So much for defending Afghan women's rights
Topic: Incredibly Bad
If what doesn't kill you truly makes you stronger, Afghan women have to be some of the strongest people in the world by now. They've weathered invasion, civil strife, violence that threatened themselves and their families. Their rights were curtailed severely under the Taliban, but someone was always organizing, educating
, fighting for women. Not all of these courageous women have survived. But the struggle continues.
George W. wanted to take credit for advancing women's rights through ousting the Taliban. Maybe some people who had never heard of Afghanistan before believed him, I don't know. I wonder, if W and those who believed him are even bothering to watch the news these days, what they would have to say about the fact that the Afghan government they worked to build, that the president they supported, have pushed through a law depriving married women of their rights under Afghanistan's constitution. A law that deprives married women of the right to work, education, and medical care without their husbands' permission. A law that confines married women to the home unless their husbands allow them to leave it. A law that legitimises marital rape.
And to add insult to injury:
Ustad Mohammad Akbari, an MP and the leader of a Hazara political party, said the president had supported the law in order to curry favour among the Hazaras. But he said the law actually protected women's rights.
"Men and women have equal rights under Islam but there are differences in the way men and women are created. Men are stronger and women are a little bit weaker; even in the west you do not see women working as firefighters."
And this last little outrage is the one I'm latching on to now, to keep me from dissolving entirely into inarticulate sputtering rage. Mr. Akbari, I say to you: O, rly???????????????
USA: End Beating of Children in Public Schools
Topic: Incredibly Bad
I have no words for how utterly disgusting and appalling this is:
[DALLAS, 20 August 2008] – More than 200,000 US public school students were punished by beatings during the 2006-2007 school year, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a joint report released today. In the 13 states that corporally punished more than 1,000 students per year, African-American girls were twice as likely to be beaten as their white counterparts.In the 125-page report, “A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in US Public Schools,” the ACLU and Human Rights Watch found that in Texas and Mississippi children ranging in age from 3 to 19 years old are routinely physically punished for minor infractions such as chewing gum, talking back to a teacher, or violating the dress code, as well as for more serious transgressions such as fighting. Corporal punishment, legal in 21 states, typically takes the form of “paddling,” during which an administrator or teacher hits a child repeatedly on the buttocks with a long wooden board. The report shows that, as a result of paddling, many children are left injured, degraded, and disengaged from school.
And this just makes me cry:
“What made me so angry: he’s three years old, he was petrified. He didn’t want to go back to school, and he didn’t want to start his new school. I was so worried that this was going to constantly be with him, equating going to school with being paddled.”
– Rose T., mother of a three-year-old boy in Texas who was bruised from physical punishment after he refused to stop playing with his shoes in class.
Since when can hospitals deport people?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Topic: Incredibly Bad
From Cara at Feministe:
An immigrant woman from Honduras who has very recently awakened from a coma is being threatened with what can effectively be called deportation, because she does not have the insurance needed to cover her medical bills. (Don’t read the comments in these articles unless you want to lose your lunch.) But here is the real kicker: while it would be repulsive and incredibly inhumane to deport an uninsured/under-insured person with a serious medical condition because of their undocumented status, despite the lack of adequate facilities for their care in their nations of citizenship, it isn’t even the case here. Sonia del Cid Iscoa has a current visa and in the U.S. legally.
. . .
In what rational world does a hospital have the right to send a patient to another country against her wishes? I know that on a day-to-day basis, our shitty health care system seems to have as much if not more direct power over our lives than the government does. But despite the common perception, they are not all-powerful. They are not the government. And they do not have the right to deport anyone, let alone a woman who is in the country legally and in grave medical condition.
Furthermore, knowingly and forcibly transferring a patient with kidney failure to a facility that does not have a dialysis unit is nothing short of violence. Plain and simple. Regardless of how we tend to behave, being a citizen of any nation other than the United States does not revoke your status as a human being. This is both racist and classist. This is flat out wrong.
A fund to help pay for Sonia del Cid Iscoa’s medical care has been set up through Wells Fargo Bank. Please help disseminate this information.
Disseminating this information is the least I can do. That, and recommend that you go read the full post, and the comments. This is distressing and disgusting on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin.
Update: Sonia del Cid Iscoa will not be deported to Honduras (more on Feministe). Her family may well still need money for her medical expenses, though, so keep that link above in mind.
Topic: Incredibly Bad
I've been on hiatus from not only my blog, but everyone else's, and I finally started catching up today, only to find that one of the most inspiring and influential activists/writers/theorists I've been introduced to has discontinued her blog. (Feministe has links to background and further reflections.)
Essentially, BfP called out a white feminist blogger with a larger audience and more mainstream success for writing an online article about immigration as gendered violence that failed to link to the people of color bloggers who have advanced analyses of immigration in recent years. BfP is one of those bloggers, and the writer she called out is known to be a long-standing reader and participant at BfP's blog. As someone who struggled throughout postgrad to write essays in which every sentence wasn't footnoted because I was so zealous about attribution to the scholars who influenced my work, I can't understand this at all. Why would you not acknowledge your influences, both to be intellectually ethical, and to allow your own readers to explore those influences themselves? Why would you not use your platform to advance the work of people you read who others might not yet know about?
BfP pointed out the injustice of this situation and how it contributes to the marginalization of the work of people who are already pushed to the edges of the academy, the blogosphere, society. She was attacked by men and women who identify as feminist, called names, and told she was divisive, a troublemaker, a traitor to the cause. I am appalled, I am outraged, I am sadly not surprised. And yet again, I wonder whether the identifier "feminist," which I've used for more than half my life, is one I want to continue to claim when it rolls me in with people who refuse to learn, who refuse to reflect, who refuse to treat others with dignity. Do I want to include myself with people whose words and actions were intended to hurt someone I admire, and contributed to the loss of a space where not only one but many amazing writers and thinkers and activists came together and supported and challenged and advanced each other?
Sudy speaks much truth:
Read me clearly: there is no point to feminism if it does not actively address its racism with its agenda. There is no point to feminism if it does not address its racist history, racist matriarchy, racist icons, racist literature, racist imagery, racist publications, racist presence. To claim we're all female and unite under one cause of gender does. not. work. History never lies. This model has left more marginalized women in the road than we can count.