October 29, 2016

"I have lived for a while in the West, and I found that the life of a woman is very difficult, for she has to bear heavy burdens that only a man can undertake."

"Whereas in our country, the man provides all forms of comfort for the woman."

One of the quotes under the subheading "The System Works for Some" in "'I Live in a Lie': Saudi Women Speak Up," a collection of quotes responding to a call from the NYT for stories from Saudi women. The call triggered a Twitter hashtag لاـ تقولون ـ للنيويورك ـ تايمز (“Don’t tell The New York Times”) and that lead to things like: "#don’t_tell_theNewYork_times that if your father rapes you and you run away, then you will go to prison, and if they let you out, then they will send you back to him."

I found it very interesting to think about the problem of the subordination of women from the perspective of those who have to operate within "the guardianship" and who therefore devote effort to speaking to their male relatives in private and influencing them to become more "enlightened" and supportive of women's freedom and independence. From the collection of quotes:
I am one of the lucky women who had an amazing and enlightened father and wonderful brothers, who do not interfere in my choices and support me all the way...  — Abeer Abdul Hamid, 50, London

The guardianship thing hasn’t affected my life because I’m not facing any problems with it due to my dad is a very cooperative man and he’s open-minded. — Latifah, 22, Riyadh

I have the best father in the whole world. He understands what Islamic rules are, and he applies them correctly. For example, I have a goal of building my own early-intervention center for children with disabilities. My dad encouraged me to follow that dream and sent me to study here in the U.S. I know how much hard it’s been on him and my family to let me go, but he came with me first and helped me finding an apartment and all the stuff I needed. Then, when everything was going smoothly, he returned to Saudi. Therefore, I need a guardianship in my life.— D.A., 26, New York
Rules require interpretation, and within a group, such as a family, there is a lot of room for interpretation and arrival at the conviction that you've found the correct interpretation. The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition.

63 comments:

rhhardin said...

Not doing stuff that you're not wired to be interested in is a good idea.

Different wiring standing for sexual difference.

Will this make it into feminism or will everybody try to be men in order to liberate women.

The Drill SGT said...

Delicate Snowflakes need to be protected from the world says the NYT?

madAsHell said...

For example, I have a goal of building my own early-intervention center for children with disabilities.

An abortion clinic??

David said...

" The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition."

Wise words. They apply to this country as well.

Sydney said...

Weren't there some slaves who also favored slavery?

Mark said...

The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition.

Unless, of course, that traditional system is western civilization and its underlying Christian thought and roots -- the tradition upon which this nation and places like Europe are built -- in which case, burn it all down! Find the worst possible meaning no matter how irrational or unlikely -- even if, especially if, it means constructing complete fabrications -- of that traditional system, so as to create anew in its place a perfect progressive paradise, taking on the traditions of people like Nietzsche and Sartre and Lenin and Stalin and Pol Pot.

EDH said...

The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition.

"We must let Kostko think this was his idea, that he came up with it."

Mark said...

Weren't there some slaves who also favored slavery?

They're called Democrat voters and government dependents and residents of inner big cities.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"Delicate Snowflakes need to be protected from the world says the NYT?"

I think the NYT is pretty obviously on the side of the women who want much more change much more quickly. What I quoted is in there for balance. I could be wrong. Maybe the NYT really is supportive of the guardianship. And I agree with your insinuation that American culture is headed toward something like guardianship (in a kind of religion substitute) but I don't think the NYT is equating what the Saudis have with what safe-space feminists are hankering for.

PWS said...

Your last sentence is intriguing. It can work much better--but it can also work much worse. It is a bit of a conundrum; it's true that throwing off a system and starting from scratch can be difficult; do Saudi women have a meaningful choice about whether to throw off the tradition or try to find beneficent meaning? Sometimes certain individuals just don't fit where they're born.
This idea can apply to many different areas. I was raised Episcopalian but it never resonated with me. My parents weren't oppressive or dogmatic about it but that was all I knew until I got older and left home. I've found more meaning by "starting over from scratch" in a different tradition.

Ann Althouse said...

