Monday, October 02, 2006

Anger on many issues

Lately I've been overwhelmed by the lack of discussion on certain obvious topics.

Imagine. A person comes into a school and orders all the white kids out of the room. Then he proceeds to torture, demean, molest all the minority children in the class. Wouldn't this spark and outcry in the public. Wouldn't news people be asking even demanding "Why is this happening?" "Why is racism still so prevalent and violent?" "What is going on?" Maybe I'm wrong, but I imagine this would come up.

But when this same situation happened with young girls being separated from boys... I didn't hear much about sexism, hatred of women or "why would someone choose to be violent toward women and not men" etc --- Just now I see that another school in Pennsylvania has been attacked. It appears that boys were freed and girls held hostage and eventually shot execution style. This just days after the Colorado shooting wear the shooter molested girls and shot and killed one of them. I have been watching the news and reading newspapers closely and haven't seen any commentary asking questions about why these people are lashing out against female students exclusively. Granted this Pennsylvania case is too new to have details yet but has anyone else noticed the lack of discussion? Doesn't this seem like an important thing to address? If you know of newspaper articles, television segments or anything that has specifically addressed this issue, please let me know where I can find it.

But I just keep wondering-- why is no one talking about this?? Do we not see the pattern?

On a totally unrelated note... I recently attended a Muslim prayer service as a visitor. I am currently studying the religion of Islam and wanted to observe a religious ceremony. It was beautiful and very helpful in my understanding. However, I was disturbed that no women were there. A female Muslim friend informed me that women either pray at home or in another room. She said she preferred it that way. Which is fine for her.... but what if I wanted to be Muslim? I think I'd like to pray as part of the large group, not sequestered like an outsider. I bet a few other Muslim women agree with me.

I just don't get it.

I don't pretend to know enough about Islam yet and I certainly am not calling for reform... a Muslim should do that or someone much more informed than I... however just to share my personal opinion... I thought this was so unfair.

Muslim views would never ask an Asian Muslim to pray in a different room than an Arab Muslim or white and black Muslims to be separated. Why should women be in another space? Because there's something different between our legs?? I understand this isn't how a Muslim may see this but if I were a woman in the Islamic faith tradition, I would really question this practice of keeping the sexes spiritually separated.

And on ANOTHER note-- this story just serves as another PAINFUL example that people should never say "why doesn't a battered woman just leave her abuser?" Well because you're at grave risk. As evidence by this story that tells of a woman who was murdered WHILE HIDING IN A WOMAN'S SHELTER.

Sad sad sad. Violence against women everywhere and I feel like everyone would rather talk about Nicole Richie's weight problem. WAKE UP!


cory said...

this is another case of our viewpoints being different. i don't necessarily think you're wrong, but i think you're trying to find more meaning than what's actually there. i don't think it's a case of sexism or hatred of women. i think it's an idolization of women, with a screwed up twist.

the men in co and pa obviously wanted to live out their sick fantasies before they died. it's not because they hate women, it's because they fantasize about women. if it were purely non-physical, then you'd have a case for sexism.

i know i have a man's viewpoint of things, but i don't think that should automatically discredit what i have to say when it pertains to women. as i mentioned earlier, it seems like you try to find sexism or cases of women being minimized in everything. it's almost like when jesse jackson or rev. al sharpton say something is racist... but when people actually look at the situation, it's just people in which some happened to be of color.

Marcy said...

I didn't even know any of this stuff happened. I don't have a tv, and I don't look at news on the net, unless someone's blog post draws my attention to it.

To the commenter who said it only counts as sexism if it's non-physical, I say HOGWASH! If you molest or rape a female, it's b/c you really like women and want to have sex with them? That's absolutely ridiculous. Molestation and rape are about power and control, not about sex.

If some guy held you at knifepoint, pulled down your pants and anally raped you, would you say, "Gosh, it's good to know he liked me and wasn't feeling any animosity towards me at all." No way! You would feel cheap and dirty and belittled and disrespected and inconsequential. I don't think someone who really likes women is going to do something to make them feel that way. Only someone who hates women would do that.

Anonymous said...

marcy, you're taking what i've said about these two specific cases and applying them to everything. of course my point is going to look like crap if you throw it up against every rape and molestation you can find. it's specific to the cases in pennsylvania and california.

the men went into the schools with two goals: to fulfill sexual fantasies and to kill themselves. believe it or not, sexual fantasies are about sex.

in any case, of course the victim would feel cheap, disrespected and etc, but that has nothing to do with how the attacker was feeling. you'd feel that way whether it was because they hated you or because they had fantasized about you.

i think it's dumb that anytime a woman is attacked it's automatically called sexism. just the same, if a minority is attacked, it's no doubt racism.

Tobes said...

I would argue that "sexual fantasies" are when two people can share something sexy together and act that out in their own bedroom or what have you.

Coming to school, holding women at gunpoint, tying them up and molesting them... exploiting them... demeaning their bodies, that has to do with mistreatment of women and sexism.

Whether or not it got the guy off is of no consequence to me. It still means that a man was turned on by exploiting and mistreating women... and in this case girls.

