Saturday, June 22, 2002

Islam, Conservative Christians and women's rights

In the New York Times this passed week was an editorial piece about the women's rights treaty. An overly graphic tale of an Islam Imman from Pakistan beating his wife until she ran away, and then after she was captured and returned, burning out her vagina with a 240volt charged iron rod, appalled me. What was even scarier is there has been no massive outcry generated from that article.

It is clear to me that the mysoginist attitudes of the Christian Right and their view of family values is very close to the mysoginist attitudes of Moslem fundamentalists. These are control issues built around women as family slave, as property of the master.

My field of work and study deals with images. Our cultural imagery is rife with thin submissive women and over muscled obnoxious men. The other image of men is the federal blue suit, white shirt and red power tie. Attorney John Ashcroft was so uncomfortable with the stone breasts of justice behind him when he talked that he made his department cover the work of art with a federal blue drape.

I am in the story board phase of my next video which will be about images. My first choice for an image is my mother in her wedding gown. It is a very long gown swirling out around her on the floor. Her veil is lifted only because the photo was to convey an after marriage image. The veil is the same veil the Moslem women are under, and it was a Christian veil. So the cultural connection is not that far in our past. Her dress also prevents her from easily walking, let alone running away. Her clothing traps her and conveys that message. Her body is displayed through curve and fold, allowing her maiden image to sexually arouse.

And I will go deeper into those meanings in the video.

America is sick. The country is sick with fear and self loathing. I see it in the bravado of militarism. A handful of whacko freak men managed to kill a few thousand souls whom deserved better. Now the leaders we have squabble over who let the idiots into the country and who let those idiots fly planes into working offices. The sickness is in the greed that opens us to whackos from abroad. And we are not considering the whackos who live here amonst us. Our sickness gives the symptom of whackos. An insidious possibility is that those that knew might have been hoping some sort of action would come so that they could do the very things they have done to take more intensive control in their co-op.

The rest of us are trying to figure out how to be appropriately patriotic, defensive, and still solve the major problems we had before the war on terror made discourse almost impossible. Roe vs. Wade may not be a perfect solution, but it is a far better solution than stoning to death women who have been raped and then accused of infidelity. Universal health care might just spend some money on the indigent. Structuring the economy to provide a living wage as a base might eliminate homelessness, but it would threaten the system of exploitation, too. Having the community raise our children as well as Mom and Dad, might not sell as many refridgerators--and I can witness for myself and my neighbors, the children can eat down all the refridgerators in a block pretty quickly--but global warming may slow down as a result.

Do we have it in us to pressure the congres to ratify the international women's treaty? Just because we already enjoy those privileges it seeks to enforce for all women, does that mean we can let the world's sisters suffer while we watch and use up the resources?

Another thing that has been pissing me off is the slamming of the Green Party, of which I am a member. I am a member because the other party, the Demopublicrats, has forgotten about me in favor of some good old boys who aren't even real, Mr. Inc's. I don't want to spoil elections, I want to win elections. I want Green Victories and the Green Platform.

Oh well, I've said my piece; just another feminine voice of love.

Robin