violence

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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".

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On Rape, Safe-Words and Choice

In the span of 24 hours recently, I came across several vastly different experiences of women regarding feminism, choice and the question of women's control over their bodies.

I saw this post by That Ghoul Ava where she disowns feminism if it means being forced to switch from her identity being defined by men to that of being defined by women - with both excluding her own voice and choices for their own agenda.  Her framework for articulating this, is her experiences in the work force and the rest of her life.  Her point is that she is a woman because she says she is and not because she meets someone's definition.  In her life, she wants to be judged on her merits and that is how she defines herself.

Before you start screaming discrimination, make sure actual qualified people didn’t get denied. Wouldn’t that bother you, knowing you got hired or promoted because the company was required to get women and wasn’t based on your qualifications? That would piss me off. I’m not good enough, but my tits are!!! YAY!

Ava claims to write when she's drunk, pissed off and sarcastic.  Much like Liberating Porn, she expresses herself with a foul mouth and a sense of humor that is not universally shared.  Many could debate whether her language helps or hurts her point.  She clearly states that she's talking about her own experience and there is no debate in that.

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Gov’t Hems and Haws Over ‘Honour Killings’

By Sujoy Dhar

NEW DELHI, Sep 9, 2010 (IPS) - Instances of ‘honour killings’ in Indian communities still steeped in traditional beliefs continue unabated. Yet the government has not enacted tougher laws that will deal a decisive blow against this societal scourge.

For bringing dishonour to the family, couples defying time-honoured traditions in many orthodox Indian villages must flee for their lives lest they become victims of ‘honour killing’ committed by kin or members of their own caste.

Some of the couples on the run were either caught unawares or hounded out and killed by their families who were determined to restore honour to the clan.

"Young couples live in fear. They are often driven to suicide, if not killed," Nishi Kant, who runs Shakti Vahini, a non-governmental organisation researching honour killings in India, told IPS.

Marrying outside one’s caste or within one’s lineage (‘gotra’), or outside one’s religion is still tabooed by many Indian families, who believe such "aberrant behaviours" deserve the most brutal punishment, often in the form of death.

Over the past months, horrific reports of honour killings have been pouring in. About 45 people have died as a result of such killings in the past 19 months, according to Shakti Vahini. Despite the spike in honour killings, the state remains a mute spectator, said Kant.

The ruling United Progressive Alliance has condemned the killings but has not acted decisively on the sensitive issue, fearing a dent in its traditional vote banks.

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Call for Evidence: Disability Harassment

We have extended the deadline for providing evidence to Friday 17 September 2010

We want to hear from anyone who has been bullied or harassed for disability related reasons, and from organisations that work for/with disabled people, including voluntary and community sector organisations, public authorities (such as local councils, police, housing, social services and education) and public transport operators.

Secure Survey: You can now give us your evidence using our secure portal - with options to complete an online questionnaire or upload files to the Inquiry

In this section:

Individuals who have experienced harassment

If you have been harassed because of your disability, or someone close to you has been affected, we want to hear about your experience. We want to hear from people who are Deaf or disabled, including those with mental health conditions and long term health conditions, as well as their family, friends or associates. We want to know what happened and what public authorities and public transport operators did – or didn’t do – to help.

Your experiences – positive or negative – will help the Commission to show what police, social services, schools, bus companies and other agencies can do to put an end to the harassment of disabled people in public places and behind closed doors. If you’re not sure what to tell us, we have a questionnaire to help get you started.

You can give your evidence anonymously but providing a name and contact details will help us if we need to contact you to find out more about what happened. Your personal information will be treated as confidential.

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Jay Smooth: What people mean when they say "sensitive"

Jay Smooth helps us decipher the double-speak of hate and fear mongers in his latest Giant Word episode.

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Trans Domestic Abuse Research Report Launched

Although there has been some research published looking specifically at same-sex domestic abuse and the prevalence rate of domestic abuse for lesbians, gay men and (to a lesser extent)bisexual people, there has been no published research focussed solely on transgender people’s experiences of domestic abuse in the UK. General research estimates that 73 percent of transgender people have experienced transphobic harassment1 and the Scottish Transgender Alliance found that 46 percent of transgender respondents to their ‘Transgender Experiences in Scotland’ survey had experienced transphobic abuse within a domestic relationship.

The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project is funded by the Scottish Government to raise awareness and improve service responses to LGBT people who experience domestic abuse. The project is managed by LGBT Youth Scotland and focuses on the experiences of people of all ages.  The project is supported by a reference group of members from the Scottish Government’s Violence Against Women team, Scottish Women’s Aid, Stonewall Scotland, Women’s Support Project, Open Road, Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance.

