WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING CONTENT
- Tribal Leaders in Northwest Pakistan
There aren’t words strong enough to express my outrage towards the top offenders on my first List of Shame. Women’s rights activist Farida Afridi was murdered in cold blood on July 4, 2013 near Peshawar, in Pakistan. On June 23, 2013, Noor Basra, Noor Sheza, and their mother, Noshehra, were murdered for “staining their family’s honor” by dancing in the rain in Chilas, a small town in northwest Pakistan. All of the murderers have escaped punishment. By effectively sanctioning the murder of a young activist, two teenagers, and an innocent mother, tribal leaders in northwest Pakistan have robbed the world of four very important souls! Despite international condemnation, honor killings continue to go unpunished in Pakistan, and women are being threatened and repressed. Please support SAWERA and the Aurat Foundation to help put an end to these despicable acts of brutal violence against women and children.
- Dubai and its Justice System
Nothing good can come of a justice system based on Sharia law. The most recent example is the case of Marte Deborah Dalelv, a Norwegian woman who was raped in Dubai in March of this year. She was sentenced to sixteen months in prison for reporting this brutal crime – three months longer than her attacker, I might add. Thankfully, due to international outrage, she was pardoned and allowed to leave the country, but the fact that she was sentenced in the first place shows that something is terribly, terribly wrong in Dubai. Women of the world, take note: the luxe spas, resorts, and hotels of Dubai are nothing but bait in a trap. Sadly, the only active women’s rights organization in the United Arab Emirates is controlled by the state. Support Freedom House and the Global Fund for Women. Use your imagination to help show women in Dubai that we support them! And please, boycott Dubai!
- Ukrainian Special Forces, Parisian Police, and the Tunisian Justice System
Yesterday, an ally of Femen was beaten to a bloody pulp in what appears to be an attempt by Ukrainian Special Forces to bully the women’s rights activist group into silence. As reported on Femen’s website, Ukrainian police believe the attack was committed by trained professionals, and earlier in the week, Femen had made it known that they would be organizing a protest to coordinate with the arrival of Putin, Lukashenko, and Gundyaev. We all know how tolerant Putin is…(Pussy Riot ring a bell?) and Lukashenko is thought to be behind the 2011 kidnapping of Femen activists.
Last weekend, the Paris training center of Femen was set ablaze. Femen France has received an amplified number of threats lately, due to the revelation that the design of the newest French postage stamp was largely based on activist Inna Shevchenko. One threat was “burn, witches,” yet Parisian police have declined to investigate. I wonder if this incident would’ve been dismissed so easily if it had occurred at a mosque…or anywhere else, really. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, at this point, but it still completely boggles my brain that such violence against non-violent activists is tolerated. I actually have a lot to say about the strange backlash to Femen, but I think blogger andrew macniven does an excellent job. You can donate to the recovery of Femen’s Paris headquarters here.
And in case you’re wondering, Amina Tyler is still in jail. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 29. Turns out she stood up to prison guards because they were beating a fellow inmate. This woman’s bravery is astounding. Please help raise awareness for her plight – we can’t afford to lose her!
- University of South Carolina
Shame, shame on you, USC, for humiliating victims of rape and allowing rapists to go unpunished! When one student reported a rape, she was allegedly told by a campus security officer, “Even though his penis penetrated your vagina, because he stopped, it was not a crime.” What planet does this guy live on? Unfortunately, the Complaint filed by students of USC is just evidence of a much, much larger problem. It seems that universities across America simply do not take sexual crimes seriously. Why? Because they would rather avoid potential scandal and financial fallout than behave responsibly. The way I see it, a university that takes a hard stance on sexual crime is a university I would want my children to attend, but I guess collegiate bigwigs don’t share my opinion. Sign this petition at Change.org and demand justice for survivors of rape!
On June 8, 2013, Tom Neijins and Roseline Remans were intimidated by the police and thrown out of the Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, New York because Ms. Remans was feeding her child with *gasp* her breasts! So obviously this infraction is not so bad compared with the other offenders on my list, but this involves a pet peeve of mine. The primary function of female breasts is to provide milk. Breastfeeding is not shameful, it is natural! Would the police have been called if, say, rather than sitting quietly at a table on a patio trying to feed her child, Ms. Remans had been on stage in a club gyrating and fingering her nipples? I think not! Interesting how threatened some people are by a woman using her body for any reason other than sexual provocation. More interesting still, the manager who called the police was female. I see this as evidence of a larger cultural problem. Breasts weren’t created to provide male stimulation, people! Women are not objects and breastfeeding is not pornography! Support Collective Shout and Object to help put an end to the sexual objectification of women.