There Was 1 White Masai Woman, The Rest are Black

June 17, 2012

We’ve all been somewhat educated about Imperialism in Africa. In non other than History class which is ironic in and of itself seeing as we are still putting up puppet leaders, funding wars, controlling resources and attempting to westernize them.

Several years ago I happened upon Corinne Hofmann’s book The White Masai. It told her story- the story of a Swiss woman that had followed her Masai lover into the bush.

While we invest so much in modernizing Africa, when it comes to the bush-tribes, we’ve (relatively) chosen to leave them alone. Is it perhaps because the main sufferers are women?

Masai women are raped on a daily basis (according to western definition and law). They don’t have any remote chance at education, equal opportunity or decision making within their tribe, let alone within the country they live in.

Was imperialism not entirely in the wrong and, more importantly, should we perhaps bring some form of it back (publicly, admittedly), to those specific places where ancient practices blatantly come at the expense of women’s basic human rights (as defined by the united nations)?

You may wonder why I’m already jumping at the western world and not initially claiming we should encourage their local governments to get involved. My argument rests on the fact that though in some countries (Liberia is a prime example) women are making advancements, those are women from the big cities, women from villages where modernizations’ grasp has reached. Not bush-women.

Women in the western world have gained more power than women in Africa, as a whole. We have more say in our politics than they do. Dumping this responsibility on African governments is bound to produce (if at all) results that wouldn’t come anywhere near our definition of basic women’s rights. Not anytime in the near or distant future.

Which in my opinion leaves it up to us. Bringing back the dilemma of whether this would be ‘moral’ according to our western moral codes of conduct.

I tend to always go with helping every single woman on the planet. Even when it comes at the expense of cultural identity, because in a vast majority, this cultural identity was developed and promoted by men that always held the upper hand (literally).

Islamic women are finding a way to gain their rights within Islamic culture, as are religious Jewish women within Judaism.

It’s time to interfere, send in the ‘morality army’ and save these women.

Right Now.

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When Vaginas Are Politicized

January 25, 2011

22 year old Palestinian man from East Jerusalem has been indicted of either rape (in the Hebrew version)  or sexual assault (in the English version)- but, as you can see, the “main” crime he was indicted for, is apparently not the main issue. Not for the media, and better yet- not for the court of law.

Thus goes the article:

According to the charge sheet, Abu Zabarg pretended to be a Jewish 19-year-old named Amir. He allegedly sexually assaulted the girl on several occasions in his car and in hotel rooms.

So, before even accusing this man of sexual assault/rape, he is accused of impersonating a Jew. Something, that in the state of Israel, apparently takes precedent over sex crimes against women.

And this is yet another case, in which Israeli women rights are shoved aside, in order to advance government policy that dictates doing anything and everything to paint anyone that is not a white Jew as an enemy of the state and of the people.

Of course, this case is reminiscent of the demonstrations held just a few weeks back in the Israeli city of Bat Yam, in which white Jewish men stood from both sides of the street and yelled at each other who they think Jewish women should be allowed to date. It’s of course ‘understandable’ why the religious guys were there, but why was the Israeli Left there? Because, once again, it was an opportunity to shove aside women and belittle them in order to make a political point.

(Let it be noted, that had those religious Jews said “Non-Jewish Italians” instead of “Arabs”, I remain skeptical as to whether the Left would have gotten off the couch for that).

Speaking of these cases, this reminds me of the the Transportation Ministry recently being taken to court, over a decision to force women to sit at the back of the bus, since religious men don’t agree for them to sit up front. What does the court do? Say that it’s technically not legal, so they can’t officially approve of this by law, but no worries! They made up for it by stating that even though it isn’t legally Kosher, they officially recommend that be the course of action, and that women should willingly sit at the back of the bus.

On some buses, not only are women sitting in the back, they are sitting behind shower curtains separating them from the men up front.

Women Rights in Israel? I think not.


I Have The Right To Remain Silent

December 7, 2010

That’s it. That was my last right and I just used it up.

Which is why, this next post will be a silent one.

This is me, exercising the only right my Govt. advocates- my right to remain silent. In this world:

Women at the back of the bus.Tear gas kills kids. Men and children are in prison without charges. People refused building permits based on ethnicity. No equal pay. No transparency.  Individuals jailed for revealing information they didn’t steal and aren’t legally bound to. Protesters jailed for singing in support of peace in public gardens. Some can’t marry based on their religion. Religious men paid not to work. Bus company doesn’t accommodate handicapped because of rabbis. Men, Women and Children can’t visit family because of a wall. They also can’t leave their neighborhood. No public outcry. Zero accountability. Concentration camps for refugees. Deportation of kids based on religion. Funds cut for theater companies presenting shows that don’t fit in with govt. line.  Citizens not allowed to refer to historic events in their own cultural language. Citizens not allowed to criticize govt. Loyalty Oath to govt. as precondition for human rights.

Silence is golden. Which means you can count the value of silence in gold. But I prefer measuring the value of silence in bodies: Dead bodies as the result of silence, Suffering bodies as the result of silence, Living bodies that are silent.