e_juliana: (finding the truth)
Last month, seventeen year old Dua Khalil was stoned to death by a group of men in an "honor killing". Some of those men filmed it - filmed their friends participating in this murder.

Joss Whedon has some thoughts on that. As always, he's much more eloquent than I can be.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s 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.

I try to think how we got here. The theory I developed in college (shared by many I’m sure) is one I have yet to beat: 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’s 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.

Equality Now

Malene Arpe of the Toronto Sun writes about Joss' screed
e_juliana: (raven)
But here is a good list of links to aids organizations helping with the tsunami/earthquake clean-up. Doctors Without Borders kicks ass, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent is solidly run (as compared to the American chapter), and OxFam has a very good record.

Also, here is a blog that is collecting international news, charity, and information on the disaster.

I was planning on giving a lot to the DNC this next month. But they can wait. This can't. The human and ecological impact of this disaster is inexpressible. (It's even sped up the earth's rotation by a measurable amount.)


Oct. 26th, 2004 01:36 pm
e_juliana: (you rang?)
(by way of b.org)

Apparently, some groups in Chile are calling for Bush's arrest when he visits there in November. They are accusing him and his administration of war crimes and violating the Geneva convention, and have taken it to the courts in Santiago. I have no idea if anything will come of it, and I doubt that any paper in the U.S. will pick it up, but it's damn interesting.


Sep. 29th, 2003 09:46 am
e_juliana: (raven)
Yesterday was... well, weird.

I went over to Zach's to talk through everything. It's a tricky situation, and we're both trying to cope. Sometimes, it's not so easy. But it was good.

That wasn't the weird/bad/sad part. That came when I dropped Z off at the Market. As I was pulling in to the parking lot, a rather drunk man and woman in their mid to late 30's stormed past the car. Okay....

I dropped him off and turned around to pull out, when the couple came back around the corner into the parking lot. He was yelling at her and sort of dragging her along. Zach and another bulky guy who had just come out of the Market yelled at him to stop, which didn't do a damn bit of good. He hit her, threw her to the ground, and starts advancing on the guys. I'm still in my car, so I rev toward him and throw my headlights on "bright" to blind him. I felt kind of cowardly not getting out of the car, but a) there were two 200+ pound guys ready to take the drunk guy on and b) my car is able to do more damage than I am. A vehicle's a good weapon, used properly.

Drunk guy finally staggers away, yelling invective all the time, we get the woman to the other side of her car, and then the first of six squad cars show up to subdue this guy. The woman is bawling and saying that she wants to see him locked up, and then staggers toward the cops to watch the proceedings. Bulky Guy tells us that they do this every two weeks. He hits her, he goes to jail for two days, he comes out all contrite, and then the cycle starts over.

Fuck, man. I've seen this play out more times than I'd like, and every time it's like a kick in the gut. What happens, what throws that little switch in someone's head? In either case? How does the basic need for love and companionship get twisted so far that people will accept any amount of abuse, emotional, physical or mental? How do people think they deserve it, that that's the best they can do, that the situation is acceptable?

I ask these things, knowing full well that I've walked that line a few too many times. My template is a fucked-up one, and I'd really like not to follow it. "There, but for the grace of god..." and all that.

Never underestimate the human capacity for self-destruction. Never ever.


e_juliana: (Default)

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