At Slate’s XX/XY blog (ostensibly for women’s issues–probably the least contrarian part of the site), J. Bryan Lowder writes about the reaction of Egyptian men(interviewed by the NYT) to the spectacle(like those I wrote about earlier) of women being disrobed and beaten by security forces. To summarize, they wondered most about why these women were not being kept at home by a relevant male authority, that perhaps the victims wished to show off their lingerie and offered no moral judgement on the agents of the disrobings/beatings. To this Lowder writes:
While it’s always dangerous to analyze the psychology of a different culture,I think it is safe to say that in this case, a kind of social contract has been irreparably broken.
What sort of contract? Lowder elaborates:
A repressive, virulently patriarchical society like the one the Egyptian military apparently wishes to foment in its country can only function with the tacit (whether coerced or freely given) consent of the women it oppresses. But when those same men who demand chastity, modesty, and all the rest prove themselves to be hypocrites by violently demeaning women in the streets, the silence is bound to be broken.
So, the Salafis, Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military all want a repressive virulently patriarchal society and it’s “always dangerous to analyze the psychology of a different culture?” Something doesn’t compute here and it’s not just Lowder’s lousy logic. The ideology of multiculturalism mandates that when a bad thing happens, it can never be ascribed to anything about the culture within which it occurred. It also requires that if the aspersion of cultural inferiority is even hinted at that the genesis of such defects be dated to the most recent societal upheaval. This gives a mulligan to nearly every glorious democratization of every Muslim country in the world. How convenient.