UPDATED: Phyllis Chesler punksmacks Naomi Wolf — couldn't happen to a nicer girl

by CynthiaYockey on August 31, 2009

I regard with horror the naivete and foolishness of feminists and lesbians and gays regarding the menace of Islam because they are the first ones who will lose their liberty and/or lives when Muslims move into a neighborhood. This is not prejudice toward Muslims — they are commanded to kill unbelievers. Women and gays are low-hanging fruit, as it were.

Naomi Wolf is one of this breed of feminist fools. She recently toured Morocco, Jordan and Egypt — where over 95 percent of women have had some sort of genital mutilation — and then published some claptrap about how sexually liberating the chador is and how she can really relate because she went shopping wearing a shalwar kameez, aka Punjabi suit.

Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish woman, who, in her foolish youth, married a Muslim man, moved to his country, was effectively imprisoned by him and managed to escape, has a much more authoritative view of Islam, Muslim sexuality, the burqa, the chador and the hijab. She punksmacks Naomi Wolf here.

However, if you are not familiar with the differences between the shalwar kameez, the chador and the burqa, let me supply some illustrations for Dr. Chesler’s lecture.

The shalwar kameez, or Punjabi suit, is comfortable and flattering to all ages and figures, and available in an array of designs, all sorts of fabrics and price ranges, and a rainbow of colors:

Shalwar kameez or Punjabi suit

Shalwar kameez or Punjabi suit

Now a chador:

Chador -- from an online supplier (veil not included, one size fits most).

Chador -- from an online supplier (veil not included, one size fits most).

Now a burqa:

Person, probably a woman, wearing a burqa.

Person, probably a woman, wearing a burqa.

Two of these things are not like the other, Naomi. Two of these things are not like the other. Not even a little.

Update, 9/2/09: Dear Little Miss Attila has linked this post and provides her own thoughtful discussion on dressing modestly here.

Update, 9/2/09: Dr. Chesler has a follow-up piece at Pajamas Media today, “Wolf Demands an Apology, Chesler Won’t Back Down” because — what’s a nice way of saying this? — Ms. Wolf can’t use a Web browser well enough to know that when Dr. Chesler linked her piece, it was Wolf herself who persuaded Dr. Chesler’s readers who CAN use Web browsers and DID read it in its entirety that she is a fool AND that she has no practical grasp of what women’s rights are, and no appreciation for the concepts of liberty and freedom, either.

So Ms. Wolf, the place to stand to demand your apology is right in front of a mirror.

And Dr. Chesler — please count this newly conservative lesbian as someone who has your back when you are fighting for equality for women everywhere and sounding the alarm about the menace of Islam.

Update, 9/3/09: Little Miss Attila kindly linked this post here on Sept. 1 and today the unmitigated, clueless GALL of Naomi Wolf’s demand that Dr. Chesler apologize to her has inspired her to provide Wolf with another punksmacking. Kids, these days.

Update, 9/3/09: The following is my favorite comment from the comments following Dr. Chesler’s posts at Pajamas Media schooling Naomi Wolf on the atrocities Muslim women suffer under Islam:

(Author: RSE; I corrected one typo.)

Honestly, the single sentence in Wolf’s original story, “I do not mean to dismiss the many women leaders in the Muslim world who regard veiling as a means of controlling women,” is the only place her piece even obliquely states, in Wolf’s words, that “Muslim women face terrible oppressions.”

I was fascinated by another sentence in in Wolf’s piece. In her paragraph beginning, “Ideological battles are often waged with women’s bodies as their emblems, and Western Islamophobia is no exception,” Wolf writes, “When Americans were being prepared for the invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban were demonised for female genital mutilation, forced wearing of the burka, refusal to educate women and girls, forced arranged child marriage, daughter- and wife-beating, and honor killings.” Ooops, sorry, that’s not what she wrote. Wolf wrote, “When Americans were being prepared for the invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban were demonised for denying cosmetics and hair colour to women.” If ever there were an epitaph for Western academic feminism, that is it.

One of my commenters from Australia quoted Helen Reddy’s song, “I am woman,” and it occurred to me that most younger readers here might not recognize the allusion, so I went hunting on YouTube for it. I just watched it and I’m sitting here with tears running down my cheeks. It deserves its own post.

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Peter September 1, 2009 at 2:04 am

That’s something I never have understood. Feminists and gays flocking to the Islamists side, don’t they see that Islamists will kill them?

I never have claimed to be the smartest guy in the room, except at times like this when I’m alone with the computer, but I’m smart enough not to support those who will kill me if given the chance.

