Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Conservatism: Is There Anything It Can't Do ?

USS Neverdock points out this story at the BBC: apparently, women-owned businesses are starting to succeed in Afghanistan. It's a good news story, but the BBC tries to make up for that with its usual tricks:
Since the Taleban were ousted from Afghanistan....
Yes, they were 'ousted' by some mysterious force. Call it a wild shot in the dark, but I'm thinking if the BBC were reporting a huge increase in cannibalism after the 'ousting', they wouldn't be using the passive voice to describe the defeat of a hideous regime.

Anyway, back to the story:
Since the Taleban were ousted from Afghanistan, many women have found that gaining or regaining their rights is a long and difficult process.
Yep, since the defeat of one of the most misogynistic regimes in history, women have really been having a hard time. Hello ?
Yet in some places, they are managing to chip away at patriarchal institutions.
Nice to see our unbiased news service adopting the language of the femiloons. These people see the hand of the patriarchy in bad weather, but I'm thinking we can be a little more specific about what ails women in Afghanistan.

Actually, it turns out that the BBC does know the real villain, after all:
[North Afghanistan's biggest city, Mazar-e-Sharif] remains socially conservative, with most women going about in white or blue burkhas, the all-encompassing veil.
Yes, indeed, social conservatives. Hey, this is the broadcaster that objects to the crude generalisations involved in calling a terrorist 'a terrorist', but now they can't see any difference at all between opposing compulsory gay propaganda in primary schools and insisting your wife wears a giant bag on her head ?

It gets better:
The shop owners are getting good returns, giving them more financial security.

And they appear to be popular with the customers - in conservative Afghanistan, many families do not want their womenfolk entering shops run by men.
Hey, BBC, what exactly is it they want to 'conserve' - is it some kind of ideology, ?
Some conservative local clerics are unhappy with the moves.
Conservative clerics ? Does that mean they worship Lady Thatcher ? But that's as close as we get to a hint that the problem may not be over-enthusiasm for privatisation and small government after all. Just don't ask what the 'clerics' actually believe.

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