We haven't had a good, old-fashioned "feeding frenzy," a la Herman Cain, for a long time -- maybe not since the days of Dan Quayle. I'm talking about the kind of media wilding where someone is a whole person one day, and then the piranhas swim in and a gnawed carcass is all that remains. It's especially hard to look at when the victim joins in to shoot himself in the foot, but that's another story.
What interests me more is whether we can draw from the Cain case the conclusion that "women," as a group defined exclusively by sex, are exhibiting a new or finally realized power in society. Judging by the attention and gravity with which the sexual harassment charges are being treated, and judging by the perils these charges pose to the presidential run of this newly popular figure on the political right, a Martian might be forgiven for concluding that the role and stature of women in society is supreme.
But a Martian would be wrong. The political leverage against Cain -- setting aside his own and his team's erratic and unsatisfying responses -- has nothing to do with the entrenchment or validation of manners and mores that protect against sexual harassment or predation of women. On the contrary, these are power struggles as usual, with the left, including its women, seizing on sexual harassment as a crowbar to beat off a conservative. Their hypocrisy is no compensation for the fact that Cain has shown himself unable to meet or deflect the charges and, indeed, may be vulnerable to them.
The fact is, the security of women in society is imperiled, but not by crude propositions or passes made by the odd, unreconstructed male executive. The security of women is imperiled by the spread of Islam in Western society, which is accepting its aggressive misogyny without question or even mention.
This is what struck me on trying to sort through a flurry of recent headlines, from the many gigantic ones calling attention to Herman Cain's alleged comments and gropings in every mainstream outlet, to the rare story or occasional video online attesting to the massive assault on girlhood and womanhood that is directly attributable to burgeoning Islamic communities, largely in Europe.
The real problem doesn't go away because it is silenced. Earlier this year, NRK, Norwegian state television, reported that 100 percent of rapes in Oslo in 2010 in which perpetrators could be identified were committed by "men of non-Western background" -- the stock euphemism for Muslim males in Norway. Drawing from a study issued by Oslo police this year, NRK further reported that out of 86 rapes in Oslo between 2005 and 2010 in which perpetrators could be identified, 83 were "males of non-Western appearance." The victims, on the other hand, are predominantly young white women -- "ethnic Norwegian." Shockingly, this scandal, which calls into question government asylum and immigration policies that terrorize native women, garners few headlines.
Until quite recently, silence also hung over the decade-old phenomenon of "gang grooming" in Britain -- the predominantly Muslim, predominantly Pakistani practice of "grooming" very young, usually native-born girls as sexual props for personal and prostitutional use. The crisis has now reached epidemic proportions. As many as 10,000 mainly underage girls may be victims, according to the Office of the Children's Commissioner.
So what now? According to the Telegraph, "after one academic study found much more needs to be done to protect children from sexual exploitation," the British government has decided to launch a "two-year inquiry." So much for the chivalric code.
Better to follow the example of a Serbian town of 6,000, where, following the brutal gang rape by five Afghan men of a British woman tourist, townspeople recently came out to protest. They have withdrawn their children from school until, as the Austrian Times reports, the government clears out 2,500 illegal aliens from a center built to hold 120.
Welcome to the world, not post 9/11, but post Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh's ritualistic murder took place seven years ago this month in the heart of Europe. It was retribution, his assassin said, for van Gogh's film "Submission," which depicts the plight of women under Islamic law. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the screenwriter, has lived under an Islamic death threat ever since. She recently abandoned notions of a sequel as "too risky."
Where is the sisterhood now?
Email Diana West at dianawestverizon.net.