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Dear friends and readers,

This afternoon I read the following news-story:

16 year-old Amina Filali -- raped, beaten and forced to wed her rapist -- killed herself because Morocco's penal code allows a rapist to marry his underage victim. Let's end the outrage and push the government to make good on the promise to enact legislation that reforms the law and stops violence against women. Sign the petition and forward to everyone:

Days ago, 16 year-old Amina Filali, raped, beaten and forced to wed her rapist, killed herself -- the only way she saw to escape the trap set for her by her rapist and the law. If we act now, we can stop this unspeakable tragedy from happening to anyone else.

Article 475 in Morocco's penal code allows a rapist to avoid prosecution and a long prison sentence by marrying his victim if she is a minor. Since 2006, the government has promised to strike this down and pass legislation prohibiting violence against women, but it hasn't happened.

It reminded me of how Katha Pollitt this week told of Bei Be Shua a young women driven to suicide now accused of murder because in her attempt to kill herself she brought on labor and the new born premature died..

Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945), Woman with her Dead Child (1903)


Yesterday morning I read how in Iowa the same legislation that passed in Texas and Virginia being passed: a woman who is pregnant and wants an abortion for whatever reason must pay a high price to allow a machine to violate her and go through a humiliating lecture based on pseudo-science (the multiplication of an image a thousandfold and sounds coming from her body).he new legislation spreading (like wildfire) from state to state mandating machine violation (rape is the word used though it's a machine) --- Gary Trudeau cartoon -- is so dismaying because it shows that the attitudes of mind that shored up the societies of the early modern through early 20th century are with us still. And more slowly the legislation mandating severe punishments to women if anything goes wrong with their pregnancy (it's their fault; they committed infanticide was the idea for centuries)

A sufficient number people to allow politicians to pass such laws shows for these numerous (enough people):

Still no woman has the right to bodily integrity,

Still no woman has the right to contraceptives either to protect herself from a man, to prevent pregnancy if she has sex with him, to prevent pregnancy

Still no woman then has a right to a sex life equivalent of that to any man

Still no woman is valued beyond being a container

As to my beliefs, oh yes I do believe everyone has the right to be fed (to food), to shelter, even to health care, that a group of people who have a gov't where vast numbers of people have a fragile access to food, none to shelter, none to health care and that does not recognize food and shelter as a human right cannot call theirs a democracy.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2012 11:23 am (UTC)
From Diane R:

Assault on women's rights:


My reply: yes, but what they are are human rights. We are human beings too.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
Human rights, not a choice
Thank you, Diane. I'll reinforce and broaden this one: what is assaulted here are women as human beings.

Two points we must now begin to reinforce: one from Simone de Beauvoir: she argued for human rights for women. She repeatedly said that women should not be regarded as the "second sex," and as fundamentally different from men; in most things we are the same, and if we breed, men ejaculate and have their sexual systems.

All the later phrases of feminism (third, fourth or post) lost this insight and went about to say that this or that condition imposed on women can be changed or glorified or exploited for power.

The second is the whole argument from choice. Really it was wrong from the get-go, from the get-go gave those who see women as instruments ammunition. They replied: it's a child, not a choice. What we should have said. It's not a child, there is no viable baby at all there, until the 6th month; then when there is a viable neonate, the life of the woman is as and more valuable to herself. The danger here is going off to argue how her family, her husband, others will lose far more if they lose her, for this is to move into instrumentality.

She should have complete control over the integrity of her body and what happens in it. She has the right not to have a C-section forced on her. We are so unused to this discourse, so drummed at over the uses of our bodies that _must be_ (like breast-feeding) this will rouse antagonism. But it is the heart of what was let go in the 1970s.

Choice is the language of capitalism, from the inhuman abstractions of marketplace ideas. The ideas here must be firmly rooted in our bodies and our souls.


Edited at 2012-03-23 11:31 am (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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