The simultaneous news coverage of the war in Iraq and the rape scandal at the U.S. Air Force Academy exposes again the feminist double standards and hypocrisies.
Feminists complain about sexual harassment by American men, but if committed by ruthless enemy men, feminists applaud it as progress made toward a gender-neutral military.
Most Americans were shocked to learn that at least one U.S. servicewoman, Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, of Fort Bliss, Texas, is a prisoner of Saddam Hussein. One more servicewoman, Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22 of Tuba City, Ariz., is listed as missing in action. Another, Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va., was held captive for several days before being rescued.
Feminists see this as proof that women are advancing toward equality with men on the battlefield. In point of fact, women under Saddam are not equal, whether they are Iraqi women or U.S. prisoners of war.
Johnson is a single mother of a 2-year-old daughter. She was part of an Army maintenance unit ambushed and captured after the convoy she was traveling with made a wrong turn. Johnson had enlisted to be an Army cook and never dreamed she would be sent into a situation where she could be captured in combat.
This is not only a tragedy for Johnson, it is a humiliation for the United States and a step backward for civilization. No crisis or threat requires our government to send mothers of 2-year-old babies across the seas to fight brutal terrorists.
Army regulations have always exempted women from direct ground combat. But the feminists in the Clinton administration opened up more "career opportunities" for women in 1994 by getting the Pentagon to eliminate the "Risk Rule," a regulation that had exempted women in noncombatant positions from assignment with the "inherent risk of capture."
I wonder if the recruiting officer explained this to Johnson when she enlisted to be a cook, or if the sales pitch was confined to Army job opportunities and day-care benefits.
A New York Times editorial brags that Johnson's capture shows how the U.S. military has "evolved" and "the case for equal footing is gaining ground."
But, the Times bemoans, the military is "a laggard on the topic of women in combat" and still retains "glass ceilings" that bar women from direct combat.
The editorial writer must have been a fan of one of the feminists' favorite fantasy films, "G.I. Jane," in which Demi Moore proves she can take it like a man by getting herself savagely beaten and almost raped. Her fellow servicemen are required to watch this travesty as part of sensitivity training to accustom them to abuse of women by the enemy.
This is the kind of equality the feminist movement has always sought and why the movement remains outside of the mainstream, although it does control the Democratic Party. The feminists' legal oracle in the years before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg emerged, Yale Law School professor Thomas I. Emerson, described the goal of gender equality in the Yale Law Journal in 1971: "As between brutalizing our young men and brutalizing our young women, there is little to choose."
This callous attitude toward women in the military, contrasted to the warm-and-fuzzy silence about Bill Clinton's treatment of women, proves that the feminists' goal is not to protect women from sexual assault, but to force the United States, including the military, into a gender-neutral society. The feminists' goal is not about achievement for women, or else it would be lauding President Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., as role models, which it does not.
Those who seek to understand the peculiar ideology and goals of the feminists would find it instructive to ponder its current favorite award-winning movie, "The Hours." It is a dreary and depressing tale that makes heroines out of three women who cynically put their own self-fulfillment above every other goal. They betray marital promises, flout moral standards, walk out on the duties of motherhood and trample on everyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with them.
It is amazing how feminists fail to learn the lessons of their own choices and fail to see how their propaganda movies actually prove the reverse of what was intended. The movie "G.I. Jane" proves that Jane is ridiculous in trying to be a Navy SEAL. "The Hours" proves that the narcissistic pursuit of personal happiness by author Virginia Woolf and by the movie's two main female characters, Laura and Clarissa, can produce only loneliness and suicide.
The tragic capture of Johnson shows U.S. citizens that the feminist agenda is an attack on the family, marriage, motherhood and common sense. Where are the male politicians and military commanders who will stand up and say out loud that feminist ideology, like G.I. Jane standing naked in the shower, is an empress who has no clothes?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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