05/27/2005 11:53 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011


My fellow--sister?--blogger Erica Jong took issue this week with Mrs. Bush's visit to the Middle East. Like many women on the left, Jong seems to feel that living under the Bush administration is comparable to living under a regime run by mullahs. Maybe it's even worse: "Of course women in the Middle East need the vote, an end to domestic violence and free access to contraception. But so do we. Odd that it is always easier to proselytize for feminism abroad while ignoring deteriorating women’s rights at home."

Myself, I've never understood why women’s groups weren't out front cheering the wars against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Were there ever more feminist wars than these? You'd think the National Organization for Women would be egging the administration on to Saudi Arabia and Iran. But no, and for the same reason that organized feminists have refused to applaud George Bush’s historic appointments of women to positions of high office, including most recently his nomination of two women, one of them black, to appellate judgeships. Bush is a Republican. The organized feminists are Democrats. It's as simple as that.

Still, I wouldn’t think the feminist worldview could be quite SO simple as to equate the oppression of women who live under repressive and murderous regimes in the Islamic world with the condition of women in the United States. For HP bloggers and readers who have trouble telling the difference, I’ve prepared the following quiz:
  1. Are you allowed to drive a car? Y/N
  2. Must you be accompanied at all times in public by a male escort? Y/N
  3. If you were to say "what the hell" and drive to the mall by yourself, would you be immediately surrounded by bat-wielding male police officers? Y/N
  4. Could you be beaten for saying “what the hell”? Y/N
  5. When you go outside on a hot summer day, can you wear shorts and a t-shirt? Y/N
  6. You wouldn’t know what the weather was because your vision is a confined to the small slit opening in a burkha or abaya? Y/N
  7. Have you ever been stoned at a party? Y/ N
  8. Have you ever been buried up to your neck and stoned (i.e. with rocks) for kissing a man not your husband at a party? Y/N
  9. Were you free to marry the man of your choice or, as it may be, free not to marry? Y/N
  10. Did your parents force you to marry a man of their choosing? Y/N
  11. If you refused your parents’ choice of husband would you be banished from the family and/or beaten within an inch of your life and/or to death? Y/N
  12. Were you 11-years-old when you were married? Y/N
  13. Does your husband have more than one wife? Y/N
  14. Does your religion permit and encourage “moderate beatings” by the husband whenever he feels his wife is disobedient? Y/N
  15. If you are unhappy with your husband, can you initiate a divorce? Y/N
  16. Were you educated? Y/N
  17. Were you educated for a career? Y/N
  18. Was the career that of a suicide bomber? Y/N
  19. When dealing with the law or facing a court case, is your word valued at half that of a man’s? Y/N
  20. In a rape case in which there are no witnesses, is your word worth nothing against that of the rapist’s—and furthermore, for the admission of sex with a man outside of marriage, even forcibly, can you be put to death? Y/N
  21. Can you vote? Y/N
  22. Can you read any book you like? Y/N
  23. Did you read the Arabic version of “Fear of Flying”? (oh, skip this one—it doesn’t exist)
  24. Is fear of flying how you feel whenever you step on a plane post-9/11?
SCORING: If you answered “yes” to questions 1, 5, 7, 9, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, and 24, congratulations! You live in the freest society for women in the history of Planet Earth. If you answered “yes” to any of the other questions, Allahu Akbar!