Friday, April 24, 2009

Sisterhood

Read three articles all centered around exploitation of women but had little in common other than that. The first one was about the custom of force-feeding girls in order to make them ready for the marriage market - not much unlike the preparation of foie gras or veal. This gives the meaning of treating women like cattle or commodity a whole new layer of meaning.

The next story was about corrective rape to "cure" the sexual orientation of lesbians. This one is probably about male anger at what they might view is female subversion against their traditional domination. The last one is about "rape-lite" (a term I was not familiar with). The author describes it thusly :

It's when rape isn't proper rape, but rather sex a woman (probably a drunk, out-of-control woman) allowed to happen, but then feels she must "whine" about, when really she should "put up or shut up", chalk it down to experience (or so she is made to feel).

The victims in the last story are nothing like their sisters in the two previous ones but there is a great deal of shared sisterhood in the pattern of exploitation, victimization, abuse and finally the lack of adequate recourse. So whether she is a child bride in Mauritania, a lesbian in South Africa or a urban woman in London, there can and will be those times when their lives intersect at a single point. It is where all factors turn irrelevant except the most important one - that they all have XX chromosomes. In a minute all the gains our gender has achieved in hundreds of years is all but wiped out - the clock is reset on us and we have to start over.

2 comments:

Priyamvada_K said...

HC,
Your first two links are broken - if you hover over them you'll see that this is because the link name is doubled - e.g. "http://www.mylinknamehttp://www.mylinkname"

I read those links. The first one is tooooooo sick - how can they do this to a child? Won't their hearts cringe, and weep?

Looks like the military coup was by a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists who are worse than the Taliban. Female circumcision is practised by these type of fundamentalists as well.

The other two links describe incidents that are gruesome as well - but pale in comparison to the first one. These types of child-torturers should be thrown in prison for life and tortured in the same way :(

What is it with fundamentalists and women's bodies? In China it used to be tying up women's feet.

Priya.

Heartcrossings said...

Priya - Thanks for letting me know about the broken links. Have corrected them and they should work now.

It never ceases to amaze me how little changes for womankind overall even after all these years - so many upheavals and revolutions. Behind closed doors, in places where the popular media has no reach or interest, the most horrific kinds of abuses are still perpetrated on them...