Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Women, Be Wary

They are writing their new constitution in Liberated Iraq. Islam is to be the official religion of the country and “a main source” of law. All well and good except that women will be deprived of certain rights.

As the draft constitution reads now, a Shiite woman will not be able to marry without the permission of her family, no matter what her age. Women will also be adversely affected with respect to divorce and inheritance laws.

Meanwhile, back in the Land of the Free, Attorney General Alberto “Torture” Gonzales has announced that a Supreme Court Justice does not have to follow a previous ruling “if you believe it’s wrong.” Fair enough: different interpretations of the law are possible and that is why we have a Supreme Court. Except that of course his remarks were in reference to Roe v Wade. Sorry, it’s an issue that just won’t go away.

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, as we all know by now, served as deputy solicitor general in Daddy Bush’s administration. In that capacity he co-wrote a brief for a Supreme Court case in which he argued that Roe v Wade “was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” I know some of you would disagree with me, but I see Roe v Wade strictly as an issue of women’s rights.

Has anyone read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale? The novel depicts a society where women have lost their rights and have to be dependent on and subservient to men in order to survive. It’s a frightening picture. Think about the Christian Conservatives’ “traditional family values” and try to imagine what their ultimate goals are (assuming Armageddon and the Rapture don't actually happen, I mean).

Rights are never lost all at once. Rights are lost one at a time or by one group at a time. Even the Nazis started off in a relatively subtle manner. Our government has started with the Patriot Act and the Department of Fatherland Security. Don’t bother pointing out to me that I have written/bitched about losing my rights before, I am perfectly well aware. I am currently trying to figure out what else I need to do about it.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

heard this from a friend yesterday. Barbara Walters went to Afghanistan prior to the elections to check out the conditions, with particular attention to how women are treated. She saw women walking, heads bowed, 10 feet behind their husbands. She heard comments like 'things'll get better after elections...' and 'women won't be in such a subservient position...'

She returned a year later, well after elections had taken place. She still saw women walking, heads bowed, 10 feet behind their husbands. She asked one woman why, if elections had made things 'better' (more equal for women) whas she still walking is such a subservient manner? Her answer was simple: landmines.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

The life of a woman in Muslim lands...

The more things change the more things stay the same.

Of course, I'm sure that the unassimilated Muslim minorities in Europe left those types of views in their home countries.

Skeeter said...

All I'll say on this issue is:

US Constitution
Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

The US Supreme Court needs to stop usurping the States and our rights by deciding issues like these, they need to leave them to the State Supreme Courts.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Women aren't wary, they're weary. Damn, I hate it when people don't get the words to the song right.

Devastatin' Dave said...

I 2nd Skeeter's motion. However, I don't have as much faith as him that it will happen.

Skeeter said...

..And she's not wearing a dress, she needs tenderness!!!

Celinka said...

Maybe some Islamic women do not want change. Have you thought of that?
Even when these women imigrate to Canada they are still subject to the customs of their home country. This is a very complicated topic and I am sure there is an answer. It is so easy to sit back and point out every thing that is "wrong" with other religions, country's and behaviours. Nobody has thought about how wrong it is to let millions of people starve with no roof over their heads in their own country.

Tits Malone said...

anonymous a-hole,

I find your name as suitable as your ignorance my dear...it was not the "unassimilated Muslim minorities" that sat on the buses and tubes of London...

Sinister Steve said...

My friend "Murphy" who contains infinite knowledge feels that more American Women should were burquas so that guys like us don't have to walk around wanting to hump everything all day long. I tend to agree.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Tits,

You're right. It was the unassimilated Muslim minority that bombed them.

I'm not following you. Did I miss something? Had we been discussing the buses and tubes of London?

Oh, and when you call someone ingorant, you should attempt to so from behind something other than an absolutely mangled simile.

Tits, you don't want any part of me. Why don't you go find a bar.

Good day.

Max said...

Celinka - I am pointing out what is wrong with my own country.

As far as Muslim women are concerned, no one could convince me that they do not want change.

Just as an example:
"According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every two hours a woman is raped in Pakistan and every eight hours a woman is subjected to gang rape. The frequency of rape is thought to be much higher but many rapes remain unreported due to a combination of social taboos, discriminatory laws and victimization by the police. Meanwhile, Pakistani law is punishing victims of rape as though they were criminals while the perpetrators go free."

For more information on this particular story, see http://web.amnesty.org/wire/July2004/Pakistan.

I was looking for something else I had recently heard, but could not find anything -- in Saudi or Iran, perhaps (bad memory, unfortunately), a woman was gang-raped as punishment for a crime her son had committed. This was an actual punishment handed down by a court. I'll keep looking.

Max said...

Celinka, for more information, have a look at Human Rights Watch: http://hrw.org/women/

Anonymous A-Hole said...

The reason rapes are kept quiet in the Muslim world is because it "dishonors" the family.

Not only does the family of the rape victim become "dishonored" but, generally, an "honor killing" is then necessary (yes, someone in the family, generally an uncle, brother, or father volunteers to kill the victim in order to restore order to the family).

Honor killings are all too common within the Muslim world. Knowing this, most victims will never report the crime. And, in turn, any other family member that might know (especially female) will generally suppress the information so as not to get their family member killed or risk the "dishonoring" of their family.

Muslim countries do nothing to stop this tradition, most believing that the family has, indeed, been "dishonored."

Of course, what might we expect from these countries? Many still participate in female genital mutilation as well.

All in all, Celinka, I'm not so sure the women in Muslim lands have ANY say whatsoever over what occurs in their lives. And, in turn, I'm doubtful many are content with the status quo.