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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #2)

Mon May 26, 2014, 09:47 AM

3. You nailed it when you mentioned the Middle East.

Islam is highly patriarchal. The conflict between Muslims and the West, imo, centers around our differences in gender relations. I have a Muslim Pakistani friend who told me in 1991 that he didn't like "the way we treat our women." He specifically objected to our pornography, our exploitation of women's bodies for commercial purposes, and to the "license" we give women in the West to "usurp" traditional, male roles in society. This, I think, more than anything else, is what drives the antagonistic relationship we have with primarily Muslim countries.

I nearly laughed at my friend's critique. It's not like Western men "control" women at all. Women have made all the above-listed "advances" on their own with little help from men. Many (if not most) Western women seek the end of patriarchy (and, as a Westerner, I agree with them, despite the backlash caused by these dramatic changes in gender relations). Evidently, most Islamic women currently disagree, as they continue to teach and propagate patriarchy. But you are spot on when you identify the Middle East as a hot spot for this controversy.

I can't see the UCSB shootings as a "lone gunman" situation that we can easily, lazily, and quickly dismiss with condemnation and psychoanalysis (i.e. the dude was just crazy). Of course, this murderer was crazy, but he was also reacting to widely-experienced angst among Western men, and we ignore that angst at our peril. I'd rather talk about and address these issues. Ignoring them will merely allow them to come back and haunt us in the future.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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LineLineReply You nailed it when you mentioned the Middle East.
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