Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rainy Day Woman

I don't always catch fascinating conversations when I eavesdrop, but every so often, I will overhear something that makes me think. Here's a stylized transcript of just such an overheard conversation. The venue was a charming little country diner run by Southern European immigrants not too far from where I live. The place is popular with the local commoners, which makes the exchange far more remarkable than had I overheard it in, say Fairfax near campus. I have no idea who the people are in this exchange, so the names are completely fictitious.

For reference, I had ordered my standard omelette with biscuit, but it had yet to arrive when this conversation started.

Alison: Thank God we've got a field of candidates not scared to talk about immigration this time around. These democrats are going to ruin us if their amnesty plans go through.

Belladonna: Oh come on, it's not that bad. They're just trying to make a better life for themselves.

Alison: A better life? Do you really want people here that think it's OK to stone a rape victim? I'm sorry [Belladonna], but that's insane.

Belladonna: Well, tha...

Cathy: Hold it right there. Have you stopped to consider there might be a good reason they do that?

(slack-jawed looks of disbelief)

Cathy: Think for a minute what it's like in those countries for a woman who gets raped. She's an instant pariah. She can never marry, never have her own house. In many of those places, she already can't drive, can't get an education, can't vote. In places where woman already lack decent options to make their own way in the world, a quick death is a mercy. Think of the circumstances. Oh and by the way, if this is Afghanistan, there are poppy fields right outside. Her mom is probably out cooking up a batch of opium before the stoning so that she doesn't feel a thing.

(stunned silence)

Alison: Cathy, you say the weirdest things.

I agree with Alison. I'd never expect to hear such an argument outside of a Pete Leeson class. I briefly considered asking if she'd ever studied under him, but I was out with my daughter, and the wise father does not leave the 3 year old unattended for long.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?