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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:34 AM
Original message
"Women at Risk"
By BOB HERBERT

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/opinion/08herbert.htm...


We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected. We profess to being shocked at one or another of these outlandish crimes, but the shock wears off quickly in an environment in which the rape, murder and humiliation of females is not only a staple of the news, but an important cornerstone of the nations entertainment.

The mainstream culture is filled with the most gruesome forms of misogyny, and pornography is now a multibillion-dollar industry much of it controlled by mainstream U.S. corporations. One of the striking things about mass killings in the U.S. is how consistently we find that the killers were riddled with shame and sexual humiliation, which they inevitably blamed on women and girls. The answer to their feelings of inadequacy was to get their hands on a gun (or guns) and begin blowing people away.

What was unusual about Sodini was how explicit he was in his blog about his personal shame and his hatred of women. Why do this? he asked. To young girls? Just read below. In his gruesome, monthslong rant, he managed to say, among other things: It seems many teenage girls have sex frequently. One 16 year old does it usually three times a day with her boyfriend. So, err, after a month of that, this little has had more sex than ME in my LIFE, and I am 48. One more reason.

...We would become much more sane, much healthier, as a society if we could bring ourselves to acknowledge that misogyny is a serious and pervasive problem, and that the twisted way so many men feel about women, combined with the absurdly easy availability of guns, is a toxic mix of the most tragic proportions.
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Danmel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. And there was another such attack in Roslyn, NY yesterday
Estranged husband shot and killed his daughter and mother-in-law and critically injured his wife before killing himself.

Women are always at risk. I worry about my daughter who will be starting college in a few weeks. There is just something wrong with this country.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. If I could give this 10 recs, I would.
snip...

Soon after the Virginia Tech slayings, I interviewed Dr. James Gilligan, who spent many years studying violence as a prison psychiatrist in Massachusetts and as a professor at Harvard and N.Y.U. What Ive concluded from decades of working with murderers and rapists and every kind of violent criminal, he said, is that an underlying factor that is virtually always present to one degree or another is a feeling that one has to prove ones manhood, and that the way to do that, to gain the respect that has been lost, is to commit a violent act.

=====
kick
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. Remember This When We Blame Other Cultures
When we look at other (non-Western) cultures and scorn their treatment of women, we need to remember that we are not perfect.

Or maybe we should acknowledge that while we have problems, at least we've made progress (compared to our past and other cultures)
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ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. i think you are right. we just show it in different ways. the blaming of women for these
things that these jerks are doing is just a means to put the blame on someone else. Many of us haven't had the best childhood but we have a choice.... we can use it as some sort of excuse for hurting people, or we can use it to be better people and help others. The worst part about these guys using women as an excuse to hurt folks is that the media seems to accept it as a reason and not bother to say, but they chose to act this way. If a woman gets raped or murdered, somehow it seems that is perfectly acceptable for it to be her own fault. People were appalled that that eight year old's family would disown her and blame her for being raped, but we blame women regularly for the violence they are subjected to by boyfriends, husbands and strangers.
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Raspberry Donating Member (377 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. Possibly off topic--
and probably I'll get flamed for this, but some of the problems we see with young women today are (IMO) the legacy of feminism. Very young girls have been told for decades that they are no different than young men, that they are sexual creatures, and to go for it. If it feels good . . . Wasn't it mysogonistic to tell girls that it is okay for them to allow themselves to be exploited sexually for a boy's pleasure?

The truth is, emotionally, psychologically, girls are quite different from boys. I have read that one of the dirty little secrets on college campuses is the level of depression young women are feeling, largely as a result of the fact that they are sleeping with guys (sometimes many, many guys) who are more interested in sex than relationships.

Girls need to know that there is value in postponing sexual activity until they are emotionally mature.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. you're getting dangerously close to blaming the victim here . . .
women, young and old, have a right to control their own bodies and to make their own decisions about their sexuality . . . acknowledging that women have these rights is apparently impossible for some men, who feel that the tradition of males exerting control over females is quite a proper one, thank you very much . . . it's that attitude on the part of some men that is the problem, not that women are choosing to exercise their own inalienable rights as women and as human beings . . .
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. You are totally full of bullshit. Go back to where ever you came from. nm
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. LOL
women are never "emotionally mature" enough to weather the garbage that is the Double Standard
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windoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. Women's rights are an indication of human rights
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:28 PM by windoe
and the decline is sad to see. Not far behind are gay rights and racist issues. Never did I think I would see times like these, after living through the 70s. I truly think that the dumbing down of this country has wrought the imbalanced state we find ourselves in now. Our culture is based on what stories we tell ourselves, and we are being told violent stories, without any context or solution or hope. I do not support censorship of the media, but there has to be some kind of standard, and responsibility has to come from the inside, not imposed.

In order for women and other minorities to gain all their civil rights is to separate church and state completely (religious freedom is written on Thomas Jefferson's gravestone!). This, and taking away civil rights from corporations, and dismantling the military industrial complex, that's what has to happen. America is going through an identity crisis. If people are not educated to even understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights and why they were written, then these rights are lost.

Women are going to have to struggle all over again for equal rights, it's back to the blackboard again. Education is one key, this is why public schools deteriorated after the 60s, because people were beginning to wake up to the establishment, everyone wanted their rights back then.
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