I am not typically one who cries sexism. Anyone who knows me, or who has read anything I have written, can attest to that. These comments from a Syrian author, however, just strike me as not only disgusting and nasty, but also incredibly sexist. I can’t imagine anyone making such statements about a male secretary of state.
Colette Khuri: “There are people in America and Europe who do not know that resistance makes you walk with your head high. How can they possibly call it terrorism? They do not realize that the world’s greatest terrorist is Bush, who in my opinion resembles Nero.”
Interviewer: “Let’s talk about the ‘birth pangs’ mentioned by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, when she talked about the Middle East plan, with its various names. Who suffers pain here?”
Colette Khuri: “If I were asked, as an author, to portray malice, I would sketch an image of Condoleezza Rice. This woman is grim, both in the way she looks and in the way she is inside. I don’t know why she is always malicious from within. Malicious over what? What have we ever
done to her? This woman has no right to talk about birth pangs, since she does not know the meaning of birth pangs.
“I want to explain to the viewers that birth pangs are that painful yet delightful moment that precedes the most important moment in life – childbirth. The birth of a child is the birth of hope, the birth of love. Birth pangs are a delightful moment. It is a combination of pain and delight. That is the moment that precedes creation – the creation of life. How can she possibly call the destruction and crimes in Lebanon birth pangs? She is killing children, and calling it birth pangs. This phase leads to the destruction and the death of the Arabs. How can she?
How come she has the right to talk about birth pangs? This is nauseating. More than rage, I feel nauseated. True, I am enraged, but I feel nauseated.”
Interviewer: “In any case, her external ugliness reflects her internal ugliness…”
Colette Khuri: “It’s the other way around, my dear. It is the internal ugliness that is reflected in one’s face. A woman can only be ugly from the inside.”
Colette Khuri: “Any woman can be beautiful, if she is beautiful from within. It is the internal ugliness of this woman that reflects her looks.”
Interviewer: “She has the right to feel pain, because her baby-plan was stillborn.”
I guess by this principle no man can ever refer to “birth pangs” or anything else associated with childbirth. I had my first child via natural childbirth after about eight hours of intense labor. With my second I had some complications and ended up having an epidural after many hours of excruciating pain. I know what birth pangs are and I think the comparison to the pain of war is entirely appropriate. My husband has not felt birth pangs, but he witnessed them, and trust me, he knows what they are. (I made sure of that.) It is certainly not necessary to have experienced childbirth to know that it is painful and to be able to make the comparison. The vicious and sexist attacks on Secretary of State Rice are not only disgusting and sickening, but they are completely without reasoning.
The absolute ugliness of the comments in the interview above, by both the interviewee and the interviewer, are completely lost on them, as they accuse Condoleeza Rice of being the one with ugliness coming from inside. They are blind to what is right before their eyes. They did get one thing right, though. Ugliness truly does come from within, and of that, they provided a perfect example.
Update: Above I said “the vicious and sexist attacks on Secretary of State Rice are not only disgusting and sickening, but they are completely without reason.” A reader commented there were plenty of “reasons.” I should have said “reasoning” instead of “reason.” There are absolutely plenty of reasons for those who hate America to use sexist and nasty comments and to make ridiculous statements indicating that only those women who have experienced childbirth can talk about birth pangs. The reasons are as ugly as the statements though. The “reasoning” is what I intended to refer to. I have revised the post to reflect that.