Monday, February 07, 2005

Irony My Shirt

The Bush administration is trying hard not to wring its hands over the possibility that Iraq's newly elected assembly will draft a constitution based on Islamic principles, and end up looking a lot like its neighbor, Iran. Both Cheney and Rumsfeld were on the defensive this weekend as election results from Iraq showed overwhelming support for the religious Shiite Muslim parties. According to the New York Times, Rumsfeld "warned that it would be 'a terrible mistake' if the new assembly adopted a constitution that denied 'half of their population, women, the opportunity to participate fully.' " Huh? Would that look anything like - just for instance - a country where women earn less money for the same work? Where more women and children live in poverty than their male counterparts? A country where pharmacists can choose, because of their own religious views, not to dispense legal contraceptives to women? A country where women's reproductive rights are sharply restricted because of the ruling party's religious beliefs? I'm reminded of the old "plane about to crash" joke where a woman runs into the aisle, rips off her clothes and screams, "I need a man to make me feel like a natural woman!" At which point an obliging male rips off his shirt and yells, "Here! Iron this!" Funny.


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