Proclamations from various authors on the apathy of feminists towards the Islamic Supremacist threat
The following is commentary from various authors who are clearly aware of the amazing lack of involvement by feminists in facing the threat of Islamic Supremacism, which clearly has Western women in its cross-hairs for eventual subjugation.
(1) "During the 1980s, there were massive demonstrations on American campuses against racial apartheid in South Africa. There is no remotely comparable movement on today's campuses against the gender apartheid prevalent in large parts of the world". ... For a brief period before September 11, 2001, many women's groups protested the brutalities of the Taliban. But they have never organized a full-scale mobilization against gender oppression in the Muslim world". 1.
(2) "Today, the Feminist Majority Foundation continues to support Muslim women around the world, but the effort has lost much of its momentum. Most of the foundation's current work is directed against what it perceives as injustices suffered by women in America. ... The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) has been intelligently fighting the mistreatment of women in the Muslim world for several years. In 1997, in a heroic effort to expose the crimes of the Taliban, Eleanor Smeal, the president of FMF, with the help of Mavis and Jay Leno, created a vital national campaign complete with rallies, petitions, and fundraisers. It was a good example of what can be achieved when a women's group seriously seeks to address the mistreatment of women outside the United States. The FMF, working with human rights groups, helped to persuade the United States and the United Nations to deny formal recognition to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. It helped convince the oil company UNOCAL not to build a pipeline across Afghanistan, and it brought the oppression of women living under radical Islamic law into clear relief for all the world to see. But Smeal and her organization soon found themselves attacked by the same monitors of rectitude who disparaged Martha Nussbaum.... Today, the Feminist Majority Foundation continues to support Muslim women around the world, but the effort has lost much of its momentum. Most of the foundation's current work is directed against what it perceives as injustices suffered by women in America". 1.
(3) "Yes, NOW and the Feminist Majority have not ignored the horrors visited on women in Muslim countries. Yes, they send out updates that address global issues. Yes, they condemn honor killing. Yes, they bemoaned the burqa. But when the time comes to mobilize their forces, to hold demonstrations, to put real energy behind dangers to women, what concern do they focus on? Abortion - an issue clearly selected as part of the campaign against President Bush. Why else would they concentrate on abortion as an INTERNATIONAL issue, as last Spring's march did? I agree with Roth that feminist groups have to decide where to devote their limited resources. And that's the entire point. Is lack of access to abortion THE greatest danger to women across the planet? Does it imperil more women than a political force which would consign women to illiteracy, poverty and death by stoning? Hardly. So it is impossible for any reasonable person to believe that it was selected for any reason other than domestic politics. 2.
(4) "And when feminist groups focus on reproductive rights in this election, ... American women care deeply about it. In fact, it’s probably the one issue that moves American women to action like no other. When they see an outright assault on this right, they write letters, they make calls, they hit the streets, they become activists". 2. (NOTE: They fail to apply the same zeal to atrocities committed by Islamic Supremacists).
(5) "On the defining issue of our times, the rise of Islamic extremism, what is left of the sisterhood has almost nothing to say. Instead of “I am woman, hear me roar”, there is a loud silence, punctuated only by remonstrations against Tony Blair and George Bush — “the world’s number one terrorist” as the marchers would have it". 4.
(6) "But that aside… I have to wonder one thing. For years I have been speaking out on Islam, Jihad and Sharia, and for years I've wondered - where the hell are all the women's advocacy groups? I spoke about this before 9/11 because of the atrocities against women in Afghanistan due to the Taliban. Day after day, week after week, we read about the horrendous happenings to women the world over because of Sharia. In fact, it is occurring more and more here in America and yet, I never hear a peep from one women's advocacy group. It's not like they don't know what Sharia is doing, or capable of; the people in these groups must read the news or watch television". 6.
(7) " If an injustice is committed, a moral person has a duty to condemn it - be it forcible abortions in China, rapes in Darfur or state-sponsored oppression carried out in Saudi Arabia. Wearing white ribbons is not enough, despite Germaine Greer's protestations". 7.
(8) "When the "celebrities" of feminism could use their fame to ignite discussions of such issues in a complacent media ridden with torpor and lassitude, but fail to do so, the true failings of Western feminism become self-evident". 7.
