The E-mail Petition For Women in Afghanistan
Have you received the e-mail enclosed in the box below? If you have, join the club because so have I. Like most of you, I initially forwarded the e-mail to all my contacts after dutifully adding my name to the list because the situation as I hear from the media seems to be deplorable in Afganistan.. But then I got thinking....
The people of United States....aaah...the people who spent 200 years killing and oppressing everyone in their way - from their own women to Native Americans to blacks to gypsies. I spent a semester studying this under the guidance of a visiting lecturer who graduated from Berkeley, Dr. R. Wollons. I would highly recommend the book "IRON CAGES" by Ronald Takaki if you want a reliable read on America's oppression and cruel treatment of her minorities throughout her history.
The country that has seen 42 or 43 Presidents come and go but not one has been a woman. Whole classes of its own citizens are eating off the streets and have done so for generations while America spends much of her resources fighting wars in other lands and fighting for the rights of women in other nations. Elizabeth F. (can't remember her surname) was elected to the U.S. Congress but she stated in an interview with Gwynne Dyer when he was making the documentary on patriarchy called "The Gods of our Fathers", that she earns LESS than the minimum wage."I think this is a very male institution here, you know. When the 103rd Congress came in and we are of colour and we are women - it's a marvellous group of people but once we got into the whole of the congress, I suddenly realised how few of us there really were.American war planes were bombing Iraq the day President Clinton was inaugurated. Member of Congress, Elizabeth F., "What I think about it now, about this cat and mouse game that we play, is that there are thousands of children dying in Baghdad from the last time we were bombing. What are we doing? When do we beging to say that an Iraqi child's life is the same as a white American? Until we do that, we will go on having wars."
"Less than 10% is female. You look at those portraits on the rotunda and somebody from outer space would say this is a country made up of white men. They have no women or people of colour in those statues."
Oppression is everywhere and it's the problem that has no name, in the words of a famous feminist, Betty Friedan. It exists where one thinks it does not exist - in America, among the "People of the United States" as they declare themselves to be."A psychological study in 1995 found that three minutes spent looking at models in a fashion magazine caused 70% of women to feel depressed, guilty, and shameful. Models twenty years ago weighed 8% less than the average woman, today they weigh 23% less." Click here to read the full article.
"If Barbie was a real woman, she'd have to walk on all fours due to her proportions. The average American woman weighs 144 lbs. and wears between a size 12 and 14. One out of every four college aged women has an eating disorder. The models in the magazines are airbrushed - they're not perfect."
The STATS below were taken from Domestic Violence Research and Training Institute
A female is battered every nine seconds. [California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, 1994]
It is estimated that one third of all high school and college students will have been in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate. [Levy, 1992]
Relationship violence is the number one cause of injury to women ages 15-44: more that rapes, muggings and car accidents combined. [Center For Community Solutions, 1997]
There are three times as many animal shelters in the United States as battered women shelters. [Senate Judiciary Committee, 1990]
63% of all boys ages 11-20 arrested for murder, murdered the man who was assaulting their mother.[Center For Community Solutions, 1997]
As many as 15 million women have been abused at some time during their lives. [Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, 1989]
As many as one-quarter to two-thirds of battered women report abuse during preganancy.["Battered and Pregnant: A Prevalence Study," Journal of the American Public Health Association]
In a prospective study of 1,200 white, Hispanic and black pregnant women, one in six reported physical abuse during pregnancy. ["Abuse During Pregnancy: A Cross-Cultural Studyof Frequent and Severity of Injuries," J. McFarlane, 1991]
The average battered women is attacked three times each year. [Intimate Violence, R. Gelles and M. Straus, 1988]
22 to 35 percent of women who visit emergency departments in the United States are there for symptoms related to on-going abuse. ["Domestic Violence Intervention Calls for More than Treating Injuries," Journal of the American Medical Association, 1990]
Families in which domestic violence occurs use doctors eight times more often, visit the emergency room six times more often and use six times more prescription drugs than the general population. ["Domestic Violence: A Community Crisis Waiting for an Effective Response" Seattle Domestic Violence Intervention, 1989]
The STATS above were taken from Domestic Violence Research and Training Institute
I do not deny that women are being treated very unfairly in Afghanistan - I do not mean to say the problem does not exist. But I strongly feel that "The People of the United States" can't really gloat over fighting for women's rights in other lands without feeling really hypocritical.
To read a brilliant article that criticizes the Taliban AND also, gives a more wholistic view of the situation in Afganistan please read. The Women of Afghanistan: Whose Concern is it Anyway? This is a very highly recommended reading!
Subject: Support the Women of Afghanistan