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July 26, 2006

Were You Dressing Sexy? The Global War On Women

Between the US Senate passing that crappy law "for parental rights" that denies women access to health services based on whether or not they're willing to forfeit their individual right to health service to the great moralistic cause of family unity, and the following article from Peru, it is time to take a stand.

Violence Against Women is a Human Problem. All people must denounce this violence and must work to end it.

If you think someone deserves to be raped based on their choice of clothing, do you also believe someone deserves to be beaten up for wearing a t-shirt that supports a racist regime? Freedom of expression must bend all ways - further, one person's "sexy" is another person's work clothes. Nothing a woman says or does can justify assaulting her. Period. End of discussion.

And now a word from Peru..."Some 51 percent of women in Lima and 69 percent of women in the southern Andean city of Cuzco said they have been victims of sexual or physical violence[.]" These numbers are shocking to me, especially since I recall the missives that went off on the beauty of those cities from a friend last summer. Turns out, those cities offer much for male foreigners in the way of natural wonders, and little in the way of safety for their own population.

Just as disturbing is the fact that doctors refuse to acknowledge rape when they detect it in medical exams, because they don't want to be bothered by the lengthy (2+ years) court process to follow. Instead of doing no harm, Peruvian doctors are perpetuating violence by their refusal to stand up to the system.

The despair and hopelessness of poverty and underemployment is blamed for Peru's surge in violence. Yet, other poverty-stricken countries do not suffer from this catastrophe. I believe the confluence of Cultural (machismo attitudes), Legal (actually asking the "were you dressed sexy?" question in a court of law), Political (before President-elect Garcia spoke up, were was the political will to change the situation?), and Economic forces that have led to this crisis. The question is: will the world sit by and let it continue? Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes. The "global community" has such a short attention span and such difficulty dealing with more than one issue / region at a time, that there's no way for this important article to receive the attention it deserves.

"Peru Confronts Escalating Violence Against Women," by Isabel Ordonez in Reuters via Yahoo News

found via Feminist Peace Network

Posted by cj at July 26, 2006 7:16 AM


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