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First, an introduction to the series:

Feminisms is a series of weekly feminist diaries. My fellow feminists and I decided to start our own for several purposes: we wanted a place to chat with each other, we felt it was important to both share our own stories and learn from others’, and we hoped to introduce to the community a better understanding of what feminism is about.

Needless to say, we expect disagreements to arise. We have all had different experiences in life, so while we share the same labels, we don’t necessarily share the same definitions. Hopefully, we can all be patient and civil with each other, and remember that, ultimately, we’re all on the same side.

**I'd like to note up here that when I use the term "men" below I'm not referring to all men. There are certainly Feminist men and we love them and we know that they stand with us in our continued fight for equality. I think that's fairly clear in the context below, but I wanted to put that up here so I didn't have to address it in the comments multiple times.

Human Rights Watch defines "honor killing" as the following:

Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members, who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce — even from an abusive husband — or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a specific way to "dishonor" her family, is sufficient to trigger an attack.

Du'a Khalil Aswad was publicly beaten to death on the streets of Bashiqa, a town in Northern Iraq. She was 17 years old, said to be of the Yazidi faith and she was kicked and stoned to death on a street while the police and others looked on. Why was she killed? Well, according to CNN:

Authorities believe she was killed for being seen with a Sunni Muslim man. She had not married him or converted, but her attackers believed she had, a top official in Nineveh province said. The Yazidis, who observe an ancient Middle Eastern religion, look down on mixing with people of another faith.

Click the above link to read more. The article includes a link to the video. Yes, you can watch the video of her death because there wasn't just one cell phone taking video of it, but at least two. And as she lies there covered in blood those holding the cell phones still record. This is apparently what "bringing Democracy to Iraq" looks like.

According to the Assyrian International News Agency (more video clips there) the local police aided in the murder:

From the clips it appears that the girl was first stripped naked to symbolize that she had dishonored her family and her Yezidi religion. She is lying on the road naked while her smashed face is covered with blood and still breathing.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The CNN story notes that 4 men have been arrested, that 3 of the local policemen are being investigated, and that there is a search for four more men believed to be involved in Du'a Khalil's death. Due to the high publicity of her death her murderers may indeed be prosecuted, but what about the other 5000 women who the United Nations Population Fund estimates are victims of honor-killings each year? The vast majority of those victims never see justice. I'm not even sure one could make the argument that Du'a Khalil will "see justice". I wonder how long those men will go to jail for- a few months?

As I read various blogs entries and articles about the murder of Du'a Khalil I came across one that struck me. It was by Joss Whedon. I encourage you to read it all when you have a minute, but this part struck me the most:

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority – in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.

I try to think how we got here. The theory I developed in college (shared by many I’m sure) is one I have yet to beat: Womb Envy. ...

Indeed this theory is shared by many, myself included.

This is why there is the desire to control our reproductive systems. This is why men want to control whether or not we work and it is why they work so hard to ensure that most women can't make a wage that will actually support our families. This is why we can't be trusted, according to the Supreme Court and the Religious Right.  This is why a woman who has sex before marriage is a whore and why a man who has sex before marriage is a "stud" (do people still use that term? I just call them sluts and I'd like to further note here that I see nothing wrong with being a slut. I don't judge people's sexual behavior as long as it's among consenting adults). This is why men work to subjugate women at every level. This is why "honor" killings occur- because these women dared to question an arranged marriage or because they got raped- because of course, for these murderers, rape is the fault of the victim.

Joss Whedon ends his blog entry the same way I often end my own, with a call to action. There are an estimated 5000 women who die each year in ways similar to Du'a Khalil. One is too many. We each need to become more active in stopping violence against women. We each need to do something.

I'd like to note here that exmearden's diary, Heart of honor: the death of Du'a Khalil Aswad, is excellent and provides a number of links with more details about honor killings including the website for the International Campaign Against Honor Killings which provides some action links along the right hand side of the page.

Amnesty International also provides more links, stories and suggestions for how you can help stop violence against women around the world.

Madre and the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq are providing Shelters and they have created an Underground Railroad for Iraqi Women to help get women who are threatened with honor killings to safety. You can contribute and help them in their efforts.

Update: Thanks also to chesapeake and blueteam for the link (in comments) to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

Originally posted to Elise on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would guess... (29+ / 0-)

    ...that the number is far higher than 5,000. I would guess that we only find out about 5,000 or so. There are probably several times that many cases every year, only we never hear about them or they're attributed to other things.

  •  Also saw the Whedon essay... (14+ / 0-)

    ...after running across it on Broadsheet (I spend too much time online).  Great topic.  

  •  This may not be particularly popular. (44+ / 0-)

    And everyone knows how desperately I want to be Mr. Popularity.

    In the early 1990s, after the first Iraq war, I met an older man, a British retiree, around the beer fountain in Vientiane, Laos.  He had been a seller of commercial pumping equipment and for some time had represented his company in the Middle East.

    He frequently did business in Iraq and told me that Iraq was the only Arab country in which he might be talking to a plant manager and have the manager say "I think we better call in the Chief Engineer", and the Chief Engineer might be a woman.  That's a rarity in the United States, even in the year 2007.

    One of the charges laid against Saddam Hussein was the horrible mistreatment of women, especially those who were or were related to political enemies.  I don't know whether those stories are true -- I frankly tend to believe they were exaggerated.  But let's grant that such abuses did, sometimes, take place.

    My point is that Saddam's dictatorial rule, as bad as it may have been in many ways, was, for women with aspirations, much, much, much better than the current situation in Iraq or than anything the women of Iraq can look forward to in the foreseeable future.

    Don't blame me -- I voted for Weicker.

    by LarryInNYC on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:04:06 PM PDT

  •  Claire McCaskill (23+ / 0-)

    Claire McCaskill won't co-sponsor ERA bill.

    Taken to task by newspaper the next day.

    Claire's staff got an earful from me today.

    I later rec'd an e-mail from the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus . . . .

             I am writing to express my full support of S.J. Res. 10, the Equal Rights Amendment. It is unfortunate that in 2007, there is still a need to make clear that neither Congress nor any state can deny equal rights to any person on the basis of their sex. But the fact that this amendment should not be needed should not be used as a reason to defeat it. You can be certain that I will vote in favor of S.J.Res. 10 when it comes to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

             As the mother of two daughters, I am hopeful that by the time they have daughters of their own, our country will have made great strides toward equality of the sexes, not only through actions like ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, but also through progress made in the number of women holding positions of power and authority. Nothing less should be expected of us as Americans.

    I am still highly disappointed she won't co-sponsor?  

    Will you help me raise $1000 for Jay Nixon who is running for Governor of Missouri.

    by aimeeinkc on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:05:58 PM PDT

    •  bravo (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimeeinkc, Elise, Pandoras Box

      Tomorrow Amy Klobuchar is on my list of people to contact for her lack of co-sponsorship.  I can't believe that she wouldn't take up this cause.

      Back to Sen. McCaskill, I'm glad she wrote you the letter she did, but in that article you linked the quote that disturbed me most was this:

      "The ERA -- just because of the history of it, just in and of itself -- is an incredibly divisive thing, and sometimes I'm not sure that the divisiveness is worth it," McCaskill said in an interview in her Capitol Hill office.

      Hell yeah it's worth it.  Yeah, it shouldn't be an issue, but obviously it is and we need our Democratic senators - both male and female - to stand up and defend all women.

      Keep bugging her - I'll do the same to Amy.

      -9.38/-8.26 "The best leaders...are not interested in having their own way but in finding the best way." -Wilfred Peterson

      by cats in the curry on Thu May 24, 2007 at 12:34:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This wasn't nearly such a problem before "US" (24+ / 0-)

    Marked Women
    Monday, Jul. 19, 2004 By VIVIENNE WALT/BAGHDAD

    Shaima is running for her life. Her delicate face peeks out of a black head scarf as she nervously scans the sidewalk outside a Baghdad cafe. A 24-year-old prostitute, Shaima (not her real name) lives in fear of a man who is determined to kill her. The tormentor is her younger brother, who has been delegated by his parents to murder his sister and reclaim the family's honor.
    He has already come close. Last month the brother spotted Shaima walking in the sprawling outdoor market in east Baghdad. He lunged at his sister with a knife, but she fled toward a policeman standing nearby. Shaima's brother explained to the officer that he was carrying out the family's desire to "cleanse" the shame over Shaima's profession. "Any other policeman would have turned me over to him," says Shaima. "For some reason, he shielded me." Her eyes darting around the cafe, Shaima says she does not expect to be so lucky the next time. "My brother's still out there — hunting me."

    When U.S. forces overthrew Saddam Hussein 15 months ago, the Bush Administration proclaimed that women's rights would be a centerpiece of its project to make Iraq a democratic model for the rest of the Arab world. But for many Iraqi women, the tyranny of Saddam's regime has been replaced by chronic violence and growing religious conservatism that have stifled their hopes for wider freedoms — and, for many, put their lives in even greater peril. For women like Shaima, the most terrifying development has been the rash of honor killings committed by Iraqi men against sisters, wives, daughters or mothers whom they suspect of straying from traditional rules of chastity and fidelity. Although such killings are hard to quantify and occurred during Saddam's regime as well, Iraqi professionals believe that women are now being murdered by their kin at an unprecedented rate. On the basis of case reports provided by police, court officials and doctors at Baghdad's forensics institute, the number of victims of honor killings in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in March 2003 may total in the hundreds. (By comparison, in neighboring Jordan, where women's-rights advocates have succeeded in bringing attention to the issue, activists report an average of 20 honor killings a year.) "This isn't just an issue about women. It's about the whole society," says Safia al-Souhail, a female Iraqi politician who was appointed ambassador to Egypt last week. "We have to stop it. It's going on everywhere, and no one is speaking about it."

    The rise in honor killings comes amid ongoing violence, including four car bombs last week that killed at least 28 Iraqis. The instability that has plagued Iraq since the war's end 15 months ago has curtailed the spread of liberties that U.S. officials once promised would have taken root by now. Violent crime remains rampant. And while interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi last week vowed to "annihilate" the armed insurgents, few Iraqis expect relief from the dangers that have become part of daily life.

    Women are at the greatest risk. Many have become virtual prisoners inside their houses, seeking a safe haven amid rising rates of rape, kidnapping and carjacking. At the same time, as the power of Iraq's Muslim clerics has grown, the everyday freedoms that Iraqi women enjoyed under Saddam's secular Baathist regime have eroded. Women who once felt free to dress in Western clothing and shop alone now must wear a hijab, the traditional Muslim head scarf, when venturing outside. Many government offices require female employees to wear a veil at work. "Since the war, women feel they cannot go anywhere without it," says Jacqueline Zia, 30, who runs a hair salon in Baghdad. The perils of being out after dark have forced Zia to eliminate the salon's evening hours, which for years provided women with a social outing away from their husbands.


    More at the link.

    This is one of the things that has PISSED ME OFF about Bush's "liberation" of Iraq.

    Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

    by CSI Bentonville on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:08:08 PM PDT

    •  This breaks my heart. (11+ / 0-)

      The tormentor is her younger brother, who has been delegated by his parents to murder his sister and reclaim the family's honor.

