Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It is terrible to be a woman in Afghanistan.

57% of marriages are to brides under 16--sometimes as young as six.
87% of women complain of abuse, half of which is sexual.
The rate of women who die in childbirth in Afghanistan is the highest in the world, up with Sierra Leone.
88% of women are illiterate.
5% go to secondary school.
Over 60% of marriages are forced.

The thing that shocks me the most? So bad is it that the rate of self-immolation has doubled from before we invaded.

Just to be clear, self-immolation means burning yourself to death.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

From an NYT article about the growing unease in Iran's ruling elite that they're about to get swept in the upcoming elections--leading to repression of liberal elements:

Ms. Sherkat, a former religious revolutionary turned pragmatic feminist, has kept Zanan open for 16 years and 152 issues, despite financial and political pressures. She has managed to inform her readers without overly infuriating the mullahs — until now. According to reports from Iran, authorities said that the magazine was a “threat to the psychological security of the society” because it showed Iranian women in a “black light.”

The truth is, the magazine respected and celebrated Iranian women by offering articles on health, parenting, legal issues, literature and women’s achievements. One recent article argued that laws codifying unequal treatment of women in Islamic countries lacked justification under Islamic law and could be changed. The only psychological threat Zanan posed was to the regime’s authoritarian and anti-feminist pathology.

Sounds great to me. One problem: the word anti-feminist.

This is not a theoretical argument. It's not a matter of being anti-feminist; it's anti-women. You can say it's an unimportant point of semantics, but this kind of perceptive distinction is what implicit misogyny is all about.


This is why I can't relate to Obamaniacs and why the more I think about this election the less excited I get.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I feel a personal need to vote for Hillary Clinton and a policy obligation, I think, to vote for Barack Obama.

Every time I tell myself I've decided one way or the other, my stomach turns over.

My prediction for tomorrow is that I will vote for Barack and then blub because I feel like I somehow betrayed Hillary; because I couldn't vote for her also.

It really is a personal thing, though. I feel like she's someone I know who has worked so hard and done everything right (not to say she's perfect or never made a mistake, but if your goal in life is to be President, she's been pretty damn well on track), and could never be good enough (see crazed detractors), and is coming so close--and whom I like and respect--and I will not have done what I could to get her there.

Not to mention I would really like to vote for a woman.

But I just feel a policy obligation to go the other way. I suppose IL was gonna go for Obama anyway (fucking electoral college), but but but meh.

I really hope after Super Tuesday I can stop reading election stuff for a while and, y'know, have some idea what's going on in the world.

EDIT: I suppose it's worth mentioning that I've been in a bit of a funk for the past few days and I have found myself more than usually willing to blub, and so the above angst should be taken with a grain of seasonal affective disorder or wet shoes or what have you.