(9) "As you look at this inventory of brutality, the question bears repeating: Where are the demonstrations, the articles, the petitions, the resolutions, the vindications of the rights of Islamic women by American feminists? The weird fact is that, even after the excesses of the Taliban did more to forge an American consensus about women’s rights than 30 years of speeches by Gloria Steinem, feminists refused to touch this subject. They have averted their eyes from the harsh, blatant oppression of millions of women, even while they have continued to stare into the Western patriarchal abyss, indignant over female executives who cannot join an exclusive golf club and college women who do not have their own lacrosse teams". 8.
(10) "Despite their vigilance in behalf of women’s rights in America and other Western nations, Women’s Studies Departments across the nation have been strangely passive in the face of the barbaric treatment of women in Islamic regimes. Numerous hours are spent in the classroom, dissecting the reasons for the ‘wage gap’ in America, violence against women and the ‘privileges’ accorded Caucasian males. But courses on the plight of women in Islamic regimes are strangely absent. Where there are a few courses that touch on Islamic women in Women’s Studies programs, the focus is often cultural and literary, while the abuses go unmentioned. This failure to confront the abuse of women who live in Islamic countries stands in stark contrast to the mission statements of many Women’s Studies departments, which describe their focus as the inequality that women suffer in patriarchal societies". 12.
(11) "Aqsa Parvez, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl living in Canada, was, according to police, strangled to death by her father because she refused to wear the hijab. ... One might have assumed that the Left would be leading the charge against a culture that victimizes those who want to live their lives the way they want to, but that has not been the case. Leftist publications had little to say about her death. Feminist writer Katha Pollitt, as of this writing, still hasn't written a word about it. Nor has anyone else at The Nation. CounterPunch? Not a word. The National Organization for Women? Nothing. Even Human Rights Watch has shown no interest in the case of Aqsa Parvez". 13.
(12) "Now Ms. Gibbons faces up to forty lashes as punishment. Her crime? Allowing her students to vote on the name of the teddy bear. They chose to name it Muhammad. And so the government has charged her with insulting Islam and inciting hatred. Forty lashes is not a small punishment. It is physically brutal and can be fatal. Women should stand up together in outrage over the unjust treatment of this woman who has put her own life in jeopardy to teach children in a region ravaged by human rights atrocities. But where is the National Organization for Women? Are they leading the charge to free Gibbons? Are they working to bring attention to this horrible situation? Are they demonstrating and protesting and organizing letter writing campaigns? Nope. None of the above. In fact, NOW isn't doing much of anything about this". 19.
(13) "They cherry pick the causes to blast. When it's a case involving a glaring abuse of human sensibilities their silence is deafening......". 19..
(14) "In other reports, women who are captured by government forces are asked; “Are you Christian or Muslim?” and those who answer Christian, are gang raped before having their breasts cut off. This phenomenon of Islamic sexual violence against women should be treated as the urgent, violent, repressive epidemic it is. Instead, journalists, academics, and politicians ignore it, rationalize it, or ostracize those who dare discuss it". 25.
(15) "In the context of this epidemic of Muslim violence against women, and the open legitimization of it pronounced by Islamic clerics, one would think that the Western feminists of our time would be up in arms, sympathetically coming to the side of their raped sisters and standing up for women’s rights in general. But this is just not the case. The West's leftist feminists are responding with an apathetic heartlessness and deafening silence. It's all very much understandable and expected, of course: it is politically correct and cutting-edge to scream with moral indignation about a woman's right to an abortion in the West, but to actually care for - and come to the public defense of - the female victim of a gang-rape committed by Muslims is unthinkable". 31.
(16) "It has long been evident that Western leftist feminists couldn't care less about real actual breathing women; they care only about their ideological beliefs. For them, the victims of Muslim rape can be easily forgotten and dismissed -- for the pursuit of their ultimate goal: to aid and abet the West’s totalitarian enemies and to wreak the destruction of their own free societies which bestow the individual liberties and rights that they despise and abhor". 31.
(17) "In the midst of this cultural and moral struggle one element has been conspicuously missing - the feminists - the authors, academics and commentators who rose to prominence as advocates of women's rights. In Australia and Europe, their response to the growing levels of sexual intimidation, harassment or suppression of women by Muslim men has either been a deafening chorus of silence, or denial and blame-shifting". 33.
