Afghanistan has passed a law which allows men to withhold food and money from their wives if they fail to put out.* I’m sure glad we liberated that place:
The legislation, which governs many aspects of family life for Afghanistan’s Shiites, has been sparking controversy since Karzai signed an earlier version in March. Critics said the original legislation essentially legalized marital rape and Karzai quickly suspended enforcement after governments around the world condemned it as oppressive and a return to Taliban-era repression of women. (…)
The new law includes a section saying that a husband must provide financially for his wife. It also says he can withhold this support if she refuses to “submit to her husband’s reasonable sexual enjoyment,” according to a translation of the article supplied by New York-based Human Rights Watch.
In other news, Denmark’s Conservative Party wants to ban burqas in public:
“We don’t want to see burqas in Denmark. We simply can’t accept that some of our citizens walk around with their faces covered,” Naser Khader, a Danish member of parliament of Syrian-Palestinian extraction who was recently appointed spokesman for integration issues for the Conservative Party, told the newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
In comments published on Sunday, Khader said the burqa is un-Danish and oppressive towards women and should be completely banned. He and his party say that what people do in their own homes is their business, but as soon as they walk into the public domain, one should be able to see their faces.
My view is that (the burqa) is not Islamic at all,” Khader says. “The modern burqa was introduced by the Taliban when the movement came to power. So I associate the burqa with the Taliban.”
Both of these stories are awful, but I worry that complaining about one type of bigotry leads to a legitimization of the other in the minds of many people. Many on the conservative right seem to think all Muslims are misogynists, and should not be able to bring any of their customs to the west. Many on the liberal left see the bigotry Muslims face in the west. and are reluctant to criticize genuinely illiberal customs. A pox on both their houses.
*I wouldn’t find that problematic (apart from the symbolic impact of explicitly enshrining a husband’s right to the ‘tang in legislation) if there weren’t a whole lot of legal and cultural barriers to women supporting themselves without a husband.