Nov 082010

From day one of game on for invading Afghanistan, one of the most compelling parts of the why we must invade and now apparently stay indefinitely in Afghanistan narrative has been that it will save the lives of women who are being brutalized by the Taliban. And brutalized they have been and continue to be.  But the real story is that Afghan women have been and are brutalized by just about everyone, not only the Taliban.

On the Feminist Peace Network blog and in articles, I have pointed to stories of Afghan women being set on fire or setting themselves on fire to escape horrific personal situations more times than I can count.  There is nothing new in this, but it is nonetheless good to see this feature piece on this atrocity in The New York Times.

What I think is most notable about this piece is that first, it portrays immolation as the intimate, personal violence that it is, there is no attempt to paint this as something perpetrated by the Taliban, nor an effort to paint this as a reason for the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Given that Afghan women’s lives have been used all too often as a deliberate call to war, the framing of this piece is quite welcome.

 November 8, 2010  Posted by on November 8, 2010 Comments Off on The Burning Of Afghan Women–A Cry For Help But Not A Cry For War
Nov 032010

I didn’t sleep well last night, had a nightmare that there was a belated celebration of Halloween where everyone looked like they were about to go for tea with Alice.  Who the hell invited those folks to the political party? Oh wait, …seriously, after staying up way too late last night, I showed some extra self love and stayed in bed late this morning and huddled under the covers with my safety blankie before staggering out to face the carnage.

In the early morning quiet, a few thoughts occurred:

The one issue that has  gotten very little traction this election cycle is the ongoing fundamental issue of vote integrity.  Are our votes being counted accurately is a question because not much of jack has been done to truly address the problem despite it being proven time and time again that electronic voting machines can be easily tampered with.  Then there are the usual issues of voter intimidation and suppression (see this about the issue in Wisconsin where Russ Feingold lost to a guy who believes global warming was caused by sunspots).

We also need to have a fundamental conversation about such things as the relevance of the Electoral College, the ridiculously long and expensive length of our campaign seasons (and by expensive I mean both cost and time), the Supreme Court’s decree that buying elections is the American way, and the huge damage done by a media  that remains primarily a bunch of white, male talking heads with a desperate need to see  themselves in the political mirror.  Until those questions are addressed, the primary question is going to be do you take one lump of sugar or two and would you like a spot of milk in your tea.

So starting right now, first things first, let’s do a bit of de-toxing and check out feminist-friendly/informed election wrap-up coverage (I’ll be adding to this list later, this is just a quick beginning list of links)–we need to listen to/read these voices and spread the word with our ‘progressive’ friends–the conversation game changer starts now:

Seen a piece that should be added to this list?  Add it in the comments.  What should be abundantly clear from this far from complete list is that there is no shortage of informed feminist progressives and we need to be listening to what they say.

Addenda:  I just caught up with last night’s live coverage on Comedy Central where the only female voice heard on The Daily Show was a woman asking if she looked hot.  Stephen Colbert however rocked not just because of his awesome Hawaii Five 0 opening but this segment with The Nation’s Katrina Vanden  Heuvel who rocked it severely:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Indecision 2010 – Katrina vanden Heuvel

Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive
 November 3, 2010  Posted by on November 3, 2010 1 Response »