Where are the feminist defenders of Condi Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali?


LOS ANGELES, April 12, 2014 — Fresh off their slaughter of ex-Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, leftist progressives have now turned their long knives on Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under President George W. Bush.

What did Condi do to draw their wrath? She was appointed to the board of directors of Dropbox, a file-sharing and storage platform. Her consulting firm RiceHadleyGates had already been giving management direction to the growing company, and with Dropbox’s new IPO and their desire to extend their reach internationally, Rice, with her extensive foreign-policy experience, seemed a logical choice.

Others do not agree. The Internet has been rife with criticism of the company, with the hashtag #DropDropbox trending on Twitter. This campaign threatens that if Dropbox CEO Drew Houston does not remove Rice from the board, customers will drop the program. There is even a webpage dedicated to the cause, spelling out why the choice of Rice is “deeply disturbing”.

One reason is her role in the “evil” Bush administration that started the Iraq War. Another is her support of warrantless wiretapping (the Obama administration hasn’t condemned this either), and yet another — horror of horrors — is that Rice was on the on the board of directors at Chevron. She even has a tanker named after her. Wicked fossil fuels rearing its ugly head.

The anti-Rice activists claim that their opposition to her is not partisan. This is called into question with this paragraph from the “manifesto”:

“Condoleezza Rice could have resigned from the Bush Administration if she believed these actions — all of which she was deeply involved with — were wrong. She did not.” [Emphasis added]

It now becomes clear. The left is furious that Rice — unlike Colin Powell, whose remorse for his role in the Iraq War subsequently made his move into the left’s good graces complete — will not tell you she’s sorry that she was Bush’s secretary of state. Nor will she day that everything she did under the Bush administration was a horrible mistake.

Another woman of color being hunted by left-wing brown shirts is Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Born to a Muslim family in Somalia, Ali was forced to undergo genital mutilation at the age of 5. After refusing a forced marriage, she renounced Islam and sought political asylum in the Netherlands, where she became a member of parliament. She wrote the screenplay for the 2004 film Submission, about the mistreatment of Muslim women and girls.

Ali has received death threats, and the film’s director, Theo van Gogh, was assassinated by a Muslim extremist. Ali now resides in the United States, where she continues her advocacy work on behalf of women and girls. She is a strong critic of Islam, and focuses her efforts on exposing the mistreatment of women and girls under the Muslim religion.

The Brandeis University student campaign against her is mostly spearheaded through the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Ibrahim Hooper, National Communications Director and spokesperson for CAIR, is obsessed with Ali and delights in using her as the whipping boy for any anti-Islamist sentiment. Because of this pressure, Brandeis University, whose motto is “Truth even unto its innermost parts,” rescinded the invitation for Ali to be the May 18 commencement speaker and revoked their offer of an honorary degree.

The university issued a statement on their decision to un-invite Ali:

“She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world,” the statement read. “That said, we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

These “Brandeis core values” obviously do not include Truth even unto its innermost parts. Otherwise Brandeis’s spineless administrators would have no problem with Hirsi Ali speaking her piece of the truth. Time to take that off your seal and masthead.

What Rice and Ali have in commons is that they refuse to back down. Both are highly intelligent, articulate, and extremely capable women who stand on their own two feet. Their voices are distinct and resonant. No one speaks for them, and no one needs to. Each woman represents a race and a gender that have historically suffered oppression, and still do to this day.

Rice came of age in the Jim Crow South, yet overcame the racism and insults of her youth to become an accomplished academic with a masters and a doctorate in international relations. She was provost at Stanford University before she accepted George W. Bush’s invitation to become the first female National Security Adviser. When then-Secretary of State Colin Powell resigned, Rice became the first African-American female Secretary of State. In 2013, Augusta National—the Masters Tournament home—inducted Rice (along with Darla Moore) as one of its first female members.

Rice was an instrumental part of the leadership that guided the country through the 9/11 terror attack and the rebuilding thereafter. No matter what your feelings on the outcome of the post-9/11 policies, it does not remove the historical weight of this role.

None of Rice’s accomplishments and achievements are small by any means, nor should they be diminished. However, Rice has had to suffer concerted efforts by politicians, journalists, and leftist progressives to do just that, and this latest DropDropbox brouhaha is yet another attempt to reduce a consummate and impressive woman.

Hirsi Ali was mutilated, beaten and nearly forced into an arranged marriage. She fled her adopted country of the Netherlands under threat of death because of her outspoken condemnation of the treatment of women under Islam. She is a New York Times bestselling author, wrote a screenplay for one advocacy film, and was a pivotal part of The Honor Diaries, which shines a glaring light on honor violence and killings in the Muslim world.

Ali still receives death threats for her stance and outspokenness, yet she is determined in her work, traveling the world to share her story.

These women — who are powerful lightning rods, effecting change, making a difference, and standing for what they believe — would be applauded and held up as the finest examples of feminism, if only the feminist movement were about more than politics.

