Feminists speak with forked tongue

This is puzzling: Nicholas Kristof has told us that those who question CEDAW must favor abuse of women in Pakistan because “frankly, the treaty has almost nothing to do with American women … it has everything to do with the half of the globe where to be female is to be persecuted until, often, death.” So shut up, sign it, and don’t obfuscate things by asking about its effect on American law or why it’s so important for the Americans to sign it when the problem is in signatory countries like Pakistan.

Now lawyers and judges at an American Bar Association conference in Washington say CEDAW should be ratified because they could use it to overturn American laws and policies. According to Justice Karla Moskowitz of the New York Supreme Court, president of the National Association of Women Judges, “Even though there has been a recognition of these problems in the courts, these problems still exist. We see a big gap in the laws in the United States, and we think [the treaty] would help close that gap.” The laws Americans have established for themselves aren’t good enough, so Judge Moskowitz needs the UN’s help to change them.

So who’s right, Nicholas or Karla? Also, I thought that at least in public pronouncements judges were supposed to pretend to be impartial servants of the law. Has that standard been superseded?

1 thought on “Feminists speak with forked tongue”

  1. I think Justice Moskowitz is
    I think Justice Moskowitz is correct—past experience has proven that American courts are activist enough (the attitudinal model does explain a great deal) to take advantage of any new piece of law to serve a political agenda. I doubt the CEDAW would be any different.

    Although the ERA didn’t become law at the federal level, it was enacted in several state constitutions, with predictable results. The Eagle Forum has made a point of keeping track of ERA abuse:


    So Kristof is simply off base here. He’s apparantly far too trusting of the American judiciary.


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