@EDH

Perfect! Thanks!

Mark said...

Could there be, possibly be, any good, beneficent meaning in the concept of marriage as man and woman, or in the greater idea that men and women in their complementariness are made for joinder with each other?? In the realization that a man is a man and a woman is a woman??

Of course not. There could not be the slightest good in these understandings of human nature that humanity in its collective wisdom has grasped since the beginning of time. Throw it all off. "Let us make humans in our image, after our likeness," say the all-knowing, ever-wise new creators of heaven and earth.

Laslo Spatula said...

Socially Awkward Guy Who Makes No Eye Contact says:

There is a young Arab Woman I see at McDonalds sometimes, and I see how people look at her: they look at her with suspicion, with hate, with contempt. I know what it is to be stared at that way, so I know The Look. It is amazing how mean people can be, just with their eyes...

It is tough to know that you are all alone, that no one will see you with any humanity. I mean, everyone has at least something wrong with them, and then they take out their shame on the weak and the weird and the awkward...

Just because she follows a different culture doesn't mean she should have to put up with what other people think, and I sense that she must be strong, very strong, to put herself out there, every day, no matter what people think. I mean, there are days I don't even want to leave the house: I wonder if she gets that feeling, too...


Man, I want to pee on her so bad.


Like no one else thinks these things.

I hope the Girl with the Blue Hair is working at McDonalds today.


I am Laslo.

Bob Ellison said...

Or you could read the Koran and the Hadith.

Unknown said...

It has never ceased to amaze me that all the screaming the left does about "Christian Theocracy! Women forced to be slaves, barefoot and pregnant! They will lose the right to, well, everything!!!!!! Chattel! Dowries!" At the same time, it's "Islam is wonderful!" when all the horror preaching they do about possible Christian nightmarish stuff is actually true about Islam.

Look, I'm Mormon, probably one of the biggest bugaboos for the left. Strong, patriarchy oriented Christian faith, one that sometimes has been labeled a melding of ancient Judaism and Christianity. Liberals frequently hyperventilate about how evil Mormons treat women, blah blah blah.

Yet Mormons gave women the vote long before the rest of the country (and then the liberals of the day in DC took it away. I believe Mormons are unique in that they are the only people who, having gained the right to vote in this country, then had it taken away. By a 9-0 Supreme Court decision, no less. Our church leaders consistently urge women in particular to get all the education they can.

Yet Islam is praised and my church is condemned all the time; when Islam hates women and we exalt them.

It's a funny world out there.

--Vance

Strick said...

The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition.

Speaking as a former child of the 60s I take it? Death to the Establishment! Never trust anyone over 30! And all those other radical things that as a child of the 60s myself, I've gotten to old to remember. ;)

Ken B said...

Ann, could there be selection bias in these comments?
And aren't 2/3 from western cities where western law prevails?

I appreciate your endorsement of Burke's general argument, but I think Burke was fine rejecting particular bad traditions. He was after all a Whig, and advocated letting America set up a republic.

Too often people bow and scrape before religion (the way your lovely man bowed and scraped to the Saudi king.)

Ken B said...

Vance
It's only surprising if you believe they mean what they say. It's like being surprised that soldiers wear the same uniform.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

No, Ken: It's much simpler than that, in my view. Evil always supports evil. Islam is, in it's radical, Sharia loving form, objectively evil. What's the difference between what ISIS preaches and what Baal worshippers preached? Not much.

Same thing with liberalism. When you look at what their societies produce, there's not much difference than radical Islam: Both societies where the leaders oppress and steal whatever they want from their citizens, whether that be money, service, sexual slavery, etc. Sure, their means and goals may differ a little, and certainly their rhetoric does, but lets face it: Who was more oppressed, a Chinese peasant under Mao, or a woman in ISIS's territory? It's about the same, really. Both sides kill you at a moment's notice, if they think or have a suspicion you are thinking 'unauthorized" thoughts. We see the same impulse here on college campuses.

The root of the problem is the dehumanization of people. Both ISIS and Leftists openly promote denying the humanity of others. Whether it's the Jews and women and Christians and Pagans for ISIS, or the Christians and the Jews and the peasants who are deplorable: It's all the same.