The feminist establishment is remarkably silent in both cases. There have been no statements from organizational leaders or the poster children of feminism condemning either of these actions. Where are Sandra Fluke and Lena Dunham on the issue? Too busy running for Congress or being photographed in god-awful clothes. Nor have we heard a peep from National Organization for Women’s president Terry O’Neill—guess she is too busy writing drivel in the Huffington Post about Equal Pay Day.

“I’ll be glad when we no longer have to observe Equal Pay Day, but until then, we need to educate ourselves about the wage gap between women and men, organize our friends and communities to press Congress for meaningful solutions, and vote out of office the inequality deniers who think income inequality is a ‘myth.’ We know it’s all too real.”

Laughably, NOW has a link on their website titled “Global Feminism”. That link includes a 49-page “Gender Shadow Report,” which documents “expansive, entrenched and systemic sex-based employment discrimination in this country.” It concludes that laws and policies in the U.S. — in both the private and public sectors — make the U.S. workplace “one of the least supportive employment environments for women of any developed nation.” With alarm, NOW Foundation emphasized that political leaders are currently reducing funds and dismantling programs adopted over the past 40 years that have promoted equality for women.”

Along with equal pay for women and the birth control kerfuffle, this shadow report merely shows that NOW has its head up its backside. Fighting fictitious battle on income and gender inequality and evil politicians taking away women’s rights, yet tacitly ignoring the clear and present evils against women committed in the U.S. and the world: the restriction on free speech, women being attacked and maligned for rightful accomplishments because they do not reflect certain political views, sex trafficking, and honor violence and killings. Apparently, “Global Feminism” is an oxymoron.

Both Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali are standard bearers.  Women of conviction who obviously have a spine. One wishes Brandeis University had one; we have yet to see whether the powers at Dropbox maintain theirs.

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  • Jim Heller

    Good article, Jennifer. I used to think that the notion of the “totalitarian left” was hyperbolic, colourfully exaggerated to make a fair point but still excessive. No more. Good for you taking this position. I’m sure it’d be a hell of a lot easier as a black woman to swim with the PC current. Lots of respect! 🙂

    • Jennifer O O’Connell

      TY, Jim. Appreciate your reading.

  • SuperWittySmitty

    The campaign against Ms. Rice has nothing to do with her gender; nice attempt at a false flag.

    • Jennifer O O’Connell

      What false flag? I outlined what the campaign against Rice is all about above; but that is not the SOLE focus of this article. So nice try at attempting to mount a fallacious argument.

      • Brandon Ross Fontaine

        Doesn’t matter. Rice is wrong with just about everything she stands for. She’s an enemy of anyone who wants privacy, a better environment and isn’t a warmonger.
        White, black, purple or whatever; if you’re a goon for the Federal government you’re a goon for the federal government.

      • hohopig

        I know this is late, but your misleading statements are so disingenuous that it just begs to be rebutted, Your outlines also very astutely minimised her role and responsibility in the abuses by NSA as well as the numerous authorisation of multiple measures that not just inflict inhumane treatment on other (which might be slightly defensible if your country is at war … which strangely you are not .. officially), but also encroached and eroded the measures that protected the citizen’s privacy in your country.

        So her appointment in the board of dropbox precisely because of this .. that her belief in the privacy rights of the citizens, (or the lack of belief) puts her in a very bad position as a board member.

    • thinkingabovemypaygrade

      Ms. Rice is experiencing a campaign against her.

      The gender campaign is…mostly silence.

      I hear almost nothing about how Dr. Rice is a good role model.

      Only those women…wearing the invisible (but potent) burka of total political correctness…are held up as “examples”.

  • Thomas Ross

    The whole thing has to do with is that the women are not left wing liberals. One is an outspoken abused woman that denounced Islam, she was sexually abused at the age of 5 and found fled to the Netherlands.

    Why does the government allow the abuse of these women? What happened to women rights, gender equality? The government does allot of talking but little action. What is the DOJ doing?

    • thinkingabovemypaygrade

      these women are not “fashionable”…they go against some of the current thought fashions being shown on the mostly a-historical…gender studies runways…

  • Patricia Picoli Struzzi

    Two beautiful women standing up for what they believe, these so called women rights leagues should be ashamed of themselves. What courage these women have shown I for one think they are great.

    • alphaa10000

      Along with “standing up for what they believe”, people should try to stand up for the right thing.

  • Honestly!

    Why was my post removed? Because I posted the truth about what a liar Ayaan is?

  • handgunnar

    “Where are the feminist defenders of Condi Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali?”
    Why, they’re getting fitted for burqas, of course.

