Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Women

Have I mentioned in the last few minutes just how brilliant The Middleman is? I believe there might be just one original episode left in the series. It's unlikely to be renewed by ABC Family, who deserve kudos anyway for green lighting the series in the first place. It will always remain one of television's (and literature's) finest moments.

The Middleman: Fighting Evil So You Don't Have To. I know the fictional world is safe in the hands of Wendy Watson (as portrayed by Natalie Morales on the right). But what of the real world?

You want a strange and disconcerting night? Just watch Michelle Obama's excellent speech at the Democrat Convention, highlights (errr.... lowlights) of Nancy Pelosi's speech to the same convention and then watch Natalie Morales and Matt Keeslar. Of course there is less fiction in any five minutes of Javier Grillo-Marxuach's Middleman that in any corresponding five minutes of Pelosi's speech.

But I'm actually getting carried away (as usual). I do have a point for you to consider. Compare this week's Democrat convention to the current events in any nation of region generally operating under Islamic law.

In Denver, Colorado we are watching some of the world's finest and brightest women showcased on television for the whole world to see. As I already mentioned, Michelle Obama was wonderful in telling her American story to the world. Michelle is a woman, a woman of color, who is a heroine to women everywhere.
And we saw Carolyn Kennedy deliver a moving speech. She is, in many ways, the future of the Democrat Party.
I've already mentioned Nancy Pelosi and, as much as I dislike her, she is probably the third most powerful person in America.

For the next two nights, the Democrats will showcase Hillary Clinton, a woman who has nearly achieved the highest elected office in America (which is arguably the most powerful position on earth).

Compare America's celebration of women in power to the virtual invisibility of women throughout much of the Islamic world. Under the most conservative (fundamentalist) rule, women are denied all education, denied medical care and denied all basic human rights. Even under relatively modern Islamic societies women are denied the right to own property, hold elected office and, in some countries, denied the right to drive a car.

Often women are forced to avoid all contact with men except for direct relatives. They cannot dine in restaurants or even enjoy a cup of coffee in Starbucks (an American women was recently arrested in a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia).

In one of the greatest injustices and ironies of Islamic society, being raped means jail time for the woman, even as the rapist walks free. Sometimes being raped means a death sentence, as the woman's family must kill her to save the family's honor.

In really big news this week, Iran has notified the world that it
might, just might, outlaw the stoning of women. But they're not sure yet. But for certain women cannot participate in sports or even attend sporting events. The Ayatollah's have spoken on this issue.

Now the Democrats will spend the next three nights bashing John McCain. And that's OK by me. It's tradition. And while it's actually rather unlikely any speaker from the dais will speak out FOR the oppressed women of the world, the very presence of women sharing power and the stage with men speaks volumes.

Strong women around the world are fighting evil, from Hillary Clinton to Natalie Morales. But we all need to join the fight.