Tuesday Tidbits

Misogyny, Up Close and Personal” by Melissa McEwan in the guardian.co.uk. How we can love men while not liking everything they do.

Marcella Chester’s blog about being a rape survivor:  “Abyss2hope.” This particular article is about the incidence of sexual abuse among boys and girls.  Also check out her website, “Date Rape is Real Rape.”

Bitch Magazine blog post by Mandy Van Deven about the classist, sexist, racist, homophobic and just plain mean blog, People of WalMart. (I could find the Facebook page for PeopleofWalmart, but not the website.)

Feminists Naomi Wolfe and Phyllis Chesler “face off over the veil” at Salon Broadsheet. This one’s especially interesting to me because like Wolfe, I defend any woman’s right to wear a headcovering, but I identify with Chesler’s views since I am also a Second-Waver. Read the article by Wolfe that started the debate:  “Behind the veil lives a thriving Muslim sexuality.”

Violence Against Women

I found an article from October, 2008, on the Muslim Media Network that states that “the hypocritical concern for Muslim women by Western media and organizations results in actions designed to destroy the patriarchal Asian culture in general and Muslim religious influence in particular.”

So what is it that Westerners are so concerned about? Honor killings and acid attacks. The author of this article argues that because there are so few of these incidents compared to the amount of violence against women in the West, it isn’t fair to judge them similarly. (The statistics he cites are that “America has 12,600 annual homicides [25% occur to women] for a rate of 4.2/100,000 compared to the 4,100 honor killings in four years which is 1,025 times per year in a nation of 165 million people. That is a rate of 0.6 per 100,000.”)

Violence against women is–or should be–a concern in whatever form or however often it occurs.  I find it incredible that the author of this article doesn’t see how particularly heinous honor killings and acid attacks are. I do think it’s hypocritical of the West to decry these incidents as particularly egregious when we have so much violence against women in our own culture.On the other hand, just because honor killings and acid attacks occur infrequently doesn’t mean that they should be tolerated.

Honor killings are the worst example of a patriarchal society gone awry. The fact that the man in the equation goes unpunished is bad enough (the double standard), but putting a woman to death because of her sexual activity (even if it’s forced upon her) shows to what degree men will go to keep their women under control. No man should have that kind of power over a woman.