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Thu May 3, 2012, 06:20 AM

Hatred of women exists in the West as well as the Arab world

Ruby Hamad
May 3, 2012
Opinion


'WOMEN have very little idea of how much men hate them,'' wrote Germaine Greer in The Female Eunuch. So outraged were men that wives reportedly took to concealing their copies by wrapping them in plain brown paper.

More than 40 years later, Egyptian-American commentator Mona Eltahawy has caused a storm with her Foreign Policy essay, Why Do They Hate Us? ''They'' being Arab men and ''Us'' Arab women. Forget America's so-called inequality, Eltahawy implores, ''The real war on women is in the Middle East.''

<snip>

As an Australian woman of Arab Muslim background, I have often been struck not by how different but by how similarly women are treated in the West and in Arab/Islamic cultures. In both societies women's sexuality is treated with suspicion and distrust.

Muslim women are required to dress ''modestly'' to ward off attention from men. With the onus on women to alleviate male desire, victims of sexual assault are likely to find themselves blamed for their attack.

So too in the West. How many rape victims have had their sexual history and choice of clothing called into question? How many times have we wondered if ''she asked for it''?

They may not be required to cover their hair or faces, but Western women are derided for being sexually active in a way men never will be, as Sandra Fluke, the US college student who testified before Congress about the necessity of including birth control in health insurance, can attest. Fluke was called a prostitute and a slut by shock jock Rush Limbaugh.


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/hatred-of-women-exists-in-the-west-as-well-as-the-arab-world-20120502-1xz7a.html#ixzz1tnwjzFdJ


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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Reply Hatred of women exists in the West as well as the Arab world (Original post)
Violet_Crumble May 2012 OP
redqueen May 2012 #1
seabeyond May 2012 #2
get the red out May 2012 #3
hlthe2b May 2012 #4
Little Star May 2012 #6
MadrasT May 2012 #7
Little Star May 2012 #8
get the red out May 2012 #9
redqueen May 2012 #10
iverglas May 2012 #5

Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 07:12 AM

1. So much good stuff in this.

Thank you so much for posting it!

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 07:21 AM

2. this article goes right along with the "marked" article making it clear

 

how very hard and instilled this is in all of us and your article, the resulting effects of it.

thanks.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 07:28 AM

3. Women are brought in

Whether conscious or subconscious, women are brought up in the patriarchial system to support it and get what benefits they can personally from doing so. They can't have much, but by supporting the hate on women themselves, they can survive and have something, often thrive compared to those that do not support it or actively go against it.

Men rule and turn us into dog eat dog. Here in the west we see women being pitted against each other all the time for the benefit of men, we criticize each other mercilessly on appearance without even thinking about how that all got started or who it benefits. We criticize each other for too much success or the "wrong" kind, for personal choices etc.... It's nasty and all to support the Patriarchy.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #3)

Thu May 3, 2012, 08:00 AM

4. Like an even more perverted form of Stockholme Syndrome.

It depresses me that so many of the women I have worked with over the years (not all, certainly) would absolutely have joined the males "in power" against me--or any other woman-- in hopes of advancement. I'm old enough to have quite a few knife wounds in my back. They never really heal...

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Response to get the red out (Reply #3)

Thu May 3, 2012, 09:47 AM

6. I know I had a hard time understanding about...

the patriarchy system. Makes me wonder if some people just don't get it. I'm still learning and trying to understand.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #6)

Thu May 3, 2012, 10:03 AM

7. I think a lot of people don't get it or even see it.

It's like when the otter goes down to the pond, leans over and says to the fish "So how's the water today"?

And the fish says: "What water???"

We are swimming in it so as to not even see it.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #7)

Thu May 3, 2012, 10:38 AM

8. Great analogy.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #6)

Thu May 3, 2012, 12:08 PM

9. Me too!

But once the door was opened, I have started seeing it EVERYWHERE.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #9)

Thu May 3, 2012, 12:16 PM

10. You reminded me of a comic...

you might have seen it already, it's the first link in my sig.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 08:13 AM

5. ''The real war on women is in the Middle East.''

 

Actually, to continue the metaphor, I'd say that the war there is actually an occupation. Women have been colonized and subjugated and are now living as an enslaved people.

I hasten to say that "the Middle East" is far too broad a label; this applies to certain countries, or more accurately certain societies / cultural groups, only.

The war itself is being waged in places where women had achieved at least some of the attributes of a free people. Iraq is an example of that: horrific as the Saddam Hussein years were in many ways, women were free of many of the constraints that typically apply to second-class citizens and enjoyed a high degree of equal rights. War is now being waged on them to subjugate them, and women have lost many battles, as girls are kept out of school and women out of the labour market.

It is being waged in the west too, although noticeably and formally only in the US, really. (But it is worth mentioning rear guard actions by the RC church against divorce and abortion rights in Latin America, for instance, and things like Poland's assault on reproductive rights after its regime change.)

Women were approaching the status of a free people; their insurgency against the occupation they had lived under was seen to be succeeding and had to be stopped.

The repression has been stepped up. Militias operating on behalf of the regime, just like the militias that operate on behalf of right-wing regimes in Latin America, are being emboldened: "men's rights" activists step up their attacks on women and women's rights every day. Religion is drafted in the service of the occupying power, just as European colonial powers used religion in their campaigns to conquer the Americas and the rest of the world, and secure adherence to their imperialist aims among their home populations. And there are always the collaborators among the victim population ... and the members of the dominant group who don't say or do anything because nobody has come for them yet ...


Okay, that was fun.

The fact is that wars and occupations come in many colours. When the British colonized the upper half of North America, they didn't attempt to exterminate the indigenous population as was done in the lower half; they made treaties and granted rights and protections. The end result hasn't been much different: a people living under occupation, as second-class citizens denied many of the benefits of membership in the society they are nominally a part of.

No analogy is perfect ...

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