When the media discusses the budget for CPB, they rarely discuss the millions given to the small, but very radical subset of Pacifica Radio stations. There are five of them, but many more non-commercial radio stations run "Democracy Now," based out of WBAI in New York City. On Tuesday's show, the Pacifica hosts encouraged their guest, Kavita Ramdas, former head of the Global Fund for Women, to assess the state of American women as the U.N. celebrated International Women's Day.
Ramdas spoke of how below the surface of progress for women in America, there's real backwardness. She described being in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, talking to Baptist women, and concluded "I bet if you would put those Baptist pastors in the same room with the imams of Wahhabi Islam, they would find that they have a great deal more in common with each other than they do, you know, differences." Leftists always carelessly smear conservative Christians and radical Muslims together, since both are opposed to radical feminism:
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: The White House recently put out a report on women in America. It’s being described as the first status report on women since 1963. What does the report reveal about women’s rights here in America?
KAVITA RAMDAS: Well, it’s interesting in many ways. I mean, you know, if you look at the sort of headlines, I think you would see absolutely unquestionable advancement. There’s a lot of talk about the fact that women are now the majority of who’s in higher education. There’s a lot of conversation about the fact that women have made significant gains in terms of their leadership positions. And certainly we see that in, you know, lots of different fields, not just at the State Department, where Hillary Clinton heads the State Department, but in many other aspects of—even in the private sector.
Just go a little bit below the surface, however, and I think you have a very different set of realities that I certainly ran into just, again, two weeks ago. I was in Alabama at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, speaking to young women there, listening to the ways in which they have been essentially taught in the Baptist Church, where most of them sort of grew up, that it is women who are to blame for violence against women. And when I said, "Well, what does that mean?" they said, "Well, pastors teach us that it is our behavior that incites men to violence, and therefore we have to be careful to cover up the three Bs: breasts, belly and buttocks. We must cover up. We must not incite men to think impure thoughts." They even cited to me dorms, where girls’ dorms close at 10:30, and boys dorms are open until midnight, because the belief is, is that if you keep girls away, boys can’t get into trouble. I say that because I think it’s easier for us in the United States to look outward and to talk about those poor women in those other parts of the world that we are going to save, whether it’s Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan, or, you know, you pick the place.
AMY GOODMAN: It’s interesting, in light of the radicalization of Islam hearings that are about to take place in Congress.
KAVITA RAMDAS: I know. And I found it actually very strange. I bet if you would put those Baptist pastors in the same room with the imams of Wahhabi Islam, they would find that they have a great deal more in common with each other than they do, you know, differences. So I think we do have a situation in which there is steady erosion of the separation of church and state, and it’s actually a separation that people in this country take for granted. But I think what’s much more disturbing to me about the right wing is not that they want to fight taxes or that they want to roll back specific rights, like the rights on reproductive health, but that there is actually this argument that is being made, and it’s being made in a very cogent and cohesive way, that in fact this is a Christian country and that, in fact, the values of Christianity should and must infuse all aspects of the Constitution and all other law.
I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that this feminist was a big fan of nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.