Who Has It Worse? Women In America Or Elsewhere?
Mollie Hemingway
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Who could deny that the problems identified by feminists in America are serious? Here are just five recent examples of how bad women have it in the States, each followed by a look at a minor problem faced by women in other parts of the world.

American Problem #1

Gendered toys being distributed McDonald’s.

Did you know that McDonald’s distributes toys with its so-called Happy Meals? And that these toys come in “boy” and “girl” varieties? Can you believe what a human rights violation this is? Slate is on it, thank goodness. This must be stopped.

Global Problem #1

234 girls kidnapped from Nigerian schools last week by Islamist extremists.

As the Associated Press reports:

The kidnappings are believed to have been carried out by Nigeria’s Islamic extremist rebels, known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram — the nickname means “Western education is sinful” — is violently campaigning to establish an Islamic Shariah state in Nigeria, whose 170 million people are about half Muslim and half Christian. Boko Haram has been abducting some girls and young women in attacks on schools, villages and towns but last week’s mass kidnapping is unprecedented. The extremists use the young women as porters, cooks and sex slaves, according to Nigerian officials.

American Problem #2

High school boys asking famous people to the prom.

Reigning Miss America Nina Davuluri was at a high school assembly recently to discuss the importance of science and math. Male aggressor Patrick Farves took the opportunity to ask her to prom. He was suspended.

Feminist leader Amanda Marcotte called this practice what it really is: sexual harrassment of the worst kind imaginable.

Global Problem #2

Iran to hang 26-year-old rape victim.

Rayhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year-old former interior designer, was scheduled to be hanged after serving seven years in prison for stabbing a man she claims drugged her and attempted to rape her. The execution has been postponed, but is still pending.

American Problem #3

Banning the word “bossy.”

In March, high-achieving women such as Beyonce and Condoleezza Rice joined Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s campaign to ban the adjective “bossy.”

And no, it’s not bossy that all the cool and beautiful girls who are super-popular and wealthy got together and decided that not only were they not going to use a word but that no one else could either. Why do you ask?

Global Problem #3

Gendercide

According to a Pakistani media outlet this week:

Beverley Hill, the founder and President of a women rights organization “Gendercide Awareness Project”, which was formed to combat prejudice and injustice against women, has said that China is leading in Gendercide index and India is at second place. Addressing a special meeting of South Asia Democracy Watch Board of Directors, Ms. Hill said that her group is fighting a systematic mass genocide of women population, through selective abortion in many countries of the world.

American Problem #4

Banning “sorry.”

While they were at it, the folks at Elle magazine thought it might be a good time to ban women from saying “sorry.” Because what the world has, as we all know, is way too many considerate people.

Global Problem #4

Saudi Arabia has slight limitations on women

Such as that they can’t drive. Well, that might be a slight over-statement, according to Atlantic Cities:

There’s no official law in Saudi Arabia that bans women from driving. But its Interior Ministry won’t issue licenses to women. When pulled over, women have to sign a pledge saying that they won’t drive again. A second violation means signing another pledge and waiting for a male relative pick them up. Whoever picks them up has to also sign a pledge saying they won’t let the women drive. The ban stems from the ruling family’s Wahhabism, a strict interpretation of Islam that requires women to get permission from a male guardian not only to drive but get married, travel, work, and go to school.

American Problem #5

The confidence crisis

Men take more risks, which means they’re more likely to end up in the corner office and also in jail or on the street. Elite, privileged feminists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman want women to take more risks and they assure us this will mean only good things will happen.

Global Problem #5

Not all countries are what you’d call bastions of feminism.

As Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente notes:

In Pakistan, the Council of Islamic Ideology, a powerful body that advises the government and parliament on legal issues, has made several devastating pronouncements. It ruled that under sharia law, rape victims can’t use DNA evidence alone to prove their case; instead, they have to rely on the evidence of four witnesses. It wants the government to change the law that says a man must get the consent of his first wife before he takes a second one. It also says says the ban on child marriage (the legal age for girls is 16) is un-Islamic… Disturbing statistics aren’t hard to find. In Egypt, for example, 90 per cent of women have had their genitals cut. More than half the population still support the practice (even though it is illegal), and certain hard-line clerics encourage it in God’s name. “Circumcision is the reason why Muslim women are virtuous, unlike Western women who run after their sexual appetite in any place with any man,” says Sheikh Yussuf Al Badri, from Al Azhar Islamic University in Cairo, in the film. In the Palestinian territories, at least 27 women and girls are thought to have been killed in honour crimes last year, as reported in the Washington Post. One was a a young mother of six whose body was found hanging in an olive tree.

I know the global situation isn’t as bad as it is at Wellesley, where a sculpture of a man clad in underwear terrorized the students and caused “triggering,” but we shouldn’t completely dismiss the minor concerns of women in other countries, even as we wage war against McDonald’s for having toys for boys and toys for girls.

Photo "The USO Warrior and Family Center located on Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center" by The USO
Photo "The USO Warrior and Family Center located on Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center" by The USO
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