Arts & Letters Daily links to two articles, both protesting against the absurdities and cruelties of political correctness.
The play’s first audience was a group of undergraduates from Brown University. They came to a dress rehearsal. The play ended and I asked the folks what they thought. “Don’t you think it’s politically questionable,” one said, “to have the girl make a false accusation of rape?”
I, in my ignorance, was stunned. I didn’t realise it was my job to be politically acceptable. I’d always thought society employed me to be dramatic; further, I wondered what force had so perverted the young that they would think that increasing political enfranchisement of a group rendered a member of that group incapable of error – in effect, rendered her other-than-human. For if the subject of art is not our maculate, fragile and often pathetic humanity, what is the point of the exercise? And if the writer is capable, why enquire, let alone obsess about his sex? No one ever said of a comedy, “I laughed myself sick until I discovered the sex of the writer.”
But as Theodore Dalrymple makes clear, there are limits to the notion that a woman can do no wrong. If the wrong is done to her by her own ethnic minority, and even in particular by a male member of it (her father), then it is all her fault.
… One father prevented his daughter, highly intelligent and ambitious to be a journalist, from attending school, precisely to ensure her lack of Westernization and economic independence. He then took her, aged 16, to Pakistan for the traditional forced marriage (silence, or a lack of open objection, amounts to consent in these circumstances, according to Islamic law) to a first cousin whom she disliked from the first and who forced his attentions on her. Granted a visa to come to Britain, as if the marriage were a bona fide one – the British authorities having turned a cowardly blind eye to the real nature of such marriages in order to avoid the charge of racial discrimination – he was violent toward her.
She had two children in quick succession, both of whom were so severely handicapped that they would be bedridden for the rest of their short lives and would require nursing 24 hours a day. (For fear of giving offense, the press almost never alludes to the extremely high rate of genetic illnesses among the offspring of consanguineous marriages.) Her husband, deciding that the blame for the illnesses was entirely hers, and not wishing to devote himself to looking after such useless creatures, left her, divorcing her after Islamic custom. Her family ostracized her, having concluded that a woman whose husband had left her must have been to blame and was the next thing to a whore. She threw herself off a cliff, but was saved by a ledge.
I’ve heard a hundred variations of her emblematic story. Here, for once, are instances of unadulterated female victimhood, yet the silence of the feminists is deafening. Where two pieties – feminism and multiculturalism – come into conflict, the only way of preserving both is an indecent silence.
The silence cannot be preserved. Something has to give. And it is giving.