One of the most boring and nauseating bromides of the left is the "war on women" illusion of victimhood they sell to gullible people, whose lives consist of preparing to claim outrage at the slightest infraction.
It’s a lucky feature of reality that eventually a set of circumstances emerges to test the sincerity of self-appointed knights, armed with Political Correctness, who believe they are on Earth to protect people—in this case, American women—who don't know that they need protecting.
Brandeis University, as you’ve heard, recently invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to give the commencement address at May's graduation, and receive an honorary degree celebrating her achievements in politics, literary accomplishments, and the courage she’s shown in commitment to the cause of human freedom and emancipation of women from the State-sponsored slavery of the Third World.
Ali was born in Somalia, and her strict Muslim family raised her there and in Kenya. During her youth, her parents, citing religious reasons, subjected her to genital mutilation and regular beatings. She witnessed the public rape of many women, and knew victims of "honor killings." The barbarism of relegating women to life in a torture chamber was not only routine, but also blessed by Islamic "holy men" and officials in government.
After her parents arranged a marriage with her and a man she despised, she made a rare jail break, and landed in the Netherlands, where she received political asylum and eventual citizenship. Not satisfied with selfishly enjoying her newfound freedom, while millions of her sisters suffered, she became a warrior for human rights, justice, and liberating women from the relentless abuse of clerical bullies, faith based sadists, and everyday thugs.
The trajectory of her fight took Ali to the Parliament, demonstrating that the strength of her spirit, accompanied by her immense intellect, is sufficient to shatter the shackles of even the most dedicated oppressor. She also collaborated with her close friend, Theo Van Gogh, to make a documentary film, Submission, about how the leaders of Islam, throughout the Third World, force women into the continual torment of a living hell. Most controversially, but also accurately, the film depicts how the horrific mistreatment of women is sanctioned by the Quran.
Shortly after the release of the film, a group of Muslim gangsters murdered Van Gogh, stabbing him to death, and in the process, affixing a note to his corpse that Ali was their next target. Ali continues to live under constant threat of violence, now working for the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. She has written about her life, and the courage of her struggle, in her memoir Infidel.
Ali is a true hero legitimately deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize but she is not, in the covered eyes and according to the puny minds of the leaders of Brandeis University, worthy of an honorary degree. Brandeis rescinded their invitation because she is “too critical of Islam.”
The face of moral cowardice and ideological weakness is now perfectly visible underneath a sickly spotlight of phony sanctimony, mindless multiculturalism, and capitulation to monsters who view women as chattel. Since the news broke of Brandeis’ disrespect of a true feminist icon, and tacit tolerance of her former abusers, the left has stood mute. The silence is the loudest noise in the world, because it overwhelms the self-pity American feminists express over the word “bossy,” nonexistent pay disparities, and politically incorrect jokes.
The silence of feminist liberals, and their refusal to defend Ayaan Hirsi Ali, should forever motivate anyone serious about the emancipation of women to treat them with the same icy turn of the shoulder they have given one of the world’s toughest and bravest women.
—David Masciotra is a columnist with the Indianapolis Star. He’s the author of All That We Learned About Living: The Art and Legacy of John Mellencamp (forthcoming, University of Kentucky Press).