[guest post by Dana]
I sure hope the Hillary Clinton supporters voting with their uteruses take note of Nazi Paikidze. She exemplifies a woman actually willing to stand up against real – not imagined or perceived – oppression of women, no matter the cost. Sadly, as you and I know, that self-proclaimed champion of women running for president really only stands up before the oppressors of women and children when it’s time to leave and collect a Big Fat Check to deposit into her private slush fund.
Last week it was reported that any women participating in the esteemed World Chess Championships next year, unbelievably being held in Iran, would be required to wear the hijab in deference to the suffocating and discriminatory Iranian religious laws. If participants fail to comply, they will be arrested – or worse. The pushback against the obvious religious and sexual discrimination was immediate:
Grandmasters lined up to say they would boycott the 64-player knock-out and accused the game’s scandal-hit governing body Fide of failing to stand up for women’s rights.
Unfortunately, not everyone is making a stand against the ruling because tolerance:
Fide’s Commission for Women’s Chess, meanwhile, called on participants to respect “cultural differences” and accept the regulations.
And other officials reiterated the need for players to be tolerant of Iran’s non-Western views.
In response to the outrageous demand on players, world champion Nazi Paikidze also brought up the obvious: WHY ARE WE HAVING THIS CONTEST IN A COUNTRY THAT HATES WOMEN??!!!
“It is absolutely unacceptable to host one of the most important women’s tournaments in a venue where, to this day, women are forced to cover up with a hijab.
“I understand and respect cultural differences. But, failing to comply can lead to imprisonment and women’s rights are being severely restricted in general.
“It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.” Paikidze added: “I am honoured and proud to have qualified to represent the United States in the Women’s World Championship. But, if the situation remains unchanged, I will most certainly not participate in this event.”
And Paikidze is holding fast to her promise to boycott the event. In an interview with My Stealthy Freedom, a group working to fight against the forced wearing of the hijab and about which I have written, she made the following statements:
‘When I learned about the situation in Iran, that to this day, women are forced to wear hijab, I was heartbroken. I think most people don’t realize how severely restricted women’s rights are in Iran in general.
Some consider a hijab part of culture. But, I know that a lot of Iranian women are bravely protesting this forced law daily and risking a lot by doing so. That’s why I will NOT wear a hijab and support women’s oppression.
Even if it means missing one of the most important competitions of my career. I found My Stealthy Freedom Campaign by doing a lot of research online. Since I was faced with this issue directly I wanted to learn more.
I want to thank you for what you are doing and what you have already done for women’s rights. It is inspiring and brave work. I am hoping that by speaking up, I will inspire others to do the same. The more people standing together, the better chance we have for equality.'”
When she received criticism for her comments, she added this:
“This is a post for those who don’t understand why I am boycotting FIDE’s decision.
I think it’s unacceptable to host a WOMEN’S World Championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens.
For those saying that I don’t know anything about Iran: I have received the most support and gratitude from the people of Iran, who are facing this situation every day.”
I found Nazi Paikidze’s stance admirable, especially in the face of blowback from the group’s officials, as well as losing out on an opportunity to further her standing in the world of competitive chess. Unfortunately, Susan Polgar, who apparently is both the chair of FIDE’s women’s committee as well as resident scold, did not find Paikidze’s public stand admirable, and for it, has taken her to task.
I also found it admirable that a woman most people (outside the world of chess) wouldn’t know from Eve, would be so compelled to stand by her convictions, even knowing what it would cost her professionally. Which made me think, gosh, if only we had a woman running for president with the same level of conviction and commitment to helping the oppressed. You know, some sort of champion of women and children... But unfortunately, as my post from yesterday, and Patterico’s post from this morning remind us, we don’t have that kind of woman running for the presidency. Instead we have a devious and calculating woman who is more than willing to attack and destroy women who have been victimized by a powerful and predatory male, as well as engage with oppressive regimes that imprison and kill women, if she can personally benefit from their deep pockets.
Perhaps no other country offers a better test case than Saudi Arabia, a regime that openly denies women so many rights and yet appears to be chummy with both Clinton and her foundation. Asked last week specifically about Saudi Arabia’s donations to the Clinton Foundation, the former secretary of state, fresh off a speech about women’s rights at the United Nations and the release of a 50-page report on the status of women and girls in the world, responded, “There can’t be any mistake about my passion concerning women’s rights here at home and around the world. So I think that people who want to support the foundation know full well what it is we stand for and what we’re working on.”