Former Vice President Joe Biden ignorantly blamed women’s oppression on the very culture and legal norms that gave women rights. As David Harsanyi notes at The Federalist:
Joe Biden declared this week that the United States had a centuries-old embedded cultural problem with permissive violence against women. “It’s an English jurisprudential culture,” Biden explained this week, “a white man’s culture. It’s got to change.”
This “English jurisprudential culture” he sneers at is Anglo-American common law. In that “white man’s culture,” violence against women is forbidden by law and culturally frowned upon. But in some non-white cultures, violence against women is celebrated. Lawyer Jerome Woehrle described this back in 2018.
For example, wife-beating is “a source of pride for some in” in the African country of Mauritania, noted a news story from Reuters:
Salimata was always told she should be proud to come from a family of wife beaters.
“You’re the daughter of a woman whose husband broke her hands. Your grandmother’s legs were fractured by her husband. You must be loved,” Salimata said, citing her mother’s words.
The 19-year-old woman from Mauritania’s Soninké ethnic group, married to a man who also beats her, said she taught herself to believe what her mother told her.
“I felt like an animal that had to be disciplined,” she said. “As time passed, I came to believe that my husband beats me only when he is at the peak of his love for me.”
As Reuters explained, not all ethnic groups in Mauritania condone domestic violence to this degree. Injuring one’s spouse is “frowned upon” by the Moors, Mauritania’s largest ethnic group (who are partly of white descent). But for Mauritanians of exclusively “African descent such as the Soninké and Fulani,” it is a different matter:
Wearing a colorful scarf that shows her Fulani heritage, [Aichetou] Samba smiled and said:“A Fulani woman always takes pride in being beaten by her husband,” and often shares her experiences with other women to show off his love for her.
“This is one of our traditions,” she said.“ We see wife-beating as a common and normal practice.”
As Harsanyi notes, countries with an Anglo-American legal system included the first to grant women equal rights:
The “English jurisprudential culture” of New Zealand was the first to grant all women the right to vote in 1893, followed over the next decades by an array of other English and formerly English colonies. Saudi Arabia granted women that same right only in 2011.
The status of women is much worse in many non-white and non-European countries, which reject Anglo-American law and the individual rights that flow from it. As the African-American economist Walter Williams points out, “forcible female genital mutilation” is “practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries.” Worse, “Slavery is currently practiced in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan.” And in “most of the Middle East, there are numerous limitations placed on women, such as prohibitions on driving, employment and education.”
In traditional Chinese culture, misogyny was rampant: A significant fraction of female infants were killed at birth, and girls were subjected to the painful and crippling process of foot-binding. The status of women in China in 1900 was lower than the status of women in Medieval Europe, a “white man’s culture.”
In attacking our culture and legal system, Joe Biden may have been trying to be “woke.” But all he showed was his ignorance of history and other cultures.