      That is unspeakably horrible.

    •  "Misery Gangs" target Iraqi women (9+ / 0-)

      Since the US invaded Iraq, women there have endured a wave of death threats, assassinations, abductions, public beatings, targeted sexual assaults, and public hangings. Much of this violence is systematic-directed by both Sunni and Shiite Islamist militias that mushroomed across Iraq after the US toppled the mostly secular Ba'ath regime.

      We've heard about the brutality of the Sunni-based groups, but much less about the Shiite militias that are the armed wings of the political parties that the US boosted into power. Their aim is to establish an Islamist theocracy and their social vision requires the subjugation of women and the elimination of anyone with a competing vision for Iraq's future.

      The "misery gangs" of these Shiite militias now patrol the streets of Iraq's major cities, attacking women who don't dress or behave to their liking. In many places, they kill women who wear pants or appear in public without a headscarf. In much of Iraq, women are virtually confined to their homes because of the likelihood of being beaten, raped, or abducted in the streets. As the occupying power, the US was obligated by the Hague and Geneva Conventions to provide security to Iraqi civilians, including protection from violence against women.

      But the US military, preoccupied with battling the Iraqi insurgency, simply ignored the reign of terror that Islamist militias were imposing on women. In fact, the US enabled these attacks: in 2005, the Pentagon began providing the Shiite Badr Brigade and Mahdi Army with weapons, money, and military training in the hope that these groups would help combat the Sunni-based insurgency.

      Iraq's Other War: Violence against Women Under US Occupation

      •  Thank you for this! (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marrael, Elise, Topaz7, jessical, Rippen Kitten

        This was more like what I was trying to find that I knew I had read though I very much remember reading the TIME article when it came out too.

        It may not have been great before but we've fostered several giant leaps backwards. I see Bush as equally if not more evil as Saddam ever was. I wonder if someone were to total up all the deaths that have happened because of Bush's hand including the new freedom to kill women in "honor" what the total would be.

        Whatever it is, it should be pushed, even though I don't think Bush cares and may even take pride in all those who've died because of him, those who voted for him and defended him and backed him should be constantly reminded and be held accountable too.

        Mais, la souris est en dessous la table, le chat est sur la chaise et le singe est... est... le singe est disparu! -- Eddie Izzard

        by CSI Bentonville on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:03:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If the 5000 number refers to (15+ / 0-)

    dishonor killings, think how high the number is including domestic violence, which to me is just as bad.

    What is the 5000 number, Elise?

  •  A diary with only 12 comments on the rec list? (12+ / 0-)

    Must be some powerful stuff that leaves you speechless.  I had to check it out.  It is.


  •  interesting (4+ / 0-)

    I just call them sluts and I'd like to further note here that I see nothing wrong with being a slut. I don't judge people's sexual behavior as long as it's among consenting adults).

    Then why do you need a special term to denote this perfectly normal behavior?

    •  I hardly consider it a special term. (10+ / 0-)

      And I think that's what I'm saying there actually.

      •  no no (5+ / 0-)

        That's the thing. It's a bit subtle, and I am not playing gotcha, I am suggesting an examination, as it were. Why should there be a word for it any more than there's a word for people who have visited more than 10 foreign countries before marriage :) (to pick a normal but silly example). In other words, there's nothing wrong with 'slut' if you're talking 'Jane you ignorant slut' or among friends, but in the general discourse, these things actually matter... 'Not that there's anything wrong with that' suggests that people, including the speaker, probably think that there's something wrong with that (and try very hard to convince themselves otherwise). As opposed to just not saying that at all.

        •  Well, I think the discussion is one worth having (12+ / 0-)

          actually...and I've got quite a bit to say about it. I qualified it not because I see a problem but because indeed as you noted people in general do seem to have a problem with the term, or at least they have a particular definition that I wouldn't use myself.

          As for your example :-) I would call that person, "well traveled", but I get your point. I'm just being a bit of a smart-ass.

          I think slut is one of those words that is reclaimable in the sense that I do use it with friends and with my sisters in the way you have above. I also use it to refer to people (very important to note here that I use it for both genders) who are sexually promiscuous (the more generally accepted definition), but I generally note when I do that it isn't indeed meant as a judgment in any way. I think this is my attempt to sort of try and modify the way people interpret the term- if that makes sense at all. Mostly I'm just tired of seeing it solely applied to women and I'm tired of the negative connotations so I try to make efforts to change those as often as possible. Honestly this is a diary itself which I've considered writing...

          •  For what it's worth... (8+ / 0-)

   my little sex-positive corner of the world, the word is owned in the same way -- like "queer", but less discriminating :}  That said, it's easier to say "I'm queer" on dkos than to say "I'm a slut."  Which is too bad.  As the late Kurt Vonnegut said, "Make love as much as you can.  It's good for you."

          •  Careful with that reclaiming. (7+ / 0-)

            I think we need a new word. I don't think you can erase the connotations from that one. For there will always be people that use the word "slut" as a demeaning insult. A new word helps us put that old one out to pasture and try to make it socially unacceptable.

            •  hmmmm... (4+ / 0-)

              ...maybe.  On the other hand, people who are arguing for ethical slutdom are a real community, at least in my part of the world (and in several others I've lived).  It's a specific stance -- ethical, spiritual, and moral -- that the expression of sexuality should not be constrained by traditional mores, and that we need some new ones (won by hard experience and care).  If you are inclined to use the word "slut" -- it's right there, and in terms of promiscuity or the traditional understanding of what relationships are supposed to be, it applies.  To reclaim it is to fall back on Ted Sturgeon's "ask the next question" -- as in, yeah, I'm a slut.  So what?  At the very least, some really smart and careful folks have reclaimed it already, and my embrace of the word is more than a small nod in their direction.

              While I have my own reservations/issues, they are fairly idiosyncratic and not worth dragging out in relation to the larger point (except to say I'm neither an exemplar or perfect advocate of the view).  

              •  I think the difference (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Elise, jessical, Rippen Kitten

                comes in the juxtaposition of special communities vs. the wider society. I think reclaiming only works when the word had an initial positive connotation that was abused. For instance, "feminism." I don't want a new word. It was a good word, it was abused, we need to make it good again.

                I think that to take the step of saying "Yes, I'm a slut. So what? Why do you ask?" would work on an individual basis, to get other individuals to not judge each other's specific sexual behavior, but I think that's a slower and tougher road than introducing a new word, give it positive connotation, and use it.

                I think it comes down to what your aims are. If your aims are to find a word that can positively connotate one who has sexual interactions with many people, then another word will do that. If you want to diffuse the word "slut," that's a different story.

                That being said, I do think that diffusing the word "slut" of its negativity would be an incredibly valuable thing.

                •  very well argued... (4+ / 0-)

                  ...though I immediately go back to "queer" and the fact that the same arguement has been used in terms of reclaiming it...I think you're right on the largest level, "slut" is terribly amorphous, and invokes an archetype of sorts, rather than a class of people who should be respected and so on; whereas "queer" defines an easier to delineate (if in fact, equally amorphous) group.  I think the word "slut" has already been defused though, and largely owned -- at least in that portion of the world where I can freely exist, it's use is a commonplace.  

                •  I've got no problem with sluts. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Elise, Pandoras Box, kath25

                  In all honesty, I'd rather date a slut then someone who is afraid of their own desires and represses themself because she's worried that I might think they're a slut. Maybe I'm just weird, but I would have no problem with a girl I was dating hooking up while I'm not present simply because she feelt like getting laid and I wasn't around to do the job personally. I'd like to hear all the kinky details later, to be honest. However If I was dating someone and they deliberatly flirted with someone in front of me strictly to provoke a jealous reaction out of me, I'd roll my eyes and say "Whatever" and lose respect for them. Using random strangers as pawns is unethical, IMHO.
                  The whole concept of open / monogamous relationships is gender neutral. Both partners need to be real with each other about their wishes. The last girl I hooked up with complained about an ex boyfriend who cheated on her, then asked me to keep our affair secret because she didn't want her new boyfriend to find out. Hello!?!?
                  People just have to be real with each other. That's all.

                  Just when they think they've got the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

                  by McGirk on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:38:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

              but what word?

              I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

              by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 03:47:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Pea ess (5+ / 0-)

            I think we should call such individuals "well traveled."


          •  Generationaly speaking, (0+ / 0-)

            I'm down with feminism, having grown up post segregation in a co-ed reality. I respect paleofems for all they did to make me the open minded person I am. That said, the ongoing obsession with terminology and assumed intentions of the language used by people, regardless of the context in which the words are used hinder the overall process of mutual acceptance today. The talking points from the 60's are stale and silly today from the perspective of someone born post the 60's. (And before I'm misunderstood, I'm ONLY criticizing the out dated talking points, NOT the beliefs behind them.) It is quite often overlooked that people less educated who work blue collar jobs will use terminology educated people would deem offensive, not because they are sexist, but because they are foul mouthed. I'm a bright open minded tolerant person living in the most progressive multicultural city on earth, San Francisco. That said, I often make off color comments consistent with my blue color Irish Catholic Bostonian upbringing. Not out of ignorance, but that's just how we talk where I grew up. And I can do it anywhere here in SF, people look past vernacular and look at intent behind the terminology.

            Just when they think they've got the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

            by McGirk on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:16:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think we should use the term (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      'slut' even if we add 'nothing wrong with sluts'

      slut is pejorative. I don't think it's a term anyone should use to describe anyone else.  Even though you don't mean it pejoratively, I think that's what the word connotes.

      I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

      by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 03:45:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have to laugh... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, jessical

        my sister just popped home for lunch...and right before she left she said, "Bye slut!", and my response was, "Later bitch!" ...we usually use the pejorative words as terms of endearment...even since we were fairly young. I wonder if that's a generational thing?

        Of course, there's a big difference (as Kath points out) between using it in a sub-group where there's a decided upon definition and using it outside of that where the meaning isn't necessarily a "friendly" one.

        •  Hehe (0+ / 0-)

          I'm 47, and my brother and I often refer to each other as "dopey" and "ding-dong".  We even leave messages for each other like that.

          I wouldn't, however, call him 'bastard' or some such.

          Families are weird

          I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

          by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 11:16:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  my problem is... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...that the more I see people say "slut" is a bad bad word that can never be reclaimed, the more I think of my sex positive friends -- real people all -- who use the word as self description -- and the more sure I become that the word is exactly right to reclaim.  Words that are reclaimed should make you squirm, and feel like "oh no, that describes bad people" -- because the whole point is, there aren't any bad people.  A point you make very eloquently below...

  •  Womb envy (10+ / 0-)

    It must be something like that.  I think it has to do with keeping up the myth that men are the "stronger" sex, as if strength is solely measured by how much you can bench press.

  •  what I want to know is... (16+ / 0-)

    what is the "punishment" for a Yazedi man falling in love with a Muslim woman?  Because I'm guessing this isn't it...

    Just disgusting.

  •  If people haven't already, (18+ / 0-)

    it's also worth taking a look at the sobering assessment by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan of Afghan women's status pre- and post-occupation.