(18) "Hussein's plight has made headlines around the world, spawned countless blogs and even merited a mention from the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, he of the anti-burqa brigade. Classic feminist fodder, you might think. And yet, there is one missing element in the indignation at the injustice of Hussein's fate: her Western sisters. Their absence is glaring from a nascent internet campaign to eliminate Article 152 of Sudan's criminal law, which decrees trousers, a routine option for British women, "indecent" or "scandalous". The brief list of international groups supporting the online petition comes from countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and even Afghanistan, but not, you can't help notice, from Britain, the United States, or even France. A placard held by one of the 100 or so protesters who gathered outside the Khartoum court may have proclaimed that "Lubna's struggle is every woman's", yet that's not the impression you get from London. Where are the women protesting outside the Sudanese embassy? Where are the feminists sticking up for the basic human right to put on what you like when you get out of bed? Where are the calls to impose tough sanctions against Sudan for oppressing women, as we did against South Africa for oppressing the majority black population in its apartheid days? Where, in short, is the International Sisterhood? Apparently it's too busy worrying about whether lads' mags such as Nuts and Loaded are degrading to women (yes) or if pictures of impossibly skinny models dent a woman's self-confidence (need I answer?). Or if women are misrepresented in adland as bloated, constipated, greying airheads overwhelmed by laundry. And our politicians are hardly helping matters. Where was their condemnation ahead of Hussein's hearing? They were too busy worrying about whether men should be trusted to run things (Harriet Harman) or about magazine pictures being airbrushed (this from the Liberal Democrats' new policy on women's issues). Now that women have largely won the big political fights in this country, Harman's concerns notwithstanding, we sisters, it seems, are too busy picking personal fights over assaults on our personal image or perceived discrimination in the workplace to worry about the big political fights still to be won in countries such as Sudan. That, at any rate, is the view of feminists such as Jean Edelstein, an author and journalist, who believes that the second wave of feminism has gone soft, with concerns about work-life balance and gender-related pay gaps taking precedence over hard issues such as subjugation of women and sexual violence" 34.
(19) "Tammy Bruce writes of the failure of NOW to speak out or make any type of statement when a British schoolteacher in Sudan was arrested and tried for allowing her 7-year-old students to name a teddy bear, Muhammad. NOW also declined to speak up or out or against the Saudi government when it arrested a young rape victim and sentenced her to 200 lashes and prison time for being in the company of a male not her father or brothers. ... 'When I searched Smeal’s Feminist Majority website to get a statement about either situation, I found none. The Smeal site has a brief newswire story about the Saudi rape victim, but no position statement or condemnation. They have absolutely nothing posted about the Gibbons situation. A search of the NOW site reveals nothing posted about either outrage. This wholesale abandonment of women by the American so-called feminist leadership on an issue that transcends party politics perfectly illustrates how vapid, and even malevolent, they have become. Where is Eleanor Smeal? Gloria Steinem? Kim Gandy of NOW has proven where she is — with the rest of her cohorts hiding behind the NOW couch, save she would be required to take a position that might “offend” Islamists. (Tammy Bruce)' ... Bruce is spot-on. She writes that today’s feminists are vapid, which is true. Where are the feminists when it comes to the issues that affect millions of women across the globe, issues that are more than just rising above a “glass ceiling” in the white collar work force? Issues which force them to address the one religion that teaches its followers to remove the female genitals of its little girls, which teaches its women are less than second class citizens? ... Most women are one man away from welfare. ~Gloria Steinem ... Why this total disconnect between white women’s rights and those of other ethnicities, such as the Muslim women throughout the world? ...A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual. ~Gloria Steinem ...The fact that so few people are now interested in obtaining a degree in women’s studies in Britain points out that feminists have become relics in an amazing short amount of time due to their own unresponsiveness to real world issues that face women". 38
(20) "When stories such as al-Hussein’s flash around the world, there’s usually a missing element: The feminist movement rarely becomes part of the narrative. The rise of shariah law constitutes the major global change in women’s status during this era, yet Western feminists remain pathetically silent. Feminist journalists like to speculate about the future of activism among women today, but you can leaf through a fat sheaf of their articles without encountering a mention of Muslim women. Feminist professors, for their part, show even less interest. Trolling through the 40-page program of the European Conference on Politics and Gender, held in Belfast last winter, I found feminist scholars (from Europe, the United States and Canada) dealing with women’s political opportunities, the implications for women of new medical technology, the politics of fashion and even women’s response to climate change. What I couldn’t find was even one lecture or discussion devoted to so-called “honour killing.” Nor was there any mention of the thousands upon thousands of women routinely flogged, raped, imprisoned or stoned to death, often with the tacit or explicit agreement of Islamic governments". 40.
