Reed’s Media Analysis

The oppression of women in third-world countries has reached abominable levels. Recently, an Iranian Islamic court found a woman guilty of adultery. For this crime, she was sentenced to death by stoning. Here, in its most malicious and brutal form, gender oppression is a reflection of the worse features of class society.

Maureen Dowd, a writer for the New York Times, often writes of this type of oppression that occurs in third-world countries. Last month, she took a trip to Saudi Arabia to speak to the women there. Strangely, she ended up learning more about the oppression of women in her own country rather than in Saudi Arabia, which lead her to write an article about it.

In Dowd’s article “Worlds Without Women,” Dowd makes a personal realization that as a Catholic woman, she was doing the same thing as the women in Saudi Arabia: complying with her own subordination. 

Dowd states that the Catholic Church is an autocratic society that represses women and ignores their progress in the secular world. Like Saudi Arabia did with Islam’s moral codes not outlined by Muhammad, she says, the Catholic Church has taken its moral codes and orthodoxy to extremes not outlined by Jesus.

The article is extremely interesting in that it takes an issue that many perceive as only being relevant in third-world countries and making it pertinent to Catholic women in America.

Dowd’s tone and use of language is infused with personal sentiment that gives the article a sense of sincerity and honesty. Furthermore, although she makes a large number of controversial claims, Dowd backs up her claims with statistics and high-quality quotes by relevant experts.

Her mix of sentiment and rationality makes for a very compelling and convincing article, which I learned a fair amount from.

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