  •  How about (17+ / 0-)

    Female circumcision; done with broken glass or dull knives.  And fistulas in girls too young to be mothers: or forced marriage of 9 yr olds. The atrocities are almost unbelievable except for the women who live through them.  I'll look for links if you need.

    If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. --Mark Twain

    by Desert Rose on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:34:53 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't watch the video.... (10+ / 0-)

    ...but your description was vivid enough. There is nothing honorable about "honor killing". It is simply barbaric. As for why this is done, and why women continue to be oppressed and brutalized is beyond me. It is atavastic, barbaric and I hope one day we live in a world where women will not be tortured to death because of what they choose to do with their own bodies (or because they have been the VICTIM of rape). Your diary is a reminder of how far we have to go ensure equal rights and dignity for half the planet.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:35:37 PM PDT

  •  womb fear (22+ / 0-)

    I think it is more accurate to call  it "womb fear."  Male dominated societies (patriarchies) fear the creative power of the womb and have spent millennia attempting to belittle, devalue, and beat into submission the feminine principle.  

    Think about how much energy most of the world religions spend on controlling women's sexuality.  It is amazing, really.  I've spent my entire adult life learning how to be an empowered woman -- reclaiming the power of the feminine, rather than assuming the trappings of male power -- and there is no doubt in my mind that  male dominated society as a whole is terrified of the power of women.  Terrified.  I've experienced it personally and observed it many, many times.  

    Why does society punish sexually free women? Because people (especially men) are afraid of that power.  Cover it up.  Keep it at home.  Cut it out.  Villify it.  Denigrate or beat the women who embrace it.  Turn it into a liability.  Mock it.  Kill the women who embody it.  Why?  Because men need it and their need makes them feel weak.  These kinds of men only feel strong if they can control female sexual energy.  

    What do they say?  Men spend the first nine months trying to get out of the womb and the rest of their lives trying to get back in.  The womb and women's sexuality are intimately tied to our mortality.  And male dominated cultures don't want to acknowledge that we are mortal, fleshy creatures who grow in the womb and will one day return to the womb of the Mother.  

    Women - don't let any man control your womb!  Men - rejoice in your woman's powerful sexuality!

    Long live the Goddess!

    May all beings be free from fear.

    by shakti on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:39:38 PM PDT

  •  Honor killings (7+ / 0-)

    Clearly, any man or woman who'd support an honor killing doesn't qualify as psychologically human. It's not a matter of not being "civilized," but of having the mentality of something less - far less - than an ape. Yet we are deeply involved - through trade, through war, and even through immigration - with whole cultures of such sub-human brutes.

    This is a huge problem. Our own history with slavery and racism doesn't allow us to squarely face the clear fact that there are many superficially of our species who psychologically are something else entirely, worthy of even less in either rights or respect than they accord their own women. We extended disrespect to slaves - who almost universally did deserve full human respect - but now cannot bring ourselves as "good liberals" to extend disrespect to these abominable subhumans, and take whatever acts are required to either convert their cultures to humanity, or cut them off from commerce with us of whatever kind.

    Of course, we have women-haters among us, especially in the Christian fringes. We should first purify our own house, thoroughly rejecting them from our own society, before we take this mission abroad. But take it abroad we should, beginning in with the Saudis and Kuwaitis and other subhuman cultures which we most enrich by our trade, and then proceeding to the Pakistani hosts of al Qaeda and onwards.

    •  It's hard to accept this as psychologically human (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, irishwitch, Rippen Kitten, geomoo

      My mind sinks into incomprehension when I read these stories; even more so when it is so often a father, brother or uncle slaying his own flesh and blood.  

    •  I think this is wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, jessical

      it is wrong to take the people who do these horrid things and classify them as 'not human' in any way.  They are human. That's one of the reasons it's so disturbing.

      They are repulsive humans, but part of the repulsivity comes from the humanity.  

      If we read about disgusting behavior by animals, we say "oooooh, ick" but we don't say, "let's stop it!"

      If we say 'those people aren't  XXXX' then we dehumanize them, and their crimes and abominations.  They're human.  Just as the torturers, mass murderers, child abusers et al. are human.

      It is BECAUSE they are human that we have to deal with them.

      I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

      by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 03:53:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for articulating that plf... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, jessical

        I wanted to say something similar last night and then I got distracted with other comments.

        This part:

        Yet we are deeply involved - through trade, through war, and even through immigration - with whole cultures of such sub-human brutes.

        was what I found deeply upsetting and you've stated why much better and more politely than I could have. Thanks.

        •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, jessical

          Hannah Arendt's work affected me greatly....the banality of evil.

          Not to violate Godwin's rule, but of all the horrifying things about the Nazis, the most horrifying is that they are us.  We share the same genes with them.  Of course, we also share genes with Jesus, Gandhi and King....

          But no human is subhuman.

          One of the other influences was Robert Coles....a magnificent human being.  He said that one of the big differences between moral and immoral children is that the immoral ones divide the world into US and THEM.  Once you have a THEM then it becomes easier to justify abuse of THEM.  

          And once you start with abuse....

          Women are, of course, human.  So are the men who abuse them.  

          I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

          by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 11:20:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fatima -- another honor killing (15+ / 0-)

    Please take a moment to remember her as well:

    The Lesser of Two Evils?

    What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

    by Marie on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:49:23 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, Elise (8+ / 0-)

    There is NO more important story.

    This is a great (and tragic) illustration of EXACTLY what needs to change in The Human Race. The concept that ANY ideology is more important than ONE single life.

  •  I'm speechless (6+ / 0-)

    really...Thank you for tackling this subject with such dignity, Elise. It is aickening.

    Better the occasional faults of a party living in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a party frozen in the ice of its own indifference-JFK

    by vcmvo2 on Wed May 23, 2007 at 07:58:36 PM PDT

  •  remember the book (10+ / 0-)
    • How to Make the World a Better Place for Women in Five Minutes a Day? 1992, I think.

    How depressing that we are in dire need of updated edition, and that doubling the time wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

  •  5000 seems a low number to me as well (7+ / 0-)

    An article on the the Stop Honor Killing website estimates that there are six per year in London, England alone.

    Don't forget that honor killing is only the worst and final scenario.  Thousands more women are subjected to non-lethal honor crimes as well, from home imprsonment and enslavement, to lashes and beatings, to rape, to acid burns and fire burns.  The news section of the Stop Honor Killings website is filled with stories of these not lethal but also horrific stories.

  •  The roots are in the selfish gene (10+ / 0-)

    First I want to say that I am a little uncomfortable with the theoretical discussion being mixed in with a specific heartrending tragedy.  I know there is a need to search for the causes, but in the moment I like to think that any decent human, man or woman, is repulsed by this barbarism.  Also, speaking as a man, I don't like to be separated off from other men in order to transfer me into some kind of acceptable class.  My experience is that women are vociferously opposed to most generalized statements about them, even if exceptions are allowed.  But that is a discussion for another time.

    I believe quite strongly that one of the roots of the behaviors you are discussing, which have brought so much suffering on humankind, are to be found in our different relations to reproduction.  Simply put, because men can theoretically pass genes own through almost limitless pregnancies, they maximize reproductive success through promiscuity. Because women are limited to the number of pregnancies possible during the fertile years, they maximize reproductive success by ensuring their offspring are successful.  I know this is oversimplified, and that men also benefit from childcare, as do women benefit from promiscuity in the sense of having offspring with more than one kind of gene.  Despite the fact that these forces no longer apply very strongly in our modern culture, the evolved tendencies remain strong.  To abbreviate the argument, women can be sure their offspring is their own, while men face uncertainty.    Women control their genetic descendents by controlling with whom they mate (one reason that rape resonates so deeply for women and men are often enough disappointingly insensitive to the depths of the crime).  Men control their genetic descendents by controlling women in relation to other men.  And that takes us to the barbaric behavior we wish to evolve out of.  The central interest in controlling genetic offspring is increasingly apparent the farther back one looks into history.  The king controlled the genes, the church controlled the genes, etc., which facts were often recognized and stated much more baldly.

    The book The Red Queen describes these issues with brilliance.  When my son-in-law gave it to me, he advised me not to even try to discuss it with my wife.  He predicted nothing but trouble, which is all I've seen when broaching this argument with women I've known.  One misunderstanding I want to anticipate is that this is NOT determinism.  This is a respectful acknowledgment of some forces of our nature, not to the exclusion of our more civilized development, such as the much more developed brain areas of impulse control.  My hope is that by better understanding our more primal instincts, we will become less likely to be driven by them blindly.

    I hope that, as a man, I am not being intrusive.  Please be kind if you need to tell me to butt out.

    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

    by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:08:37 PM PDT

    •  Have you read Richard Dawkins? (6+ / 0-)

      He wrote a book, The Selfish Gene. I've read it, I love it.

      It's worthwhile for all of us, particularly because he also differentiates this idea of "memes," or ideas, that we can pass on, in addition to or instead of our DNA.

      •  and yet... (5+ / 0-)

        ...when I was reading about parthogenesis in sharks today, I sort of smiled and pictured beating Dawkins with the newspaper.  Brilliant dude, and the mechanisms he describes are no doubt real...but still go with Gould that the organism is the unit of selection, by and large...

      •  Dawkins does get credit with starting this (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, jessical, kath25, Rippen Kitten

        off with a big bang.  But he got a lot of things wrong in that book.  The ideas have been refined and modified since.  The Red Queen is a quite well-grounded mix of theory and historical observation.

        How gratifying that you are on to this wavelength, too.  Thanks for the response.

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:43:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's funny (5+ / 0-)

        about that 'selfish' gene.

        Men are revered for having it, women reviled.

        •  How so? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tryptamine, jessical

          If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

          by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:43:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Easy (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tryptamine, LynneK, geomoo

            Men aren't expected to think about others first.

            Women are.

            •  I think I get your point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              but I'm not sure.  If I do get it, I sure wish we could change that.  I would argue that the selfish gene is value neutral.  Women are about thinking of others because that behavior maximizes their chances of reproducing, in the sense first, that commitment to survival of their limited number of children is their optimal strategy, and second in the sense that they do not select for the best mates through physical competition with other women but rather by displaying the traits most likely to have their offspring survive, one factor in which is the nurturing of the children.  Men will select women on the basis of their nurturing qualities, which can be interpreted as selecting those who think of others first, while women will select men on the basis of their ability to provide protection first, and nurturing qualities second.  (Arguing only about the genetic influence here, ignoring the very significant effects of culture on these equations.)  I think the value judgments are put on by society, not by the gene.  I think you are not disagreeing with that.

              To respond more directly to what I think you are saying, I have seen a tendency, among women especially, to downgrade thinking of others and service, as obligations forced on them by society.  I find this disturbing in that I think it is a reflection of our society's lack of respect for these qualities and our fear of being vulnerable.  I would much rather see nurturing and thinking of others be raised to a level of honor, while selfishness is looked down upon, with men cultivating more vulnerability and concern for others.  And that's my two cents about that.