The fact that STILL no is addressing this issue just speaks more to the fact that people assume this is "normal." Yep, it's sad but sometimes men hurt women... tra la la, just another normal day.

Just like, well sometimes white people hate black people and they call them a bad name or get in a bar fight.. tra la la.

Even you say "it's just his fantasy" -- I know you think it's sick but yet you in some ways, you expect it or find it "normal"... and it's not.

It's abusing women and therefore important for feminists to discuss.

If a woman was robbed at gunpoint and her money stolen I would say, that's not sexism, it's a crime of convenience and this person wanted money. If after the robber took her money, he beat and raped her... then it would bring up issues like hatred of women, violence towards women and sexism....

cory said...

the main reason the rape/abuse of women in the stories isn't being talked about now, is because it "only" happened in one instance.

i say only, because it's still one time too many, but the girls in pennsylvania weren't sexually abused. the man had planned to do it, but never did.

the reason the colorado case isn't being talked about is because it's now "old news." it's not right, but it's the way the 24/7 news media works. they're so ready to jump to the next story and now pennsylvania is the next story.

now with the westboro baptist church planning to protest the funerals, that will become the story and the victims will all but be forgotten.

sexual fantasies can and sometimes do involve power/control. the point i'm trying to make, but not very well because it's hard to describe is that i don't think this was a case of hating women. i think it's a case of idolizing women as sex symbols to the point of sexual fantasies. you can say it's sexism, but then take a look at the case of the cavalier, north dakota man who was killed in pennsylvania by his manager because he wanted to have sex with him.

it's the same concept: force someone to do something and then kill them. in the homosexual case, it's all about sex. in the colorado case it's suddenly about sexism? i know issues aren't black and white and there is a lot of gray, but just because it was women (girls) involved doesn't mean it is because of a hatred of women.

in the pennsylvania case, why were some older women released? was it because he had a hatred of only young girls? or possibly because he had sexual fantasies about molesting children, which he had done in the past. if he really "hated women," he wouldn't have released some women. i think it's a case of sexual fantasies and not sexism. it just happens that he's not a homosexual, so women are his target.

zZz said...

I read the above comments speculating on the motivation of the killer. I just can't wrap my head around a sexist motivation. Obviously these guys have mental issues, but couldn't it be that these men, in their own warped worlds, just wanted to get back at the world for some perceived wrong done to them?

If such a person wanted to hurt a community in the worst way possible, wouldn't this be the way? I don't think these were sexist acts, but acts intended to cause maximum damage.

The whole idea of trying to treat any crime involving women being hurt as sexist, and arguing for changes in our society to prevent this are self defeating. The reason is obvious, these are sick people who want to take what is most valuable to other people.

I see no easy solution. This is just like terrorism, these people are willing to die in order to hurt another group of people.

Midge said...

In my experience-- and I'm not an expert by any means, but just my opinion-- sex crimes are a way to feel dominant and powerful over women, a way to feel like you got what you deserved and so did they.

I would think that it wasn't about hating women in general if these guys went after women they specifically knew. Because the women involved were random victims, that leads me to assume that these men hated women altogether... otherwise violating and killing them would have no meaning or purpose for the attacker.

zZz said...

I guess my way of looking at it is that the guy was trying to hurt the little girls family and community. The girls were a means to an end for him.

I would think that if he were interested in hurting women he would have kidnapped a woman and tortured her. Tying a girl up and shooting her dead doesn't seem to jibe with someone who hates. I am reminded of the white supremacists who rope a black guy and drag him to death.

I don't have a clue about the psychology of a killer though.

Tobes said...

So angry--- being shot in the head isn't dark enough for you? It's not enough torture to show that he really hated women? No... it was just "means to an end"

Excuse me but I think the psychological effects of being tied up at the blackboard, possibly threatened with sexual molestation... watching all your male friends and adults leave... that is torture. And then being shot execution style.

What more do you need?

And by the way, being dragged to death... that did just happen to a woman in a domestic violence situation. It was widely publicized on CNN--- she had to be identified by dental records.

Is that dark enough? Or was she just means to an end for her husband???


Tobes said...

PS: go to the newest post "Dear Patriarchy" and click on the links (they are brightly colored) of all other sites who are talking about the school shootings as a violence against women issue.

zZz said...

Bleh, I guess this blog is just for the "You Go Girl!!" crowd. No deviation from the "message" tolerated.

I knew I quit posting here for some reason, I am now

Tobes said...


Wa wa wa. People aren't jumping to agree with you. Is that all that surprising considering you came on a site and had an opposing point of view? My thought is that you're used to having people jump to agree with you.

Well, I don't owe you that, sorry. If you're allowed to disagree with my opinion, I'm allowed to disagree right back. It has nothing to do with girl power, and everything to do with being an adult.

I'm not blogging to make you or anyone else feel good. I'm also not doing it to make you feel bad but I'm not going to back down on my opinions just because you want to be right all the time.

Z said...

Truth is that women are crybabies and this just proves it.