Russell and Duenes

Communism was Good to Women

with 3 comments

“Democracies have been hard on women, and communism has been good to women.”

So said Robin B. Wright during a lunch-time talk today at my law school. Wright is a renowned foreign correspondent and author of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World. The above sentiment strikes me as shocking from one who has spent so much time in communist countries over the years. Ms. Wright seemed to base this opinion largely on the fact that autocratic dictatorships have numerically more women in their parliaments than so-called democracies do, many more than the United States. I guess someone forgot to tell me that the number of women in the government is the measure of how “well” women are doing in that society.

Indeed, Ms. Wright spoke glowingly of countries that dictated (she called them “quotas”) how many women must be in the government, fawning over one country – I can’t remember which – that allocated fifty-percent of their parliamentary seats to women. She went on to lament the fact that countries that were once communist, upon going democratic, saw a corresponding drastic drop in the number of women in government. This giving-people-freedom business is really bad news, because, I assume, she thinks that men just take over in democracies. Yes, let’s go back to the gulags, secret police, religious and political persecution, economic squalor, and all so that we can have more women in government. My jaw is still dropping even as I write this. Does Ms. Wright contemplate the number of women who have been murdered over the decades at the hands of communist governments?

Further, her opinion implies that the main reason women are not better represented in democratic governments is because the men in democracies keep women down. But might there not be some desire by women in free countries to do other things beside become senators? I don’t know a single conservative who would not vote for a Margaret Thatcher type candidate in this country, but we simply haven’t had her. Is that because there’s a “glass ceiling?” I think not. I think it’s fantastic that women have the freedom to choose to do a bazillion other things besides run for office. But I sure would vote for a fine woman candidate, believe me, over some of the men we have now. And I’m sure I’m nowhere close to alone about this.

This notion that governments should set quotas seems to be along the lines of the Thomas L. Friedman school of thought, he being one who imagines that having an “enlightened” dictatorship for even a few days, who could come in and command what’s “good” for us (such as paying $8.00 per gallon for gasoline) to free us from our ignorant and foolish selves. Whatever else may be said, it’s safe to say that communist governments are not good for anyone, male or female.



Written by Michael Duenes

September 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Duenes, Government, Islam

3 Responses

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  1. I would ask Robin Wright why so many women risk their lives to leave communist countries, and so few try to get in.

    If you have to put a barbed wire fence up to keep people from leaving, that’s a clue that things ain’t so hot.


    September 25, 2011 at 10:39 pm

  2. I think this book fully disqualifies her from being a relevant voice for women.


    russell and duenes

    September 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm

  3. a lunch-time talk today at my law school.

    Interesting to be back in the seculo-humanist lion’s den, isn’t it? But you know, I wouldn’t trade it. Living in the Christian ghetto feels strangely unfulfilling.

    The above sentiment strikes me as shocking from one who has spent so much time in communist countries over the years.

    Never forget that sin makes you stupid, as Mark Shea is fond of saying. The chief trouble with trying to counter someone like Wright is… where do you even begin?


    September 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm

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