  • jimmyrourke

    These leftist are true dirt bag losers. What a classy bunch of wing nuts .Obama should be proud, These idiots will be fighting for Hillary. I heard they could change her age from 70 down to 59. It will take 6 months but their certain it can be done. I think we need to rebuild the State Hospitals so there will be a place for these lunatics after the next 2 elections. I can’t wait to see it because I am so tired of hearing them speak

  • Guy Ratner

    Brandeis University won’t grow a spine anytime soon..just like most academic establishments worldwide these days. In many Israeli universities, for example, convicted terrorists and terrorist-collaborators are allowed to come in and speak (on the grounds of free speech), but so-called “right-wing extremists” are not, based on the fear such a move would “incite violence”. A few days ago, students at Tel Aviv University had to stage a massive protest to stop a Hamas collaborator (invited in by a combination of Israeli and Israeli-Arab students from the far left) from coming in and lecturing. This is a losing battle, because universities throughout the world have become radically politicized and are no longer detached from various political agendas.

    • ClarenceAlexander

      And when everything blows up and the world is in chaos, the radical folks promoting radical speakers and activists will wonder how it all happened as they are being marched away by the very radicals they supported!

  • thinkingabovemypaygrade

    Quote from this article “…These women — who are powerful lightning rods, effecting change, making a difference, and standing for what they believe — would be applauded and held up as the finest examples of feminism, if only the feminist movement were about more than politics.

    The feminist establishment is remarkably silent in both cases…” Another reason I would NOT have paid for “gender studies”…or “woman studies” for a child at most colleges.

    NOW andthe like are Submissive, Docile, Subservient Females…who (mostly dumbly) submit to whatever thought fashions the far left…puts out…even as they witness the damage done to their fellow women.

    (Decades before, some feminists would have spoken against the mutilation of girls/ women …and would have spoken for these two brave, strong women..)

    • alphaa10000

      No wonder you are not paid to think above your pay grade– there is abundant protest from feminists every day about a variety of issues. All that gets attention, due to widespread acceptance of feminism’s basic propositions about sexual discrimination.

      Jennifer Oliver O’Connell’s article is an effort to protray Rice as a feminist, but who happens to have the wrong political beliefs and therefore suffers from neglect by her “far left” sisters. Yet, anyone who knows about Rice and her heavy endorsement of the horrendous Bush policy on Iraq need not wonder further about the absence of a rousing cheer of support from anybody.

      If women are to be judged as persons, not by their gender, there is no reason for any person to rush forward to endorse the mistakes of Condoleeza Rice. Contrary to the logic of O’Connell, being a female with mistaken notions does not entitle her to anybody’s support.

  • Matt Henderson

    Simply because these two women are bright and intelligent does not validate their ideas and approach to solving issues. Condi was the poster child of Bush Administration’s war effort. She systematically delivered a phony pre-text for a war that has taken the lives of half a million people including thousands of American. I guess we should all forget that, and to hell with accountability, because its not what you would like to hear. Sorry Jen, but you need to start accepting the truth.

  • ClarenceAlexander

    Too bad your ‘history’ excludes the whole story. There were many other nations that concluded the intel showed WMDs in Iraq. But every time you and other liberals tell the story you completely leave out that it was a collaborative decision to go after Saddam . He had used WMDs on the Kurds and the fact no WMDs were found by the time troops got there, doesn’t mean they had not been there at the time Intel was gathered.

  • Brandon Ross Fontaine

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a woman I can admire. She started out as a victim and stood her ground fighting against the scourge of religious extremism.
    Rice is NOT someone I can admire, she is someone I can RESPECT. There is a difference. I respect her intelligence and her accomplishments. I do not admire her and I do not agree with a thing she has stood for or done while working with bush or after. At no point in time is supporting wiretapping okay. I don’t care what color you are. I didn’t support it when Bush did it, I won’t support it while Obama does it.

  • Von

    They’re silent in both cases because they selectively pick and choose what issues interest them and what they can use to become selectively outraged about. It angered me that they missed out on the opportunity to hear Dr. Rice speak, but that was their loss due to their extreme intolerance. Whatever their indifference is to Dr. Rice because of her job under the Bush administration is something she has to answer for and we are not the judge of her, no matter how self-righteous some think they are.

    From my understanding, most feminists do not support women who align themselves with patriarchal power that they feel oppresses women, which is one reason that they dislike Dr. Rice. No president in the history of the USA has clean hands when it comes to war, so regardless of the atrocities that occurred, if you lived in the USA during their time in office people, people benefited and no one was crying foul then.

  • Lisette Muntslag

    Hirsi Ali who became a Dutch citizen by fraud was part of the liberal progressive (Social Democrats) cadre that put the hate campaign against Pim Fortuyn in motion. She became a willing participant in the cover up of the social exclusion and oppression of women with children in the Netherlands, which Pim Fortuyn courageously put on the table before the brutal
    assassination. After Pim Fortuyn was killed to protect Muslims she was rewarded by
    the feminist cabal and become famous……