If Gilead Is Anywhere In The World, It’s Saudi Arabia, Not America

If Gilead Is Anywhere In The World, It’s Saudi Arabia, Not America

Gilead is a fictional place. But if it exists, it’s found in a country like Saudi Arabia, where women are trapped under sharia law and punished for wearing miniskirts.

Gilead is coming. That’s what progressive groups like Planned Parenthood and MoveOn.org wanted Americans to believe with the Republican health-care bill on the table last month. But what, or where, is Gilead? It’s a fictional land from the book and later Hulu mini-series “A Handmaid’s Tale,” which its progressive fans have deemed “unexpectedly timely.”

Like me, Bloomberg View’s Megan McArdle actually read the book and sees little comparison between our present day and Margaret Atwood’s fictional Gilead, a land battling a scourge of mass infertility by enslaving women into forced breeding.

Never ones to let reality stand in the way of a narrative, fundraising opportunity, or free publicity, these progressive groups decided to note their opposition to the bill by showing up on Capitol Hill dressed as characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” In so doing, they once again showed themselves to be the unserious partisans they are, not actual feminists. Declining to mandate that 70-year-old men carry maternity insurance or asking Americans to pay for contraceptives with their own dime is now akin to putting every fertile woman into sexual slavery in service to the state? Give me a break.

The country could not be more polarized. That polarization, not to mention the hyperbole progressive politicians, organizations, and journalists launched at those on the Right, directly led to the election of President Trump. One would think, then, that progressive groups would be spending this time post-election building bridges and listening, instead of continuing the same rhetoric that lost them both houses of Congress and the White House. Alas, we’ve seen with The Resistance and handmaids showing up on Capitol Hill that’s too much to ask.

What common cause might American feminists work on alongside conservative Americans? Here’s a hint, care of the government of Saudi Arabia. CBS reported on the latest out of the sharia-controlled kingdom: “Police in Saudi Arabia have arrested a young woman who wore a miniskirt in public and posted the video online, sparking backlash from people who say she flagrantly violated the kingdom’s conservative Islamic dress code.”

Instead of coming to the defense of these women, who aren’t allowed even to drive, let alone dress how they choose, American feminists are silent. One of their spokeswomen and a celebrated leader of the ultra-Left Women’s March, Linda Sarsour, is a public defender of sharia law. She seems confused why anyone might object to women not being allowed to drive when they have ten weeks of maternity leave, which they can spend cooped up in their homes.

When news broke of this young woman’s arrest, what was Sarsour spending her time tweeting? Hilariously, it was not condemnations of the actions of the Islamic government, but instead, condemnations of CNN’s Jake Tapper for being a part of the “alt-right.” You can’t make this stuff up.

What, exactly, was Tapper’s crime? Condemning Sarsour’s vile comments about an actual feminist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation and a campaigner for women’s rights in Muslim countries.

No matter how much the Left screams about the dystopian reality we live in under President Trump, they cannot seem to understand why Americans are ignoring their desperate cries. For those so-called feminists, here’s a clue: Gilead is a fictional place. But if it exists, it’s found in a country like Saudi Arabia, where women are trapped under Sharia law. The women defending that law, like Sarsour, are not your allies.

If these feminists would like to lose the “so-called” modifier and regain an ounce of legitimacy, it would behoove them to admit that going nuclear over the possibility of paying $15 a month for birth control pills is nothing but hyperbole. Instead, they should be using their influence to defend women who live without the freedom to drive themselves out to protest their government in the ridiculous costumes of their choosing.

Bethany Mandel is a stay-at-home mother of three children under four and a writer on politics and culture. She is a columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward, and a contributor at Acculturated. She lives with her husband, Seth, in New Jersey. You can follow her on Twitter @BethanyShondark.
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