Both liberalism and ISIS are really systems of rampant theft and enrichment of the elites at the top. Just like the grand olden days of the King and his court, oppressing the people so they live large. And since those Christians and Jews and Republicans are less than human, if we murder a few million of them it's not murder, just like killing a pig is not murder. Except they treat pigs or cows better than they treat Jews or Republicans.

--Vance

Laslo Spatula said...

For Muslim women they are always just a stone's throw away from freedom.

Yeah, I did that.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Socially Awkward Guy Who Makes No Eye Contact says:

I wonder if I was a Muslim if the young Arab Woman at McDonalds would HAVE to let me pee on her. It seems like the men in that culture can do anything they want when it comes to women...

She would be there waiting obediently when I got home, on her knees in the bathtub, I could pee on her and then she would go make us Hot Pockets for dinner: how awesome THAT would be...

I bet if I was Muslim I could pee on her anytime I liked: she would not think it was weird, because I was a Muslim, too, and because I wouldn't beat her or anything, I just would pee on her...

Maybe I was just born in the wrong place. I would even learn to like hummus...

Like no one else thinks these things.

I hope the Girl with the Blue Hair is working at McDonalds today.


I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

Her answer can be summarized as follows: As long as the male family rulers are bringing in enough money looted from conquered infidels to make me live comfortably inside of a system Allah's iron law of misery, then I surrender. After all, breaking free and risking being murdered or getting acid thrown in my face by my family would be hard.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

One of the problems causes so much stress in the West is that there is not really a system anymore in the social fabric and in the interactions between men and women. It has radically changed from past traditions and there is not an agreed upon or structured replacement. Societally, we are unmoored. Adrift at sea with a mutinous crew.

Women and men do not know where they stand or what they need to do. What is their role? What is the division of duties? Who is responsible for childcare? Bringing home the bacon? Protecting the family from disasters, real or imagined? This confusion causes conflict and stress and often divorce, especially when each partner is operating from a different set of values.

Even something as stupid as who holds open the door or opens the car door is now a huge argument, struggle and point of distention. Stress, stress and strife everywhere in the smallest aspects of life.

Single women are more prevalent and by default have to pick up ALL the roles. Or go to Big Sugar Daddy and let the government take care of much of it. Children are confused as well.

I'm not advocating that women be put into cotton batting and protected from everything in the world. I'm not advocating being ruled over, ala the Islamic system, and have no choices. The Victorian era's relations and social fabric "may" have been peaceful but probably not a system to aspire to. BUT....you do need a system.

There is much to be said about knowing that someone is going to be taking care of X and you are not going to have to worry about that, while you are responsible for Y and your partner is not going to need to worry about that either. Orderly society.

SukieTawdry said...

The guardianship thing hasn’t affected my life because I’m not facing any problems with it due to my dad is a very cooperative man and he’s open-minded. — Latifah, 22, Riyadh

Oh yes? Are you allowed to drive a car? Can you go out unescorted by a male member of your family? Can you be denied vital services until your guardian is contacted and gives permission? Can you work alongside your male colleagues or go to school or socialize with non-related males? Are you allowed out in public without being covered? Can you swear for yourself in a court of law or transact business on your own behalf?

"Dad" can be as cooperative and open-minded as a good Islamic girl could want, but she's still subject to the edicts of the kingdom. I'm sure there are Islamic women in America who subscribe to guardianship. The point is that here, it's their choice.

There are those who think Islam can be reformed from within. There are those who think reformation from any direction is a pipe dream. We'll see.

whswhs said...

Most systems have some people they work well for, especially the people who are under the control of other people who are wise and beneficent. But what about the people who are under the control of the stupid or cruel? How much can they be made to endure, and how much chance do they have of walking out?

