There's a new book out by Phyllis Chesler called "The Death of Feminism", interview in the Guardian. It's not really about feminism being "dead", although good work Phyllis in giving it the kind of title that the media love and thus getting some well-deserved attention.
It's about the way that feminism has failed in the middle east. And I agree, it has. The government is busy making it illegal for me to complain about people's belief in whatever all-powerful, cloud-riding fairies they choose. Meanwhile major religions - notably Islam - are claiming religious justification for treating women like slaves across a whole slice of the world.
I don't blame feminists for the situation. Every feminist I know thinks oppression of women's rights is a travesty so the suggestion (the Guardian's, not Ms Chesler's) that the issue "has divided feminists" is just another media-friendly soundbite. Trouble is we have no support from government or other powers whatsoever. Trade agreements and diplomatic relations are routinely conducted as though women's rights were a non-issue.
Respect for diverse religions and cultures is a worthy thing. Unfortunately it's often incompatible with adherence to a basic code of human rights. We sometimes have to choose one or the other. The church in the UK has a similar problem on a smaller scale with it's repeated discrimination against women and homosexuals. To my mind it is obvious that the right of a human being to choose their own path in life is more important than the right of another human being to keep slaves because their "god" wants them to.
If the human race survives the next hundred years in any recognisable form our grandchildren will look back on the 21st century and ask with incredulity whether anyone could seriously have lived in such times and turned a blind eye to the situation, much as we now look back on slavery and consider the whole concept to be obviously repellent.