Idiots like Ann Coulter and Ron Rosenbaum insist that no one on the left will denounce the intolerance of Islamic religious extremists. Maybe they should try actually reading Katha Pollitt instead of smugly and ignorantly denouncing her as That Awful Woman Who Hates The Flag. Here’s the opening of her current column in The Nation:
The war between religious fanaticism and secular modernity is fought over women's bodies. Feminists have been saying this for years, not that anyone important was listening, but the Miss World riots in Kaduna, Nigeria, should make it obvious even to the dead white males at the Washington Post. Muslims, already on edge due to the presence in their country of so many lovelies on display, were apparently driven out of their minds by journalist Isioma Daniel's suggestion in the Lagos-based newspaper ThisDay that Mohammed "would probably have chosen a wife among them." By the time the smoke cleared and the bloody knives were put away, the local offices of the paper had been destroyed; more than 200 people, mostly Christian, had been murdered; hundreds more had been injured; and at least 4,500 left homeless. Nothing for the contestants to worry about, though: According to President Olusegun Obasanjo, "It could happen any time irresponsible journalism is committed against Islam." When in doubt, blame free speech.
Pollitt is an old-school secular humanist who regularly denounces better-dead-than-secular religious extremists of all faiths. She knows that the sacred texts of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all subject women to subordinate status -- and she also knows that interpretations of these texts can change to accommodate societal liberalization, the sort of evolution she’d like to see more of in Islam.
Coulter would turn up her nose at Pollitt’s feminism -- she's a feminist only when feminism gives her a means to bash a Democrat or justify a GOP war. Rosenbaum, on the other hand, who is, whether likes to think so or not, a left/liberal on feminist issues, would find himself in agreement with Pollitt, I think -- if he chose to read her. Too bad he never will.