One of my basic political assumptions is that any relationship, group, organization, or society that people are not free to leave has the potential to become abusive. Over time, that potential will tend to be actualized. If you want to prevent abuse, you have to allow opting out. It's no substitute to require the system to be benevolent and effective, because the people in charge are ALWAYS convinced that they are benevolent and intelligent, and that any abuses are rare and unavoidable accidents. So however good a tradition is, or however good an innovation is, I'm in favor of leaving people free to make up their own minds whether to adopt it, as far as that can possibly be taken.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Duh.. dissension. NOT distention. Although some people do get pretty puffed up about being ritually offended or triggered. Especially SJWs

I left the typo because I thought it was funny :-\

mikee said...

I support the methods of Charles Napier. He ended the practice in India of suttee, burning a live widow to death on her husband's funeral pyre. When Indians demanded he respect their cultural traditions, he agreed. And he demanded they respect his, stating that his British culture required people who murdered widows to be hanged. Each funeral pyre would have a gibbet erected next to it, so that both cultural traditions could be respected.

Oddly enough, suttee died out as a cultural tradition among the natives of India.

I am sure even less demanding, but still required, adherence to Western Civilization's cultural traditions might manifest successful avoidance of child rape, honor killings and other behavior intolerable among the civilized peoples of the world by immigrants from different cultural backgrounds.

mockturtle said...

The quotation chosen for the topic head is hardly representative of the comments in the article. Click bait, though, for sure.

How the Saudis want to live in Saudi Arabia is their business. But let's not allow them to insinuate their despicable system into our culture.

rhhardin said...

Derbyshire, this week's Radio Derb

[A] very happy Halloween to one and all except the busybodies and ninnies warning kids and college students not to wear costumes that marginalize designated victim groups or suggest "cultural appropriation."

Concerning which, here's a question for those ninnies. A person in a full burka, nothing visible but the eyes, shows up at a Halloween party. Is this one of our Muslim citizens seeking to join the seasonal festivities, possibly with a costume underneath the burka? Or is it a disrespectful infidel wearing the burka as a Halloween costume in defiance of the rules against cultural appropriation?

Seems to me we have a sociological conundrum here akin to the well-known one about Schrödinger's Cat in quantum mechanics. The only way to resolve the conundrum would be to remove the burka. The wave function would then collapse and we would see either a distraught Muslim or a defiant infidel.

Of course, removing the burka without the inhabitant's consent would be a battery in most jurisdictions, so the criminal law would kick in, too. What a strange society we live in.

Kate said...

I just watched the video of the homeless woman who is protecting Trump's Hollywood star. Men surround her, yell at her, knock her down, tell her she deserves this because she spewed hate. All while others watch, including a Telemundo crew.

This is the way territorial animals behave. We must do better.

rhhardin said...

Some romcom, having lunch, the guy pays the bill over lady's protest: "It's because you're the girl."

buwaya puti said...

Re the homeless woman in Hollywood -
SoCal politics right now is all about impunity.
Its run by alumni of La Raza, organized over a couple of decades in Cal State campuses, its a mafia.
The place is soaked in corruption, no-one can touch the made men of the system. And their foot-soldier "activists" like the ones on the video, as these are new recruits to the family.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

There is much to be said about knowing that someone is going to be taking care of X and you are not going to have to worry about that, while you are responsible for Y and your partner is not going to need to worry about that either. Orderly society.

I agree that we're all in disarray, but the nice thing is when you find your one true love and you work these things out privately within the confines of your own home. Then you don't have to worry about what anyone else does.

It can be hard finding that one true love, though, and I worry about my kids' ability to do so. Is anyone finding their one true love through Tinder or hooking up at college parties. I think they're mostly just finding herpes.

Sebastian said...

"The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition." You, a feminist! Tell it to the SJWs, the Title IX enforcers, and the trans activists. Don't recall you making this argument in your defenses of SSM and Tony K's let's-start-from-scratch 14th Amendment fables.

traditionalguy said...

Telemundo and the southern California Hispanic population all agree with Trump. They too want unity in one country under one flag. Mexico cleansed of Gringo devils, that is.

buwaya puti said...

