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Thursday, October 19, 2017
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A day without drama

It was in the Juneau International Airport this week when it struck home: The American Left has twisted its mission of “liberation of the oppressed” into a pretzel. It is now merely a Coalition of Grievances that lifts up oppression as an American value.

A white, retirement-age man sat near me in the departure lounge waiting for his flight. His gray sweatshirt bore the image of a Muslim woman with perfect features and bright red lips wearing a headscarf made of an American flag, and some script from the Constitution imprinted nearby: “We the People” — the sort of script you usually see conservatives wearing on their ball caps.

You’ve seen this hajib-wearing image by now all over the media. Campy and unexpected, it has replaced the Barack Obama HOPE poster as the image d’jour for the liberal agenda. It’s the new symbol for “those who oppose.”

And yet, there’s a deep irony that cannot be ignored: Muslim women wear the headscarf for religious reasons, for modesty, and because for many of them, they simply have no choice. They have no choice about most of their lives. Many of them are living under oppressive regimes that will stone them to death if they don’t submit.

The American flag headscarf is a lovely touch, but most Muslim women don’t wear bright red lips. Many of them are beaten by their husbands, and their genitals are mutilated at a young age. Their faces, so often, cannot be shown outside the home. They don’t get medical care.

The hajib, a symbol of liberation and our Constitution? When did it become normalized for progressives to lift up the oppression and marginalization of women as their symbol of freedom?

Whether it’s a day without pink knit hats or a day without hajibs, I don’t want a day without women. I want a day without fake identify politics and fictitious grievances.

I’m a hat-wearing woman who wants her a days filled with hard work ahead, problems to solve, checklists to punch, people to help, communities to serve, friends to comfort, and so much to do I cannot get to it all.

I want a day with dozens of phone calls, some laughter, and just enough face-palm moments to keep me alert.

I want the blessing of my women friends to call and text, and my men friends too. The voice of a child would be icing on the cake at any time of the day.

And I want my day to start and end with star-gazing, because it’s still winter-ish in Alaska. Most of all, I want to appreciate everyone who helps me get through the day and keep focused on the work I do best.

“A Day Without Women” may have been the day when Identity Politics jumped the shark and finally overstayed its welcome. But there’s been a quiet rebellion underway since early 2016, when most of America wondered why all lives didn’t matter, not just black lives. They were being bullied into silence, but they would have their say at the ballot box in November.

In January came the pussy-hat brigade, women and men wearing those adorable two-eared pink hats that represented female identity and power, and with them came the creative vulva-vagina costumes parading down the streets of every major city. Conservatives in America went to work, took care of children and elders, and tried to not judge the narcissists too harshly. They just silently removed offenders from their Facebook feeds.

Civil folk may be too polite to say it, but I will: “I could do with a day without all the drama.”

THE DAY AFTER THE DAY WITHOUT WOMEN

Fifteen-thousand students in Alexandria, Virgina didn’t attend school yesterday because too many of their teachers decided to take the day off in observation of “A Day Without Women.”

Over a thousand families were forced to find alternative care for their children on that day, because 300 women decided not to show up for work in the act of ultimate petulance.

It was an exercise that may have had unintended consequences.

Today, it’s back to work for the participants who decided that they were terminally special and that they would make their absences felt. They may be alarmed to discover that not only were they not particularly missed, some of their coworkers may have breathed a temporary sigh of relief at the absence of whining, micro-aggression and a self-absorbed victim mentality. 

In other words, the Day Without Women points to the universal truth: The world goes on without us. Others fill in, pick up our slack, get things done. We are all special and we all get a trophy for participation, regardless of our genital plumbing.

And finally, the wheels of industry will turn because most people, women very much included, will be good enough to show up to work and turn the lights on. And they likely won’t be wearing a pussy hat.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • God bless you. What a refreshing article. It would be nice to return to a time of civil discussions…to be able to speak freely without the name-calling. To a time when we aren’t continually labeled. Best thing I’ve read in quite awhile.

  • You’re an Alaska treasure, Suzanne.
    Dave

  • Do you actually know any Muslim women?
    During law school in New York City the majority of my friends were of the Muslim faith and some of them wore a hijab. I assure you that this was not against their will. They and female members of their families, both in the US and in the Middle East, did not consider themselves to be oppressed. Their genitals were not mutilated, they were allowed to drive and hold jobs, they celebrated their faith just as I celebrate mine as a Catholic.
    You say that they don’t have choices, but you don’t actually know that. My female Muslim friends had MANY choices, including where they received their educations. I actually shared your comments with my friend Suha, a Muslim whose family is originally from Palestine. She laughed at your characterization, which is generous, considering that she could have been deeply offended instead.
    Painting these women with such a broad brush is just flat out racist. Next time get to know the people that you write about.

    • So I guess because you know a few Muslim women who live in America, the millions who don’t aren’t experiencing what the author described. Sorry, but you’re little window of the world isn’t the whole picture. I’ve been to more than one Muslim country, and I’ve seen how they treat women myself. And it far more closely resembles the author’s description than yours. But never let a Leftist pass up an opportunity to call someone else a racist, which you took full advantage of.

  • Angler–you’ve been to Muslim countries, but did you talk to these women? Did they tell you that they are oppressed and abused? Did you see them getting beaten and forced into head scarves? Perhaps they were, perhaps they weren’t–but my point is that we shouldn’t assume, just because a woman is brown and wearing traditional religious headwear, that they are suffering as victims of religious oppression. You can’t really tell until you actually have a meaningful conversation with someone.
    And my little “corner of the world” not only involved my fellow law student friends but also their families, that were 1st generation (legal) immigrants to America. Many of them still lived at home, and I spent time there and knew them well. And we talked about the misperception that Muslim women are oppressed. As one of the largest religious groups in the world, this is a population just as diverse as Christianity.
    So the idea that it’s hypocritical to feature a woman in a hijab as a symbol of empowerment–that’s my problem with this hypothesis. Because I know many women that wear a hijab that are deeply empowered, and some of them also wear red lipstick.

    • If you know anything about Muslim countries…it sounds to me like your sole experience in this regard is in talking to women who, while of Muslim heritage, reside in the U.S….then you’d know that if I’d tried talking to them, they’d have been severely punished. That is just one of the forms of oppression they live under. I don’t need to hold a discussion to verify what I see. Your political agenda regarding this matter demonstrates the hypocrisy of your party. You claim to be for women’s rights, women’s empowerment, etc, yet you lend your support to the influx of Muslim men into nations who are eons ahead of Muslim nations in their treatment of women, with the effect of bringing traditional Muslim oppression of women into those nations. If you don’t see this, you’re ignoring it. You supported a candidate for President who has accepted large political “donations” from Muslim countries who oppress women. You say you’re for LGBT rights but apparently support the ideology of people who throw them off buildings, because you are bringing them here. What’s REALLY going on with you on the Left is a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” tactic. It’s very evident, and only the naive are being fooled by it. As long as you view these “immigrants” as future supporters of the Democratic Party, you’ll continue to fight to dilute our American ideals…our REAL ideals as outlined in our Declaration of Independence, not the sham you pretend them to be. I guarantee that if these “immigrants” voted Republican, you’d be fighting tooth and nail to keep them out. Archives of recorded words from your own party prove this to be true. So you can drop the self-righteousness and fake empathy.