To see women who claim to be for women go along with those Muslims who behave far worse than a male chauvinist pig like me, who they condemn, is mind boggling. And to see gays support them is worse. Do the gays not see those pictures of young men hanged from construction cranes in Iran? Do they not hear of the young men thrown from the tops of buildings in “Palestine”?

I cry for the Republic.

smitty September 1, 2009 at 5:32 am

Emailing a friend, I threw out the idea that the modern liberals and the Muslims both view each other as tools, and both are correct.

From an academic standpoint, the unholy alliance is kind of interesting.

If only there was not so much at stake.

SYD September 1, 2009 at 8:36 am

As I asked over at Phyllis’ blog…

I submit that … somehow, we Second Wave Feminists have gone very wrong in the upbringing and education of our Third Wave daughters.

I think it has to do with the message we sent that they “could do anything they want to.”

We meant well. Really we did. But… they have gotten the wrong message and Naomi is a perfect example.

Saudi and DNC goodies aside… From “you can be what you want to be” this young lady has extrapolated “all women are making free-will choices and we dare not question them.”

How do we get our daughters back? Or, is it too late??
.-= SYD´s last blog ..1000 Speeches at Six Figures Each, Plus Book Royalties: Not Too Shoddy! =-.

Cynthia Yockey September 1, 2009 at 9:28 am


At Phyllis’s post on Pajamas Media I noted the Aesop’s fable of the fox who had lost his brush and then tried to persuade the other foxes how much better off they would be to lose theirs, too. Wolf claimed Muslim women told her they preferred the chador, felt sexy, blah blah. Wolf never acknowledged that in one of the countries she wrote about, Egypt, over 95 percent of the women have experienced some form of genital mutilation, i.e., amputation of all or part of their external genitalia. Under Islam, these women can be honor-murdered for anything or nothing. So how trustworthy is their testimony going to be under that kind of duress?

Women of my generation are the ones who worked the hardest to destroy Sarah Palin — the embodiment of feminist ideals, if they were true — and claim things like she ought to be home raising her children instead of being, oh, I don’t know, governor, vice president, president — all the stuff they said women should be in the 1970’s. The Democratic Party and feminism both look more and more like one big bait-and-switch scam to me.


I R A Darth Aggie September 1, 2009 at 11:59 am

Smitty’s got to the heart of the matter. Both sides want to destroy the USofA, and then rebuild it in their image and likeness.

In this corner, we have the Islamic States of America (ISA). In the opposite corner, we have the People’s Democratic States of America (PDSA). Who will win out?

Me? I got my money on the ISA…

Conservative Pup September 1, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I nostalgically continued my subscription to Ms. Magazine for several years past the point when I realized that I wasn’t really interested in the articles anymore. They didn’t think like I did anymore. I changed, they changed–but a couple of years ago I discontinued it for good. Too much attacking of other WOMEN who didn’t agree with the liberal/socialist agenda.

As an independent, self-reliant woman with actual opinions I know that I would be in the first group rounded up, along with my gay friends and family members. I cannot, for the life of me, understand their inclination to “be understanding” of radical Islamic murderers, and “respectful” of a culture that is so devastating to women and children.

Thank you for posting this, and introducing me to Phyllis Chesler; so many good people fighting the good fight, and I am glad to know about her.
.-= Conservative Pup´s last blog ..Thomas Sowell: Suicide Of The West =-.

theblackcommenter September 1, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Far far leftists and Islamist have a lot in common in that they both tend to view people as groups and not individuals. For the Islamist, it is Sally Sue that’s being shrouded and oppressed beneath a burqa, its a generically evil woman. For the far leftist, Sarah Palin isn’t even a woman because she doesn’t tote their line. It is extremist behavior based on some imagined idealized society both of which tend towards authoritarian control.

.-= theblackcommenter´s last blog ..Bill to give President control of Teh Interwebz =-.

Cynthia Yockey September 1, 2009 at 5:36 pm


I think you meant to write, “For the Islamist, it is NOT Sally Sue that’s being shrouded and oppressed beneath a burqa, it’s a generically evil woman.” Yes, I think you are right on all the points you made — that is why I have categories for “totalitarian liberalism” and “totalitarian social conservatism.” With Islam, the totalitarianism is baked right in, so it would be redundant to write, “totalitarian Islam.”


sybilll September 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I am really beginning to believe the saying “liberalism is a mental illness”. Wolf personifies, and now quantifies the root of that quote.

