When the Arab Spring hit in early 2011, no one could have guessed what it might have meant for women’s rights in Egypt. But as the country continues to feel its way through a revolution, there is one surprising outcome — several citizen’s groups are now patrolling the streets of Cairo, and taking action against men that perpetrate violence against women.
If anything, the uprising has made violence and harassment against women more visible, say officials, and that’s spurred residents into action. Teenage boys as young as 16 are even joining the patrols. The groups are in response to a culture of government and police inaction, bolstered in part by a former regime that touted that violence against women was a non-issue in Egypt.
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After a woman in his community was murdered in a domestic violence incident, KHON News Hawaii anchor Jai Cunningham decided to take a stand. Cunningham, who admits that he himself was a victim of domestic violence, wanted to make a visceral, tangible gesture that would get people to stop and think about domestic abuse. So he shaved his head on air. And he promised that any time another woman or child is killed by domestic violence, he will shave it again. Cunningham’s gesture is aimed at reminding viewers that domestic violence happens all the time, all around us. [YouTube]
I have something to say to my lady blogger friends who write about domestic violence. Please tread more carefully with your words, and please don’t be so sure you know what you’re talking about. Unless you a) have been in an abusive relationship or b) are a professional who is trained to treat people in abusive relationships, you could be doing more harm than good.
The most recent debate that had my hair standing on end was the conversation that erupted around Dr. Drew Pinsky’s comments on Lance Bass’ new SiriusXM radio show. Keep reading »
I was horrified to read this week that a 73-year-old woman was raped in broad daylight in Central Park.
Read that again, let it sink in: a 73-year-old woman was raped in broad daylight in Central Park.
According to news reports, the woman goes to Central Park every day and sits on a bench, birdwatching. Last week she witnessed a man in the bushes masturbating, so she took his picture — presumably to show to police. He came up to her after being photographed and demanded she hand over the film, but she refused.
Then Tuesday around noon, she was back in the park and the same man confronted her, asked “You remember me?” and then savagely beat and raped her, vaginally and rectally. He ran off with her bag, which contained her camera, and tried to steal her watch, too. The elderly victim was discovered lying in the ground by a fellow birdwatcher, who called 911. (He was arrested yesterday.) Keep reading »
Sampat Pal Devi is a mother of five and former government worker who was fed up with the high numbers of domestic violence and abuse cases in her native India. So she started a girl gang. Called the Gulabi Gang, Devi and her crew help avenge women who have been victims of violence by beating known abusers with bamboo sticks — until they repent. Keep reading »
While trying to promote peace and justice throughout the United States, a Catholic social justice group called Nuns On The Bus have been threatened with a “pistol whipping.” On a radio show last week, host Jan Mickelson talked about the nuns recent protest of a conservative budget plan and asked his guest Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) if he has “any power to pull the nuns on the bus over and pistol whip them.”
Ha … ha? Keep reading »
Much like the hair and costume folks for Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, the marketing folks for video games know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to getting attention for their product. And as we’ve seen all-too-often with video games, the go-to advertising strategy is sex, sex, more sex, followed by a healthy dollop of sexualized violence against women.
The lastest game raising hackles is “Hitman: Absolution” — specifically, its new trailer, “Attack of The Saints,” which features “sexy dominatrix nuns” getting punched, kicked and shot at by the game’s hitman hero, Agent 47. Keep reading »
It’s almost too easy to get angry about fashion editorials that glorify violence against women — especially so grotesquely, as in this Bulgarian magazine 12. Six different photos depict gorgeous models staring blankly into the camera, each sporting a serious injury. Here’s the black eye image, but the others are all quite graphic: one a slit throat, another has a mouth ripped open, and yet another looks as if her face has been burned with acid. Keep reading »
Friday night, while playing a show in New Jersey, Shirley Manson stopped her band midway through a song when she saw a man in the audience hit a woman. A fan’s YouTube video shows Manson singing “Stupid Girl” and then suddenly starts waving at her band to stop. She yells at some guy in the audience, “Dude, never hit a fucking woman! What the fuck is wrong with you, man?!” As the guy is ejected by security, she keeps yelling at him from onstage, and mocks him when the guy apparently says the woman he hit “started it.” (A commenter on the YouTube post claiming to have seen the fight says the guy who got kicked out was being aggressive to other concertgoers before the show even began.) I wish more singers took a stand like this when they see violence against anyone from the stage. You’re so awesome, Shirley Manson. [Telegraph UK]
Fox News contributer Liz Trotta would like to clear up a few things. First of all, when she spoke on the Pentagon’s decision to officially open up more combat positions to women and said women in the military should “expect” to be raped by their male comrades, she “certainly did not” mean all military men. Just most of them! Okay, okay, just some of them. Well, that part isn’t clear either. The point is, men have testosterone, “testosterone rules,” ipso facto, testosterone makes men rape-y. Whatcha gonna do?
But anyway, this discussion is all besides the point. The real focus of our ire here should not be on Liz Trotta, Liz Trotta says. It should be on feminists and The New York Times.
Oh, if only I were making this up. Keep reading »