My latest, Israel elects Livni, a woman. Why are we talking about it? is up at LadyBlog.
Go read it, and leave a comment.
My latest, Israel elects Livni, a woman. Why are we talking about it? is up at LadyBlog.
Go read it, and leave a comment.
Yemen is ranked number one in the world in gender inequality. One study found that rural women work 17 hours a day on average. Domestic abuse is not considered a crime nor is it socially unacceptable. Women are required by law to submit to their husband’s sexual demands-ie, there is no such thing as marital rape in Yemen. Rape is a largely under-reported crime because social mores blame the victim.
Nojoud Muhammed Nasser arrived at court by herself on Wednesday, April 2, looking for a judge to handle her case against her father, Muhammed Nasser, who forced her two months ago to marry Faez Ali Thamer, a man 22 years her senior. The child also asked for a divorce, accusing her husband of sexual and domestic abuse.
According to Yemeni law, Nojoud cannot prosecute, as she is underage. However, court judge Muhammed Al-Qathi heard her complaint and subsequently ordered the arrests of both her father and husband.
Nasser’s uncle, who does not want to reveal his name, is following the case now as her guardian. According to her uncle, after Muhammed Nasser, the girl’s father, lost his job as a garbage truck driver in Hajjah, he became a beggar, and soon after suffered from mental problems.
Thamer is in jail now. “Yes I was intimate with her, but I have done nothing wrong, as she is my wife and I have the right and no one can stop me,” he said. “But if the judge or other people insist that I divorce her, I will do it, it’s ok.”
So far, no accusations have been made against her father, who was later released due to health problems, or Nasser’s husband, who will remain in jail for further investigation.
“So far there is no case and no charges, as Nojoud arrived by herself to court asking just for a divorce,” said Shatha Ali Nasser, a lawyer in the Supreme Court who is following Nojoud Nasser’s story.
Nasser confirmed that Nojoud Nasser’s case is not the first of its kind in Yemen, but it is the first time that a girl went to court by herself to ask for a divorce.
Iraqi Expert on Islamic Law Calls to Allow Young Girls to Get Married: In Islamic Countries, Girls Get Their Periods at the Age of 8-10. Westerners Criticize the Prophet Muhammad for Having Sex with His 9 Year Old Wife, But Allow Fornication with Underage Girls
I do not care whether this is a tribal, religious, and/or cultural tradition at all, the practice of female genital mutilation is a barbaric custom that must be stopped.
Yesterday for some (probably insane) reason I picked up the dead-tree edition of the New York Times and found that the magazine has an eight-page full-color article and spread on the barbaric practice, titled A Cutting Tradition
Inside a female-circumscision ceremony for young Muslim girls
The description by Sarah Corbett makes it sound like the girls were going for a pedicure (emphasis added):
When a girl is taken — usually by her mother — to a free circumcision event held each spring in Bandung, Indonesia, she is handed over to a small group of women who, swiftly and yet with apparent affection, cut off a small piece of her genitals. Sponsored by the Assalaam Foundation, an Islamic educational and social-services organization, circumcisions take place in a prayer center or an emptied-out elementary-school classroom where desks are pushed together and covered with sheets and a pillow to serve as makeshift beds. The procedure takes several minutes. There is little blood involved. Afterward, the girl’s genital area is swabbed with the antiseptic Betadine. She is then helped back into her underwear and returned to a waiting area, where she’s given a small, celebratory gift — some fruit or a donated piece of clothing — and offered a cup of milk for refreshment. She has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia, where, according to a 2003 study by the Population Council, an international research group, 96 percent of families surveyed reported that their daughters had undergone some form of circumcision by the time they reached 14.
I was actually shaking with anger when I finished reading this.
For starters, it is not circumscision. It is mutilation. It doesn’t take much to mutilate a woman’s external genitals.