              If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

              by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 10:47:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My problem with all of that... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ...she wrote, up past her bedtime, is that it is damn hard to prove differential survival rates in a given population based on any of it.  I loves me my (nonsexist portions of lol) EO Wilson, and it's all a rich, bracing and productive field for speculation...but there are so many alternative hypotheses, and so little real data, that it becomes difficult for me to take it seriously more than a step or two out.  The theoretical basis for attraction and control could all be based on facial symmetry or hip width or a particular smell related to ovulation or sperm count -- we really haven't a clue, just interesting and sometimes compelling hypotheses.  I'll easily grant there is far more instinctive shit going on than any ten people on the street will admit.  I think there is tremendous value, in terms of public policy not to mention self awareness, in realizing how much of the iceberg is under water -- but the exact shape is just not that well understood, much less the relationship to reproductive success.  Long ago I spent several years of my life on one -- just one -- behavior, and it's relationship to survival.  Since then the math has gotten a lot more sophisticated, and we're learning a lot about this, but it doesn't seem...quite...mature enough to provide detailed explainations of great solidity  (I wish I were still doing that instead of software lol, but so it goes).  

                Anyway, it's late and I'll be quiet now :)

                •  I would argue with you if (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tryptamine, jessical

                  I didn't think you're a lot more well-informed than I.  I was hoping just to fake it for a little while, have a few people fall for it, then move on quickly to something else.

                  But seriously, great minds and all that.  I appreciate your understanding that abstract argument is always suspect--that experiments prove only what they prove.  One area I did think was well studied is attraction--symmetrical faces appeal, faces that are averages of many faces appeal, quite specific breast to waist to hip ratios appeal, etc.  For what it's worth.  My favorite is the rooster going into his full-fledged "let's do it" dance in front of the strung up head of his beloved.  That's right, no body, just a head on a string.  I tried to use that one to impress on my daughters that there was really no need to worry about impressing the boys.  I think they resented these intrusions on their normal adolescent fantasies (destined to bring only heartache and pain).  Other than that, I salute your principled commitment to knowing only what we know.  That's a difficult, and truly scientific, stance that I try to hold as well.

                  I just accused someone else of keeping me up way past when I wanted, but it's more your fault than hers (his?)  Fun, stimulating discussion.  I hope to run into you again soon.

                  If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                  by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:36:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  While I disagree with the premise, (6+ / 0-)

      you've put it well.  And there's no doubt it plays somewhat of a role in how we've gotten here.

      Once we evolved out of the 'animal' kingdom, though, I don't see much relevance for the theory.

      If I were to determine the one overriding factor in determining why we're where we are, I would have to say religion.  More specifically, the Catholic Church.

      I'm rather exhausted at the moment, or I'd give more of why I believe it, but believe it I do.

      •  The theories have proven highly predictive of (4+ / 0-)

        behavior.  For one example, siblings, who stand to share half their genes, have a stake in their mutual survival.  The extent of one's investment in the survival of a sibling, as compared with one's own survival, has been shown in several experiments to be in proportion to how likely they are to share genes.  Their are many, many real world cases in which behavior can be predicted and explained with mathematical precision.  I find this quite convincing.

        But all that is very dry in relation to the discussion at hand.  I only care to argue that sense can best be made out of this behavior by placing control of sex, that is control of offspring, at its center.  The fear, jealousy, shame, and anger that are such a part of this can also best be understood in terms of the mating game, IMHO.  The culture places a specific form on universal human tendencies.

        Thanks for the compliment re clarity.

        The Red Queen goes into detail about laws of the Catholic Church explained in terms of controlling genes.  I would love to hear your take on it, when you have some energy for it.  Let's continue when the occasion arises.  :-)

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:00:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  PS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DebtorsPrison, Rippen Kitten

          The gene sharing with siblings should militate against brothers, uncles, etc. murdering female family members.  To me, that adds to a sense of perversion in these horrendous acts.  It should theoretically be against one's own deep instincts.  My guess about it is that a social system has created such a fear of not belonging that men are acting against their own self-interest.  This is the kind of fear of being ostracized our own fundamentalism is working so hard to create in the US.

          If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

          by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:13:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Says who? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, Rippen Kitten, geomoo

          The theories have proven highly predictive

          You're off on a tangent now, about behavior that doesn't bear relation to your previous post.

          The Red Queen goes into detail about laws of the Catholic Church explained in terms of controlling genes.

          I don't think the church cared about controlling genes, but behavior.  And not just of women, but men also.  But it's how the church wanted that behavior controlled that has set the pattern of male/female roles.  

          And the simple fact is, since it was men setting the behavior patterns, those patterns were set for mens benefit.

          Another time.

          •  Controlling genes involves controlling both (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CSI Bentonville

            men and women.  I hope I never implied otherwise.  It could be argued that control of women more usually takes the form of limiting movement where control of men is more likely through violence enforced hierarchy, but I hope I never implied that only women were being controlled.  It so happens that the thing on my mind in these discussions is the heartbreaking control of a particular woman through murder.

            I don't see the tangent, but I'll leave that one alone.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:27:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I wish I had notice the "another time" earlier (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You've done made me stay up way too late.

            Thanks for the stimulating discussion.

            More later.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:20:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  when did we evolve out of the animal kindgom... (8+ / 0-)

        ...exactly?  All I see are hairless monkeys in houses.  With cars and rules and little scraps of paper for which they trade the hours of their lives.  Nothing about this leads me to think that we are anything but animals, or that there is anything wrong with being an animal.  

        •  When? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          When we stood up and put shoes on our feet.

          •  heh... (8+ / 0-)

            I have a feeling this is one of those exchanges that I should never have started...but I will say as a philosophical matter I could not disagree with you more.  Strictly for the sake of something to consider, I'd suggest the idea that we are in fact animals, and there isn't some magical divide which makes our form of conciousness priviledged or superior to any other creature; and further, that much of what is most terrible in the world begins with the assumption that we're something other than chimpanzees.  If we acknowledge our chimphood, whether in social dominance games or murdering women who engage in reproductive behavior outside our ingroup, we can act to change it.  If we pretend we're "better" than that, all we do is stuff it away until it comes back again to say hello, in a new social context...because we can't talk about it.  We've banished it to a nature we've disowned.  Mileage varies, of course...

            •  Nail, meet hammer. That's what I wanted to say. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Elise, jessical, LynneK

              Thanks for putting it so clearly.

              If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

              by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:29:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  OK then, (0+ / 0-)

              If we acknowledge our chimphood, whether in social dominance games or murdering women who engage in reproductive behavior outside our ingroup, we can act to change it.

              This is what I would call a circular argument.  If we're anaimals, then we haven't evolved into the rational beings we're supposed to be. Chimps do all those things, but then don't rationalize why they did it and act to change it.  It's why they're still chimps, and we've moved on.

              I recognize that we come from chimps, but we've moved beyond that.

              What you and geomoo are doing is reducing us back to the level from which we came.  And I couldn't disagree more with that.

              • (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tryptamine, LynneK

                It's only a tautology if you accept that somehow the power of rational thought makes us other than animal, which to me is prima facie absurd.  I'm probably not as severe a sociobiologist as geomoo, but I don't see anything in the animal kingdom as "beyond" anything else -- there is no natura scala, only a vast and complex tree, whose branches rise and fall and twist over aeons (and "rise" or "fall" are value judgements in any event).  Our rationality may in the end be profoundly maladaptive -- speaking of one niche as being "beyond" another makes no sense.

                It's following the birdwalk, but I'm also not entirely sure that chimps don't have better angels of their nature, as well, at war with the selfish and unkind -- have you ever watched chimps?  

                Anyway, thank you for the exchange.  Off to bed...

              •  I have made no effort to clarify the degree (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DebtorsPrison, tryptamine, jessical

                to which I think instincts, which is to say behaviors mediated by evolution.  It is always frustrating that to bring up these factors is to have to argue that they aren't the only factors I am willing to discuss.  Nothing I have said so far would keep me free adding that I only think this explains about 1% of human behavior.  Of course one can deduce, correctly, that I think it's more than that, or why would I bring it up.  But certainly it's worth discussing if forms only 10% of the explanation.  This is the very argument I try to address in my original comment.  Why is it so hard to admit the effects of our animal nature?  What causes people to flee immediately to a polarized posture of no animal nature.  It is surely obvious to all of us that we are in many ways different from other animals.  Is it not equally obvious that we behave in decidedly non-rational, animal ways?  These are both part of who we are.  The interesting question is to what degree, and how do we mediate the two internal forces.

                As I said elsewhere, one obvious trait unique to humans is a written language, which affords us the luxury of building on knowledge gained by prior generations.  This effect alone is enough to explain how we might be animal in nature, yet behave in a fashion distinct from any other animal.  Does this not answer your accusation of circularity?

                If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:18:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  nicely put... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DebtorsPrison, tryptamine, Elise

                  though I think the problem for most folks starts with the word "animal".  It's a hard one to think about and I wish I'd been nicer on this thread :(  I do wish more folks would think about it, as much from a perspective of ethical exceptionalism as anything else.  Even the instinct/rationality divide, worthy a topic as it is, pales before the idea that we are other than the nature in which we live.

                  •  nicely put back atcha (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DebtorsPrison, tryptamine, jessical

                    I have been largely in agreement with you, but nonetheless it is my impression that you have been respectful and on topic in your responses.  I hope xyz and others feel that way as well, but I wouldn't claim to speak for anyone else.  I hope all involved have felt engaged and respectfully heard.  I know I have.  If you say anything else, no matter how intelligent or well-informed (or challenging of me), I'm just not going to respond.

                    And I mean it this time.


                    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                    by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:43:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I hope I haven't implied that we have. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tryptamine, jessical

          I don't think it's possible.  I'm totally with you on this, although our degree of self-awareness, made possible through a written language, distinguishes us dramatically from other animals.  And largely explains our ability to inform our behavior through culture rather than instinct.

          If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

          by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:23:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  while some species of primate are quite violent (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tryptamine, Elise, jessical

          I don't think there's any non-human that does anything like honor killings.  

          I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

          by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 03:57:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps the only distinction is the organizationa (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            plf515, jessical

            or institutional aspect of honor killings.  Naturally, humans are the only animal capable of such codified organization.  As you suggest, male chimpanzees sometimes kill the young of other females, some females are horrendous mothers even to the point of killing their own young, chimpanzees sometimes engage in what looks like gratuitous killing of strangers, and on and on. And that's just chimpanzees.  It's a jungle out there, and primates provide many clues to the evolutionary roots of our violence.

            Still, I do agree with you that honor killings seem especially perverse.  They seem to go against instinct, against basic self-interest.  I admit I find them inexplicable and quite chilling.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 08:43:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This is bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tryptamine, Rippen Kitten

      Yes, we may have those tendencies.  It's also not unusual for male animals to spread those genes through rape.  And it is natural for women to be bear-constantly pregnant.  Most men don't rape. Most women don't want an unending series of pregnancies. MOST human being rise above this  ancient drive. Rape has been forbidden since the first codes of law were drawn up. And women have been seeking to control their fertility  since the ancient Egyptians. We ar emopre than our most basic instincts, otherwise men would kill each other off and take each other's women for a harem.

      The reason you shouldn't discuss this with your wife is that she'll laugh in your face--abotu  half a second before (I hope) she throws something at you.  

