Aristophanes penned Lysistrata during the Peloponnesian War, about Greek women who manage to stop the war by withholding sex from their soldier-husbands. In a way, this is what Western women have been doing in the second half of the 20th Century. By leaving the home to work, they have made their sexual favors more dear. By earning their own wages, they have unchained themselves from supplicating reliance on the menfolk. We in the West have had a long time to get used to this transformation, and for the most part we are better off for it. I don’t have the data, but I suspect that societies where women make up more than one third of wage earners have seldom if ever gone to war against each other.
In a separate piece, I once argued that “[t]he gender imbalance in China’s population, unemployment, and idleness of the People’s Liberation Army all point in dangerous directions.”
Now, Strategy Page discusses the effect on a society of having too many young, unemployed single men.
Many of those unemployed young men are angry, and making war is a typical activity of angry young men. But the women are not too happy either, and this is becoming one a major threat to Islamic terrorists. In Islamic societies, women’s activities are greatly restricted. One thing they are encouraged to do is have lots of children. Many women in Islamic countries are rebelling against this. You don’t hear much about this, because women don’t rebel in the same loud, headline grabbing way that men do. What unhappy women often do is stop having children. Not so easy to do, you think? Well, think again.
Losing control of the women is something that makes Islamic conservatives very angry. Murderously angry. This is a vicious, lethal battle taking place largely out of the media spotlight. But, long term, it is destroying the source of Islamic terrorism.
The observation that “it’s in Europe that you get the best look at the womens revolt in the Islamic world,” and that these women are paying a price for it, is most probably a reference to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee whose life and work for the liberation of Muslim women resulted in the gruesome murder of Theo van Gogh, great-grandnephew of famed painter Vincent van Gogh, whose worked with Hirsi Ali on Submission, a short documentary about the mistreatment of women in some Muslim societies.
While Hirsi Ali’s life is certainly unique, not only for her recent atheism and her outspokenness, the women of Lysistrata were no less shocking in their ideals. Perhaps Hirsi Ali, and others like her, will yet help guide Islam into the modern world.
[Cross-posted from Between Worlds]