“The City and the Writer in Winter” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

This year, summer eerily, langorously, lingered on. We enjoyed balmy days in New York City clear through November. Even now, the trees outside my window remain in full, green leaf. But winter is also here and the days are becoming bitterly cold and windy.

This is the first time in seven years that I have remained silent about so-called “peace” initiatives in the Middle East. What can I possibly add to what has already been said about the meeting in Annapolis? Or, for that matter, about the witch-hunt against AIPAC and the continued, ghastly imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard?

What more can I say about Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood? Or about Jew-hatred, Israel-bashing, anti-Semitism, the United Nations, or the Islamification of America which is now fully underway? Why should I write yet another piece about the French Intifada which seems to have turned into an annual uprising? Must I really keep repeating myself about how western intellectuals have betrayed the Jews, the truth, and democracy by their glamorization of terrorists, tyrants, and totalitarianism? What more can I say about Islamic Gender Apartheid? The reality outpaces my human indignation and nothing that anyone writes seems to stop it—at least, not immediately.

Well, I may not have to keep repeating myself. Others have gradually taken up many of these cries. Luckily, some people do not mind repeating themselves even when it seems to make little difference—or until it makes all the difference.

But also, the information is in. Everyone’s mind is made up. No one will budge. The polarization in America is written in stone. People either read The Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal—or the Nation and the New York Times. Few read all four publications. What’s worse: Since writers can only publish regularly if they, too, have implacably “chosen sides,” writers self-censor in order to remain published. We are all the poorer for it.

Even when the New York Times publishes articles which document that the “surge” seems to have worked in Iraq, that Iraqis are actually returning home, they do not connect the dots. They do not say that their earlier “yellow journalism” denunciations of the war may have been at least slightly wrong. And, the conservative media has a hard time acknowledging that many of its current, burning issues have been pioneered by—you guessed it! Second Wave feminists. Here, I am thinking about the following issues: trafficking and female sexual slavery, the sexual abuse of children, including incest, the necessity for a “law and order” approach to rape and domestic violence, but there are many more such issues.

Thus, I am grateful to the internet and to all the websites and blogs that speak in a million voices and that fly right under the polarizing radar.

Perhaps I should have titled this piece “Ode to Cyberspace.” Perhaps that’s a future blog. But, I am also weary, the year is ending, it is cold, and all the things that matter to me and to the well-being of so many seem to be frozen stuck.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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