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:45:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, your argument isn't really responsive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to what I'm saying, but I've seen that kind of defensive, closed response often enough to expect nothing to come from engagement.  I'll simply mention that I anticipated your tired, unimaginative response in my comment.  If you have any interest in anything other than shouting me down or throwing things at me, you can read that and get back to me.  Otherwise, perhaps we can have a fruitful discussion on some other subject, some other time.

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:08:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When a woman disagrees (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rippen Kitten

          we are always called close-minded.

          I simply pointed out that MOST women find this sort of argument  idiotic and give it precisely the respect it deserves.

          And I DID propose meaningful arguments. IF we were so intensely ruled by our primal instincts, men would routinely kill or drive off other males so they could maintain a harem--happens among species of primates as well as other species regularly; does NOT happen among humans routinely,  Rape would be far more common than it is, because a woman's willingness to have sex wouldn't matter--as it doesn't among some primates.  Women would prefer to be perpetually pregnant since that is what nature intended. These things DON'T happen,and that shows that we are doing a pretty good job of overcoming those ancient genetic pulls.

          We have higher brain functions. MOST of use them mos tof the time. I also note that you didn't bother to address any of MY arguments that this atavism doesn't really have much to do with present day AMerica.

           I see this as having FAR mroe to do with one group having held power for a long time--and not wanting to share that power with another group jsut as large,.

          I'll get back to you when you say something worth paying attention to--and I HAVE read quite a bit on this subject.  This isn't exactly a NEW theory.   There are also plenty of men who use this argument to justify rape and domestic violence. Stop feeding the monkeys.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:27:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is my impression that I anticipated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CSI Bentonville, crose

            and addressed your argument.  

            One misunderstanding I want to anticipate is that this is NOT determinism.  This is a respectful acknowledgment of some forces of our nature, not to the exclusion of our more civilized development, such as the much more developed brain areas of impulse control.  My hope is that by better understanding our more primal instincts, we will become less likely to be driven by them blindly.

            How is this not a direct acknowledgment of what you argue so correctly and clearly:

            These things DON'T happen,and that shows that we are doing a pretty good job of overcoming those ancient genetic pulls.

            We have higher brain functions. MOST of use them mos tof the time. I also note that you didn't bother to address any of MY arguments that this atavism doesn't really have much to do with present day AMerica.

            Since the oneupmanship has taken this particular form, I'll throw the ball back to you by saying, yes, I've just repeated myself.  But only because it seems that what I had already stated is a direct response to, and substantive agreement with, what you are arguing with me about.  I'm willing to hear how it is now a direct response, but I'm definitely not interested in repeating my self a third time.

            Finally, jessical's comment above states better than I ever have why I think it is important to allow these factors to play a part in the discussion.  She says

            If we acknowledge our chimphood, whether in social dominance games or murdering women who engage in reproductive behavior outside our ingroup, we can act to change it.  If we pretend we're "better" than that, all we do is stuff it away until it comes back again to say hello, in a new social context...because we can't talk about it.  We've banished it to a nature we've disowned.

            I called you closed because that's how your argument seems.  I could care less what you have between your legs, being one of those feministic type men and all.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:41:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gee, you'd never gues it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rippen Kitten

              I read your post. I diagre. I didn't call you names. I merely pointed out wehat the reaction to the average woman who has read this crap for 30 years would likley do.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:44:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you called it bullshit, laughed in my face by (0+ / 0-)

                proxy, and advised me to duck.  Perhaps I took it all too seriously.  What I most object to is feeling that you ignored my meaning.  Perhaps you didn't understand it.  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.  All I can say is that I don't disagree with you about what you are arguing with me about, and I think I have said something not in the least contradicted by your claims.  I would be interested to argue the substance of what I said.  I don't find your disagreement responsive to my argument.  So, can we just leave it at that?  Maybe I'm wrong.  I know I am becoming too tired to count on being civil.  I'll read a response, if you care to leave one, then I must retire.

                I can do nothing beyond assuring you that your gender is not coming into play in my response, unless subconsciously, in which case perhaps I'm subconsciously a male chauvinist pig.  But I wouldn't know that, would I?

                If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:56:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ii called the book's premise BULLSHIT. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I understood it--but yuou seemed far too enthusiastic with the premise to  come across as a feminist male to me.  I've been fighting this sort of stuff since the 70s, and it isn't new at all.  

                  Did you knwo that one of the newer theories in anthropology and among socio-biologists is that Dawkins is wrong? That what actually  kept humanity alive in its early days is the ability to empathize and cooperate?  It may very well be the altruistic gene that assured our survival--because  we weren't the fastest or the strongest, even with tool-using capability. What we had was the ability to take care of each other and to work together for the good of the group.  WHich is probably why as soon as we developed laws, we banned rape and  violence againat other members of our species: we need each other to survive.  The atavistic primal instincts are towards cooperation, not violence. Freminiost anthropologists were saying this back int he 70s--male sociobiologists finally caught uyp.

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 01:07:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm so glad to hear from you (0+ / 0-)

                    I didn't know about the interesting theories you describe, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that Dawkins is wrong about a lot.  He'll always get credit with me, though, for being one of the original thinkers on this and for communicating his ideas in interesting prose to all who were interested.

                    Your talk of altruism makes me think of a development which bothers me--since we started out fighting, maybe I can start another.  Seriously though, I want to say that here I am bringing up an issue that it is clearly up to women to decide--I claim no rights of authority.  I'm just expressing my feelings and wondering what you have to say. I would be interested in your reaction to this, which I wrote above:

                    I have seen a tendency, among women especially, to downgrade thinking of others and service, as obligations forced on them by society.  I find this disturbing in that I think it is a reflection of our society's lack of respect for these qualities and our fear of being vulnerable.  I would much rather see nurturing and thinking of others be raised to a level of honor, while selfishness is looked down upon, with men cultivating more vulnerability and concern for others.

                     I fear the, at least theoretical, rejection of nurturing roles I have sensed in my women friends is some kind of identification with the aggressor, an unskillful response to the dominant male meme which somehow buys into the notion that open-heartedness is weak and that caring is naive.  I'd really like to hear what you have to say about that.

                    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                    by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 01:36:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I haven't seen any rejection of nurturing. (0+ / 0-)

                      Most women DO marry and have children,and their style of management ends to be much more nurturing than the men I've worked for.  What HAS happened is that women have learned to stand up for themselves and take less crap.  When I was 24, I got coffee.  I went across the street to the coffee shop because the boss didn't like the office coffee--in the pouring rain.  I doubt most women would do that now, 30 years later. What men see is a lessening of willingness to be pushed around or bullied into taking care of someone. Int he workplace, you're supposed to be an employee, not a Mom. I think a lot of men in their late 40s and 50s really still expect that--they want June Cleaver, and hope women will behave that ay.

                      Most women still work in female jobs--most elelmentary teachers are still women, and most nurses.

                      it's not a rejection of nurturing, just a refusal to take crap and to behave like the mother to an adult office mate. Most women work because the second income is necessary. If they want to get promotions and raises they have to play the game the way men do. I'd love to see the world become more nurturing and family-friendly--but men still make the rules, and they seem to reject that idea.

                      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                      by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 08:22:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, I'm with you on all of that (0+ / 0-)

                        Let me be more specific in what I experienced.  I was way too vague and it sounded really like what you are talking about.  I agree with what you say furthermore I think it's one of the coolest changes to happen in my lifetime.  That and the improvements for African Americans (I grew up in Georgia).

                        Here's what happened to me.  I was in a kind of group that's hard to explain, but we discussed things from a very personal space--kind of a cross between a therapy session and a political discussion.  So, in this group I began talking about the importance of service, and waxing positive about the beauty of giving one's life to service for others.  Every woman in the group but one, and these are spiritual women I have a lot of respect for, seemed almost allergic to the word, even in the general context of service.  I was taken quite aback by that.  So since then, I've kept my antenna up around it and noticed a much more subtle thing than what you were describing.  This is a thing that I feel coming from women, not men's expectations.  It feels like a resistance to giving their lives to service, a resistance to celebrating the beauty of service.  You are right, women nurture at home, but it seems like more of an obligation of doing well at it than a celebration of being so good at nurturing.

                        I lay these impressions out there as something I think I've noticed, not something I am insisting is true.  I'm interested in your impressions of women's attitude toward service and nurturing, how much they value it, how they feel in relation to it, etc.  It is possible also that this are some generational differences here.  The women I refer to are all in my age group, late 50's.

                        Okay, I hope that's clear.  I'm glad I feel less argumentative on this one.  I wish I had responded to this one first.

                        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                        by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 10:03:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  There's a good reason why they hated the word (0+ / 0-)

                          "service." Women were expected to serve others, to defer their dreams in favor of their husband's, to spend their time in unpaid labor as volunteers. As a Navy Wife, I saw this happening  at the higher ranks (in 1989,  a couple of AF  O wives got fed up and refused and were told they'd harm their husband's chances of making general; they took it to the press) The problem is, if hubby dies or is disabled or trades you in on someone younger, blonder, and thinner--you were screwed: no job experience, no credit,  etc.

                          My husband was an E, so the pressure wasn't on me--but I REFUSED to work for free for the Navy (and when they say "volunteer" they ALWAYS mean on base). I'd have been happy to work for Planned parenthood or the rape hotline (but that hotline was run by a group of lesbians who expected you to give up several months worth of weekends--the only time I could hope to spend with my husband-- to train,and I wasn't willing to do so--also, as I learned from someone who DID go through but not for the military in a position that SHOULD be a fulltime job.. I am 57 myself.  

                          Service is great--IF you can afford it. Try using the word "volunteer" instead. Many women still volunteer. But it isn't their career as it used to be. And the word "service" is from the same root as "servitude".


                          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                          by irishwitch on Fri May 25, 2007 at 12:04:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Very interesting (0+ / 0-)

                            You paint a clear picture.  I was in the Navy and either we didn't run into that or my ex-wife was oblivious.  Believe me, the only service you would have caught her performing on the base would have been protesting the war in Viet Nam.

                            You inspired me to look up the word.  The root is the latin "servicium," which means "slavery," so point well made.

                            I need a new word I guess, but volunteer isn't it.  I'm thinking of a willingness to set one's personal desires aside in support of something outside oneself, whether being paid or not.  "Selflessness" maybe.

                            Thanks for the taking the time.  I hope you're not mad at me.  I'm glad we ended up having a good discussion.

                            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                            by geomoo on Fri May 25, 2007 at 12:29:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you weren't an O (0+ / 0-)

                            the pressure is less until you hit E7.  I simply refused to go to Wives Club meetings after I saw they were gonna be play dates for the kids, and that everything was oriented around kids, with NO interest in non-Mommy wives.

                            "Selflessness" isn't an improvement.  Women have been EXPECTED to be selfless and give up everything for others. We're flatout tired of society's expectations.   It took along fight for women to realize they had a  RIGHT to ME time--men would go bowling while WIfe watched the kids, but the favor was seldom returned for a Girls' Night out. We have learned the hard way that our female friends tend to last if we make time for them--and often they are the ones who pick us up when Hubby trades us in. I frankly think selflessness is trait valued only in nuns or saints--and generally only in FEMALE ones.

