Turney is a Feminist Issue

So says Janice Turner discussing kidnapped Leading Seaman Faye Turney in today’s Times:

What a perplexing and alien creature Seaman Turney must appear to this Iranian regime. A young woman working close-knit with men, proud to perform her dangerous task of piloting speedboats as well as any one of them. A wife and mother, moreover, away from her small daughter, who has put military career before marital and maternal duties.

The Iranians were satisfied to have her 14 male comrades surrender as sailors or Marines: Seaman Turney had to surrender also as a woman. While the men were free to eat their pitta bread and lamb stew with weary resignation, she had to work out how best to appear adequately humble, grateful and submissive. She must submit not just to Iran’s military authority but its patriarchal might.

After all, here she stood, the end-product of 100 years of bitterly fought — and now mostly unacknowledged — Western female emancipation. In Britain our own reactionaries may finger-wag at the unnatural spectacle of a mother in a warzone, distracting our male warrior caste. One strain of feminism can question why womankind — Nature’s peacemakers, oh Mother Gaia! — would want to fight men’s wars, particularly this one.

Read the rest here.

Update: The BBC poses some of the legal questions arising from the seizing of the 15 British personnel here, as well as publishing a copy of the third letter allegedly from Faye Turney to the British people. Note the lack of a definite article in the first line: not a grammatical mistake likely to have been made by someone whose first language is English, I would have thought. Full text of the letter at the Guardian.

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