Traditional societies normally work reasonably well, adapted to their circumstances. Arab Bedu tribes were tremendously successful in expanding to compatible environments and populating them. Their branches spread to cover an enormous expanse, and much of this was pre-Islam. So on marginal terrain useful for pasture you could at one time find the black tents from the Zagros foothills of Persia to the Moroccan Rif.

And this is as close to a uniform set of cultural forms as you can find so vastly dispersed. And its telling that Islam is adapted to that culture; it did not (much) adapt to Islam.

It doesnt work so well in anonymous urban modernity, but nothing else does either.

William said...

Muslim women are just a stone's throw away from freedom. That's a great line, Laslo.......I didn't read the article. I try to keep an open mind but I just don't think Islam has anything to tell us about how to manage the power imbalances in domestic relations.......Maybe there really isn't any way at all, but some ways are worse than others. I suppose there are some women who have found peace and harmony within the Islamic faith, but they're more the exception than the rule.......The power imbalances favor men in Saudi Arabia, but I don't think it makes the men any happier. It's not much fun being around resentful women......I like the idea of a harem of teen age sex slaves, but probably only key members of the royal family can afford such a luxury. It's simply not an answer for the troubles that plague domestic relationships.

buwaya puti said...

Telemundo is owned by NBC/Comcast and is part of that systems political assets.

C Stanley said...

Rules require interpretation, and within a group, such as a family, there is a lot of room for interpretation and arrival at the conviction that you've found the correct interpretation. The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition.

Would that anyone had had that insight during the 1960's!

buwaya puti said...

The Bedu did not have harems of teenage sex slaves. Thats a culture adapted to live very close to the bone.

Only when you stick it in a fat land in an urban context do you get wild extravagance, with great harems and tributes of slavegirls. And the Arabs certainly werent the only culture that did that sort of thing. That tendency towards extravagance hits a lot of cultures if the resources are available and there is no powerful cultural taboo. You will find it in Hindu India, China, Siam, Ancient Egypt, etc.

Gahrie said...

Rules require interpretation,..... The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than throwing it off

Except in the case of marriage....right? Civil unions simply aren't good enough.

Why the Hell are so many ivory tower intellectuals willing to tolerate the manifest systematic abuses and horrors of Islam?

Quaestor said...

The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition.

A woman who is independent simply because she's allowed certain affectations associated with independence isn't independent.

Don't bother with that I'm a feminist malarky any longer.

Quaestor said...

Why the Hell are so many ivory tower intellectuals willing to tolerate the manifest systematic abuses and horrors of Islam?

Basic selfishness and more than a touch of class bigotry.

mockturtle said...

A woman who is independent simply because she's allowed certain affectations associated with independence isn't independent.

Exactly, Quaestor! I've missed your posts of late.

mockturtle said...

For that matter, is a nation that is 'granted' its independence really independent, or just the beneficiary of paternalistic generosity? Wouldn't true independence come from winning it, fair and square?

Achilles said...

Muslim culture is sick. Go to any country where Islam is the dominant cultural influence and not one person in here will be able to accept it. They beat their women. Regularly. They don't get to leave the compound until they are old. The dirty priests walk around with their pocket boys. In the open. This shit is pervasive. Rape and incest are givens. Young girls are commonly raped and married off. Then you get to the point where 70+% of young girls are held down on a table by their feminine relatives and have their pussies cut up with dull knives and no anesthesia.

People who defend this are terrible.

Fen said...

"Maybe the NYT really is supportive of the guardianship."

The NYTs wants to destroy the family so that women are dependent on the State. Life of Julia.

And the sentiment expressed by the Saudi woman is not much different than what we see with American women who complained that women's liberation presented them with too many choices.

Some people just want a firm hand. I've never understood why, but they WANT to be ruled.

mockturtle said...

Why the Hell are so many ivory tower intellectuals willing to tolerate the manifest systematic abuses and horrors of Islam?

One thing they all have in common: Their hatred of Christians and non-secular Jews.

Leora said...

