You wouldn’t think that women’s right to vote would be an issue in the United States in 2009. But apparently it is — in Texas.
What’s going on here?
The controversy surrounds an El Paso Indian tribe which bans female voting. Watch the video at the link and despair as a bunch of lawmakers sanctimoniously discuss how they shouldn’t be imposing their views on a sovereign nation.
This reminds me of when Silvio Berlusconi took a bunch of flak several years ago, for saying that our Western culture is superior to that of Islam:
“We must be aware of the superiority of our civilization, a system that has guaranteed well–being, respect for human rights and – in contrast with Islamic countries – respect for religious and political rights.” He hoped the “the West will continue to conquer peoples, like it conquered Communism.”
I remember, at the time, thinking: well, he’s right. Our culture is superior.
I’m not talking about religion. I’m not even religious. I’m talking about respect for human rights — in particular women’s rights. I’m talking about honor killings. About lashing women for the crime of being raped. About preventing them from voting, and driving, and working. And involuntary female circumcision.
A culture that engages in such barbaric practices is inferior. Period.
And so is the culture of an American Indian tribe that prevents women from voting.
I’m no expert on the laws of this country with respect to the interface of American Indian sovereignty and U.S. sovereignty. But, morally and practically, it seems to me that some basic principles have to be non-negotiable. Things like severe punishment for crimes of violence; respect for property rights — and voting rights for women. Anything else takes sovereignty too far.
And if we can make Islam respect women’s rights, I’m for that, too.