Females the "fairer sex"? Women the wave of the future
? Girls the hope
for the developing world
? Hang on, says Courtney Martin
"[J]ust because we champion the notion that girls and women, when
empowered--economically and educationally, have the capacity to change
the whole dang world, it doesn't mean that we have to deny their twin
power for destruction." Writing in The American Prospect, Martin
responds to new research
showing that "women were far more involved in [Holocaust] atrocities
... than previously thought." The thing is, she says, that's "not
Anyone who reacts with shock to the reality that
women have the capacity to be immoral, malicious, and violent--just
like the guys--hasn't paid enough attention in history class, much less
to the nightly news ... The "banality of evil," as Hannah Arendt
described it, is alive and well in the women who sit by as their
co-workers are sexually harassed or their neighbors are racially
profiled or as the social safety net is cut out from under our most
vulnerable citizens (usually women and children).
argues--from a decidedly left-leaning perspective--that women's connection to
violence and oppression can be seen in everything from female support
for the Iraq war to consumption of environmentally damaging products.
She is particularly incensed by the number of women supporting
anti-feminist policies. The conclusion? "[A]ll of the most beloved
trends in the social change of the moment--are fueled by a belief in
the goodness of girls and women." That's all well and good. But
claiming "immunity" in the face of real, female-perpetrated wrongs
"would be denying ... our past (slavery, for starters), our present,
and the possibility of a more honest, less violent future."
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