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Manners East and West

Actually, I'm not as skeptical as Kathy is about Michael Totten's claim that he hasn't met more than two natives of the Middle East who were "ruder and more openly intolerant than Ann Coulter." Several factors are probably at play here. One is the fact that countries where your life literally depends on not pissing off the people around you tend to place a higher premium on politeness than more freewheeling Western countries. Especially when it comes to women, for whom the list of what is considered "rude" behavior is eons long. Women in Western nations can't seem to grasp what a privileged and special position they hold in the worldwide scheme of things -- there are no Ann Coulters among the female population of the Middle East (except, possibly, in Israel, which is a Western nation in everything but geography) because it simply isn't allowed.

Of course I realize Totten wasn't referring to the women in the Middle East -- I doubt he's been able to speak to all that many women anyway. But men there also practice an almost obsequious politeness that usually leaves Westerners bowled over, and they often come away with the mistaken impression that that means that Middle Eastern culture is more civilized than their own. On the contrary, excessive politeness simply means it's too dangerous to speak your mind, especially to strangers, because there's a very good chance that saying the wrong thing will end up in blood being shed. Coulter critics trembling in shock at her caustic frankness would do well to remember that no matter how many mean things she says about them, at least she isn't going to kill them. Or perhaps the soft-muscled males who seem to be at the forefront of those who are constantly shocked, yes shocked, at the shocking things that shocking young woman is always saying really do think she's one hair-trigger away from going postal. Hey, it could happen. (Oh man up, nancies, I was just kidding. I think.)

Comments (4)

Jeffro [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Ann Coulter would have to eat a cookie or three before she could kick my ass.

Yeah, but what if she had a chainsaw?

Jeffro [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Could she even carry a chainsaw, much less get it started? Bet she could carry a handgun, then I'd be toast.

There was a picture of her carrying a rifle that made the rounds a while back. IIRC the rifle stock was thicker than her arms, so I'll bet the recoil would knock her right down. That's your chance to get away.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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