You may have missed it, but March 8 was International Women's Day, a holiday unconnected to a religious rite or person, and with no national or even seasonal significance. It is socialist in origin, and it was Lenin himself who made it an official holiday in the Soviet Union. Not surprisingly, it is now a rite of the United Nations.
In these origins lie the day's basic fallacy: that womanhood is an international -- global -- political state of being; that there is a universal female political condition, which urges, a la Marx, "Women of the world, unite!" Against what? The common foe -- men.
As with Marxism itself, for such a sisterhood to coalesce, even on paper or in elite committees and multinational organizations, the profound cultural and religious differences that shape and guide people's lives have to be minimized, denied or actually destroyed. In real life, however, culture and religion will out, as they did on this year's International Women's Day.
In post-U.S. Iraq, Reuters reported on the International Women's Day activities of "about two dozen" women -- a brave handful -- who demonstrated in Baghdad against new, sharia-based legislation now before Iraq's parliament. Known as the Ja'afari Law after an early Shiite imam, the legislation would allow Iraq's Shiite Islamic clergy to control marriage, divorce and inheritance. Among other things, this would permit marriage between a man and a 9-year-old girl, according to the marital example of Islam's prophet Mohammed. Indeed, by the Gregorian calendar, as The Associated Press pointed out, such legislation would apply to girls who are 8 years and 8 months old. (The Islamic calendar year is 10 or 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar year.)
Guess who has approved of this child rape legislation -- some den of social outcasts? No, the ministers of Iraq's cabinet. They preside, of course, over a government created in large measure by great expenditures of U.S. blood and treasure. The draft law now awaits a parliamentary vote.