Sex and Globalization
As Yugoslavia broke apart with the death of Tito, the Albanians built a huge mosque. The fair-haired Albanian girls favor skintight jeans and cropped tops; thongs have been seen; their ponytails bob as they rule for the time being the mosque yard. This area has been Albanian since the 1920s. Albanian women profess total ignorance of Islam.
Large numbers of Arab and Pakistani Muslims, however, have moved into the area so that their children can be educated at the mosque school. And thus there are growing numbers of “moving black objects.” These women are veiled and cloaked top-to-toe in black, even wearing black gloves. You see them only when they take their kids to school.
I adore one Sri Lankan mother whose two boys are Ben’s age. I like the African American girls. But I witnessed scenes last summer which I wouldn’t believe if I didn’t see them with my own eyes. African American boys regularly capture the girls, aged six to sixteen, pen them in, and practice simulated rape. The first time I saw this I was horrified and thought at first I’d call the cops. But then I noticed that the parents and adults all seemed to regard this as innocent play. It’s a kind clothed outdoor kiddie porn. I try not to watch.
I could write a book longer than War and Peace on the sociology of New York Jewish women. Although there has been some combat, it’s been mostly love. But my friend Denis and I got divorced about the same time, and I laughed when he said: “Every day is Pearl Harbor Day when you marry a J.A.P.”
At the Sri Lankan deli one hot day last summer I stood in line with an Arab man and Playboy’s playmate of the month. He refused to look at her; indeed he would twist about in line to make sure he wouldn’t “see” her. Islam outlaws “the male gaze.”