To Honor and Obey

To Honor and Obey

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,30 May 2014

The Snap:

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say. When things have gotten this horrific — when the world reminds you how unsafe it is for more than half the population — what the hell do you say that can make any sense of it? This has been a particularly heinous week for women. In India, two girls were just found dead, hanging in a tree, after being gang raped. In Pakistan, a young married, pregnant woman was stoned to death in an “honor killing” by members of her own family while police stood nearby. And lest you think life is peachy keen for us ladies in the U.S., misogyny led to a murderous rampage and this week alone, over 4,500 women were sexually assaulted. Oh and everyone from Interwebz asshats to political hacks got ticked when we wanted our voices heard, even if only on Twitter.

The Download:

Here at TSD, we’re veering back and forth from being completely overwhelmed by the monstrosities of the past week and being so enraged we’re surprised ignorant asshats haven’t burst into flames under our powerful gazes.

In the U.S., a deeply disturbed, hateful man-child brutally attacked and killed many because he had no luck with the ladies. Trying to respond to the vile misogyny that spurred the massacre, people took to Twitter to talk about the breadth of society’s hatred/fear/feelings of ownership of women tagging their posts #YesAllWomen. This was mocked, deplored, attacked or just ignored by far too many politicians, pundits, and other predictably pugnacious people.

We heard yet another story of vicious gang rapes in India — a story that has felt all too common over the past few years. Two girls — one 16-year-old and one 14-year-old — were the victims. And finally in Pakistan, we have yet another terrifying tale of an “honor killing” because somehow it is honorable to stone a woman to death for her not wanting to marry her cousin, who incidentally killed his first wife to be able to propose to the stoned woman.

Honor killing? This act is so far from honorable as to require a telescope to see something that even resembles honor. In Pakistan alone, at least 1,000 honor killings are carried out each year. The unimaginably evil practice is carried out in every corner of the globe (yes, including here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave).

Honor killings, gang rape, the Isla Vista rampage, rampant sexual assault in all sectors of society, slut-shaming, and even paying women less than their male counterparts all comes from the same place of ignorance, misogyny and vile hatred. This is all the more appalling as the we are living in the fucking 21st century.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Sure, go ahead and support women on social media or whatever, but make sure your actions don’t belie your words. Don’t roll your eyes at feminists, laugh at sexist jokes, or become excessively defensive as if acknowledging the fears of harassment and assault women live with each day because of their gender is an attack against all men. Educate yourself and those around you about the massive tidal wave of issues women have to deal with simply because we are women. Recognize and try to do something about any misogynistic thoughts, even the subconscious ones, you and those around you might have.  Consider supporting a charity like V-Day — a global organization dedicated to ending violence against women and girls — or Equality Now.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

BBCCNNWonketteRape Abuse & Incest National NetworkMiddle East ForumWashington PostNew York TimesNational GeographicTime, Image Credit: Flickr

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