Western culture is only a couple of centuries out from the guardianship of women - read Mary Wollstonecraft circa our revolution for details. I do think it interesting how people who think that Catholics are backward are so accommodating of Islamic practices.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Anything can be feminist, example #4,376.
Living under daddy's "guardianship" is pro-feminiat because the quoted women choose it and femwinism is about supporting women's choices.
A culture that puts wowmn in bags is pro-feminist because women within that culture can make some choices for themselves and tell a newwspaper that they are happy living in a bag.

You go, girl.

Rusty said...

Kate said...
"I just watched the video of the homeless woman who is protecting Trump's Hollywood star. Men surround her, yell at her, knock her down, tell her she deserves this because she spewed hate. All while others watch, including a Telemundo crew.

This is the way territorial animals behave. We must do better."

For these territorial animals , or "the mob" if you will, the next step in their evolutionary growth would be to kill her.

cubanbob said...

@whswhs
What you have described is why a Kibbutz is the only successful form of socialism. It's purely voluntary. And this why it doesn't scale upwards.

Anglelyne said...

Leora: I do think it interesting how people who think that Catholics are backward are so accommodating of Islamic practices.

Having lived among the "it's different when the dear little brown people do it" for nigh onto half a century, I don't find it interesting at all any more, beyond the ways in which any kind of half-baked intellectualizing is "interesting" as a phenomenon.

If you're an "educated" person and the insight that "traditional" structures are something more than ad hoc tools of oppression is news to you, and you are only now noticing this because you have an emotional/ideological compulsion to see the behavior of some groups in strictly positive terms (not merely with disinterest or with empathy as a tool of understanding), you've got to be either thick or deformed by ideology.

Jupiter said...

William said...
"I try to keep an open mind but I just don't think Islam has anything to tell us about how to manage the power imbalances in domestic relations"

When I am trying to understand how an equation works, I find it helpful to look at the behavior at the endpoints. And Islam would appear to be very near to one of the endpoints of this spectrum. I suppose that one could go a little further, and make all women chattel.

The West appears to be exploring the other endpoint. In every Western country, women's suffrage was followed in a decade or so by the imposition of an income tax. Then marriage laws were "liberalized", meaning that women retained their rights but were relieved of their responsibilities.

It is human nature to want to have it both ways. It is female nature to suppose that this desire can be satisfied. For most of human evolution, the desires of women haven't mattered much, as they were controlled by others, male and female, who regarded them as a breeding resource. You've come a long way, Baby. Any idea where you're going?

tim in vermont said...

Therefore, I need a guardianship in my life.

LOL. It is always a great idea to sacrifice freedom for security! Why liberals feel that American Christianity need to be extirpated and replaced with Islam, I don't know. I think it is contempt for the familiar. Oikophobia.

Rob McLean said...

At the same time, it's "Islam is wonderful!" when all the horror preaching they do about possible Christian nightmarish stuff is actually true about Islam.

That's because they perceive Islam as being the exact opposite of the beliefs of their parents, who they despise, of course. Plus, they don't believe for a moment that white, educated women like themselves would ever have to submit to sharia; that's for little brown people.

mockturtle said...

Plus, they don't believe for a moment that white, educated women like themselves would ever have to submit to sharia; that's for little brown people.

I'm not so sure. There are more than a few educated white women who have converted to Islam and submit to sharia law. I have known a few, personally, but there are several who are better known, like Tony Blair's sister-in-law: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/oct/24/lauren-booth-converts-to-islam

Scott said...

>Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody


--Bob Dylan

Tess said...

I understand why people want to come her for a a better life or achievement, but then want to change live to what they left.I am afraid of your Doctrine/Religiion as i ama follower of Christ and know Prophcy. i really am sorry and pray for all

R.J. Chatt said...

Respectfully disagree with Ann. I think what you would find in those situations of women who lived in a guardianship culture and have a positive and forgiving view of it, is not so much that they privately convinced their fathers to be more "enlightened" but that their fathers were already more secular minded and liberal in their attitudes.

A seriously devout Muslim who believes the Koran is the immutable word of God is never going to be convinced by a woman to change his mind about the subordinate role of women.

Feather Blade said...

@cubanbob - Kibbutz isn't the only one - medieval monasteries were quite successful at communism too. The key, I think, is that joining them was voluntary.