Feb 232007
 

The following commentary by Jennifer Drew is reprinted with her kind permission:

“The American Psychological Association published research yesterday
wherein they claim the media’s overwhelming one-dimensional obsession
with portraying young girls as sexualised commodoties, harms young
women’s physical and mental health.

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 February 23, 2007  Posted by on February 23, 2007 1 Response »
Feb 232007
 

Many thanks to Barbara Snow for kind permission to reprint this beautiful message:

Imbolc, 2007

Precious Daughters, Cherished Sisters,

As the return of the Goddess moves from myth to reality, you may be feeling Her presence. You may recognize the stirrings of Gaia’s soul as She turns and stretches within our planet like every fetus in the womb. You may be feeling your own passion to evolve that mirrors Her process, for we are Her and She is Us. Yet we are also the flow of Divine Light from Mother Source into and onto the planet. We embody as we move through our daily lives the evolution for which the world has hungered and prayed for eons.
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 February 23, 2007  Posted by on February 23, 2007 Comments Off on Friday prose: Barbara Snow’s Imbolc message
Feb 232007
 

Madre’s Yifat Susskind  has written an excellent analysis of the newest rape allegations to surface in Iraq rightly pointing out that the news coverage of these allegations have not addressed the context in which these women are speaking out,

As Iraqi women’s organizations have documented, sexualized torture is a routine horror in Iraqi jails. While this woman may be the first Iraqi rape survivor to appear on television, she is hardly the first to accuse the Iraqi National Police of sexual assault. At least nine Iraqi organizations (including Women’s Will, Occupation Watch, the Women’s Rights Association , the Iraqi League, the Iraqi National Association of Human Rights, the Human Rights’ Voice of Freedom, the Association of Muslim Scholars, the Iraqi Islamic Party and the Iraqi National Media and Culture Organization) as well as Amnesty International, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, and the Brussels Tribunal have documented the sexualized torture of Iraqi women while in police custody. And as this case attests, sexual violence is woven into the fabric of the civil war now raging across Iraq. According to Iraqi human rights advocate and writer Haifa Zangana, the first question asked of female detainees in Iraq is, “Are you Sunni or Shia?? The second is, “Are you a virgin??”

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 February 23, 2007  Posted by on February 23, 2007 Comments Off on Madre’s Yifat Susskind: The context of the Iraqi rape allegations
Feb 232007
 

So a couple of little old ladies go to visit their Senator’s office and they ask if they can meet with the Senator to talk about Iraq. The Senator’s staff gives them the run around and when the little old ladies refuse to leave, yes, you guessed it, they got arrested. Here is Kathleen’s description of being booked:

“Later in the process of being searched for weapons, I made the statement “My most lethal weapon is a sharp tongue.” – with a smile to indicate that I was indeed harmless. (Providing an Irish woman with an audience was perhaps not the best strategic decision that Gordon’s political advisers may have made today.) With each officer with whom I came into contact at the jail, I asked “What do you think of a senator who’d arrest his constituents for making an attempt to speak to him?” I did not hear a single negative response to that question and several officers actually indicated they were shocked. One of the female police officers who dealt with us told me that she is a Portlandindiemedia photographer and she told me that she’d see us at the next peace demonstration!!

When it was time to have my mug shot taken I was talking, of course – I do love an audience. The policewoman told me, “Keep a straight face and look into the camera.” Of, course that made it impossible for me to keep a straight face – I laughed and they had to take the picture again until I could keep my mouth closed. When it became evident that this procedure could take all day – they finally got a mug shot of me – obviously stifling laughter with a good deal of effort.”

Check out the Daily Kos for the rest of the account of their encounters with Sen. Gordon Smith and then write to him and let him know what you think.

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 February 23, 2007  Posted by on February 23, 2007 Comments Off on Kathleen and Dot’s excellent arrest
Feb 222007
 

Here are some excellent links for commentary/info regarding the reports of rapes in Iraq that have surfaced in the last few days.

Riverbend:

No Iraqi woman under the circumstances- under any circumstances- would publicly, falsely claim she was raped. There are just too many risks. There is the risk of being shunned socially. There is the risk of beginning an endless chain of retaliations and revenge killings between tribes. There is the shame of coming out publicly and talking about a subject so taboo, she and her husband are not only risking their reputations by telling this story, they are risking their lives.

Juan Cole:  Rape Case Political Football in Iraq Iraq War has Caused Spike in Global terrorism:

Iraqi security forces, Shiites, raided a house looking for a possible Sunni Arab insurgent named al-Janabi. They found only his wife at home. They took her into custody (probably as a hostage). They accused her of cooking for insurgents. Then the police gang-raped her. She went on Aljazeera and told her story. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite head of a Shiite government, at first said he would have a commission look into her charges. Then he reversed himself and accused the woman of lying and implying that she was put up to it by the Sunni insurgency. Marc Santora of the New York Times managed to interview the nurse who treated her, and found that Mrs. al-Janabi’s story was corroborated.

And now this:   Second case of rape allegations in Iraq.  Stay tuned, it is going to get worse.

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 February 22, 2007  Posted by on February 22, 2007 Comments Off on Rape in Iraq–this is only the tip of the iceberg