Saturday, April 04, 2009

Tops in taps

Truer words were never spoken: “Peanuts are really a bipartisan issue.”

Karzai claims to be reconsidering the new marriage law (which my previous posts should have made clear apply only to Shiites, who are a smallish minority in Afghanistan). Today Obama finally spoke out about it (in response to a question at a press conference), calling it “abhorrent.” I could have done without him adding a cultural sensitivity caveat (“And we think that it is very important for us to be sensitive to local culture, but we also think that there are certain basic principles that all nations should uphold, and respect for women and respect for their freedom and integrity is an important principle.”), since I can’t think of any instance in which being “sensitive to local culture” about the position of women in society is not likely to be at the expense of equality (and you’ll notice he talked about respect for women, a rather elastic term – the Shiite fundies would claim to have nothing but respect for their chattel women – and freedom and integrity, but did not mention equality.)

It’s interesting that Western news stories have focused almost exclusively on the marital rape aspect, with many reports leaving out the requirement for wives to get their husbands’ permission to set foot outside the family home, and even fewer mentioning the legalization of marriage of girls after they menstruate for the first time.

From the Strasbourg NATO summit, the tap-dance stylings of Sarko and the O Man:

Some world leaders, sadly, simply cannot tap.

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