Monday, December 12, 2005

Women’s Rights in Iraq: No Gender Gap

Buried toward the bottom of a poll of Iraqis done by several major news organizations is an interesting finding:
WOMEN – Finally, this survey asked about women’s rights in Iraq, and found a broad range of responses: On one hand 99 percent of Iraqis support women voting or working as medical doctors; on the other fewer than half say a woman should be able to serve as president, and fewer still, 38 percent, say women should be eligible to serve as an elected village or town chief, known as a mukhtar.

These views, surprisingly in the less-tolerant cases, are almost identical among men and women. The differences instead, as in so much in Iraq, appear in the regions.
The ABC News story on the poll can be found here.

The findings regarding gender are “surprising” only to people who have bought the standard feminist notion that men oppress women.

In fact, gender norms seldom find evil sexist men opposed to righteous egalitarian women. In fact, the conflict is virtually always cultural and not based on gender.

This is certainly true in the United States, where in the 1970s there was either no gender gap on the Equal Rights Amendment, or (when polls showed a small one) women were more conservative.

Much the same thing applies to this day about abortion: women are not more liberal, and may be a bit more conservative than men.

This undermines the standard politically correct way of viewing issues, which is that the world is neatly divided into oppressed and oppressor classes and that one should side with the oppressed. No questions about who is really oppressed or whether the “oppressed” class really thinks what is’s assumed to think are allowed.

None of this is reason to oppose gender equality, but it is reason to face the truth, which is that the battle isn’t between men and women. Men are not the evil oppressors that feminist theory insists.

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