Wednesday, September 28, 2005

LGF Spots the Gilded Cage

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.

The Grey Whore Lady rendered the story in its (yawn) usual anti-Bush-administration recipe. You know — two parts venom, three parts condescension and at least a soupçon of “who us?” innocence that accompanies all its stories regarding things Reviled and Republican.

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.)
That says it all. Anyone who has ever worked with battered women, or who has survived the experience of “domestic terrorism,” recognizes immediately the reflecting image in this sad account of the Saudi women defending the terms of their degradation.

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.
As things loosen up for Muslim women around the world, you can expect them to begin to find the courage to say what’s real. But until then, they will sound like these privileged, caged women: shrill and not credible at all.

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.


starbender said...

This can mean only one thing:

Dymphna said...

Yes, that is their condition. That is what I was describing without naming it specifically.

The brainwashing begins at birth and continues till the day you die. It is global; there is no seeing beyond it.

So if some extraterrestrial being like Karen Huges wanders in, one can hardly expect her information to be welcomed by the prisoners.

What would be the point?

John Sobieski said...

Exactly, they (these pokesack women) believe their life is right and Karen and her 'kind' the immoral infidels are corrupt and kafir. Even though they clearly see Western women on TV, while they watch it, they know it is immoral. It never even enters their mind that they could be wrong. Never. That's blasphemy you see. And Karen, because she does not understand that, is wasting our money going on pretending to the Muslims and they are taqiyyaing back mixed in with a good bit of sass.

Allah know not.

FYI Pokesack is a burlap bag from olden po' south days, 'pig in a poke'. However, like the pokewomen who believe they must cover up their body, which all is a 'sex organ' - just ask Mo - a pig in a poke was something of value to be bartered. So maybe the pokewomen, in their wacky world, are quite sane and 'happy.' That Islam! Isn't it something? I've run out of adjectives for it. How about Cult of the Pokewomen or the Pokepeople or the Pokers or MoPokes or Pokemores? I think I'm onto something to amuse myself.

Dr. Sanity said...

Good psychological analysis! You can also think of it as "identification with the aggressor" a common psychological strategy for pure survival in an extremely hostile environment.

unaha-closp said...

Mrs Hughes addressed Saudi women from families rich and powerful enough to school them at a Saudi University. These women will probably spend more in one year than I will make in 20. They will have frequent trips to Paris, be on holiday every other week, live in palaces with servants waiting on their every need, never want for anything.

There are women in the West who will willingly have sex with a 60 year old, marry him, ignore the husband cheating, stomach staple and breast enlarge to achieve what these Saudis have. Perhaps Mrs Hughes should have taken her roadshow to The Hamptons to see if her argument for giving up utter luxury is convincing.

AbbaGav said...

So well said, Charles too of course. I also wonder how broad a sample of Saudi women were selected to speak with this important American visitor. I would guess they were probably about as representative a group as a mainstream media townhall meeting set up to speak with President Bush.

Not that I expect circumstances to be better for other Saudi (Muslim) women, the opposite in fact. They showed the woman happy to be in the gilded cage, but there are a lot of women trapped in cages not made of gold. This was the lucky potemkin group, oh so very happy and comfortable.

goesh said...

Unaha - these Hampton women haven't had a clitorectomy done for one thing. You want to seriously address differences? I don't think this is done in Saudi Arabia but it sure the hell is done in many parts of the islam world. The Hampton women don't have to worry about honor killings either, now do they. But be of good cheer, Unaha, a man in Jordan who does an honor killing can get up to 6 months in jail! Breeding cows dressed in sacks, that pretty much sums up the female status in most of the islamic world.

Sissy Willis said...

Natan Sharansky's doublethinkers and fear societies come to mind:

Fear societies are inevitably composed of three separate groups: True believers, dissidents and doublethinkers. True believers are those who believe in the ideology of the regime. Dissidents are those who disagree with that ideology and are prepared to say so openly. Doublethinkers are those who disagree with the ideology but who are scared to openly confront the regime.

Fear societies, heavy and lite

OBloodyHell said...

> I've run out of adjectives for it. How about Cult of the Pokewomen or the Pokepeople or the Pokers or MoPokes or Pokemores?

...The Pokeahontas?