Regina Leader-Post

Friday, October 22, 1999

Fry deserves to be roasted

Regina Leader Post

The lamentable Hedy Fry, secretary of state for the status of women, fumbled another opportunity to do the right thing this week when she continued to share a conference platform with a radical feminist delivering a hate-filled, anti-American, anti-West rant.

Fry should have simply walked off the platform to powerfully express the government's total rejection of Sunera Thobani's verbal garbage. Instead, she sat through the whole thing -- albeit without applauding -- and belatedly condemned it later.

It's not as if Fry doesn't recognize a crank speech when she hears one -- she gave one herself last spring when she falsely claimed racists were burning crosses in Prince George. Her belated, almost grudging apology for slurring a whole community made Canadians squirm with embarrassment.

Maybe Fry should also have questioned the wisdom of giving $80,000 of taxpayers money to the Women's Resistance Conference at which Thobani spoke.

Now to Thobani.

The University of British Columbia professor of women's studies raged about U.S. aggression and said little about the terrorists who murdered more than 6,000 people in New York and Washington on Sept 11. Everything, apparently, is the West's fault.

Consider her argument: "There will be no emancipation for women anywhere on this planet until the Western domination of this planet is ended."

The domination she despises -- but chooses to live under -- is characterized by democracy, free speech, freedom of religion, a free media and vastly improved (if not yet perfect) opportunities for women to take their place as equals to men.

She apparently hates all that and wants it ended -- to be replaced by what?

Perhaps Thobani should escape this oppressive Western hell and make a new home for herself in the enlightened, non-Western societies she obviously admires. Millions in the non-Western world would eagerly trade places with her.

In Brief:

Cabinet minister Hedy Fry should have walked out when a speaker at a conference she was attending launched an anti-American rant.

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