Sexual Freedom Isn’t Acceptable For Women?

Kai Davis takes a daring stand in this video when she challenges the misogynistic view that many member of today’s society hold. She brings up the important point that innocence and virginity are revered in women, but as soon as women take charge of her sexuality and tries to enjoy her sexual freedom, she is looked down on and considered a “whore.”

Though I agree with Davis’s overall point that sexual freedom is not always something that is given equally to women, the way that she presents some of her ideas can be a little extreme. I disagree that that it is all the fault of men that it is considered unacceptable for women to enjoy their sexual freedom; women judge other women for sleeping around just as harshly, if not more so, than men do. This is not just a problem that stems from the male population, but from society itself! I propose that if women want to have their sexual freedom accepted, they accept the sexual freedom of other women and stop blaming only men for looking down on their sexual choices.

Creative Commons: Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team

“Femicidios”: Unsolved Murders Against Women in Mexico and the Caribbean (Part I)

También en español ”Death to the b**ches, I’m back” read a sign found next to the body of one of the nearly 1,700 Guatemalan women who have been murdered in the past five years. Since 1993, some 500 women of limited means have been killed or disappeared from the streets of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The authorities have not resolved these female murders. “Women of all ages, educational levels, social-economic backgrounds, races, ethnicities and sexual orientations may be the eventual victim of this extreme form of gender-based violence”, explains the scholar Diana Russell.

While femicide is committed around the world, the border city of Ciudad Juárez’s infamy as the capital of feminicide is by now common knowledge. The term “feminicidio” was first used in the late 1990s to describe a phenomenon of unsolved murders and disappearances in Ciudad Juárez, dating to 1993, the year women’s rights groups first noticed an unusual increase in murders and disappearances of women and girls. It was this alarming rate of violence against women in the border region and the near-absolute impunity for gender crimes that catalyzed transnational activism: the hemispheric “Por la Vida de las Mujeres” (For the Life of Women) initiative launched by the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (known by its Spanish acronym, CLADEM); research on the subject matter; and, eventually, the elaboration of “feminicide.”

Most of the bodies of murdered women exhibit high levels of sexual violence. The murders and disappearances of women occur within the context of a patriarchal society with high levels of sexism, discrimination and misogyny. Mexico, for example, has one of the highest rates of gender violence in the world, with 38 percent of Mexican women affected by physical, sexual or psychological abuse, compared with 33 percent of women worldwide. Two-thirds of female homicides occur in the home, and 67 percent of women in Mexico suffer domestic violence. For Guatemala, the figure is 47 percent.

In Mexico, women’s human rights groups have long held that police failed to respond to gender crimes because “they feared organized crime was involved, or because they were involved themselves, or both.” Police indifference to gender crimes is rooted in a system of illegality so interpenetrated in the state structure that it blurs the distinction between state institutions and criminal networks, and between government agents and criminal agents.

After Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched Operation Chihuahua in 2008, deploying thousands of soldiers and military police to the region, violence and criminality have reached pandemic proportions, together with a disturbing trend of human rights violations committed by the very same security forces sent to restore order.

Parte 2, to come.

Thanks to Eduardo Carrasco for contributing to this story.

Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack

(También en Español)

News of Note: Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack

Conservative radicals are suspects in the recent poisoning of about 150 Afghan high school girls who drank contaminated water at their high school, and other similar attacks on female students, teachers, and their buildings.

It may be hard to believe that anyone would literally poison school girls to discourage them (and all girls and women) from having an education, but this type of violence is all too common. These conservative groups have forced women to live in constant fear of physical harm, even acid throwing for something as simple as attending school.

I believe it is necessary to identify these violent and sexist teachings, and to actively speak out against them, irrespective of any religious connections. What else can be done to expunge these deeply sexist ideologies?

Afghan woman slain for giving birth to daughter

(También en Español)

News of Note: Afghan woman slain for giving birth to daughter

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — An Afghan man killed his wife for giving birth to a third daughter rather than the son he’d hoped for, police said Monday.

The 28-year-old victim, who was known by the one name of Storai, was strangled by her husband — a local militia member — and his mother on Saturday, authorities said.

Storai had given birth to the couple’s third daughter three months ago in Mohasili village in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province.

Police said they arrested the victim’s mother-in-law in connection with her death, but Storai’s husband was still at large, likely sheltered by heavily-armed militia colleagues.

“The existence of militiamen is a huge problem and therefore we face difficulty in arresting him,” Kunduz police chief Sufi Habib said.

Nadera Geya, head of the Kunduz women’s affairs department, called the killing one of the worst examples of violence against women she had encountered.

Acid attack
Violence against women is common in Afghanistan. In late November in the same province, an Afghan family that refused to give their daughter in marriage to a man they considered irresponsible was attacked at home by assailants who poured acid over both parents and three children.

This kind of male-dominated society can be seen all over the world. Even with the onset of technology like abortions, male children are often preferred in counties like China, India, Pakistan, Korea, and Taiwan, leading to a significant number of missing females from the population. Not to mention burqas and female genital mutilation; we still have long way to go. How do you think society’s portrayal of gender affects sexuality? Will we ever collectively move past this inhumane gender bias? Please share your thoughts below.

Creative Commons Image: Source