Savage Love

Sick of Stereotypes


Did I imply the superiority of morals in Canada to values taught in Saudi Arabia? Jesus H. Christ, SOS, I feel terrible about that. So let me set the record straight: I never meant to imply the superiority of morals in Canada to values taught in Saudi Arabia. I meant to state, loudly and clearly and for the record, the absolute superiority of morals in Canada to values taught in Saudi Arabia.

Let us count the ways in which Canada is superior: equality of the sexes, political and religious pluralism, a little thing called democracy, and, of course, the radical notion that consenting adults are free to have sex with other consenting adults without having to worry about being lashed or having their heads cut off in public. Canada's also got vodka tonics, BC bud, and pornography going for it, along with Tim Hortons, pork-sausage gravy on fries, and a just and equitable social-welfare system. Is Canada morally superior to Saudi Arabia? You bet. It's also morally superior to the United States of America.

But back to the big SA: Unless you believe that cutting off the heads of homosexuals has a "deep and completely valid cultural context," or men treating women as their property is a "value," you have to acknowledge that Saudi Arabia practices and promotes a thoroughly fucked-up brand of Islam. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia's state-sanctioned "morals police" are not, as you imply, an imperialistic fantasy of mine. They are, sadly, a fact of everyday life for Saudi Arabian women, gays, atheists, moderate/non-Wahabi Muslims, and anyone else who fails to live up to the pinched, sex-negative, deeply psychotic brand of monotheism practiced there.

To paraphrase the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I believe that human rights are universal, man. As Saudi Arabia exists in this universe, I think that the humans there--Muslim or not, liberal or conservative, male or female, gay or straight--are entitled to their full human rights. Until that day comes, SOS, I'm going to go right on thinking that Canada kicks Saudi Arabia's ass when it comes to morals and values. And bud.

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