Friday, April 27, 2012

The Moment of Silence is Over

As I sit here on the last Friday before most of my major final assignments are due, I think of all the ways in which female oppression around the world is the same but different, instead.
A woman in Beijing, China confronts the brutal abuse she faced at the hands of her husband. 

Beijing. I was just there. I left with this euphoric feeling of how beautiful the city was, how it was different than the US.  But, it’s so much the same.  Women – silenced because abuse is something to be ashamed of. Something you aren't supposed to talk about publicly.

Women in Haiti are still being raped.  Still being silenced, because girls are so promiscuous… No help from the cops because girls always want it anyway. Men raping women, raping children, raping babies….and it’s the victim’s fault? It’s the victim’s fault that she was held down and violated?

Source: FreckledChimp

I live in a culture of women that think they’re free because they get to walk out of their front doors without having to cover their hair or hide their faces.  They can show off their legs and get into cars with men that aren’t family members.  But, when (God forbid) they are raped – the question lingers: well, what were you wearing? The judgment rises: maybe if you hadn’t worn that tiny skirt…Why did you get into the car with him? Why did you go out with him?

Yes, because men can run the country and tell me what to do with my womb, my reproductive organs, MY BODY, but they can’t control themselves around a woman in a skirt.

Forgive me my Muslim friends if I get this wrong, but isn’t part of the oppressive culture surrounding hijabs and burqas directly related to the sexuality of women? And how women must cover themselves to avoid raising the lusts of men? Please, correct me if I’m wrong.*

Wholly different circumstances, but still so much the same.  America likes to place itself on a pedestal, pointing a naked finger at all of those other countries that are so backwards and must be saved from themselves. “My, look at how women are treated in Iraq/Iran/[insert othered Middle Eastern country of choice here] we must liberate them so they, too, can be free like our women!”

You throw too many stones America.

It seems that women, by their very existence, are responsible for their rape, their abuse and their status as object, as less than in any country.  And when we speak up against it – we’re feminazis, we’re seeing things, we’re not working hard enough, or we work so hard we’re bitches and ballbusters.  When I confront blatant sexism and misogyny I “can’t take a joke." We're liars because "stuff like that" doesn't happen "here." Or, we just don't understand because that's part of "culture." 


STOP letting them silence you.

*Note 8/28/2013: I meant in no way to disrespect women who choose to wear hijabs, etc. My comment was focused on the idea that how women are clothed, in form, is in anyway related to how they are or should be treated. I am still learning. Forgive me if I overstep or mis-speak while doing so. 

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