(21) "Nothing seems to move Western feminists when it comes to Islam and conditions of third world women in general, not even the stoning and flogging of women going on right now in Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Muslim countries". 44.
(22) "British schoolteacher Gillian Gibbons, an unimposing woman of 54, was found guilty of "inciting religious hatred" and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation by a court in Sudan’s Khartoum after allowing her 7-year-old students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad.”In the meantime, Islamist fundamentalists have called for her execution, and her safety is in constant jeopardy. Demonstrations have increased, with crowds carrying machetes, shouting in part: “Execute her! Kill her, kill her by firing squad.” She is under such threat, Sudanese authorities have moved her to a secret location to ensure her safety. Apparently, naming a cuddly bear Muhammad insults the prophet, while mass-murdering homicide bombers named Muhammad don’t. During the past 14 years at least, certainly since Usama bin Laden declared ‘war’ on Western civilization in 1993, we’ve all been exposed to the literal madness of Islamic fundamentalism. We’ve seen the curtain pulled back on how craven American leftists can be as well. Yes, it took a teddy bear to highlight more clearly than ever the psychosis of the enemy, and the failure of the feminist establishment. There has been appropriate international outrage over the treatment of Gibbons, from virtually everyone except American “feminists.” Multiple Muslim groups in the U.K. have condemned the sentence. Even the popular little boy in Mrs. Gibbons’ class who suggested the name for the bear came to her defense, explaining that he named the bear after himself. Yet, when asked by FOX News for a comment about the situation, a National Organization for Women spokeswoman said they were not putting out a statement or taking a position. This is how depraved the American left has become. A little Muslim boy in Sudan shows more courage and conviction for a woman under fire than a bunch of women sitting in Washington, D.C., who preen themselves on being the premiere “advocates” for women. It’s been apparent for years that the American feminist establishment is nothing more than a shill for the shallow leftists in the Democrat party, wrapping themselves in the feminist label for convenience. Groups like NOW and Eleanor Smeal’s Feminist Majority, also amazingly silent in the past five years about Islamic terrorism and violence against women, use women’s issues as nothing more than slogans and chants in their efforts to gain political power. Their vile silence isn’t limited to the Gibbons situation. In Saudi Arabia, a gang-rape victim has been sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison. Why? Because when she was raped, she was violating Sharia law by being out with a man who was not a relative. Her sentence was actually increased when she dared to appeal her sentence. What has NOW’s and the Feminist Majority’s response been to this obscene outrage? The same silence offered to Gillian Gibbons. Nothing, because God forbid we should be reminded that there is a disturbed enemy out there worth fighting, and God forbid that for one moment we should suggest that the United States might not be heinous imperialist the left casts us to be. (NOTE: The following sentences in quotes and the two asterisk pairs were quoted previously, in #19 of this section) **'When I searched Smeal’s Feminist Majority website to get a statement about either situation, I found none. The Smeal site has a brief newswire story about the Saudi rape victim, but no position statement or condemnation. They have absolutely nothing posted about the Gibbons situation. A search of the NOW site reveals nothing posted about either outrage. This wholesale abandonment of women by the American so-called feminist leadership on an issue that transcends party politics perfectly illustrates how vapid, and even malevolent, they have become. Where is Eleanor Smeal? Gloria Steinem? Kim Gandy of NOW has proven where she is — with the rest of her cohorts hiding behind the NOW couch, save she would be required to take a position that might "offend" Islamists".** What else are we to think? That Gibbons might deserve her fate? That the Saudi gang-rape victim was at fault? It’s safe to say misogynist Islamist dictators don’t care what feminists think, but other women, and the Western world, do. By saying nothing, the American feminist establishment sends a message that this sort of treatment is deserved; these women were somehow at fault; they do not deserve advocacy; and that Islamist tyrannies that punish rape victims, execute homosexuals and imprison teachers are right to do so and should not be questioned or criticized. As an authentic feminist, my work has always been based in the belief that America, and American women especially, have a responsibility to help women internationally achieve their freedom. Our financial power is key, but so are our voices. Civil