Women are given mixed messages on a regular basis. We’re told that we’re shattering glass ceilings and are independent ladies, while at the same time we’re told we’re a mess barely keeping ourselves together. Just today I got a Facebook advert demanding my attention so I can discover the newest fad diet that doesn’t really work. I’m told I should love my body and loathe it on a regular basis. I’ve come to expect that kind of thing.
Recently The Washington Post cited a study by the Bureau of Justice purportedly telling women that we should stop taking so many lovers and instead marry our “baby daddy.” That choice of words speaks rather clearly about the fundamental racism and classism indicated within the article and the logic being displayed. We are not talking about wealthy white women here, are we? Keep reading »
Amelia recently sent me a link to a Tumblr that will absolutely gut you. It’s called When Women Refuse and it collects news article about women who became victims of violence after they tried to leave a male partner or rejected sexual advances. We know that violence is fundamentally about control and therefore the most dangerous time during an abusive relationship is when a person tries to leave. All too often, children and other bystanders are injured or killed, too. The statistics about abusive relationships show that they are frighteningly common. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women and one in seven men over age 18 will be the victims of severe physical violence during their lifetime. Statistics also show that half of both men and women will experience “psychological aggression” by a partner during their lifetime. Stereotypes about what an “abused woman” is supposed to look like don’t do us any good because victims are all around us. They are our neighbors, our cousins, our sisters, our coworkers, our friends. Abusive relationships thrive in part because over time, the pattern of the abuse becomes normal. The abuse starts with smaller areas of control and then escalates until it becomes reality, which the person on the inside may not even see. But even if we have not been in a textbook abusive relationship per se, I’m sure many of us have had moments with partner or a friend where he or she did something that felt wrong.
In the spirit of #YesAllWomen — which is drawing attention to the physical and sexual violence all women experience — I want to share some warning signs that a partner or other person does not respect you, your boundaries, or your personal space. These are all anonymous, real world examples from me, my friends and co-workers. Keep reading »
[UPDATE, 5/28:] The New York Times reports that Farazana Parveen was three months pregnant when she was killed. [New York Times]
A 25-year-old woman was murdered by nearly 20 family members in Pakistan today because she “dishonored” the family by marrying the man she loved.
Faranza Bibi was stoned to death in a so-called “honor killing” in broad daylight while waiting outside of a Lahore court with her husband. Faranza had intended to challenge a kidnapping charge filed by her family. She intended to tell the court she willingly married the man of her own choosing, Muhammad Iqbal, and did not want an arranged marriage to her cousin. Before the court opened, her father, brothers and former fiance descended upon her with bricks and sticks. Faranza was pronounced dead at a hospital from severe head injuries. Iqbal managed to escape the attack. Keep reading »