Wente Watch

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The patriarchal furriners

Wente's third article in a row bashing Turkish immigrants in Germany.

Most of the practices she describes - honour killings, child marriage - are already illegal in Turkey and have been so for decades. Turkey is perhaps the most aggressively secular country in the Muslim world, where even headscarves are banned.

That, of course, does not fit into Wente's script. If a crime against women is committed by a white person, it does not exist. As many as 40,000 women were trafficked into Germany to serve as sex slaves during the World Cup, but Wente wouldn't be interested in that; the traffickers and their victims were white. Nor, one thinks, would she care that 25 percent of German women have faced physical or sexual violence from their partners.

Just once could Wente talk about the problems women face without dragging race and religion into it?


  • Wente is just a common-or-garden American racist, imported into stardom here in Canada. Is she worth your tremendous and well-intentioned effort? First we had Babs Amiel (British) and now this poor imitator. Her current prominence is a sign that our country has still not come of age.

    By Blogger Dr. Dawg, at December 10, 2006 12:36 p.m.  

  • Betty should simply drag her racist ass back to the US where she belongs. She gives hacks everywhere a bad reputation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 11, 2006 8:24 a.m.  

  • As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not a particular fan of Margaret Wente. However, I think when it comes to violence against women in non-Western societies, both leftists and rightists subscribe to opposite but equally fallacious assumptions. Right-wingers sometimes act as if Western women are never abused, at least not by Western men, which of course is not true. On the other hand, at times leftists look a little silly when, for instance, they equate breast implants with female genital mutilation (disclaimer: I don't approve of breast implants other than after a mastectomy, and I know that in the past - note the word "past" -female circumcision was practised in some Western countries on girls and women caught masturbating).

    The study you cite on German women experiencing abuse proves my point about both left- and right-wingers being off the mark. Obviously the some of the women interviewed for this study were White German women. However, it's clear from the survey that immigrant women do face a higher risk of violence than their native-born counterparts. So maybe rightists should admit that yes, domestic violence against women can occur in the West and leftists should admit that violence against women, and certain forms in particular, are more prevalent in certain non-Western societies.

    Emilia Liz (emilia_e_murphy@yahoo.ca)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 12, 2006 10:41 a.m.  

  • What leftist has equated breast implants with FGM? I certainly don't, and know of none who have.

    The survey said only that women with an Eastern European or Turkish parent or grandparent faced a higher risk of violence. Eastern Europeans are white, and the survey classified on the women's ethnicity, which may not match that of the abusers. Nor does it seem to have adjusted for socioeconomic status.

    Certain particular practices (FGM, forced wearing of the niqab) do exist mainly outside the West. But I am not prepared to admit that things like trafficking, beating, rape, and killing of women occur with any less frequency in the West than outside it.

    This may or may not be true, but the only way to prove it would be a worldwide survey of violence against women, using standardized survey techniques, which to my knowledge has never been done comprehensively and probably cannot be done in most poor countries.

    Without such a data set, belief in Western women's freedom from abuse is a belief based on ethnic stereotypes, nothing more. These are stereotypes that Margaret Wente more than anyone else in Canada has devoted a career to promoting.

    By Blogger Tyrone, at December 12, 2006 11:19 a.m.  

  • I hope you will let me make a final point.

    If you search under "breast implants" and "female genital mutilation" in the same line, you will discover that yes, some radical feminists (who I presume are left-wing) do equate the two practices.

    I also feel some of Margaret Wente's articles smack of Islamophobia. On the other hand, I think it's possible to point out without being tarred as a racist that it's silly to deny that Western women do enjoy relative freedom from some phenomena that take place in some (not all) non-Western communities, like female genital mutilation (at least at this point in history), widespread female infanticide, or honour killings.

    Emilia Liz

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 12, 2006 3:40 p.m.  

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