Why I Will Not Interview Any Afghan Feminists Now

by Phyllis Chesler

Listen: I’ve been told that the Afghan men who Western countries have rescued, have left their first, older wives behind, taking all the children, together with their second, younger wives. Such men are not likely to assimilate. Who will? The educated women, those with careers. Yesterday, someone connected me to some women in Afghanistan and to some women here who work with Afghan women. We exchanged emails—and foolishly, I sent a list of questions their way, then thought better of it, and withdrew.

Imagine what might happen if a member of the conquering Taliban finds their computers and sees what they’ve been saying and to whom they’ve been talking.

Yes, I think girls and women, especially feminists, should get out of that country right now, gays and dissidents, too—as well as the persecuted Hazaras: on foot, by bus, by plane, on a camel, or on the top of a truck. Disguised as boys or men if the women can pull it off.

 So easy for me to say—not so easy to accomplish. Who can leave their families, friends, students, patients—or their orphan charges? And for an unknown, certainly difficult future? Just like Biblical Jews leaving Egypt for the wilderness. How many can the West afford to absorb?

However, if such endangered Afghans can get themselves to an American Embassy or to any Western Embassy in a neighboring country they could apply for political asylum. I hope they do so.