exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

because i’m lucky

by Jen at 1:46 pm on 6.05.2007 | 16 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle

because i’m lucky enough to live in a country where this doesn’t happen, i have an obligation to fight for those who are not as fortunate – who can be killed for being a woman. because there but for the grace of god, go i.

(full disclosure: i can’t (won’t) watch the video – i know there are horrors carried out against women in this world that are best left to my imagination.)

if you’re lucky enough too, please sign the petition.

read amnesty’s statement on the killing (and subsequent retaliation killings) here.

(with thanks to anglofille)

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16 Comments »

16 Comments

  • 1

    Comment by Anglofille

    6.05.2007 @ 15:48 pm

    I don’t recommend watching the video. I wish I hadn’t. But I think the existence of the video is important. Without it, no one would be talking about this story. And also, images are often more powerful in getting the public’s attention. I’ve felt terribly depressed about this all day. It’s really affected me.

  • 2

    Comment by Jen

    6.05.2007 @ 17:10 pm

    i’m not sure how i feel about the video. this happened last month, but is only being covered now that the video has come to light. and we have to ask why? why was this only newsworthy when there were bloody images attached to it?

    but it’s also important to ask what the purpose of the video was – who filmed it, who they were intending to show it to, why. i don’t think it was to document the horrific brutality for human rights campaigns.

    i think the video was meant as a warning to other women. and that, in and of itself, is sickening to even think about.

  • 3

    Comment by Thomas Foolery

    6.05.2007 @ 19:55 pm

    And so fuck the patriarcy. All men are sick in the head.

  • 4

    Comment by Jen

    7.05.2007 @ 01:52 am

    All men are sick in the head.

    who’s tarring all men with that broad brush? certainly not me. certainly not here.

    but yes – fuck the patriarchy.

  • 5

    Comment by Anglofille

    7.05.2007 @ 02:16 am

    I agree that was definitely the purpose of the videos being shot to begin with, to scare other women. But to me it doesn’t matter what the intent was. The end result is that these videos are not being used to scare women — they are being used to expose the savagery of the men who participated in this act and to galvanize activists across the Middle East and around the world. Not only that, but these videos might perhaps lead to the perpetrators of this crime being tried, including the girl’s family and the police. The tables have been turned and the videos will (I hope) bring about the downfall of the sub-humans who participated in this murder. There’s a nice kind of justice in that.

    As for why this case is getting more attention, I wouldn’t say it’s because of bloody images just for the sake of gore. This murder occurred a month ago. Originally, the videos were just shared within the community. Then they began to slowly spread and this campaign took shape. That takes time. The videos are important because these barbaric practices are usually carried out behind closed doors. To *see* it is a shock. It makes people truly understand the vile treatment that women suffer in this world. Many people don’t really think about these issues. Perhaps this video will change that. Even for someone like me, who does think about these issues a lot, the video has affected me deeply. There’s just no way to describe what it’s like to see those images. There’s nothing salacious about them. They are truly horrible and have caused nightmares and great distress for people who have viewed them, including me. But I think we should be confronted with these images. It’s harder to ignore the plight of women like Du’a when you can *see* them.

  • 6

    Comment by Thomas Foolery

    7.05.2007 @ 02:42 am

    >> All men are sick in the head.

    > who’s tarring all men with that broad brush? certainly not me. certainly not here.

    Try reading the comment thread. It’s a distinctively hostile place to be a male reader.

    Murder sucks. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: killing is wrong. Doesn’t matter if Bush does it or Texas does it or Saddam does it or sadistic assholes in Iraq do it.

    But back to the topic. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but lots of people die tragically every day. Many people around the world are victims of senseless murder. It this one more important because she was an innocent girl? Or because you can watch it happen on your screen?

    Myself, I read the article, didn’t watch the video. I’ve seen enough videos of senseless death. Down with war. Down with killing. Down with shitty militant (islamist, feminist, christianist or otherwise) websites too. Get a human soul already.

  • 7

    Comment by Vol Abroad

    7.05.2007 @ 04:24 am

    Don’t kid yourself. It does happen here. OK, not on the street like that. But “honor killings” do happen in the UK, as do forced marriages to prevent a gal from getting herself into a position where she might dishonor the family.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/ethics/honourcrimes/crimesofhonor_2.shtml

  • 8

    Comment by Jen

    7.05.2007 @ 10:49 am

    @t.f.:

    Try reading the comment thread. It’s a distinctively hostile place to be a male reader.

