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FOR FREE PEOPLE

The Silence of the Feminists

One hundred days ago, the world changed. October 7 has proven to be many things: the opening salvo in a brutal war between Israel and Hamas; an attack that could precipitate a…

One hundred days ago, the world changed. October 7 has proven to be many things: the opening salvo in a brutal war between Israel and Hamas; an attack that could precipitate a broader, regional war; the beginning of a global, ongoing orgy of antisemitism; a wake-up call regarding the rot inside the West’s once-great sensemaking institutions; a possible realignment of our politics.

One of the things it has also been is a test. A moral test that many in the West have failed. That test of moral conscience is a continuing one considering there are still 136 hostages in Gaza. Two of them are babies; close to 20 of them are young women.

Across the Western world, these hostages have faded from view. And when it comes to the fate of the many young women abducted by Hamas and taken to Gaza, the silence from some corners has been deafening.

Today on Honestly, Bari argues that the groups you would expect to care most about these women and hostages—the celebrity feminists who are always the first to speak up in times of crisis, the prominent women’s organizations who protested loudly when it came to #MeToo, Donald Trump, or Brett Kavanaugh, and the international, supposedly “nonpolitical” human rights organizations—have said and done next to nothing about the murder, kidnap, and rape of Israeli girls.

What explains their silence—or worse, their downplaying or denial? 

When Michelle Obama, Oprah, Malala Yousafzai, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian—and the rest of the civilized world—saw the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram in April 2014, within days they took to Twitter and demanded “Bring Back Our Girls.”

Why isn’t the world demanding the same now? 

It’s been one hundred days in captivity: bring back our girls.

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