As Afghanistan attempts to reach a peace accord with Taliban leaders, U.S. lawmakers, says USA Today, "have made clear that they want women's rights preserved in any potential deal to integrate former insurgents into the government."
My five sisters took it upon themselves to prepare Afghani women for equality.
"We hear the Taliban men made you cover your faces and wear floor-length shrouds," said one of my sisters to one Afghan woman.
"It is true," said the woman.
"And they wouldn't let you work or allow your daughters to go to school?"
"And men got to marry multiple women, whereas if a woman's husband died, she was reduced to begging for food for her starving children," said another sister.
"And so repressive was your country that women faced beatings just for laughing out loud," said another sister.
"All of this has been so," said the woman. "But is this not also true in your country?"
"Hah!" shouted one sister. "In our country, men finally know their place. In America, men are good for only one thing. But how often do you need to parallel park, anyway!"
"You confuse me," said the woman.
"Look," said one sister, "women have equality in America. We are educated like men. We have equal rights in every way."
"Show me how to do this," said the woman.
"For starters," said one sister, "you shouldn't walk five paces behind your men. It is high time your men follow you."
"Huh?" said the woman.
"When they show interest in you, ignore them," said another sister.
"That's right. Pretty soon, they'll want to marry you and after you marry, the real ignoring begins."
"Precisely," continued another sister. "The more you ignore them, the more they will want to please you. They'll work hard to make money. They'll take care of the yard, cook, clean, do the grocery shopping, watch the kids, and they'll love every minute of it."
"But how do you get them to do this?" said the woman.
"Keep them guessing," said one sister. "When they think you're going to laugh, be angry. When they think you're going to be angry, laugh. They must remain in a constant state of confusion."
"I see," said the woman.
"The more you confuse them, the harder they will work to please you," said another sister. "They must also fear you."
"That's right," said one sister. "They must know that if they do anything to harm you or their children, they may wake in the morning missing some of their parts."
"Oh, my," said the woman.
"It is through constant displeasure and fear that your men will begin to do the only thing they know how to do well."
"Parallel parking?" said the woman.
"No," said one sister. "Begging. Begging for your forgiveness."
"This is amazing," said the woman.
"Look," said another sister. "Women have always known they are smarter than men. It took us a while, but now we're finally running things, too -- as it should be."
"As it should be?" said the woman.
"That's why those Taliban idiots have been so hard on you," said one sister. "It was fear and respect.
They knew what you would do to them if you acquired the equality women have in America."
"I like this America," said the woman.
"We've got our men properly trained," said another sister, "and if you follow our guidance, you'll train your men, too. So what do you say?"
"I say men in Afghanistan are good for only one thing. But how often do you need to saddle a donkey, anyway!"
Tom Purcell, a humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Visit Tom on the web at www.TomPurcell.com, or e-mail him at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.