Abuse, Politics

Who Cares?

I’m not gonna lie.  I’m straight up copy/paste-ing this article from here.

It was aptly titled:

In-laws Rip Off Girl’s Fingernails, But Who Cares?

Fifteen-year-old Sahar Gul’s in-laws locked her away in a basement for six months. They beat her, tortured her with hot irons, broke her fingers, and ripped her fingernails off. Her uncle called authorities and by the time she arrived at a hospital her eyes were swollen nearly shut and scabs crusted her fingertips.

Afghanistan allows multiple wives, including child brides. This young bride had been taken in hopes of pimping her out in prostitution. The abuse was meant to persuade.

What struck me most in the AP report were the following lines:

The outcry over a case like Gul’s probably would not have happened just a few years ago because of deep cultural taboos against airing private family conflicts and acknowledging sexual abuse.

I am heartened that things are changing, with public outrage and an editorial in theAfghanistan Times reading, “Let’s break the dead silence on women’s plight.”

But to think that not long ago horrendous abuses like Sahar’s would have provoked no comment is outrageous. You have to wonder why women’s plight has been invisible for so long. And whether Afghanistan is alone in its blindness.

Women must be poorly valued for such abuses to go on without remark: mere property to be sold off, to make money off of, to beat when “disobedient,” to be stoned as spectator sport. And in some cases, to be tortured like lab rats.

When that is all you’ve known your whole life, when this world seems normal to all around you, who can fully see the horror?

Yet America isn’t always so different. Many still blame rape victims for their rape, and many victims still fear coming forward. Battering victims may be blamed for their abuse. Bullied spouses may feel shamed and cover up — and cover for their partners. Half of the teens who were surveyed in the Boston Public Health Commission’s Start Strong Initiative poll believe Rihanna should be blamed for the beating Chris Brown meted out.

The world is changing in Afghanistan.

The world needs changing right here in America, too.

Thanks Broadblogs.

Who cares?  In my post about Half the Sky I mentioned that the most disheartening thing about the book was the fact that in so many cases something could be done to save a woman’s life and her family, in the name of tradition, let her/encouraged her to die, kill herself, be abducted, abused, raped, eaten by wolves on the outside of town.

In case after case her father/husband/brother/uncle would decide that her life was just not worthwhile because she was born a girl.  That is wrong.

And if you agree with me that such behavior is reprehensible then congratulations, you’re a feminist and please tell the world.  And if you don’t think that behavior is unacceptable then congratulations you have no soul.

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