                            Basically when women didn't work,  society regarded their time as worth as much as they were paid: nothing.  All the volunteer work really doesn't count much when you apply for a job, and you get little respect for it. WOmen mostly know that ajob is a necessity to day.

                            I'd suggest you talk about volunteering a few hours a month--many of us already do that--and preach selflessness to men, who never HAVE practiced it.  A lot of the men Iknow could use a dose of it.

                            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                            by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 01:47:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I was an officer alright (0+ / 0-)

                            I graduated from the Naval Academy.  It was very strange when I became a conscientious objector.  That was a tough time in my life.  The vibe today is so similar to during Viet Nam, don't you think?

                            As I said, we'll probably fight a lot.  I find your views of men way too stereotyped.  Selflessness among men is strongly represented by Jesus, Gandhi, many of my wonderful teaching colleagues, countless yogis, and on and on.  I really don't know how to respond to what seems like diffuse anger at men in general.  I know the social history is much as you describe it, but to me that in no way lessens the power of selflessness to lift the spirit of the individual and to contribute to the well-being of humanity.  I would call it throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  The problem lies not in the selflessness of women, but in the abuse of that selflessness.

                            Just to be clear, you seriously misunderstand me if you think I'm just talking to women when I attempt to lift selflessness as a virtue.  If anything, my inherent sexism (of which I am not proud) causes me to picture men more than women when I think of this.

                            I know it's completely up to you what you do.  I know that.  I'm asking permission to reflect to you a reaction I have to all this for your consideration.  It strikes me as identification with the aggressor for women to angrily insist on their right to be as selfish as men, rather than to celebrate and hone their strengths in this area as a model for their brothers to emulate.  I'm not defending the selfishness of men.  Far from it.  I'm asking that women help me in making it clear that selfless is more satisfying to the individual and more useful for society.  But you may disagree with me on this premise.  If so, we can agree to disagree.  This is a deeply spiritual matter to me, so it is difficult for me to hear selflessness discounted for any reason.

                            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:08:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Than your wife (0+ / 0-)

                            had a spine of pure steel to ignore the pressures--even my best pal  Navy Wife who was O Wife, couldn't. I fit in badly with E wives whoa re young,  have at most an A.S., are politically conservative from small towns and fundy churches.  It was NOT fun.

                            Selflessness is a nice idea--but women have to learn to be SELFISH first, honestly, tactually give themselves some value. You've never lived as a woman so your eally don't GET the pressures--just as I haven'tlived with the pressures on men to be dumbass jerks ( and that somany escape it and the pressure to shove women down amazes me; I LIKE men,  but not the  conservative  women-hating type).

                            ANd I don't care for the way society treats women--and, like it orn not, men still hold the purse strigns and the pwoer,a nd there is still glass ceiling. NOT ot be angry over that-=-which isnot the same as being angry at men in gneneral, just the way the  oens iwth poer cling to it-- would be to be braindead.

                            Look at your time in the military.  Granted, women weren't admitted to Annapolis back then.  But even now, it is the WIFE who makes the sacrifices for the husband's career, hardly ever the other way around. She may be as well-educated as her husband, or more so--I was--but she basically gives up a career and a pension  and a decent social security benefit for him. ANd if, as happens all too often, he ditches her mid-career (or when he retires--seen a lot of that--she is left starting over at 35 or 40 with no current refs and a resume of entry level jobs. THAT is reality for a lot of women.

                            WOmenhave to learn tto take care of themselves FIRST, before they can sacrifice for others--or it can taint a marriage and kill love.  No one should be making all the sacrifices (I agreed to follow him, but where we went, what orders he took, was as much my choice as his--he turned down a  great set of orders because it meant living in TX and he knew how much I'd hate Waco, home of David Koresh and Baylor, fundy hell).   Marriage should be partnership, not one person giving it all.

                            And in life--a touch of sacrifice,. sure. But I think you're askign too much.  When you work a job and ahve little time for your family because you put in 60 horu weeks--it's damend ard to find time and strength to keep the marriage going, let alone volunteer. We'll save that for when we cna afford it--and I can guarantee that I actual;ly have a car that runs. I'dd put in time at Planned Parenthood or a rape crisis center or run for school board.

                            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                            by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:20:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hear you very well here (0+ / 0-)

                            That makes a lot of sense.  I have no trouble with it.

                            I think we are talking past one another a bit over different definitions of selflessness.  I'm afraid I have to go now, but I need to work up a clear definition of what I mean by that.  I'm not really talking about volunteering at all--more of an attitude in life in whatever one is doing.  And it is definitely NOT the same as lying down and getting walked on.  Thanks for the good response.

                            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:54:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What I am trying to say (0+ / 0-)

                            is that women need to learn how to say "No." We aren't taught it by our mothers--or at least my generation wasn't. We are raised to be concerned with other people's feelings--and studies show that as one of the few real differences even among babies--and we hate to hurt them. So we often find ourselves over-extended with time for everything but ourselves. It is  really, really hard to tell a friend you can't help them out.

                            Classic example: When we lived in ME, we were SCA. I was battling the tail end of clinical depression, which still left me easily fatigues, along with the Mystery Virus that would send my temp skyrocketing to a 102 in ten minutes, or leave me shivering from the cold. I was prtty sick. But I had offered to handle the Cavalier Olympics (silly games) before dinner,a long with the Best Fop contest.  Someone else was supposed to make the prizes. They caved.  I ended up  calligraphing a scroll we had xeroxed on parchment (and it was a large scroll and took several days to design and write). I then hand-colored each scroll with a large gilded medieval capital, and made little ribbon and flower favors (very Cav) to go along, and a fleur-de-lys strewn sash with  matching touch of ribbons.  I spent three weeks on them because no one else would do them.

                            The day before we cooked the lunch meal--chicken pieces--and provided bread and cheese as well.  

                            Know what we got? NOTHING. Instead the woman running the event complained we hadn't put in nay time in the kitchen helping her prepare the dinner feast. Like we hadn't spent the night before baking chicken? Mind you, I DID help at check-in, but I was too exhausted to really do anything more.

                            This has happened to me so many times. I stopped volunteering for that reason for anything large. I'll give an hour chopping veggies, but I refuse to be in charge any longer.

                            I learned to say "NO"  effectively. I have a lot more fun. I give the time I am willing to give, and don't feel guilty about it.

                            THAT is a hard lesson to learn for most women, who tend to put their family,their job, their causes ahead of themselves. We end up worn out and unhappy and resenting people we love beacuse it never occurs to them to say "Here, let me help." I've watched WAY too many men (NOT my husband who cooks as well or better than I do) watch football games Xmas Day while their wives slave in the kitchen. Sure, they might not be able to cook like Emeril--but anyone over age 10 can chop veggies and set a table. They sure as heck can help  carry the food out and  wash dishes. Most don't, hwoever.  WOmena re to blame, relaly--we never asked or demande their help, and it doesn't occur to them to give it.

                            Selflessness starts at HOME. Give to your family first.. DO something nice for your wife (fathers are usually pretty good with the kids).  Cook dinner once a week (or oder it in).  DO the dishes. When she cooks.  According studies, women STILL do something like 65-70% of ALL the household chores and childcare (Dads tend to do the fun stuff like taking the kids to the park, not the chore stuff like shopping for clothes), even when adjusted for traditional male jobs like fixing broken appliances or mowing the lawn or other yard work. THAT is what I'd tell men.  

                            Frankly, it is women's own damned fault. We raise them to expect someone to wash their clothes and fix their meals. If I'd had kids, my sons would have been a taught young how to sort laundry, put it in the washer, and turn it on., Ditto Dryer.  When I baked cookies, they'd have learned the recipe--and when they needed cookies for the class, I'd have supervised while they made them. They would have been expected to help with dinner- making a salad requires no expertise, nor does chopping veggies. As they got older, I'd have given them recipes, and they'd have been taught to prepare a full meal.NO MAN  (or WOMAN)should hit 18 or at max 21 without being able to prepare a basic meal--not Cordon Bleu, not Julia Child quality, but a basic simple meal (mind you the NIECE couldn't do this but her mother burns water).

                            When I was in college, I saw girls doing their boyfriend's laundry.  No way, I swore, was that gonna be ME. In my first marriage, mny hsuband did laundry, but didn't know how to cook, so we split the jobs. And he was very good at asssistingby chopping veggies or getting bagels or donuts for Sat. morning breakfast. This husband does more cleaning because I can't vaccuum, and we split cooking duties. Whenhe's workign full time i'll take back laundry duties.

                            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                            by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:48:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry, no time to read the whole thing now (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll just say that I have heard this from so many women I respect, that I accept it completely as true:

                            women need to learn how to say "No."

                            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:56:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Here's a link to the article I read (0+ / 0-)

                  I've read several on brain devt. that indicate this.


                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 01:35:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Awesome article (0+ / 0-)

                    I hadn't heard of that.  It makes a lot of sense, and is somehow comforting.  I read a funny anecdote from an anthopologist a few years ago that had made me wonder.  He was going hunting with a primitive tribe.  After much ceremony and show, they began the hunt.  Several hours into it, he heard an excited uproar and ran to see what beast had been subdued.  The hunters were expressing great excitement at the capture of a small rodent.  That fits the picture Sussman paints.

                    One little aspect didn't quite sit right, but that may be just a species difference.  Men have been shown to have better geographical sense, that is, ability to abstract relationships in space, than women, so the bit about the water holes seems odd.  Other than that, it's easy to picture, isn't it?

                    I like to think we're closer to the bonobos.  Make love, not war.

                    Thanks a lot.  I'm glad to know about that.

                    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                    by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:23:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There's research that shows (0+ / 0-)

                      women navigate as well as men, but do it differently. Men  actually do well with directions involving east or west--women use landmarks.  There 's also  a male tendency to do better on spatial visualization.  However, having taken some of the tests involving rotating geometric objects in space--I think they are unintentionally slanted to activities boys pursue, like model building.  An equally good test would involve looking at pieces and asking someone to choose which garment they'd make--girls SEW.  I hadn't realized that until I took some career counselign tests and they topld me I scored high on mechanical ability and spatial visualization. Since I ALWAYS do badly ont he geometric tests, I was shocked to lean that being able to create a pattern from looking at a garment (I do historical costuming) and vice versa, is both.  

                      I think what we'll learn is that men and women use different parts of the brain to get to the same place--and that really there aren't so much differences in talents (though one sex may do better overall, you're likely not gonna be able to predict if an individual will be good or bad at something),  we're actually very similar, even if we take different routes to get there.

                      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                      by irishwitch on Thu May 24, 2007 at 06:48:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have a feeling we will argue a lot (0+ / 0-)

                        If so, I hope we can have some fun doing it.  The details of everything you say may be right--I don't know, but I have a general reaction.  But let me say the question of patterns vs. 3D modeling--that is quite interesting.  I definitely see how you probably have something there.  (I added this sentence because I have a bad habit of not showing the extent of my interest in and appreciation of what the other person has said. I kind of unrealistically assume that that is a given.)

                        My argument here (complaint?) (whine?) is based on past experience, so I may be reading you wrong.  If that is so, I hope we can sort that out.  I'll try to make myself clear.