    Well, yes, I wouldn’t recommend reading “i blame the patriarchy” for a warm fuzzy feeling.

    But sometimes the truth is harsh.

    But back to the topic. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but lots of people die tragically every day. Many people around the world are victims of senseless murder. It this one more important because she was an innocent girl? Or because you can watch it happen on your screen?

    sadly, she’s no more important than any of the other girls being *killed by stoning* this week. or those being killed by men in the comfort of their own homes here in the UK or US.

    but her death is also no *less* important than any of those. women get killed every day – so that means I should be immune to violence against women? i shouldn’t thank my lucky stars… and then try to do something?

    when we cease to care, they’ve really won.

    Myself, I read the article, didn’t watch the video. I’ve seen enough videos of senseless death. Down with war. Down with killing. Down with shitty militant (islamist, feminist, christianist or otherwise) websites too. Get a human soul already.

    sorry you didn’t like the website. but really? tough toenails. i’m sure that you can recognise that women have a legitimate reason to be fucking furious all day, every day. if you don’t recognise that being part of a whole gender of people who’re systematically treated as less-than-human in most of the rest of the world (and all too often here at home) gives someone a legitimate reason to be fucking furious well, i can’t explain what it feels like.

    me: i like sleeping with the enemy, and i *don’t* like the feeling of walking around in a full rage all the time. but that doesn’t mean i don’t get fucking furious when i read about a girl being killed just for being a girl.

    there are some people who feel you don’t get anywhere in this world by “playing nice” with the oppressor. that by “following the rules” you are complicit in your own imprisonment.

    and y’know, some days i’m inclined to agree.

  • 9

    Comment by Jen

    7.05.2007 @ 10:54 am

    @ vol abroad:

    Don’t kid yourself. It does happen here. OK, not on the street like that. But “honor killings” do happen in the UK, as do forced marriages to prevent a gal from getting herself into a position where she might dishonor the family.

    you are, of course, correct. thanks for the (sadly needed) reminder.

    and in many ways, that’s probably even sadder – because it should *never happen* here.

  • 10

    Comment by Jen

    7.05.2007 @ 11:06 am

    @ anglofille:

    these videos might perhaps lead to the perpetrators of this crime being tried, including the girl’s family and the police. The tables have been turned and the videos will (I hope) bring about the downfall of the sub-humans who participated in this murder. There’s a nice kind of justice in that.

    excellent point.

  • 11

    Comment by Thomas Foolery

    8.05.2007 @ 01:36 am

    sorry you didn’t like the website. but really? tough toenails. i’m sure that you can recognise that women have a legitimate reason to be fucking furious all day, every day.

    Fine, but just think about where you get your information, and where you link to.

    Stupid, gratuitous killing happens all over the place. If if happened somewhere else in the mideast, or in Pakistan, or in malay, or israel, or sub-saharan africa, and you substituted the word ‘arabs’, ‘asians’, ‘jews’, or ‘blacks’ for ‘men’, and put it on a similar website, would it be the kind of website you’d want to be associating with?

    Pardon me for being uncomfortable with the militant propaganda, and tough toenails for me I guess, but if you read similar stuff attacking women generally, for the acts of some women, wouldn’t you feel a little bit defensive?

  • 12

    Comment by Jen

    8.05.2007 @ 07:15 am

    Fine, but just think about where you get your information, and where you link to.

    (not that it matters for the sake of argument, but few places are linking to the video – you tube took theirs down)

    i absolutely *do* think about where i link to. in this case, i find it *entirely* appropriate to link to a website which nails the cause of this murder – the patriarchy.

    Stupid, gratuitous killing happens all over the place. If if happened somewhere else in the mideast, or in Pakistan, or in malay, or israel, or sub-saharan africa, and you substituted the word ‘arabs’, ‘asians’, ‘jews’, or ‘blacks’ for ‘men’, and put it on a similar website, would it be the kind of website you’d want to be associating with?

    if any one of the above were a group representing 50% of the population, railing against injustices committed by representatives and institutions of the other 50% of the population over thousands of years? absolutely. not every example parallels the race argument. likening the fight for equality to sectarian or racist causes is grossly inaccurate.

