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Bret Stephens of the Jerusalem

Bret Stephens of the Jerusalem Post delivers this critique of postmodern feminism in the form of an update on the Miss World beauty pageant. After the violence in Nigeria, the pageant moved to London. Feminists there were appalled. They concurred with the Muslim clerics who saw the pageant as “commercial sex trading.” They even found logic in the slogan used by many Muslim rioters, “Down with Beauty.” Observing all of this, Stephens wonders “if bikinis are repressive, what then is liberating? One answer, of course, is modesty both in dress and manner, long the approach of Orthodox Jewish women and now enjoying something of a culture vogue in the U.S. A better answer — something you’d think the feminist politburo would have thought of already — is choice itself: the choice to wear bikinis, or burkas, or something in between.” Stephens concludes that it is the rejection of choice that the feminist and Muslim critiques of beauty pageants have in common. Then Stephens gives us this gem of a line: “Between the extremes of antediluvian Islam and postmodern feminism, it’s a good thing the prurient center holds.”

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