Monday, December 31, 2007

Bhutto, an Imperfect Symbol

Addie Stan has a great memorial article on Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto up at TAP today. She says:
For the women of South Asia, it is a tragedy that extends beyond Bhutto's family and her country. However disappointing her lack of action on behalf of Pakistan's women, Bhutto was a potent symbol of their potential empowerment. Symbolism was what Bhutto did best, and symbols matter -- especially to the desperate.
It's true that in societies where public women just don't exist, even imperfect symbols can go a long way. After all, I often have a problem with the notion that feminists are expected to be more perfect because they are under scrutiny. It's also true that great female Muslim leaders are virtually unknown to the West. Here's hoping Bhutto will pave the way for more female leadership (hopefully of a less corrupt nature) in places like Pakistan.

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