                        I have often, in conversations such as this, experienced women resisting there being any differences between men and women.  Are women worse drivers than me?  I can only imagine your anger that I posed the question. (did I guess right? :-))  Are men stronger than women?  Well, that one's pretty obvious, but it has something to do with nurture and men being encouraged in sports over a long period of time, or some other logic which qualifies and discounts the differences.  (I have no idea what you would say on that one.)  Anyway, that is one form of conversation.

                        Now let me go to another kind of conversation, one that was exemplified in this very diary.  In this one, men are characterized in a certain way that is very, very different than women would ever be.  (This is one of the reasons I object to being classified as some kind of "exceptional" man, one who is not really one of the type.)  In the case of these purely male traits, they are all bad--violent, unfeeling, selfish, etc.  So, I have a hard time believing that every positive trait is shared equally by men and women, yet all men's negative traits are somehow theirs alone.  I hope you understand what I am saying here.

                        Another form of this is when I argue something general from my experiences of men and women.  If the woman I am discussing this with doesn't like the conclusions I draw, she dismisses my evidence as anecdotal, stresses the problems with generalizing and talks about how individuals are all so different.  Yet that same woman, when speaking of men, will freely generalize from her own experience about how men are.  I am frustrated by these imbalances.

                        In summary, if I have to be in the gender responsible for all the violence in the world, don't I at least get to be able to read maps better?  Or something?  I can tell you a study:  on entrance ramps to freeways, men drive several mph faster than women and keep one foot closer to the edge.  There is some difference there, isn't there?

                        As to me, I think men and women are very different in a lot of ways.  If you've had children, you must have noticed right away, perhaps like me with some dismay, that gender differences are stunningly pronounced from the very beginning.  Before you get too mad at me, let me hasten to say that inherent differences is no excuse for limited expectations or imposed roles.

                        I probably should have kept my mouth shut.  Be nice.

                        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                        by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 09:49:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I hate to say this, but you are (0+ / 0-)

                          So typical of our generation. You grew up with feminism but aren't really comfortable with it and deep down long for the good Old Days. This is why I married  younger men both times.

                          Frankly, what most of the brain studies show is that women and men get to the same answer by different means using different parts of the brain. Slightly MORE men excel at math and spatial visualization than men--=but slightly more men also fall into the lowest  percents, too. And, as I said, the test is SLANTED toward men.

                          Ther's also soemthign  male researchers ignroe: the strong effect of societal expectations: that girls WON'T do as well as boys.   I took some classes at Hopkins where Julian Stanley reigns supreme inthe gifted  Research arena.  Back around 81, he and his female resercher announde d positively that there was a  definiie tendency for men to excle oiver women at math and it was biologically based. Except that a different finding by a different (and much smarter--I read BOTH their research)  researcher foudn that until junior high, girls excel boys. ANd the reson is societal pressure--girls becoem aware of bioys and knwo that boys do NOT like to be bested, and start playig gduumb or refusing to take thehard math classes. Theyweren't encoruaged by their famileis either.  Poly High school was male only--started taking girls in the late 60s, and was msotly still male because girls werebn't encourage to apply.

                          I se ethsi in Thing 2, the niece i hate. SHe's not dumb.  She got Bs inmath withotu ever doignher homework or paying much attnetion. DItto science.  She COULDhave done OK in a pharmacyprogram but dumped out becaue the science 9msotly chem and bio) was "too ahrd' and she didn't ant to do the word--an dshe was one ofthe few girls in the program.

                          Biologyu accoutns for SOME, but not all differences, and generally  the differences are damned sma;lll.

                          As for driiving--depend son the pERSON,not te sex.

                          Women who psot here ar pretty well-read as wellas well-experienced--they've read the studies,and they knwo the findins.  YYou really need to go to a Men's Rights or Father's RIghts page--there is nasty masculinity exposed inall its radiant glory.  REALLY nasty. Or visit Gender Issues on ABout com. The men ther are either very good or very bad--mostly  very bad.

                          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                          by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 01:57:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You have no idea who I am (0+ / 0-)

                            and your speculation couldn't be more wrong.  But first, to the studies.   As a math teacher, I familiarized myself with the studies.  You may have trouble believing it, but I don't have an ax to grind.  It made complete sense to me that boys dominate answers in classrooms, that teachers call on girls less than boys, and the other cultural influences you mention.  Every study of this nature I ever came across seemed intuitively correct.  But these don't cancel out other studies.  You don't dismiss those studies by making the sweeping statement that you really can't generalize anything because individuals differ.  Quite the contrary, you point to them as gospel truth.  You are ready to believe (I think correctly) that boys are called on more often than girls.  Yet you reject an equally scientific study which demonstrates something as simple as that men stay a foot closer to the side when driving on on-ramps.  That is a double standard pure and simple.  It is not sexism which makes me bristle at this attitude, it is my belief in honoring science wherever it takes us.  (I am a scientist by training.)

                            Now to your characterizations of me as a person.  I can give you quite personal reasons that I have every right to be furious at feminism, even though I am not.  In my first marriage, I was proud and supportive of my wife's fierce feminism.  I appreciated that she opened my eyes to my need to keep the house clean right along with her, to cook, to wash dishes, wherever she noticed inequality, I was ready to learn.  When our two daughters were young, I changed as many diapers as she, even though I was working full time while she was dabbling in hobbies which made no money.  I was equally involved in every way in raising our girls, and I loved it.  Then we got divorced and whaddya know, it seems Vermont's divorce laws are quite sexist.  But suddenly my wife was no feminist:  she wanted to get as much money from me as possible and she insisted on a typical sexist arrangement in which the girls lived with her and I got to have them a few weekends and holidays.  I don't know if you can imagine how painful it is to feel your children are being taken from you.  And that happens a lot.  My proposal was that we split both childcare and monetary responsiblity equally.  BTW, she had just as much money-earning potential as I.  It seems that when push came to shove, I was more feminist than she.  My lawyer advised me that in the end,she would tire of so much childcare, so he advised me to go along.  He was right.  Within six months, we switched to the arrangement I wanted, even though we never made it legal.  We had one more nasty fight, which I'll spare you, but I'll say that in that one as well she tried turned to sexism.  When my daughter, who was now old enough, moved in with me and said she would not longer live with her mother if she continued the lawsuit, my ex-wife dropped the matter.

                            I'll just mention one other thing.  I have two grown daughters who are as self-empowered as you would ever want to see.  My eldest, who is in med school, is actively and intelligently involved in women's health issues.  I am so proud of her, and I assure you either one of them would set you straight in an instant with respect to your mischaracterizations of me as just not quite getting it about women's rights.

                            I'll take your word for it with respect to those angry sites.  It is upsetting to be around ignorance and anger, and I try to avoid that.  But I have to say, your anger at men in general strikes me as quite symmetrical to their nastiness, and a part of the problem as well.  Just as we Americans need to get wise to our exceptionalism, in which we assume ourselves to be inherently virtuous, women like you need to take a look at your exceptionalism, which turns a blind eye to stereotyping and angry blaming.

                            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

                            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:49:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Missed my points. (0+ / 0-)

                            The studies that get the press are the ones that PROVE differences., The one i mentioned got no press because it showed societal  influence. Julian Stanley made a big deal of the later study (which was really NOT methodologically sound because it IGNORED societal aspects while the other one  worked with t hem). Larry Summers is another classic example. I stand by what I say: that the studies DO show differences in what parts of the brain we use--but we get the same answers by different routes. The ANSWER is what matters, nto the route.

                            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                            by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 03:07:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  Should say "not a direct response" (0+ / 0-)

              If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

              by geomoo on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:46:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I don't even have to say a word.. (7+ / 0-)

    You know, I hope.

    Thx, Elise.


    "Let's put a shoe in there!" ~ Haywood Nelson

    by nowheredesign on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:10:52 PM PDT

  •  I don't know what's worse, watching the (9+ / 0-)

    video, or imagining the horror!

    I have opted to not watch, the video of the woman in Afghanistan being shot in the head by the Taliban is forever with me.

    I have no answers either, but 'womb envy' is as good as any , I guess.

    Unless it's that male physiques are larger and generally more strong, then it simply boils down to, Those with power will do anything they can to maintain that power.

    Wanted: A Dem who can win PA-18 in 2008!

    by AntKat on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:12:24 PM PDT

  •  I only caught the tail end of Olbermann's (6+ / 0-)

    show last night-the segment with a creepy "comedian," Jeffery Ross, but I was thoroughly disgusted with Olbermann, his producers and most of all, Ross.  Though I have little no admiration for Paris Hilton, no woman deserves this kind of treatment, especially while men get slapped on the back and high fives for the same behavior.

    This is a just a segment of the transcripts:

    OLBERMANN:  Paris Hilton with a bible.  This sounds like a softball of biblical proportions to me.  Take a free swing.

    ROSS:  She probably stole it from one of her family‘s hotel rooms.  I mean, she is morally bankrupt.  Maybe this will all do her some good.  Let‘s face it Keith, more guys have been inside Paris Hilton than have been inside the Hilton in Paris.

    OLBERMANN:  This juxtaposition, this timing of Falwell and Hilton can‘t be escaped.  There have to be inevitable comparisons.  Tee off on those.  First Mr. Falwell founded the moral majority.  What might she create?

    ROSS:  She‘ll create the oral majority.  And if you are not sure what that is, I‘m sure she will be willing to demonstrate it to anyone with a video camera.


    OLBERMANN:  The reverend was very influential in Republican politics.  They credit him with helping to elect Ronald Reagan.  So who can Paris Hilton help elect?  Elect!

    ROSS:  I‘m sorry, are you saying election or Erection Keith?...

    I wasn't sure if Olbermann was party to this, but he certainly could have ended it at any after the first "joke."

  •  Related News Story (5+ / 0-)

    From tomorrow's NYTimes -- New York's Schools for Pregnant Girls to Close

    Reasons include low academic standards, crumbling infrastructure, and the sense that pregnant girls no longer need to be hidden away.

    An interesting read.

  •  My best friend's daughter (10+ / 0-)

    who is 22 was talking about a male acquaintance who is, to be put it bluntly, promiscuous.  She referred to him as "a player."

    Her Mom,whom I have known since she was a savvy 19 year old, asked her what she'd call a girl who slept around like the guy did.

    Daughter, "A slut."

    Mom: "And so is he." And added, "And a stupid one at that if he isn't using condoms."

    and the more they thought about it, the more her daughter and her friends agreed.

    I don't think it's envy of our ability to bear children. I think it has far more to do with an unwillingness to share power and increase the comeptition. White men didn't want black men competing against them for jobs. ANd they sure as hell don't want women--because WE double the competition.

    Over here, it is mainly the anti-choice, anti-privacy Religious Right who harp on abortion nd birth control (I know there are supposed to be atheists who are anti-choice, but i have yet to meet any; everyone I've met has been conservative and Christian).THEIR attitudes go back to the Biblical patriarchs--Eve succumbed to the devil, and womena re beautiful and seductive and will lead men astray given half a chance, so  right-thinking MEN msut control them or they'll send us all to hell (literally).  They concentrate on Biblical Bad Girls who prove their point.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:41:39 PM PDT

    •  I believe you are right (8+ / 0-)

      I don't think it's envy of our ability to bear children. I think it has far more to do with an unwillingness to share power and increase the comeptition.