My friend Phyllis Chesler was reading the NYT article, too, and has this to say, Exactly Who are the Barbarians? Female Genital Mutilation as Pictured in the West
What is a human rights atrocity with life-long and life-threatening consequences is here being presented as a “tradition,” often a harmless one, sometimes not, but always a well-intentioned one.
According to the article, there is “little blood involved” – well, how bad can that be? And, “antiseptic is used” – well, this is not dangerous at all, is it? Finally, afterwards, the child is given a “celebratory gift” – what, am I the kind of westerner who, Grinch-style, would deny the child her gift in order to make my twisted, “racist” argument? As the article states , the child clutching (or drinking) her gift “has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia.”
These photographs were taken in 2006 on a day where 200 girls were genitally mutilated . In honor of the “prophet Mohammed’s birthday,” the Assalaam Foundation subsidized both the mutilation – and the “gift.” According to the Foundation’s chairman of social services, the cutting/mutilation will “stabilize her libido;” “make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband”; and “will balance her psychology.”
Because you know, those husbands wouldn’t want any hysteria getting in the way.
Ninety six percent of all Indonesian families have sliced their daughters’ clitorises right off.
No orgasms for you, you naughty, wicked hussy of a child.
In the article, an Italian physician who is also a World Health Organization official states: “To judge them (the female mutilators) “harsly is to isolate them. You cannot make change that way. These mothers believe they are doing something good for their children.”
The Indonesian “cutting” is presented as less severe, less “extreme” than African versions. Oh yeah? Then why does one photo show us a child in extraordinary pain. Yes, right there in the New York Times. The caption is: “A girl cries as she is circumcized.” Well, it’s like being vaccinated, right? And there is a second photo of a highly anxious child just before the mutilation. This one is captioned: “A girl is soothed by an attendant before her circumcision.”
The photographer has captured a live human rights atrocity in progress and we are seeing it in color with our morning coffee and croissants. Or bagels. Or muffins. Whatever.
Who exactly are the barbarians here? Those who genitally mutilate their daughters or those who deem the atrocity as something of a soft core “tradition” to be “enjoyed” at Sunday brunch?
Phyllis is unsparing in her indictement of the NYT’s puff piece. She also links to Dr. Andrew Bostom’s article, Clitoral Relativism—Female Genital Mutilation in “Tolerant” Islamic Indonesia where he quotes from the British Medical Journal
An August 1993 report in the British Medical Journal (abstracted here) on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) stated plainly, in its summary conclusions:
Female genital mutilation, also misleadingly known as female circumcision, is usually performed on girls ranging in from 1 week to puberty. Immediate physical complications include severe pain, shock, infection, bleeding, acute urinary infection, tetanus, and death. Long-term problems include chronic pain, difficulties with micturition [urination] and menstruation, pelvic infection leading to infertility, and prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth.
Not surprisingly, FGM is outlawed in theUnited States and most Western countries, and there are concerted efforts to eradicate this barbaric practice, globally.
But just today, the barbarism of FGM is indeed referred to “misleadingly” as “circumcision” in a quintessential culturally (or if you prefer, clitorally) relative depiction by Sara Corbett published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine
My other friend Mary Madigan notices that Sara Corbett has a history of perverting the truth.
All the same, the NYT has now slipped from moral equivalence, dhimmitude and political correctness into embracing child abuse and mysogyny.
Unsurprisingly, todays co-called “feminist” blogs are awash with false outrage at meaningless trivialities, like Michigan Tech’s president implying that women should not be pressured into attending college if their ambition is not higher education, the societal implications of the new “skinny” offerings on the Starbucks menu, a Post-It ad, and some half-baked rant about Chris Matthew’s treatment of Hillary Clinton. There is nothing dealing head-on with the horrors women around the world are experiencing at the hands of real Patriarchal societies whose laws, practices, and yes, backward version of religion have established an inescapably oppressive construct that is now affecting a brand new generation.