Attmay September 1, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I’m Jewish and gay. I’d be one of the first to go. And I have no tolerance for an ideology that would probably make me the very first one they killed. That’s not “racist” because:

A. Islam is a religion, not a race.

B. Pointing out the bigotry of others is not, in itself, bigotry.

Darrell September 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I am convinced that Naomi Wolf doesn’t believe a word SHE says.

Islam is viewed on the Left as the means of destruction for capitalism and the US. And the oil money is a bonus indeed for the group always looking for other peoples’ money. Once in absolute control, the Left believes it can handle the Muslim “problem” with the iron-fisted approach taken by the Soviets — enforced secularism, re-education camps, etc. The Left will gladly sacrifice their sisters’ clits in order to further their acquisition of total power. Once you go there, clothing mandates seem trivial, don’t they?

Cynthia Yockey September 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm


Thank you for your comment. It really is starting to appear to me that the scenario you present is plausible. I have thought for some time that totalitarians of every stripe only cooperate with one another for the same reasons that crime families work together on a big heist — each and every one needs the others to pull it off, but each and every one also intends to be the last one standing in sole possession of the prize no matter how many of their partners in crime they have to knock off to get it.

However, I can’t go along with the burqa and chador mandates being trivial in comparison to female genital mutilation — they are all violations of females at every level of Being, intentionally de-humanizing and enslaving, and forms of soul murder.

As for Naomi Wolf, I saw her on “Oprah” or a similar talk show a couple of decades ago when she was first launching her career. She interrupted everyone, contradicted everyone and dominated the conversation without anything special to say. As a consequence, I’ve never been particularly interested in her opinion on anything.


Darrell September 2, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Firstly, let me apologize for my quick fingers when I made my comment on the run and somehow missed the typos. Maybe you could fix those? 😉 (believe, believes)

I do agree with your position on clothing (modesty) mandates. I was
explaining why the Left doesn’t want to rock the boat. Every other person has an obligation to do something. Some cultures ARE defective. Some religions ARE wrong and dangerous. We don’t have to accept anything that violates our principles. We wouldn’t stand by if they were practicing human sacrifice, would we? But that’s exactly what they are doing. There used to be a YouTube video of real women being hanged throughout the Arab world–from street lights, to ropes on small bulldozers, to portable cranes. Impromptu executions on street corners with no officials in sight. For disobedience, adultery,
defiance, whatever. All without trial or counsel. Most in burqas, dehumanizing them to the end. Human sacrifice.

Cynthia Yockey September 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm


Thank you for your comment — you are right.

I will fix your typos — I only do that for readers who request it because otherwise commenters might wonder if I made any other edits. You are only the second to ask.


JAC September 3, 2009 at 8:07 pm

I am new to this blog and well, pretty much all blogs to be honest. I only started reading them last year after the character assassination of Sarah Palin by the msm around the world including here in Australia.
What drove me to the WWW for information was the failure of alleged media feminists to defend Sarah Palin from the outrageous attacks on her family, her intelligence and her achievements.
In my life I have never seen anything like it but what most appalled me were the attacks against her by other women and the failure of other women, particularly politicians and ‘feminists’, to defend her right to choose a life of public service and the role of ‘working mother’, and I am only talking about what happened in Australia. Don’t get me started on what went on in the USA!
I was raised by a working mother of 7 children who’s idea of ‘woman’s liberation’ meant having the right to choose NOT to work. My only sister and I were raised to believe we had the right to choose our own future, including the honourable role of wife and mother.
I remember Naomi Wolf as a young woman starting her career. For some reason she felt the need to visit Australia often and her articles still appear in our papers. I remember her as being pro freedom for all women and girls and to read her article on the glorification of oppression of Islamic women was both surprising and infuriating.
I am at a loss to understand how the ‘feminist movement’ has gone from “If I have to I can do anything I am strong I am invincible
I am woman” to “Many Muslim women I spoke with did not feel at all subjugated by the chador or the headscarf. On the contrary, they felt liberated from what they experienced as the intrusive, commodifying, basely sexualizing Western gaze. …”
I am currently the mother of a strong, bold, brave, fearless, funny and compassionate soon to be 17 y.o. daughter. Her generation still believe in freedom from oppression for all and it appears that it is only the likes of Naomi Wolf and her pack of self aggrandising aging ‘wannabee’s’ that have blown a valve because a pro life, working mother of 5 actually achieved what they always told women was the ultimate goal. ‘Success’ in a ‘mans’ world. While they were all lecturing and writing that ‘women can do anything’ Sarah Palin went out and had her own ‘Nike moment’.
How does it go?
Those that ‘can’, do! Those that ‘can’t’ are liberal feminists!

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