Sunday, October 14, 2007


From the Archives

(June 2005) The following is my phrase of the day, which I said more than once to a disembodied speaker phone as a disembodied man named Larry tried to walk a bunch of my Luddite peers through a remote PowerPoint presentation): “No, Larry. Nothing is integrated.”


I tried to listen to Larry, but those rape cases in Pakistan kept interrupting my thoughts.

I wrote earlier about the woman whose village council ordered that she be gang-raped as punishment for her brother’s alleged affair. But get this. She protested when her rapists were not imprisoned (or had their sentences overturned), and so now she is under house arrest with a gag order.

On average, a woman is raped every two hours in Pakistan and two women a day die in so-called honor killings.

Nicholas Kristof wrote about this incident in yesterday’s New York Times:
Dr. Mukhtaran Bibi’s husband’s grandfather says that she should be killed because she brought disgrace to her family by being gang-raped at a government-owned gas plant. When she reported the rape, “instead of treating her medically, officials drugged her for three days to keep her quiet and then shipped her to a psychiatric hospital.” And, “when she persisted in trying to report the rape, she was held under house arrest in Karachi. The police suggested that, since she had cash, she must have been working as a prostitute.

Hudood laws are used as weapons to imprison thousands of women when they report being raped and, if they cannot provide four male witnesses to the crime—as if!—then they will most likely to be whipped for adultery (since they’re acknowledging illicit sex) should they seek justice.

O and here’s a ripe tidbit:

a Pakistani village council punished a man for having an affair by ordering that his 2-year-old niece be given in marriage to a 40-year-old man.

You know, my friend Louisville once said that, if you ever doubt for a moment that we live in a misogynistic world, the just read the paper for two weeks straight. And she’s right.

Not many days go by without some story about an estranged husband killing his wife because she’s not acting like his so-called property anymore or a woman who is beaten by her husband or lover (who is somehow under the impression that, if she doesn’t behave in a way that is acceptable to him, then he can attack her) or a woman or girl being raped or otherwise assaulted ... or ... or... or .. and I really hope I’m wrong, but am sometimes convinced that most men would rape most women they find attractive if they think they can get away with it.

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