It begs the question, of course: what is it that these women are afraid of? Is it so simple as a fear of the demon of multiculturalism, or a fear of being perceived as intolerant that leads them to do nothing more than pay lip service to the cruelty? Or is it something more? If this was such an innocuous practice, they certainly would not object to undergoing it themselves, but you would, rightfully, find none that would, so it cannot be that they believe this kind of thing is merely an artifact of a bygone era. Something must be preventing them from acknowledging a real cause for concern, a real plight of gender equality…something bigger.
It remains to be seen of course. Tomorrow, feminists across the country will celebrate a court decision that paved the way for international policies encouraging abortion as a legitimate reproductive right, which has in turn empowered countries to impose one-child policies, and for women in those countries to take advantage of international help to commit a genocide of the female gender — allowing nearly 60% of all female babies born in China and India to be killed.
So much for tolerance. Its time for a new idea.
Let me make myself clear on this:
The UK’s Daily Mail has a well-researched article on FGM that you should read,
The unspeakable practice of female circumcision that’s destroying young women’s lives in Britain
Most people will be unfamiliar with this practice, which involves removing part or all of the clitoris, the surrounding labia (the outer part of the vagina) and sometimes the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.
It is carried out for a variety of cultural reasons. Such is the secrecy that surrounds the practice that even those aware that it occurs in large swathes of Africa and Asia will be shocked to learn that it is prevalent in Britain.
During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly “cut”.
By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.
The article states that political correctness rears its cowardly head, again:
The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities.
Usually their visits are well-received, but we found that at least one London council declined to publish material highlighting the suffering and danger the practice causes – for fear of offending ethnic African residents.
This kind of attitude incenses Detective Inspector Hamilton. “We are all becoming very culturally sensitive,” she says. “People are a bit frightened of saying ‘You can’t do this here’ because people shoot back with ‘But it’s our culture’.
Several leadings Imams have openly condemned the practice. This, though, does not deter its proponents, who maintain that it is their inalienable right to live according to their traditional beliefs and customs, rather than conform to British values. Indeed, some argue that the freedom to carry out FGM is a fundamental principle of our multi-cultural society.
Let’s look at the dictionary definition of inalienable:
not alienable; not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated
FGM is worthy of repudiation, and as civilized people we must repudiate it. The “freedom” to carry out FGM is the “freedom” to carry out (and without the benefit of anesthesia) the following,
- Remove the clitoral hood with or without removal of part or all of the clitoris.
- Remove the clitoris together with part or all of the labia minora.
- Remove part or all of the external genitalia (clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora) and stitching and/or narrowing of the vaginal opening leaving a small hole for urine and menstrual flow
Pricking, piercing, stretching, or incision of the clitoris and/or labia;
Cauterization by burning the clitoris and surrounding tissues;
Incisions to the vaginal wall;
Scraping (angurya cuts) or cutting (gishiri cuts) of the vagina and surrounding tissues; and
Introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina to cause bleeding or for the purpose of tightening or narrowing it.
Now, read that again carefully.
The physical health consequences of FGM are horrendous. The psychosexual and psychological health are equally severe.
Ponder each one of those items and tell me WHO in their right minds would defend the inalienable right to perform any of these barbaric butcherings.
The FGM Education and Networking Project is making great strides in ending this barbaric practice.
Via SC&A, three links to those defending FGM:
Besotted multiculturalist anthropologists defend female genital mutilation
Cultural rights or human rights: the case of female genital mutilation
Healing the wound
Western feminism’s failure to confront the problems raised by Islam, Chesler believes, is a result of the creation of a hierarchy of sins, “an intellectual culture in which racism trumps gender concerns”. The example she cites as the embodiment of wrongheaded priorities is “gay and lesbian movement activists rooting for the Palestinians who, meanwhile, are very busy persecuting homosexuals, who in turn are fleeing to Israel for political asylum”.
