Patterico's Pontifications


Not All Women Are Equal: Women’s Organizations Everywhere, It Seems

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:24 pm

[guest post by Dana]

After her husband’s death was confirmed, Yulia Navalnaya released a video in which she addressed the Russian people. Completely shattered and yet defiant, Navalnaya bravely reassured her husband’s supporters that she “will continue to fight for the freedom of our country”:

“Vladimir Putin killed my husband…The most important thing we can do for Alexey and for ourselves is to keep fighting more desperately and more fiercely than before… We know exactly why Putin killed Alexey three days ago. We will definitely find out exactly who carried out this crime and how it was carried out. We will name names and show faces.”

Moscow claims that the accusations are “absolutely unacceptable.” Yeah. Whatever.

In the face of grief, Yulia Navalnaya shows both grace and courage. She understands her loss is also a great loss to freedom-seeking Russians. She knows that her husband was not just a Putin critic but a brave man who relentlessly mocked Putin and his cronies, and threatened them at every turn with his wit and smarts. And especially because he remained bold and brave despite their cruelty. Putin could no longer abide that. I pray that Yulia Navalnay is made of the same stern stuff as her husband. I pray that despite, or because of her grief and anger, Putin finds himself outraged by another Navalny troublemaker speaking freedom and refusing to stand down.

She certainly has her work cut out for, given that the presidential election is March 15 and her husband’s supporters are being arrested:

Arrested for leaving flowers, Navalny mourners fear worse to come. At least 366 people were detained over the weekend, leading to concern that the arrests could signal greater government repression ahead of Russia’s elections in March.

In contrast to the courageous Yulia Navalnay, the Board of INSPIRE, which sponsors a Women’s Day event in Canada , demonstrated anything but courage. To the contrary:

Leah Goldstein seemed like a natural fit to be the keynote speaker at an International Women’s Day event in Ontario, Canada, next month. A Canadian cyclist, she made history as the first woman to win a grueling 3,000-mile bike race across the United States. But in January, five months after accepting the invitation, Goldstein was told she was no longer invited to speak.

Can you guess why she was disinvited? Sure you can:

The cause, the event organizers said, was “a small but growing and extremely vocal group” that took issue with Goldstein’s service three decades ago in the Israeli army.

“Our focus at INSPIRE has been and will always be to create safe spaces to honour, share, and celebrate the remarkable stories of women and non-binary individuals,” the women’s empowerment group said in a statement. “In recognition of the current situation and the sensitivity of the conflict in the Middle East, the Board of INSPIRE will be changing our keynote speaker.”

Oh, bullshit. Quite clearly they are not about honoring, sharing, and celebrating the remarkable stories of women. Only certain women… What a disgrace. To show such disrespect to an invited keynote speaker because she served in the military is an Israeli Jew is enraging. But sadly, unsurprising.

On her website, Goldstein a posted about incident:

It has taken me a while to wrap my head around your decision to remove me as INSPIRE’s International Women’s Day “Inspire Inclusion” Keynote Speaker. I was hurt. I was angry. But most of all I was heartbroken.

I’ve been a speaker for nearly 10 years and have told my story in front of real estate agents, business managers, garbage collectors, CEOs, motorbike dealers, government agencies and many diverse women’s groups. Not once has someone (to my face, to the organizers, nor anonymously) ever claimed to have been offended by my presentation. Not once.

I must assume you hired me because I speak about overcoming sexism and failures. Correct? I speak to inspire and motivate. I speak about obstacles, and how to overcome them. I speak about bravery and growth and standing up for one another.

I don’t believe you hired me because I was a soldier and a cop. While these jobs are part of my story (and I’m very grateful to have had these experiences), they do not define me as a human being. As a Jewish woman, I would never be offended if a Palestinian woman were to speak about her obstacles and life journey. I thought that’s what women were supposed to do for each other – listen and support!

Instead, it seems you have chosen to give in to threats and hate – and this is the saddest part. You removed me and made a statement to your audience, without even giving me a chance to make my own. Why wasn’t I contacted personally? Don’t you think I at least deserved that tiny shred of dignity?

I will not pursue legal action, although I have been advised to do so. That’s not who I am. Right now, I am sad. I’m mad. And I am so disappointed. For now, I can only live in hope. I hope for peace. I hope that humans can learn to treat each other with respect and love. And I hope the future includes brave women who understand the fragile thread holding all of us together.

A smart and direct response from a classy woman. Shame on the women’s group for knuckling under to the outraged few. I hope the whiny-ass babies on the Board at INSPIRE find their missing spine. Are they afraid Goldstein will bite? Do they think she’ll attack them? Or are they just afraid of the worst possible thing they can imagine happening: Goldstein standing at the podium, sharing her life story, and graciously encouraging and lifting up women of all stripes – while being an Israeli Jew?


8 Responses to “Not All Women Are Equal: Women’s Organizations Everywhere, It Seems”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. Were I a contributor to such an organization, I would be suing them for obtaining donations under false pretenses.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  3. I will bet you that more women are outraged by the INSPIRE board than are upset with them having an Israeli Jew as a speaker. I will also bet that most of them will keep their heads down.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  4. They just want to protect their rice bowl. They found a recipe that works, that keeps them fed and clothed and gives them a degree of self-importance, and they are very careful with the ingredients. It’s the way of all such organizations.

    nk (7f2c8d)

  5. I can’t add anything to that, Dana, just thank you for bringing attention to these two remarkable women.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  6. This is good stuff Dana.

    Now how about writing something (maybe in the upcoming Weekend Thread) about Fran Itkoff, who’s from my own hometown of Lakewood here in SoCal?

    qdpsteve again (cac46c)

  7. Politics aint bean bag. Their is a lot of collateral damage when push comes to shove. I have to put up with hostility from the left for saying the best thing for palestinians is the destruction of hamas. I tell them just because netanyahu is an evil crook doesn’t make hamas good! Like when we took the side of stalin to defeat hitler in WWII.

    asset (d80031)

  8. Of course, the things that do not point with penalty pointers to one of the sides of the noisy confrontation from the common narrative “Putin bad, tyrant – West- democracy, freedom”(left)+”Western elites-satanists – Putin-good”(right) are destructive to the idyll of much-needed fog to optimize the workflow of our transition to a (global) “new technological order”(<-as one of Putin's favorite expressions states).

    Kurchatnik (539e5d)

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