Chesler Chronicles

Salon Revises Feminist History

Round Four in the Chesler-Wolf-Glazov-Salon Debate About the Islamic Veil

I AM AWAY FROM MY DESK AND HAVE LIMITED EMAIL ACCESS. BUT HERE IS A NOTE I JUST SENT TO THE EDITOR OF SALON’S BROADSHEET WHICH HAS JUST PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE WHICH WEIGHED IN ON THE SIDE OF WOLF’S ORIGINAL ARTICLE.

Dear Sarah:

Hello. I am out of the country right now, have limited email access and can only be brief. In the interests of fairness, I hope you will publish this note.

I am not surprised that Salon’s Broadsheet (which you edit) has chosen to publish a biased piece on the issue of the Islamic veil–and one which does not identify me as the cofounder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), cofounder of The National Women’s Health Network (1975), and the author of thirteen books, including Women and Madness (1972) , Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman (2002/2005), but only as the author of The Death of Feminism–without its important subtitle: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom?

Newcomers might think I am a Jane-Come-Lately to feminism.

As we both know, in the past, after Salon/Life and Salon/Broadsheet published two articles of mine, one of which received nearly 250 mainly supportive comments, Broadsheet chose not to publish my subsequently submitted feminist work, possibly due to straightened circumstances and possibly due to my politically incorrect view that human rights are universal not relative; that many high profile feminist liberals have become One Party leftists who prize the rights of formerly colonized Arab and Muslim men of color over the rights of formerly colonized (and still colonized) Arab and Muslim women of color. Too many feminists have sacrificed the rights of women, especially Muslim women, in order to avoid being called racists or “Islamophobes.”

Of course, the fact that I support America and Israel and oppose Islamic jihad and Islamic gender and religious apartheid means that my reputation as a feminist–and the work done by conservatives on behalf of women–must be either demonized or disappeared.

Something that your reviewer has just done.

Let’s be honest: Salon (not you) publishes Juan Cole and that fact speaks for itself.

Jamie Glazov, the editor of Frontpage magazine has written two articles about this dispute and about Salon’s coverage of it. You may read these articles HERE and HERE. They appear at Newsreal.blog.com. You may also read my previous blogs about this right here at Pajamas Media.

Below please find one recent comment at my blogsite which addresses your piece about the Chesler-Wolf-Glazov discussion about the Islamic veil which makes several important points.

Sincerely yours,
Phyllis Chesler
Feminist Leader for 42 years

Salon.com, 5/9, comes out squarely, on..Naomi Wolf’s side:
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/09/05/veil_debate/index.html

One of the clever misconstructions Tracy Clark-Fory does in this piece, is to give “equal summary” of both positions Naomi Wolf supposedly had.

But, the lines quoted, “I do not mean to dismiss the many women leaders in the Muslim world who regard veiling as a means of controlling women. Choice is everything. But Westerners should recognise that when a woman in France or Britain chooses a veil, it is not necessarily a sign of her repression–“are only 2 or 3 out of 60+lines on Naomi’s part.

By doing this clever manipulation, Tracy can say that Naomi has made a “colossal caveat” against forced veiling.

She has not done so, and Tracy is being dishonest in portraying Naomi in this way.