It's All Her Fault!

Senior Australian Muslim cleric Sheik Taj Aldin al Hilali is seen in this file photo from July 31, 2006. The cleric triggered national outrage on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006, for likening women who dress immodestly to meat that is left out for prey to eat, a comment critics said excused rape. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, file) AP Photo

This column was written by Katha Pollitt.
Is it just my imagination or are women wreaking more evil than usual these days? We all know the reason boys don't read is that female teachers assign books about girls, and girls have cooties; and the reason half of all marriages end in divorce is that women have outrageous expectations, like that their husbands should talk to them; and the reason the Democrats lose elections is that they pander to female voters instead of being manly and tough. Oh, wait a minute, the Democrats won the last election. Women aren't just evil, they're powerful.

Here are some other things women are responsible for:

Rape I know, I know, it's an old charge, but Australia's top Muslim cleric, Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, has managed to make it new. "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden, or in the park, or in the backyard without cover, and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred." Because veiled women are never raped, at least not as long as they stay in their rooms. Sheik al-Hilali later said his remarks were taken out of context — he was only talking about prostitutes.

Gay Preachers Pretty women may make men rape them, but ugly ones are even more powerful: They turn men into homosexuals! Here's Pastor Mark Discoll of Seattle's Mars Hill Church blogging about the downfall of evangelical preacher Ted Haggard, purchaser of gay sex and meth: "It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either." Gayle Haggard, mother of five, must feel pretty silly for contributing a chapter to her husband's weight-loss manual, "The Jerusalem Diet," in which, according to Publishers Weekly, "she urged women to accept their bodies and be gentle with themselves."

Iraq And you thought Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and those other neocons were in charge! Not so, according to the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Ledeen, quoted by David Rose in the November Vanity Fair: "Ask yourself who the most powerful people in the White House are. They are women who are in love with the president: Laura, Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen Hughes." Ladies, you had the President's heart in your soft little hands, and you blew it. Now all those Iraqi children are dead!

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