[Oprah] is famous for her message of confidence, self-improvement, and spiritual uplift. They [the marginalized women of the Arabian peninsula] are denied the right to make the simplest decisions, treated by law like children who cannot be trusted with authority over their own well-being...
...And so they avidly analyze Oprah's clothes and hairstyles, and circulate "dog-eared copies" of her magazine, O, and write letters telling her of their dreams and disappointments. Many undoubtedly dream of doing what she did - freeing themselves from the shackling circumstances into which they were born and rising as high as their talents can take them.
Mr. Jacoby is writing about women in the Middle East, but couldn't he be writing about women in the U.S.
It's true that I can get a job, make a decision, show my face, but am I confident, empowered?
I own (and will continue to own) my fair share of dog-eared O magazines. I've even entered a contest hoping to spend a few days with Oprah and her staffers. Remember this postcard for the Miraval Spa Vacation?
1. Women in the Middle East, who are marginalized, admire Oprah.
2. If Western women admire Oprah, does this mean we feel marginalized?
3. If this is true, why, when comparatively we have so much?
4. More importantly, what do we do about it?
What do you think?
Is it possible that women in the Western world respond to Oprah for the same reasons that women in the Middle East do?
And if we really do get depressed, and sometimes desperate despite being placated and pampered, how can daring to dream make a difference?
P.S. For another perspective on Jeff Jacoby's article, take a look at Barbara Torris' post Commentary on Boston Globe article on Oprah.