rights organizations rightly speak of the power of "advocacy" — the act of speaking up for people who are unable to speak for themselves. Calling attention to abuse, violence and oppression is something the left claims it does, but these days they’re more than willing to throw those who need our voices under the bus. Their obsession is to make sure the leftist false construct of an evil George Bush and oppressive United States won’t be eclipsed by the truth — the truth of a world where our enemy targets women on a daily basis for terror, torture, oppression and murder as our troops risk and give their lives to banish that horror from the lives of tens of millions. The abject failure of the feminist establishment is now undeniable, yet feminist work continues. Overwhelmingly, Americans in general have been appalled at the treatment of women in the Islamist world and say so. In these two instances, blogs and news sites have collectively condemned the Saudi rape victim’s further victimization by the Islamist system, and Gibbons’ terror has also been exposed, followed, and condemned by Americans of all stripes. There have also been a few organizations since 2003 that have done astounding authentic feminist work for women and children around the world, and in Afghanistan and Iraq specifically. The American military, without even a passing "thank you" from so-called feminist leaders Smeal or Steinem or Gandy, have liberated over 53 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq, with a good 25 million of those being women and children. If the Marines were taking their orders from those so-called feminists, the same women who support and laud Hillary Clinton, those now free people would still be enslaved. The official position of America regarding the suffering of women around the world would be the equivalent of NOW’s ubiquitous “no position” position. It is the last appalling betrayal, and one that should condemn them to the dust heap of exposed hypocrites, pretenders and failures. 49.
(23) "The silence of the professional feminists in the face of the barbarities of Islam regarding women has long been a source of wonder — if not disgust — for regular folks. We keep waiting for them to speak out on behalf of women who suffer slave status in Muslim theocracies. There has been only silence…or even worse, a disturbing preoccupation with trivialities like the Vagina Monologues or the rage against those who dare to disagree with their victim whingeing. The decades-old complaint about gender inequity has been transformed into a full-fledged deep hatred of men that makes these upper middle-class women look like spoiled, overprivileged narcissists". 50.
Proclamations of various authors concerning the current focus of feminist activity
The following excerpts discuss the type of activities which seem to currently predominate in the feminist community.
(1) "Today, the Feminist Majority Foundation ... Most of the foundation's current work is directed against what it perceives as injustices suffered by women in America. On February 20, 2007, a Pakistani women's rights activist and provincial minister for social welfare, Zilla Huma Usman, was shot to death by a Muslim fanatic for not wearing a veil. And he had a second reason for killing her: She had encouraged girls in her community to take part in outdoor sports. The plight of women like Usman does not figure in NOW's "Six Priority Items," although Global Feminism is one of the 19 subjects it designates as 'Other Important Issues.' NOW hardly mentions Muslim women, except in the context of the demand that the U.S. military withdraw from Iraq. So what sort of issue does the flagship feminist organization consider important? NOW has just launched a 2007 'Love Your Body' calendar as part of its ongoing initiative of the same name. The body calendar warns of an increase in eating disorders and includes a photograph celebrating the shape of pears. There is also an image of the Statue of Liberty with the caption, 'Give me your curves, your wrinkles, your natural beauty yearning to breathe free.' The calendar bears these inspiring words: 'None of us is free until we are all free.' To breathe free, college women are encouraged to organize 'Love Your Body' evenings. NOW suggests they host 'Indulgence' parties: 'Invite friends over and encourage them to wear whatever makes them feel good--sweat suits, flip flops, pajamas--and serve delicious, decadent foods or silly snacks without the guilt. Urge everyone to come prepared to talk about their feelings and experiences.' This is pathetic". 1.
(2) But surely, if the West’s brand of feminism is to be a serious and sane force, it can’t just focus on the imperfections of our own society, but must also be on the forefront of fighting for women that are truly brutalized by barbaric misogynistic regimes. Soaud, who had gasoline poured on her and set aflame in an attempted honor killing in a Palestinian village, didn’t have the luxury of being “oppressed” by capitalist advertising. Where are the feminist demonstrations in the West on her behalf? 2.