    Pardon me for being uncomfortable with the militant propaganda, and tough toenails for me I guess, but if you read similar stuff attacking women generally, for the acts of some women, wouldn’t you feel a little bit defensive?

    it’s called “i blame the patriarchy“, not “i blame men”. read the faq. if you don’t buy into the patriarchal mentality, yet understand that you directly benefit from it and participate in it anyway, but actively work to change that (as surely any intelligent guy such as yourself who likes and respects women would) then you have nothing to feel defensive about, do you? )

    in any case, it’s a personal blog, to specifically espouse someone’s personal view. you link to lots of views you may or may not agree with. why is this any different? do i have to agree with every single thing written on a website before i link to it? do i have to apologise, or put up a disclaimer in case someone takes offense? you say “militant propaganda”, i say “potato”. (and why is it *angry* women are always “militant” women?) if you want me to decry the views at “i blame the patriarchy”, i won’t. i shouldn’t have to. my linking is neither an endorsement, nor a refutation of anyone’s views unless i explicitly state so. as always, the golden rule of the internets applies: if you don’t like it, click away. )

    now if you want to take on any of the views i’ve expressly stated here, i’m happy to continue that discussion. and you are, of course, free to draw whatever conclusions you like about my linkage or non-linkage. but this side-argument is deflecting from the *real* issue, (and probably reads more antagonistically than i mean it to come across), so i’ll end there.

  • 13

    Comment by Mercurial Georgia

    9.05.2007 @ 06:46 am

    My complaint with the petition link: It doesn’t work, especially an online one, see Snopes for why. ‘Who’ is collecting these sigs? What will be done with them? Who are those sigs being sent to? How will the receiving person deal with online sigs?

    Marches and rallies are more useful, although still tangentially since we are in different places. A march by cause A in country X shows the officials of country X that supporters of cause A exist, in a democracy, officials X will be worried about being voted out of office, in a dictatorship, officials X will be worried about an uprising (in some ways, a march that has successfully took place in a dictatorship is more effective than one that had in a democracy).

    Who will paid attention in Iraq? Well, the Americans are still there right now, and since I doubt that Bush will listen, I think, the Democrats must be appeal to, this must be made an issue for them to address before they pull out or even after they pull out. (Just because you’ve withdrawn troops doesn’t mean that you wash your hands clean of the mess you’ve made, money please! For their infrastructure, it’s hard for order to be kept when there is none. Money for a previously neutral party to step in. Money for Red Cross. Money for women organizations there.)

    If you are really, really, daring, and have the means, like, more money than the average people, you could go directly to Iraq, and offer your resources to the women who have organized there. Be ready to die, be prepared for torture, bring your guns. This is a really extreme thing, but shall someone do it, it would help a lot.

    - MG, who found this link via Twisty (http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2007/05/05/vile/) who was linked to by Amanda Marcotte (http://pandagon.net/2007/05/07/women-are-to-blame-for-everything-including-and-especially-male-abuse-towards-them/#comment-401487)

    …and hey, how about writing to Hilary Clinton? …and if you are American, organizing a paper petition and sending that to her? Names and contact information are important, to prove that the person who signed it, a)Exist, b)Is more likely to be eligible or will be eligible to vote. If you live outside of United States, it’s best to write a letter yourself and appeal to her individually, as fellow women, rather than as the voter.

    A March For Iraqi Women? When? Where? What time? Who will lead it? There needs to be a central site or a post (Pandagon?) that people can point to for a FAQ…and of course, manifesto. With petition and marches, there is drawing attention to an issue, but it’s much more effective if there is an action you want them to take. Such as, formally apologize for invading Iraq, admitting the harm especially to women, inviting UN in, and drawing up a table for financial reparation (a table is needed since US is in debt too, frankly, I think the money needs to be confiscated back from Haliburton before those cronies are jailed, when individual citizens cheat on their taxes, you fine them and liquidate their property, why not do it to Dick Cheney?) that will go to infrastructure without which there will be chaos bad for women’s rights. Health care, and funding to women’s organizations that provide shelter, advocacy, and even their own armed protection for women like that girl.

