Why use the name of Hillary Clinton when discussing the status of women in America? Simple, she belongs to the elite class, so her example is perfect to take a look at the position of women , in general, in America. If, Clinton, twice a first lady, an American Senator and now a possible presidential candidate, is treated as a second class citizen in America, than what’s left to comment on the status and the rights of the common American women.
The media is full of criticism about how the Taliban treat women. How in Saudi Arabia they are not allowed to drive and how in Pakistan and other Islamic societies they have to observe purdah by wearing shroud like burqa; and, in addition, follow a certain code of conduct, in order to lead a peaceful and safe existence. Leave the Islamic societies aside, they are the pariahs of the world community anyway and let’s cast a look at non-Islamic societies. The Hindus in India don’t treat their women well nor do any other society ranging from the Latin Americans to the Chinese, so much so, that female infanticide, is a part of normal life.
Compared to all the societies and social set-ups, America is Heaven for women, especially those with the right social connections and prestige of Clinton . A place where they can do anything and be anyone. Further, there are no legal obstacles barring them to be with someone and to live life on their own terms. A Pakistani woman, for instance , can’t even the visit the home of her parents , if the husband disproves. Similarly , in most other cultures, a woman can’t visit a market place unchaperoned out of fear of harassment or even rape. In America, the highly sophisticated society it is , women are not stalked on the streets, harassed at the work place and they never are abused or raped.
Then how come, even countries as backward as Pakistan, have had women head of states inspite of all the taboos attached with their kind. Indra Gandhi was the prime minister, in another backward, uncouth society and Bangladesh too has had in the past and even today a woman prime minister. European countries too have had and some still are being run by women and the same is true, as far as, Thailand and even Australia, are concerned. All the above mentioned states and societies can’t compete with the Americans, in any way; then how come America can’t have Clinton, as a president. The cream of the world, American society would rather elect a black man to be the president but not and perhaps never, a woman. In phony sort of cosmetic way the women in America are much better than their counter-parts in the rest of the world but the bitter reality is they are not. In fact if you think critically women in America live far worse lives than those even in countries like Afghanistan because they are treated as Barbie dolls in the public and like rag dolls in private.
The women are perhaps too soft for the image of the American president. A macho society must have a macho leader. The simple matter of the fact, East or West, is that be it America or Afghanistan women are a second-rate citizens, with limited rights and the stereo-type model house makers rather than seasoned business or states women. The truth is that Americans live in a highly conservative and acutely patriarchal world. A world run by men, where women, even of the class of Clinton are lesser in status to the most effeminate man. Her being an alleged lesbian is made a great deal but no one has ever questioned the sexual orientation of the men in the Oval office. Clinton, therefore, in her personal capacity, defines the actual status of women in America.
Editorial by Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada