Many people in the United States are outraged about the recent attacks on women in other countries. Photo left.
If you've read my earlier
posts, you know I am, too. But women are raped,
abused and murdered in America, too.
I'll get to that in a minute,
but first, four horror stories.
Child bride kills groom, 3 others.
On April 11, 2014, a 14-year-old girl in Kano, Nigeria, killed her 35-year-old husband and three of his friends by putting rat poison in their rice. A week earlier she had been forced to marry a man 24 years older than she was. She told police she did this because she was forced to marry a man she did not love. Forced marriages of young girls are common in this poverty stricken area because the family collects money from the groom, and there's one less mouth to feed. The girl has been charged with culpable homicide.
Nigerian Terrorist Group Kidnaps Girls
On April 14, 2014, 500 girls were asleep in a dormitory of a government-run secondary school. That night 100 armed Boko Haram members kidnapped many of the girls and burned down the school. Some escaped, but 223 girls didn't.
It wasn't just women protesting, men were, too.[photo below)
Translated to English, Boko
Haram means Western education is sinful. They
want strict enforcement of Sharia law and oppose the
education of women. They think women should be home raising children
and serving their husbands.
When the Boko Haram leader said he would
sell the girls as sex slaves, outrage grew. The regional governor
visited the girls's school and urged residents to pray. According to one
grieving father, he said: "By God's grace, these girls will come
Right. Keep your fingers crossed.
May, Boko Haram abducted 11 more girls.
Twitter users hash tag #BringBackOurGirls, drew millions of followers.
As of this writing, the girls are still missing.
Christian Woman Sentenced to Death in Sudan
May 14, 2014, a Sudanese court sentenced a pregnant woman [at right with her husband] to death for
refusing to recant her Christian faith.
According to Sudan's penal
code, the conversion of Muslims to other religions is punishable by
death. The court considers anyone born to a Muslim father a Muslim.
Although Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was born to a Muslim father, her mother
raised her as a Christian. Her husband, Daniel Wani, a US citizen,
felt helpless. His wife and their 20-month old son are in jail.
Meriam was also convicted of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes.
Under Sharia law her marriage to a Christian man was invalid. On May
27, she gave birth to a daughter. On May 31, a Sudanese official
announced she would be freed.
In a BBC interview, Daniel Wani [photo left] said,
"I will discuss with my wife the best place to live and we will
decide on one later. But we find it really hard to live in Khartoum
after what happened.”
Who could blame him?
One day later the foreign ministry said she could only be released after a successful judicial appeal. At this writing, Meriam and her two children remain in jail.
Rape of Teens in India Reignites National Outrage
This photo is hard to stomach, but maybe we need to see it to understand the horror.
On May 27, 2014, two teenaged
sisters were gang-raped and killed. Their attackers hung their bodies
from a mango tree.
More than 65% of homes in rural India have no
toilets. The girls, 14 and 16, were attacked when they went into the fields to relieve
The police chief was quoted as saying that rape was "a
mistake boys make.” Hundreds of irate villagers sat under the tree
below the girls' bodies to prevent police from taking them down. They
vowed to stay there until police arrested their attackers.
In 2012, the gang-rape-murder of a female medical student in India made headlines around the world, but these brutal attacks continue. Earlier this year, a 20-year old woman was gang-raped in West Bengal, allegedly on orders of village elders who objected to her relationship with a man.
have arrested three men, including a police officer, for raping the two girls.
Their family, friends and neighbors, and many who never met them,want justice.
Who could blame them?
That sort of thing doesn't happen in the United States, and let's be thankful for that. But sexist and misogynistic attitudes still exist here. In the entertainment world, in college and professional sports, and elsewhere. Read on.
Beyonce Grammy Performance
After the Grammy Awards in
January 2014, concerned parents slammed Beyonce's performance,
deeming it too explicit for children to watch. Dressed in a revealing
black thong and fishnet stockings, [photo right] she performed one of her hit songs
with her husband, Jay Z.
Social media posts by parents called the performance "disrespectful” and said it had "no class.” True, but to my mind, it signified something worse.
If Beyonce had to take off half her clothes, how come Jay Z got to wear a tuxedo?
Why didn't he wear a jockstrap?
The answer, of course, is simple. For female entertainers, no matter how talented, it's all about tits and ass. Sexism to the max.
Florida State quarterback Jameis
Winston [right] threw the game winning touchdown in their national
championship game in January 2014. But he might not have if prosecutors had charged him in a rape case kept secret
for almost a year.
On December 7, 2012, a Florida
State freshman told police she was raped by a stranger, after leaving a Tallahassee bar. On January 10, 2013, she identified
another Florida State freshman as her rapist: Jameis Winston. Police
waited 13 days to contact him, by telephone. He said he'd call them
back. He didn't.
The lead detective waited two months to file his first report and ended his inquiry without notifying the victim. Her lawyer said he told her that Tallahassee was a big football town, and she would be "raked over the coals” if she pursued the case. By the time the prosecutor got the case, important evidence had disappeared, including a video of the sexual act.
In December 2013, Winston, 19,
became the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy. But the rape
rumors persisted. By then, colleges and universities across the
country were facing criticism over how they dealt with sexual
assault, as well as questions about whether athletes receive
April 2014, a New
article revealed there was virtually no investigation of the
rape by the police or Florida State. Administrators, in apparent
violation of federal law, did not promptly investigate the rape
accusation or a witness's admission that he had videotaped part of
Although the athletic department knew about the allegations in January 2013, Winston was allowed to play the entire season without answering questions. Photo right, Winston and FSU coach after winning the championship game in January 2014. Only then did university officials ask him to discuss the case. He declined on advice of his lawyer. As the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Winston will likely be a sought-after player in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Pathetic Excuse For An Apology
At a televised news conference on
May 23, 2014, Baltimore
Ravens running back Ray Rice [left] apologized
for knocking his wife unconscious in an Atlantic City hotel in
With his wife Janay seated beside him, stone-faced, Ray Rice said, "I apologize for the situation my wife and I were in.”
The situation? Surveillance video shows him knocking Janay, then his fiance, unconscious and dragging her out of the elevator. Footage of this appeared on the Internet.
In a series of tweets, the Baltimore Ravens went for damage control.
Tweet 1: "Ray Rice apologizes to the [Ravens] organization, his fans, kids and "everyone who was affected.” How about his wife?
Believe it or not, Janay
apologized, too. But she didn't look happy about it.
Baltimore Ravens tweet 2: "Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.”
What role? Why must the victim apologize? Misplaced responsibility to the max.
Ray Rice put his spin on it in his own tweet: "I won't call myself a failure. Failure is not getting knocked down. It's not getting up.”
At the news conference, Rice's family and his young daughter sat in the audience. Think about it. Rice had the gall to make the mother of his daughter accept equal blame for her own domestic abuse, in front of their child. Ryan Van Bibber tells it better than I can.
Rage At Women Too Familiar in America
These are only a few examples of
a misguided culture that leads men to believe they are entitled to have sex with a woman. Or worse.
On May 26, 2014, Elliot Rogers (right) went on a rampage in Isla Vista, California, killing six college students and wounding 13 other people.
In a chilling video,
"Retribution,” posted before the attack,
Rogers aired his complaints against women. He felt powerless and was enraged because they rejected him and frustrated his desire to have sex with them, something he believed he deserved.
You can talk about mental illness and America's over-abundance of guns, but in my opinion, other factors also contribute to violence against women.
How do we stop it?
Kevin Powell [left], president and
co-founder of BK Nation, an organization focused on violence
prevention, recently spoke to students at a
New York high school. What shocked him: some of the male students
thought there was nothing wrong with describing women the way Rogers
did in his video. Like calling females "thots.”
The term is
popular in social media these days. Thot as in "that
ho over there.”
The male students also said if women dressed or behaved in a certain way, they deserved to be mistreated or abused or worse.
Rogers cites examples that encourage such attitudes. Ray Rice's self-serving apology. The arrest of TV star Michael Jace for shooting his wife, allegedly in front of two small children. Media depictions of scantily clad women, and an entertainment industry that portrays violence against women as acceptable.
His other concerns: A military culture beset by a rape epidemic and high rates of domestic violence. High rates of domestic abuse by police officers. Read his article here:
You and I both know that not all men have these contemptuous ideas about women, but an alarming number of them do. And we need to do something about it.
There you have it, folks. I've sounded off. Now it's your turn. Please leave a comment.