Tuesday, May 22, 2007

when it comes to women getting killed, the MSM is a little slow on the uptake

this is the front page story of today's paper: Iraqi girl's horrific death | Chicago Tribune.

this is the story when i first read about it on may 8 - on feministing. in between these two stories are 10 days of virtual silence - 10 days for a horrific stoning of a girl to make it to our mainstream, 'the pussycat dolls are feminist,' eyes.

in the trib article we have this reaction:
"Kurds, who include Yazidis, suspect Sunni Arabs of circulating the gruesome images to fuel anger against Yazidis and undermine the Kurdish community, which exercises a degree of autonomy in northern Iraq and is seeking more.

"It seems they are trying to make it big for political purposes," said Mohsen Gargari, a Kurdish member of parliament.

In an interview, he and two other Kurdish lawmakers condemned Aswad's killing. But they noted that in February a Sunni woman had been killed by relatives for having a relationship with a Yazidi man. "Nobody talked about it. Nobody filmed it or turned it into a big issue," he said."

in other words, it's 'normal' for this to happen, it happens all the time (over there), it's what happens to women and it's not about how women are still invisible and vulnerable and killed in our world because they're women, but about political power structures scoring points off other political power structures. it's about those people and their culture.

but 10 days before this article, samhita at feministing had this take and put the focus right back on the issue at hand - it's not about culture or religion, it's about patriarchy:
"Violence of this kind is a production of male ego and woman-hate and this truth is pitifully disguised when justified through religious or cultural circumstances. There is no cultural defense when it comes to mob mentality, woman-hate and violent murder. Unless, you want to talk about the global culture of patriarchy.

As I browsed articles, questions of whether or not the woman had converted to Islam, or whether or not it was just an honor killing, or if she fell in love with the wrong man, were used as possible explanations. As though any of those reasons can justify such a hideous display of violence."

i spoke with a hate crime investigator a couple of weeks ago and he said he didn't understand why crimes against women weren't called hate crimes. he said, 'i go into a neighborhood and this woman has been attacked by her husband or a boyfriend or a guy off the street - we've been called but there's nothing we can do. her being a woman doesn't give her the protection that the other categories of discrimination would give - even though we see crimes against women surging and we know they're targets because they're women.' i was surprised at his reaction. i honestly didn't think a man would get it. i wish more got it.

one of the demonstrators in the kurdistan protest carried a banner that said honor killings were terrorist acts against women. i wonder what the world would look like of women the world over began to fight against this kind of terror.

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