  • 14

    Comment by Jen

    9.05.2007 @ 08:53 am

    there are lots of things i’d love to blame on the iraq war and bush – but this just isn’t one of them. the iraq war did not cause this. our invasion did not cause this. americans can not solve this. guns will not solve this.

    (and you have a lot more faith in the compassion and efficacy of american elected officials than i do.)

  • 15

    Comment by Mercurial Georgia

    9.05.2007 @ 15:10 pm

    Um, the Americans DID cause this, it’s call opening up a can of worms.

    Say right now, the crazies are in office, but there are still things the main crazies don’t do, they’ll do individual gay bashing and assault on women, but they won’t do anything as public at a public stoning, as a public lynching in those bygone days. If America falls into total chaos, they will. Read Isabella Allende’s book, The House of The Spirits, the rise and fall of Chile in the 50s to 70s told through the device of magical realism (what they use to slip things underneath the censorship radar). When the American backed military uprising against the democratically elected Communist government occur, Conservatives were emboldened and attacked men with long beards and women in short shirts, they attacked the women and torn up their skirts. Systematic rape against women in internment camps were also perpetrated.

    The assholes who stoned that girl to death, existed before the Americans dicked their way into Iraq, but, so did police (selected when the government was secular), and so did many good people (male allies and women) who have not been dragged out and killed on mass by emboldened extremists. People were disappeared before, but they weren’t on grounds of not following Taliban ethics.

    That girl would not have died like that if it weren’t for the Americans. Her blood is on American hands, as is the blood of countless Iraqi women and their brothers their husbands their fathers their sons.

    http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

    …and Iraqi women, like American women, are very much like…PEOPLE, just people living beneath a dictatorship, and, I have the impression that they are pretty much as EQUALLY OPPRESSED as the men were, as opposed to much more. I got this just after the Iraq invasion (?), in a Macleans article where they interview an Iraqi woman who worked in the oil industry and was visited by Saddam, she had a good impression of him, that article went on to talk about Saddam’s nationalist, he’s an Arab nationalist, not a Muslim extremist. While he’s cruel he’s very sane, it’s his crazy cruel son who murdered his aide that’s got the major ISSUES with women. (Whereas Saddam starts out being callous of them but then he grew up the way George W. Bush didn’t even…)

    Hey Americans, did you know, about 800 years ago, the first university was built in Iraq, and it was functional too before the American invasion!

    …and before anyone shut their years to this, Anti-Americanism, it’s true, there are some American things I like, but frankly, foreign policy in general, America is Rome, this explains so much, their culture of fear, which isn’t a rational one. It’s not the fear of being enslaved and overtaken by The System, it’s the fear of the underdogs that say they had enough, it is the justly paranoid fear of oppressors.

    This is why all the mainstream fear mongering has been directed towards minority groups, black (white people should be afraid of them even though it was white people in groups that lynched blacks), feminist (hates you (and the default You is The Man) have their own ‘agenda’), Arabs that are responsible for 9/11, Asians that are responsible for school shootings (Cars in a Korean district had their windows smashed after Virginia Tech), Aboriginals (’Cowboy and Indians’, though that fear is no more because the forefathers are sure good at genocide! But there must linger a guilty conscience with those Indian burial ground horror stories). Oh, more hilariously, and tragically, American also has a fear of its less-than-rich youths which it neglects and abuse; in childhood where parents are absent in support even when they live int he same house, in teenhood when parents and teachers just don’t respect them, in the military where they are send out to die for the profit of the middle aged people, mistreatment in the justice system. There is something wrong with a society where unorganized gatherings of young people makes the grown ups nervous.

    America is also wary of places like, China, but, it’s different, they are worry about their pie when it comes to China, they are angry that Chinese spies are stealing their industrial secrets but American spies haven’t been good enough to steal enough of the Chinese back. It’s a matter of competition. Americans haven’t been afraid that the Chinese living in China wants them dead though, the way they fear that the Arabs in Middle East does because brown people hate America for its freedoms. America hasn’t oppressed China the way it did the Middle East and that’s why the paranoid fear is absent.

    - MG

  • 16

    Comment by Jen

    9.05.2007 @ 21:03 pm

    whoa! hey now, it’s *my* blog, and as such, the only one allowed to ramble on incoherently and bash america around here is *me*.

    and with that, i’m closing comments on this post.

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