The result, she argues, is that “instead of telling the truth about Islam and demanding that the Muslim world observes certain standards, you have westerners beating their breasts and saying, ‘We can’t judge you, we can’t expose you, we can’t challenge you.’ And here in the west you have a dangerous misuse of western concepts such as religious tolerance and cultural sensitivity so that one kind of hate speech is seen as something that must be rigorously protected. That means, principally, lies about America and lies about Jews.”
In our society moral relativism has started to reach new lows, particularly in academic circles. Witness this article by Roger Sandall about the film Masai Women where anthropologist Melissa Llewellyn-Davies describes female genital mutilation as “a bit like a white wedding.” Llewellyn-Davies spared us the horror of this rite by doing some judicious editing,
According to his 1993 report on the editing of Masai Women, the girl’s agony was in fact recorded on audio tape during filming, and “a lively debate took place in the cutting room later about how the issue should be handled”. One view was that “perhaps the girl’s screams should be heard, thus giving symbolic expression to what was visually too horrific.”
To this kind of judicious editing (both moral and cinematic) Phyllis has issued a challenge:
The way I see it: Everything is at stake, it’s all up for grabs, this is no time for nihilistic or tedious party lines. This is not the time to think in ways calculated to please or to least offend one’s peers. My goal is quote the opposite. I do not want to offend my good feminist friends; on the contrary, I would like to bring women and men together – from both the right and the left – in order to make a real difference. This is a time when we, the good people, have to think clearly, creatively, boldly, and morally.
Join us this evening at 9PM Eastern for a most interesting discussion.
Dammam, Asharq Al-Awsat- Members of Khobar’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice were the victims of an attack by two Saudi females, Asharq Al-Awsat can reveal.
According to the head of the commission in Khobar, two girls pepper sprayed members of the commission after they had tried to offer them advice.
Head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Eastern province Dr. Mohamed bin Marshood al-Marshood, told Asharq Al Awsat that two of the Commission’s employees were verbally insulted and attacked by two inappropriately-dressed females, in the old market in Prince Bandar street, an area usually crowded with shoppers during the month of Ramadan.
Notice how the crowd didn’t take the Religious Police’s side, either.
According to Dr. Al-Marshood, the two commission members approached the girls in order to “politely” advice and guide them regarding their inappropriate clothing.
It gets better:
Consequently, the two girls started verbally abusing the commission members, which then lead to one of the girls pepper-spraying them in the face as the other girl filmed the incident on her mobile phone, while continuing to hurl insults at them.
The Eastern Province’s head of the commission also revealed that with the help of the police his two employees were able to control the situation.
The two females were then escorted to the police station where they apologized for the attack, were cautioned and then released.
Way to go, girls!
I predict that demand for pepper spray and video phones will continue to increase among Saudi females.
And then there’s the handy-dandy Taser C2, especially designed “for independent, self-reliant women”, available in four designer colors for $299.95. I wonder if they ship to Saudi.
Five years ago Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped 15 schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building, and stopped men who tried to help the girls and warned “it is sinful to approach them”.
Things are changing.
I have spent the last half-hour finding my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. They’re OK, and now we have to wait to see who isn’t.
Today he’s following up: Death Toll To 9 As We Wait For Sunrise
Doug Ross has photos.
A friend just sent me this:
Instead of succumbing to ageorexia, the disease that’s crippling middle-aged women (and younger ones, too) up and down the land who wish to do battle with sagging, wrinkles and bulges, I’ve decided to preserve what I can without resorting to cosmetic surgery, and live with what I can’t. My eventual decision not to succumb to Botox, lunchtime lasers or the knife was reached after a recent trip to New York.
I happened to be staying on the Upper East Side, where the matrons of Madison Avenue hang out and walk their Pekinese. These uniformly wealthy women, with access to the shiniest cosmetic scalpels in the business, looked eerily identical, like the aged aunts of the Stepford Wives.
Not good, not youthful, but most definitely weird. Some of my friends back home are heading the same way. I decided I’d rather look saggy than paralysed.