The Scottish Transgender Alliance is funded by the Scottish Government to raise awareness and improve transgender equality, rights and inclusion. The Scottish Transgender Alliance is managed by the Equality Network.

The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project and the Scottish Transgender Alliance have undertaken this research to investigate the ways in which transgender people experience domestic abuse and to help determine the specific needs of the transgender community when accessing services which provide support and advice to those experiencing domestic abuse. An additional focus of the research was to explore some of the barriers faced by transgender people experiencing domestic abuse when accessing mainstream domestic abuse services.

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Photo exhibition reviles violence against women

By Nathan Kiwere | The Independent

Pain, agony, anguish, torment described the recently concluded photo exhibition at the AU Summit and Nommo gallery. If there were ever any observers with misgivings about the ability of a picture to speak a thousand words, as the age-old adage goes, their doubts were assuaged by the power of the black and white pictures that carried heavy emotive messages. Women took turns to echo their displeasure about the vice of violence against women, invoking strong language during the opening of the photo show at Nommo gallery. But did their message capture the attention it deserved?

The exhibition was organized under the auspices of the framework of the Year of Peace and Security (YoPS) in Africa and the the African Union (AU) in partnership with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) during its 15th AU Summit at Munyonyo Resort. It comprised of pictures that aim to raise awareness on the ruthless reality faced by women in armed conflict situations, emphasizing the serious repercussions these women then face in their communities. The display conveyed the message that peace is only possible by ending violence against women and girls. The 30 images composed the five sections of the exhibition, starting with an overview of armed conflict, followed by the various forms of gender based violence and the reasons why women and girls are particularly vulnerable in conflict and post conflict situations. The exhibition also displayed the strategies that have been developed to tackle this issue.

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Asuda Press Release on FGM in Kurdistan

The dissemination of Human Rights Watch report on 16 June 2010 on FGM and the reactions by activists and NGOs to the report initiated a controversy about the issue.  Also, in the last couple of days and on 6 July 2010, the Association of Islamic Clerics in Kurdistan issued a “Fatwa” on FGM in which parents [or guardians] of girls were given the choice of conducting FGM to their girls.

Following reactions and pressure on Muslim clerics with respect to the “Fatwa”, the Association of Islamic Cleric in Kurdistan issued a clarification which states “No clear text in Quoran stipulates FGM as a duty or Sunna”, however, in paragraph 4 of the same clarification statement says:

“The summary of the Fatwa of Kurdistan High Commission of Fatwa believes, parents [or guardians] have the choice to conduct or refrain from conducting FGM, this freedom of choice is not absolute, but conditional until it is proved that FGM causes immediate or long term health damage to mutilated girls, then they may not go ahead with FGM”.

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Rape is not love

This project looks interesting.  The website listed in their graphics is not working, but the video is powerful and uncomfortable to watch. -arvan

Rape is not love

Rare are the cases when the rapist is some stranger. Most often it’s someone close to the victim – a boyfriend/girlfriend, a husband/wife, a long-time friend. This makes it hard for the victims to identify whether they were raped, and they try to forget the whole event. But by not coming forward, they make themselves victims forever.

The goal of this campaign was to raise awareness of the most common three types of rapes: acquaintance, date and marital rape.

 

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“GUYLAND: THE PERILOUS WORLD WHERE BOYS BECOME MEN”

Wed, 7/14

PARADIGM SHIFT: NYC’S FEMINIST COMMUNITY Proudly Presents

“GUYLAND: THE PERILOUS WORLD WHERE BOYS BECOME MEN”

Lecture and Discussion featuring
DR. MICHAEL KIMMEL, PhD, Author & Sociologist, is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today

Moderated by SHELBY KNOX, nationally known feminist organizer & subject of the Sundance award-winning film, The Education of Shelby Knox

“Michael Kimmel’s Guyland could save the humanity of many young men-and the sanity of their friends and parents- by explaining the forces behind a newly extended adolescence. With accuracy and empathy, he
names the problem and offers compassionate bridges to adulthood.”
— Gloria Steinem

“If you’ve ever had a conversation with a teenage boy and wondered what on earth was going on behind the blank stare and slightly open mouth, this book will serve you well.”
- Chicago Tribune

Obsessed with never wanting to grow up, this demographic, which is 22 million strong, craves video games, sports and depersonalized sexual relationships.  Kimmel offers a highly practical guide to male youth.

GUYLAND is the best-selling investigation of young people’s lives today.

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