arvan's picture

Is That an 'Honor Killing' In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy Not To Be Me?

There are some crimes that are just gut wrenching to think about.  "Honor" killing, the murder of a someone (usually a woman or girl) by family and friends over sex / marriage is an awful thing. 

I object to it personally.  as a father of a girl, I shudder to think what could bring a father or brother to slaughter their own kin.  It cannot end soon enough for me.

There are some great resources committed to ending 'honor' killing, listed at the end of this post.  If you know of others not listed here, please leave them in the comments field.

What has my mind today is not the 'honor' killings themselves but how the topic itself is discussed, presented and marketed in western societies - the EU and US.  The news reports and accounts of these killings reveal these deaths in terms of the way they are carried out, along with details of religious and cultural practices that seem primitive, cruel and that fly in the face of any rule of fairness, reasoning or legal structure.

Sure, we get upset by such murders, but are these 'honor' killing being used to reinforce a "single story" about the populations where these killings occur?  As Chimamanda Adichie illustrates well, repeated and dramatic negative images about a culture other than one's own, can reduce our own awareness to a "single story" of who those people are.  It lumps people into one-dimensional creations, not as complex and alive in our minds as we hold ourselves.  It strips individuals of identity and reduces people to "one of those people".

Chimiamanda talks about people being framed in a  "patriarchal, well-meaning pity" by holding them in a "single story of catastrophe".

Annabelle River's picture

Filament Magazine: The Thinking Woman's Crumpet

To clarify from my celebration of "Dress Like a Whore" Day: I do understand the Feminism 101 concepts of the "male gaze" and its companion objectification, wherein women are reduced to bodies existing only for men's pleasure.  There is already a huge assortment of feminist treatises showing how objectification and unrealistic beauty expectations damage women.  But then, however problematically, none of my Women's Studies courses have stopped me from feeling a great erotic charge from intentional exhibitionism. So for years I've been working to articulate how I, as woman, can occasionally enjoy the role of the flashy slut without being reduced to "only" a slut. (Step one is the deliberate choice.)

And then a fellow kinky female friend introduced me to the brilliant Filament magazine, subtitled "The Thinking Woman's Crumpet." Instead of fighting the erotic "gaze" as inherently evil, Filament fights for straight women's right to gaze at men.

arvan's picture

Made in China: Artificial Hymen

[File under: give-me-a-fucking-break-you-ass-headed-freaks!]

In several countries, Chinese-made, 'artificial' hymens, ready for use, are available free.  In the Arab region, Syria is seen selling the "revolutionary" product on the black market.  In Egypt, investors are seriously considering its introduction.

The principle is simple and can be "mounted" by the woman herself.  Talk on some forums greatly appreciate.  It includes fake blood to more fully sell the illusion.

"the greatest invention of all time, ohh the Chinese, the saviors of the honor of Muslim women."

Others question whether the Chinese will make after-market kits to detect 'real virginity'.


Seriously, folks - there are some completely fucked up conversations around sex, gender and body out there.  Femicide, FGM, MGM, homophobia, transphobia, the 'virgin cure' to name only a few of the most blatant and violent. 

What's the common thread?  I wonder...hmmm.  Oh, yeah - that's right Sexism and Patriarchy. 

arvan's picture

Film Explores How TV & Film Sell Women As Meat

Women Bodies (Il Corpo della Donne)

Directed by Lorella Zanardo, Marco Malfi Chindemi, Cesare Cantù

This project took off as a matter of urgency.  It all started with the observation that women–real women–are an endangered species on television, one that is being replaced by a grotesque, vulgar and humiliating representation.

We sensed the enormity of this loss: the erasure of women’s identity is happening right before our eyes, but without a proper reaction, not even from women themselves.

This led us to select television images that share a common manipulative exploitation of the woman’s body, to let people know what is happening–not only people who never watch television, but especially those who watch it but “don’t see.”

Our aim is to ask ourselves questions, and to pose questions about the reason behind this erasure, a real “pogrom” of which all of us are silent spectators.  Our project grants special attention to the erasure of adult faces on television, to the use of plastic surgery to erase any sign of the passage of time, and to the social consequences of this erasure.

arvan's picture

Most Indian Live Donors are Wives and Mothers

By Sujata B. Shakeel

NEW DELHI, Sep 24 (IPS) - Here's a statistic that reveals the truth about gender relations in India.

Of the roughly 4,000 kidney transplants performed across the country in a year, about 80 percent of donors are women, with wives making up more than 90 percent of spousal donations.

Significantly, 80 percent of beneficiaries are men. "There is gender bias," declares Sandeep Guleria, assistant professor at India's most prestigious government hospital, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. "Love is sharing kidneys, but it is very rare for a husband to donate a kidney to his wife."

Anju Babuta, 33, had given up on life. Born with a shrunken left kidney, she was put on a dialysis after the second kidney was damaged during pregnancy. In 2006, the doctors told her her only hope was a kidney transplant.

Still she went on, with the dialysis and her work in an office in Tees Hazari, Delhi's lower courts, praying and hoping her husband, whose blood group matched hers, would keep his promise and donate a kidney to her. But he didn't. When it came to the crunch it was a cadaver that saved her life: a 14 year old whose family decided to donate his organs.

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Gender, sexuality, and objectification in Lil Wayne's 2009 performance of "Lollipop"

This post examines the live performance of "Lollipop" from the 2009 "America's Most Wanted" tour. I think it's safe to say that the above video and this post are NSFW. The lyrics are explicit.

Please note that yes, I identify as a feminist, and as such will not tolerate "you can't be feminist and like rap music," for two reasons: 1). my feminism is not negated by my support or patronage of a genre of music in which I have no control, and 2). sexism and misogyny are not exclusive to the rap genre (I notice when I say I like rock music, no one says "omg but you're a feminist!" to which I can't help but think there's a touch of racism in there, which is also not to be tolerated). That said, enjoy the post.

I wrote a post yesterday discussing the Lil Wayne concert I went to Wednesday night, and in it I briefly touch on Lil Wayne's use of women in the show, and I wanted to delve further into presentations of gender in the performance, specifically in the performance of the hit "Lollipop."

Before I get to it though, you should all know that I love love love this song. I love how the words sound, I love the beat--and in this performance especially with the electric guitars. It's a wonderful work. I start this out with praise only because oftentimes people mistake my discussion of gender presentations as negative criticism, rather than what it is: pointing out what is right in front of you.

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