(3) "... returning to a point Ms. Roth made, where she argued that the two largest feminist organizations, NOW and the Feminist Majority, have “maintained women’s rights as their priority, not taking positions on the Mid-East. I couldn’t disagree more strenuously. Saying that these groups have kept their focus on women’s rights begs the central question: Which women? And the choices they make speak volumes about their agendas. Take the march for women’s lives held this past Spring. Now, don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more pro-choice. However, when the leading feminist groups hold an enormous rally proclaiming that George Bush is THE major danger to women internationally because of his stand on abortion, they’re telling us pretty clearly that they either don’t know or don’t care much about the realities with which most women on the planet live. They were proclaiming that Bush is more dangerous to women across the globe than fundamentalist crazies who want to force women back behind the veil, more dangerous than zealots who want to deprive women of any education, more dangerous than mullahs who insisted that women be stoned to death for looking at men to whom they weren’t married. I don’t believe for a moment that the leaders of that march were ignorant. They were implicitly refusing to criticize Muslims because they’ve decided that the enemy of their enemy (Bush) should not be singled out. By taking a stand like that, they demonstrated a shocking indifference to the lives of the women they purport to defend. So I can’t buy Roth’s declaration that these organizations have maintained their focus on women. Quite the contrary. I think they’re selling out these women because they’re more concerned with being part of the 'anyone but Bush' coalition". 2.
(4) "At this horrible, perilous moment in history, I can’t see wasting my dwindling energy on concern over the facelifts of affluent women in the U.S. and Europe. Yes, women are objectified. Yes, advertising can be evil. Yes, we haven’t reached the mythic equality that so many of us have fought for. But let’s get real: How can we, in good conscience, say that we care about women's lives if (we) focus our energies more on facelifts than on the enslavement of women in the Sudan, the mutilation of women in Africa, the entire absence of choice for millions of women? It’s heinous to set yourself up as a “feminist” with priorities like that. Indeed, if we want to talk about what or who constitutes the greatest danger to women in the world, it is certainly not George Bush but Muslim fundamentalists. They’re the ones attempting to deprive Muslim women of even the few choices they have gained". 2.
(5) "Visitors to next month's Feminism in London 09mini-conference, for example, will be able to partake in workshops on several topics, including "What's wrong with prostitution", organised by the Poppy Project and featuring two "survivors" of the sex industry; "Commanding the camera and setting the agenda"; a "hard-hitting feminist anti-pornography slide show" presented by Sandrine Leveque, and a session on "Poverty and Motherhood" featuring Bea Campbell. Also (and I suspect popular) will be "Power in Bed", a "fun facilitated discussion" about "how the social forces and power dynamics we challenge publicly also shape our most intimate interactions". In there somewhere is a workshop entitled "Racism and sexism: What are the issues for black and minority ethnic women?" which might conceivably have something to say about how cultural and religious pressures impact on the lives of Muslim women. But even this will "look at how sexism and racism multiply and compound each other" - seemingly ignoring the possibility that it is not so much racism as anti-racism (i.e. multiculturalism) that multiplies and compounds sexism in some communities. And it's noticeable that there's not one session addressing issues that face women in other parts of the world. I don't claim that feminists are unaware of issues disproportionately affecting parts of the Muslim community, both in this country and worldwide: issues such as forced or forcefully-arranged marriage, under-age or inappropriately young marriage, sexual segregation, removal from education, genital mutilation (in extreme cases), "honour" crime, domestic servitude, sexist religious assumptions and cultural pressures of various kinds. It's just that they don't seem to be very high up the agenda. I looked, for example, at the website of the Fawcet Society, perhaps Britain's leading feminist organisation. The only relevant item I could find was a report on a 2006 debate about veiling. Because of its visibility, and the challenge it poses to long-held assumptions about the link between sexual integration and female empowerment, the veil does get feminist juices flowing. Yet - unlike in France - there's no feminist consensus about it, with some even arguing that it is empowering for women (though I've yet to see any non-Muslim women adopt it). There's a timidity about the feminist position here that contrasts remarkably with the clear statements feminists make about subjects that more directly affect white middle-class women. ... Compared with the horrors of domestic violence, forced marriage and honour crimes, the veil might seem to be a minor issue. Yet it's the only one they're interested in talking about". 15.