ABC's Nightline (12/5/96) aired a segment celebrating the fact that a woman is now the Secretary of State designate, i.e. Madeleine Albright. In doing so, it expressed concern that she might have difficulties dealing with Arab leaders -- thus suggesting that Arabs are quintessentially sexist. Making such a broad assumption is essentially racist. After all, Arab leaders have dealt with women leaders before, including Margaret Thatcher, on equal par. Besides, the Muslim world produced several women leaders, including Benazir Bhutto, Indira Ghandi, and Tansu Ciller, to mention a few. There are more female doctors in Tunis per capita than in the United States and the first female pilot of an international airline is a Jordanian.
The report also claimed that April Glaspie was unable to convince Saddam Hussein not to invade Kuwait because she is a woman. However, the record shows that there was no attempt on the part of the Bush Administration to dissuade Hussein. She appeared to be following Administration policy. In fact, Administration officials told the Washington Post six days before the invasion that "an Iraqi attack on Kuwait would not draw a U.S. military response." (7/26/90) Glaspie's gender has no relevance on this matter.
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