Little Green Footballs has a link and snippet of The New York Times take on Hughes’ speech to a large group of upper class Saudi women.
Mrs. Hughes is in Saudi Arabia to do some public relations work on the ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Several others have failed before this latest stab, but one has to give Mrs. Hughes credit for effort — while questioning whether it’s worth our time and resources to engage the inhabitants of LaLa Land at this level.
What attracts your notice is not the content of the story. Instead, it is Charles Johnson’s cut-to-the-chase headline which frames the account and renders it intelligible.
|tuesday, september 27, 2005|
|Battered Woman Syndrome|
|The New York Times would like us to know that Saudi women are perfectly happy living inside black sacks, unable to drive cars or even leave the house without a man’s permission: Saudi Women Have Message for U.S. Envoy . (Hat tip: LGF readers.)|
Thus, they boast to Mrs. Hughes that not being permitted to drive is a good thing. And in their eyes, it is. After all, these are professional women — doctors, lawyers, etc.. Of course they don’t need to drive! If they drove, what would they do with all the chauffeurs?
Their desperation is so complete that they claim the necessity to appear in public smothered in their abayas — those head-to-toe coverings that call to mind moving phone booths — is a special privilege and protection.
Sorry, ladies. In the course of my checkered career I spent eight years doing crisis counseling with battered women, about three thousand of them all told. The drivel you spout is identical to the party line these abused women followed when they were in the resignation stage — there are other parts in the cycle but the need to resign oneself to the reality in front of you is germane to this particularly pathetic example of being determined to love the cage, even admiring the bars and locks. What else can you do when you find there is absolutely no way out… and besides, you tell yourself, the cushions are soft and comfortable.
Don’t blame these women. They didn’t make their society and their attempts to change it have to be incremental and strategic.
The belief system of Muslims requires of the women they denigrate something more than mere denial. In order to survive these womean, at all levels of Muslim cultures, must erect a very elaborate system of defenses, something closer to a psychological condition called “reaction formation.” Think of the difference this way: denial is a useful defense mechanism for a particular situation one finds unpleasant or scary. Reaction formation, however, is reserved for total war on an untenable but engulfing and unending state of affairs:
|Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want. It also appears as a defense against a feared social punishment. If I fear that I will be criticized for something, I very visibly act in a way that shows I am personally a long way from the feared position.|
|A common pattern in Reaction Formation is where the person uses ‘excessive behavior’, for example using exaggerated friendliness when the person is actually feeling unfriendly.|
We do them no favors to argue with them. Would you argue with the Queen of Hearts or the Mad Hatter? Same thing. Don’t waste your breath on this one.