Let Them Eat Cake

I’ve never been one to pay any mind to movie stars or the ridiculous out-of-touch-with-reality things they utter. I have seen the political rants of Meryl Streep and her gaggle of elitist sycophants. They are just well known people after all and no more important than any other person on this planet. Why would I care about their opinions?

But a few years ago when women, led by Hollywood’s elites, descended upon Washington, DC to protest and Ashley Judd gave her rendition of the now famous nasty woman speech, I took notice. I began to pay attention to the scenes unfolding as women dragged their daughters behind them and paraded around in pink hats fashioned to mimic the most intimate part of a woman’s body. I listened as they screamed about women’s rights with vulgar obscenities, how oppressed they would be under the new administration. I remember wondering at the time if they truly understood the definition of oppression. I caught myself wondering how they would fare in a place such as Iraq or Afghanistan. And of late, I have listened as they whine and bemoan the millions they rake in are not equal to the millions of their male counterparts. 

I have watched. I have listened. I have grown weary.

Then a few days ago, in a mater of hours, the Taliban invaded Afghanistan. In Hollywood, crickets chirp. And it all has me wondering this afternoon, has me thinking as the images replay through my mind of people falling from airplanes as they took to the sky, mothers throwing their children over walls in hopes they would be saved, translators who worked with our military left to be hunted down and beaten and shot like wild animals, and young girls clinging to fences screaming, begging for our military to help them fearing the fate that surely awaits them.

Where are Madonna and Ashley Judd and Alyssa Milano? Where are the feminists who care so much for women and their rights? Where is Meryl Streep who wants women to help other women? Where are Hillary and Chelsea and Kamala? 

Well, according to their social media accounts they are celebrating birthdays and promoting books, calling out facebook about racist militias and vaccine misinformation. Our Vice President Kamala seems to be AWOL. Hillary mustered up the ten seconds it took to retweet a post from someone else who actually cares. And Ashley – well, ladies after Biden was inaugurated and she no longer had to worry about Trump and his mean tweets – she left for the Congo to research some endangered monkeys and had an accident. But even as oppressed as she is, she somehow is now miraculously walking through the Swiss countryside and dreaming of hiking in Patagonia as she recovers.

Why are they so silent? Surely the rights of the women in Afghanistan deserve their attention. But I fear the truth is brutal and most certainly something that not one of them want to face: 

They are not oppressed. They have never been oppressed. They will never be oppressed. 

And the situation unfolding in Afghanistan right now shows how petty and privileged and hypocritical they are, how empty the words in which they speak. So they travel and post pictures of their privileged lives unbothered by the plight of Afghan women. Where is the criticism, the outrage, against the president they voted in who has left them to feign for themselves as the Taliban seizes control and wields power oppressing and murdering the vulnerable, the innocent, the unprotected? Where is their determination to force change upon this situation? Why are they, being equal with men, not strapping on their boots, using their resources to right the wrong that is occurring? At the very least, where are the blacked out Instagram posts and the #westandwithyou hashtags? Why isn’t Twitter covered up with tweets questioning the sheer horror of this situation and demanding intervention?

Fear and worry not. I am sure they will reappear, climbing down from their pedestals on high, to condemn a conservative who dares to speak truth to their lies about abortion or weep about their inequality in a misogynistic patriarchy. They will don their pink hats and rage and drag their daughters behind them in a grand display of privilege and vulgarity flaunting their elitist attitudes. 

But not in Afghanistan; they will march here in the streets of a country where women have rights.

And not for the Afghan women, for their elitist and racist attitudes have deemed those women unworthy.

Meanwhile, the Afghan women now suffer under the Taliban and the women of Hollywood live their lives of privilege uninterrupted, undisturbed, protected by bodyguards on gated properties, safe in a country that is free and shielded by a freedom for which they never fought.

Young woman crying
A young woman cried as she reached through a fence covered in razor wire toward US troops on the other side.Twitter/@aftabnaseer6
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