there. Let's not forget that Saudi Arabia wasn't the only foreign state on this trip where the oppression of women has been institutionalized since the middle ages. Worldwide, the Vatican denies 1.2 billion Catholics reproductive freedom including access to safe abortions and to contraceptives. The Catholic Church claims a monopoly over the faithful's freedom to marry and to terminate failed marriages. And, in the political realm, Catholic women are essentially excluded from positions of real power and authority within the church. So, where were our "beacons of light" when they were at the heart of religious fundamentalism and oppression at the Vatican? Why, they were dutifully dressed in black, their lust-inducing locks safely hidden under black veils, as chaste and virginal as little girls at their First Communion. (Should Ivanka ever run short of cash, she'll be able to license her look to Mattel for their Vatican Barbie® in a New York minute!) To recap, the President's painted women are more than willing to trample upon Muslim sensibilities publicly in Saudi Arabia (where this sort of thing has been known to end badly), but back in the West, they're far too afraid of the criticism and outrage that would follow them home if they took their faux-feminist road show to the Pope. So much for Ms. Parker's examples of feminine power. www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/melania-and-ivanka-trump-... Note: One might be tempted to point out that the Vatican "requires" that women wear head scarves and other modest attire as a condition to being allowed into the presence of the Pope, whereas the Saudis "permit" women dignitaries to appear bare headed in certain settings. By this logic, the Melankas (the collective term for Melania and Ivanka) were only adhering to local rules. How churlish and very, very uninformed it is to raise such a fuss! To swallow that line of reasoning would be to elevate form over substance. The fact is that Saudi women are not allowed to appear in public without proper Islamic attire that covers the hair. Expat women are not exempted from the dress code when they appear in public. While I do not know what calculus informs the Saudis' decision to allow foreign women who are heads of state or the wives of foreign heads of state to appear bare headed in public, I suspect it just might have something to do with petrodollars, arms sales and geopolitics. Oh, and the probable pervy delight that Saudi princes take in seeing Western women in what, by Saudi standards, is en déshabillé. Regardless, it is still a double standard to grant a privilege to a handful of elite foreign women that is denied Saudi women. If the Melankas had any sort of principles, they would have insisted on wearing head scarves during their visit to the Kingdom in solidarity with the oppressed women of Saudi Arabia and out of respect for local customs. It might have helped the Muslim world get over the fact that just last year Lyin' Donnie Trump was rousing his base by holding forth about how much Islam hates America. What about the excuse that the Melankas showed up for their audience with the Pope in mantillas because it was verboten not to? Well, we can at least take comfort in knowing that for a few hours Mrs. Donald Trump and Mrs. Jared Kushner were being fully and very publicly complicit in their own subjugation by the patriarchy. But given that everything they have and are flows from the largesse of Daddy Donald, I don't think that's anything new.