      I don't believe the womb envy theory. Power and the fight to be pack leaders rings much more true to me. Maintaining brutal control over women suppresses half the population. And, like any hate crime, all you have to do is bloody or kill a few of them to scare the rest into line.

      Through violence, you may 'solve' one problem, but you sow the seeds for another. - HH the 14th Dalai Lama

      by Rachel in Vista on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:56:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Back in the late 60s when things got cranked (10+ / 0-)

        up with 20th century feminism, the first things we fought for were access to abortion and birth control, stronger rape laws that didn't require the victim to be a 12 year girl on her way to communion, better treatment for victims of domestic violence and  actual punishment for the perps, and, more than anythind else, economic equality.

        ALL of those issues are directly related to men keeping women down on every front they can--stuck in the home,afraid to leave it at night for fear of being raped,  someone to serve as a punching bag when he feels like it,  out of decent jobs so they can leave abusive relationships.  And msot of all--pregnant.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:06:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The horror. (5+ / 0-)

    Ok. So I went up to bed, and I lay there, trying to think of how to respond to such cruelty. It could only be compared to the photos of lynch mobs in the South. Or to the rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza by U.S. troops. It's a nightmare.

    I came back down with an answer.

    Women, especially in a culture where they are being stoned to death, need to be armed and organized.

    Everyone has the right to self-defense. Every oppressed group has the right to self-defense. Regardless of the cause of the oppression.

    If the boy-o's who did the stoning started getting as good as they got, I think stoning would quickly become a relic.

    Extend this to any culture where women are killed for being women.

  •  Promoting, rather than pimping, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, Elise, Topaz7, Rippen Kitten

    a diary written by the Tiger with whom I get to share my days & nights.

    Impeach, Prosecute, and Execute the Usurper.
    Expel the Useless Cowards: Kick Every Incumbent Out in '08.

    by khereva on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:49:25 PM PDT

  •  I read the news story, (5+ / 0-)

    I was too terrified to watch the video.
    It's so horrible and wrenching.


    by shayera on Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:52:14 PM PDT

  •  Thank you so much. (9+ / 0-)

    On the subject of honor killings, I am thinking of that case that got all the headlines several years ago, where the mother killed her two young sons by driving them into a river. She wanted to be free of them, apparently, so she could attract a man she was interested in. The case was horrible, mind you. But I could not believe all the attention it got, compared to a story that appeared about the same time, about an honor killing of a vivacious teenaged girl by her Arab father. The item about the psychopathic mother killing her two adorable sons was all over the news for weeks. The story about the ritualized killing of a young girl garnered only a short story on the back page.

  •  Joss Whedon? (14+ / 0-)

    I find it immensely gratifying that the man responsible for bringing us one of the most powerful and memorable women in popular culture - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - would be so insightful so as to pinpoint "Womb Envy" as the cause.

    I don't think it's so simple though. Ceatainly as others have stated, fear is a cause, but what is fear based on? I would say Ignorance, and all too many times the fearmongers maintain their hold by keeping us in ignorance of the facts... and ignorance is the vacuum created when reason departs...and as Al Gore so succinctly put it in The Assault on Reason, reason is easily subordinated to fear. Ignorance therefore breeds fear, then fear casts out reason, breeding more ignorance, and breeding more fear... ad nauseam.

    It takes a real act of courage to break that cycle... and until that is done, I have a bad feeling we're going to see more "honor killings" not only of women, but of many other innocent victims of self aggrandizing demagogues.

    (1) D.I.E.B.O.L.D.: Decisive In Elections By Ousting Liberal Democrats.
    (2) R.A.T.S.: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia.
    (3) -8.75, -8.10

    by Archangel on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:04:41 PM PDT

  •  Thank you Elise (7+ / 0-)

    I don't see where the word "honour" enters into it at all. Worst euphemism ever.  

    "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

    by Topaz7 on Wed May 23, 2007 at 09:44:40 PM PDT

  •  RAWA has been added to my favorites list (7+ / 0-)

    thanks for keeping this in our consciousness -- there but for the grace... go any of us.

  •  Heh... (0+ / 0-)

    Silly me, I just assumed that womb envy would be the inevitable response to the equally absurd sounding penis envy theory.  That's not to say that neither of them could ever be expressed in anyone, but just that I can't conceive of either one of them as a valid fundamental explanation of anything.  Then again, I'm no shrink, so I'm certainly not academically qualified to speculate on my next question--why are shrinks so totally obsessed with people's genitalia in the first place?

  •  Wealthy NY couple charged with slavery-of 2 women (5+ / 0-)

    GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - A millionaire couple accused of keeping two Indonesian women as slaves in their luxurious Long Island home and abusing them for years have been indicted on federal slavery charges.


    "History will judge the GOP abdication to NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

    by BentLiberal on Wed May 23, 2007 at 10:40:31 PM PDT

  •  Womb envy may be a part of it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DebtorsPrison, Elise, Pandoras Box

    But I believe it is more generic than that at its root.  It is what the Christianists do here, politically, it is what rigid individuals anywhere, do.  They scapegoat.

    The weaknesses and failings within themselves (men) ,particularly religious-based ones, require that someone else be guilty for them occurring.  It is too much for them to bear that they are at once imperfect and also capable of the full range of human emotion and behavior between 'good' and 'evil.'

    The most prevalent 'weak' group around the world is women.  Politically and economically powerless, yet oh so powerful in their ability to incite fear within men. Whether through their feminine allure, or oedipal dominance.

    It is animalistic behavior.

    Homo Homini Lupus Est p.s. I'm a Winknut, true.

    by coffeeinamrica on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:29:36 PM PDT

  •  Off topic? Jesus and women. (7+ / 0-)

    I’m mighty late with this so it might not get read much.  Nevertheless, I want to speak to the contempt so often shown towards women from the religious right.

    What Christianity do they believe in?  They are so focused on the Old Testament God as a Dad-who-is-always-mad that they choose to ignore that Jesus plainly preferred women and understood the realities of their sexuality as well.

    John 4: 7-42  Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman.  Not only did Jesus, a Jewish man, initiate a conversation with a Samaritan woman, he did it despite evidence of her being an outcast among her own people.  They were there together, alone, at mid-day (the "sixth hour").  Any "good" woman would have been at the well at dawn with all the other "good" women.  Despite her being in another culture group, despite her being a woman, despite her being a woman of some ill-repute, Jesus talked with her and offered her the "living water."  He even addressed her as "Woman," a sign of honor in those times.  Yes, Jesus did point out a problem with having her fifth man and he was not her husband but he was concerned with the affect of that on her life rather than any question of her being immoral.

    John 8: 1-11  Jesus interceding for a woman who was about to be stoned for immorality.  This is the scene that includes, "He who is without sin can cast the first stone."  After the others have left, Jesus said to the woman, "Has no one condemned you?...Neither will I condemn you."  He told her to sin no more not as a rebuke but as a fresh start.

    Luke 21: 1-4  The poor old widow who gave out of her poverty more than the men gave who were more wealthy.  A woman with no money, no husband, no family (she was alone), beyond childbearing age deserved praise where men deserved censure.

    Matthew 26: 6-13, Mark 14: 3-9, Luke 7: 36-50, John 12: 1-8:  Stories of women anointing Jesus’ feet when his host, a wealthy Pharisee man, had shown him no hospitality.  The stories of the woman who cleaned Jesus’ feet with tears and wiping with her hair are the most powerful; she broke a taboo by touching a man’s feet and by letting down her hair in public.  Not only did Jesus raise her up in comparison to the rude man, he praised her for acting despite her weak social position.  He did not rebuke her for breaking the rules; he praised her for acting on a higher need.

    And let’s not forget that the resurrected Jesus appeared to women first.

    Yes, perhaps there is "womb envy."  Men constantly messed up around Jesus; they denied him, fell asleep, acted rashly or violently, argued over who was his favorite...

    Teachers' Lounge Saturdays, The Grieving Room Mondays, Feminisms Wednesdays, Kossacks Under 35 Thursdays, Luke 11:33

    by algebrateacher on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:54:32 PM PDT

    •  Good comment... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      algebrateacher, jessical

      I just wanted to say that before I fell asleep on my keyboard. I'll come back to say something coherent in the morning :-)

    •  Paul or others writing in his name (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      produced a number of misogynistic verses. The right wing fundamentalists cite Paul, not Jesus to put women down.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Thu May 24, 2007 at 09:26:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're right, of course. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The fright wing fundamentalists put Jesus up on a pedestal but seem to know nothing about what he taught.  Too much emphasis on individualism, forgiveness and tolerance, I guess.  Doesn't work in the hierarchical structure.

        Teachers' Lounge Saturdays, The Grieving Room Mondays, Feminisms Wednesdays, Kossacks Under 35 Thursdays, Luke 11:33

        by algebrateacher on Thu May 24, 2007 at 09:48:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your interesting comment makes me think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of the Elaine Pagels book The Gnostic Gospels, a great read for anyone interested in exploring the truly spiritual roots of Christianity.  Ms Pagels describes equality between men and women in the early church.  Women were fully part of the Christian groups and welcome to hold positions of leadership.  Women were pushed into second class status by the codifications of the later church.

      Thanks for the beautiful collection of anecdotes from the Bible.

      If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

      by geomoo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 10:40:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  underview... (8+ / 0-)

    ...was reflecting on the many birdwalks this thread created, my own included.  I think something like this forces people to question how people could act that way.  The theories, from religion to sociobiology to womb envy, all seem to be reactions to something so terrible and pervasive words, true words anyway, just fail.  

    I wish we'd had just one or two women who had grown up in that context (maybe I missed it though I've read the thread a few times now).  It feels like something, that if you grow up with it, makes as much sense, or at least is as hard to question, as the sun coming up.  It feels like a variation on shame kills -- sometimes by the hand of another, and sometimes by our own.  I can understand that.  I have several friends who shame has killed.  I'm not sure we're so very far from these men, in our actions or beliefs.  

    •  A profound and disturbing comment (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, jessical, kath25, geomoo

      It has the feel of truth to me.

      Reading this diary and the comments, I've had the feeling of looking at a window upon some horrific and incomprehensible situation...and your comment suddenly turned that window into a mirror.

      True, we don't (or rarely, at least) actually beat or stone women to death.  Nevertheless, our society still seeks to inflict feelings of shame in women, shame in their sexuality, shame in their accomplishments, shame in their life choices.  That shame at a minimum can act to beat down a woman psychically, killing her spirit, and at worst can indeed drive them to the deepest despair and suicide.

      Yes, in some ways, on some basic level, we are not so very different.

  •  There are too many great diaries! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DebtorsPrison, Elise, Pandoras Box


    Not just diaries I want to read, diaries I want to comment on, engage in, and DO something about.

    and that's the only reason I missed this wonderful horrible diary last night.

    I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

    by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 02:56:09 AM PDT

  •  thanks for this great diary (0+ / 0-)
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