A teacher of an entry-level college English class at Palomar College assigns a book, The Vagina Monologues, that glorifies the rape of a 13-year-old girl by an adult woman. One would think that this fact, when publicized, would generate a swell of indignation—especially in conservative North San Diego County. Not so.
Rather, such response as there was focused largely on the bogus issue of academic freedom—as if academia weren’t, next to Hollywood, the most censorious institution in America, inundating students with politically correct dogma and marginalizing ideas that don’t conform to secular orthodoxy.
The duplicity of secular “freedom,” which vilifies all dissent as racist, sexist, religious, or homophobic, is among the topics discussed in Dinesh D’Souza’s new book, The Enemy at Home. (A prior work, Illiberal Education, focused exclusively on leftist hypocrisy on campus.) But the heart of D’Souza’s recent work involves the explosive effect of American decadence on Muslims abroad.
One of the first examples offered by the Hoover Institution scholar concerns the worldwide publication of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, a play that is “routinely performed in more than twenty countries.” Some of the “vagina occurrences” from the book version of the play that D’Souza offers his readers include Glenn Close getting “2,500 people to stand up and chant the word ‘cunt,’” Roseanne performing “‘What Does Your Vagina Smell Like?’ in her underwear for two thousand people,” and “Alanis Morissette and Audra McDonald sing(ing) the cunt piece.”
D’Souza grants that a book like this may embarrass many Americans, but adds, “one can only imagine how it is received in traditional cultures where the public recitation of such themes and language is considered a grotesque violation of manners and morals.” The author also notes that Pakistan and Egypt are among the countries in which the book version of the play is now sold in translation.
With PR of this stripe, it’s easy to understand why bin Laden can plausibly label America “the worst civilization in the history of mankind” and pin the name of Satan, the great Tempter, on a country whose decadence is spreading to cultures that American leftists despise only slightly less than they despise the “Christian fascists” in their own country.
D’Souza provides numerous examples of the emphasis placed by Islamic radicals on American licentiousness—a theme consistently ignored by liberals who insist that Muslim rage must coincide with their own political and economic critiques of U.S. policy. D’Souza further argues that successful prosecution of the war against radical Islam requires an alliance between social conservatives in the United States and traditional Muslims throughout the world—an alliance that assures Muslims that Americans are also appalled at the profound decadence routinely displayed in their popular and elite culture.
Unfortunately, judging from the response to my prior column, there seem to be few Americans willing to risk criticism for the sake of decency—certainly not enough to stem the tide of depravity that promises to engulf this country, with or without the aid of foreign radicals.