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Around the Kitchen Table

Don Ward


The war against women must stop. From female genital mutilation to forced marriage to unequal pay in the workplace, poverty, rape, harassment, human trafficking, revenge porn, honour killing, Internet bullying, emotional and sexual abuse, and exclusion from ministries in the church — it exists everywhere, in every society, and it is fuelled by ignorance and malice.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke, a member of the European Parliament, recently declared that women should earn less than men because they “are weaker, smaller, and less intelligent.”

Korwin-Mikke, a Polish politician, is the founder of the right-wing party Liberty. He was formerly the leader of the Congress of the New Right and the Real Politics Union, and is currently chair of the KORWiN party, having been unable, apparently, to find a satisfying consistency in any one movement over the years.

In the United States, web journalist Andrew Anglin wrote of the Aug. 12 rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia: “Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut.”

On The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, Anglin wrote that the victim of the car driven into anti-fascist protesters by 20-year-old James Alex Fields, Jr., “was fat and a drain on society. Despite feigned outrage by the media, most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness. A 32-year-old woman without children is a burden on society and has no value.”

He opined, further, that the only reason Heather Heyer was hit in the first place was because she was “too fat” to get out of the way. Thirty-five other protesters were injured by the speeding automobile.

United States President Donald Trump has referred to women he doesn’t like as “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.” He once said that giving a wife negotiable assets is a mistake: “I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?”

He has said that sexual assault in the military is only to be expected, tweeting: “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military — only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?”

Of his Democratic opponent in the 2016 presidential election, he tweeted: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” He has also commented on negative publicity: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what (the media) write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”

Though they enjoy the trappings of power, these are small, frightened men, and not to be taken seriously.

In stark contrast, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has written, prophetically: “The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world.”

“The only thing that can abolish poverty,” said the late Christopher Hitchens, author and social critic, “is the empowerment of women.”

It is time we laid aside these antediluvian fantasies about the superiority of the male. The solution is simple: allow women to be educated and they will change the world.

I speak as a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, colleague, patient, client, and friend of countless highly intelligent, high-functioning women. I’m 65 years old, and a lifelong observer of the human experiment. I have surely seen enough by this time to know what I’m talking about.