Maybe it's just me, but I didn't think that the way to liberate women from manichean stereotyping was by replacing one set of stereotypes with another. It's still just a bunch of gibberish. I've been thinking about that lately after the whole Lysistrata thing, and then I came across this article on a "progressive" website. Here's the most offensive paragraph (and I had a hard time choosing):
Liberation, the act of rescuing the damsel in distress, the art of war to free people seen as incapable of carving out their own destiny, is a patriarchal fallacy. The idea of liberating Iraq by force represents the systematic domination of male over female, the forcible rape and ensuing grief and shame of disempowerment that women have historically encountered as victims of male-perpetrated violence.
As opposed to the everyday reality of rape, grief, disempowerment and shame that women endure under Iraqi rule. By this logic, no population, no matter how forcibly repressed, has any excuse for not liberating itself. And no one can help them, either, because that's patriarchal. Instead, we should listen to our feminine side in the matter:
Embodied in the female experience is this notion of conscience. It is the intuitive, secret voice that whispers the directions for following a higher path. It is the dreamlike symbolism revealed through humility and introspection. Turning inward requires reflection and self-knowledge, faith in the unseen. It is the root system which takes hold beneath the soil before peering upward into the light. First we must go deep before emerging into the world.
Iraq, the religious and historical cradle of civilization, is a potent metaphor for femininity. It is the Fertile Crescent, the great mother womb which gave birth to inventions like the wheel, the art of writing and three of the world's far-reaching religions, Islam, Judaism and Christianity which share a common Abrahamic lineage. It is the home of archaeological treasures buried deep in the vast desert sands. It is the home of unheard weeping, suffering borne disproportionately by grandmothers, mothers and children.
The invasion of Iraq is a crime against all women, against all that is feminine and sacred.
Here's where I'm going to get a little wound up. Women aren't somehow "closer to the divine" than men. Iraq is a country with a history. It is not a womb, not a sacred repository of the earth mother, and not a cypher for the great and powerful holiness that is WOMAN. And while I don't doubt that there is weeping and suffering borne disproportionately by women there, it's NOT because Iraq will probably be liberated by force, it's because REAL WOMEN, with REAL, NOT FIGURATIVE WOMBS AND BODIES, ARE BEING OPPRESSED, TORTURED AND KILLED BY THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS.
Get your head out of your sacred womb, you stupid cow, and look at reality. You're so caught up in "big ideas" about patriarchy and earth mother symbolism that you cannot see how your pseudo-intellectual analysis and resultant paralysis lead to the continuing perpetration of crimes against living, breathing women. There is a fine line between deliberate ignorance and willful evil, lady, and you're walking it. No matter how enlightened you think your uterus makes you.