20 May 2007

Today I direct you to go read this post, it is from Joss Whedon, but rather than being about any tv or film, as you may have suspected, it is about Dua Khalil.

If you haven’t heard of her then you can go read about her, you can even watch her die. Though I won’t be clicking on that link; reading about her stoning is more than enough.

Women’ inferiority -“ in fact, their malevolence — is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable. […] Womb Envy. Biology: women are generally smaller and weaker than men. But they’re also much tougher. Put simply, men are strong enough to overpower a woman and propagate. Women are tough enough to have and nurture children, with or without the aid of a man. Oh, and they’ve also got the equipment to do that, to be part of the life cycle, to create and bond in a way no man ever really will. Somewhere a long time ago a bunch of men got together and said, “If all we do is hunt and gather, let’ make hunting and gathering the awesomest achievement, and let’s make childbirth kinda weak and shameful.” It’s a rather silly simplification, but I believe on a mass, unconscious level, it’s entirely true. How else to explain the fact that cultures who would die to eradicate each other have always agreed on one issue? That every popular religion puts restrictions on women’s behavior that are practically untenable? That the act of being a free, attractive, self-assertive woman is punishable by torture and death? In the case of this upcoming torture-porn, fictional. In the case of Dua Khalil, mundanely, unthinkably real. And both available for your viewing pleasure.

I was watching Nat Geo Wild last night, and they had a programme called Why Chimps Kill showing chimpanzees hunting monkeys, launching raids and killing other chimps, and, killing and eating human babies. And was I ever greatful that I live in a country where I don’t have to worry about the effect human encroachment on animal habitat has. We don’t have this problem because 1) All our major predators were killed off hundreds of years ago and 2) there isn’t any animal habitat in Ireland. Not really.

I know, you are wondering how the chimps come into this horrific story about this 17 year old girl who was stoned to death because of religion and patriarchy. Well, they don’t really. The only things they share is that I can watch them, or read about them, and be horrified but thankful that I don’t have to deal with any of that. That I don’t have to think about watching for a predator to come into my house. That distance separates me, protects me, and lets me ignore the horrible things that happen, and instead can write blog entries on how yesterday was Talk Like A Pilot and I missed it.

I don’t mean that in a negative way. Well, I do, in one way,because ignoring problems like this is wrong, but at the same time we can’t live out lives decrying the violence that happens all over the world. We have to live our own lives, we have to have the ability to switch off and ignore them, otherwise we would be paralysed by horror. We all should enjoy the light and the froth that is the silliness of talking like a pirate or a pilot, and enjoy the fun of internet memes. And we should never feel guilty at enjoying life. But we should try to do something, however that little that may be. As Joss says

Do something. Try something. Speaking out, showing up, writing a letter, a check, a strongly worded e-mail. Pick a cause – there are few unworthy ones. And nudge yourself past the brink of tacit support to action. Once a month, once a year, or just once. If you can’t think of what to do, there is this handy link. Even just learning enough about a subject so you can speak against an opponent eloquently makes you an unusual personage. Start with that. Any one of you would have cried out, would have intervened, had you been in that crowd in Bashiqa. Well thanks to digital technology, you’re all in it now.

and then join in with week 224

  1. Coastguard ::
  2. Buddies ::
  3. Nap ::
  4. Groan ::
  5. Sitcom ::
  6. Reader ::
  7. Heroes ::
  8. Amazing ::
  9. Woman ::
  10. Don’t! ::

  1. Coastguard :: The Guardian
  2. Buddies :: Pals
  3. Nap :: time
  4. Groan :: horror show
  5. Sitcom :: Friends
  6. Reader :: Google
  7. Heroes :: Nikki & Jessica
  8. Amazing :: Smashing
  9. Woman :: Stoning
  10. Don’t! :: think too hard

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5 Responses

  1. Harlequin says:

    I read Joss' post earlier on. The Joss makes good points.

    Coastguard :: Baywatch

    Buddies :: I got nothing. Can't come up with a single association. Brain fried. :-(

    Nap :: Keeling

    Groan :: Fuschia

    Sitcom :: Friends

    Reader :: I married him

    Heroes :: Hiro Nakumura

    Amazing :: Grace

    Woman :: hear me roar

    Don’t! :: you forget about me

  2. Kelly says:

    Fency, that was an EXCELLENT post. You did your part by sharing your thoughts, and Joss's, with us. Isn't he wonderful for the way he portrays women, and does it so deliberately?

  3. Fence says:

    Doesn't he always H? We both went with Friends, and characters from Heroes. Intervestink.

    Cheers Kells. And yes, Joss is wonderful.

  4. Harlequin says:

    Yeah, we must be, like, friends or something… :-D

  5. Fence says:

    You and your excuses