Jess McCabe // 24 March 2009
Feminist Peace Network posts about some of the unbelievably vile t-shirts which Israeli soldiers are adopting:
The slogans accompanying the drawings are not exactly anemic either: A T-shirt for infantry snipers bears the inscription “Better use Durex,” next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him. A sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan, in English, “1 shot, 2 kills.” A “graduation” shirt for those who have completed another snipers course depicts a Palestinian baby, who grows into a combative boy and then an armed adult, with the inscription, “No matter how it begins, we’ll put an end to it.”
There are also plenty of shirts with blatant sexual messages. For example, the Lavi battalion produced a shirt featuring a drawing of a soldier next to a young woman with bruises, and the slogan, “Bet you got raped!” A few of the images underscore actions whose existence the army officially denies – such as “confirming the kill” (shooting a bullet into an enemy victim’s head from close range, to ensure he is dead), or harming religious sites, or female or child non-combatants.
There really aren’t any words, are there?
Meanwhile, over in the US some campaigners decided that the best way to raise awareness of domestic violence in teen relationships was to ‘re-enact’ the description in the police report of Chris Brown’s attack on Rihanna. Without, as far as I can tell, any sort of permission at all, and casting white actors. Renee deconstructs the many levels of fail:
This is about realism right; so showing simulated violence which in no way reflects the real terror she must have felt as Brown spilt her blood all over his car is showing the horrors of domestic violence? Hearing the monotone drone of the narrator as he describes what have must have been the most terrifying moments in her life, instead of her screams of pain and fear is meant to place her in the center of this incident?
In the final act of co-option the woman chosen to play her isn’t even black. So in a bid once again for realism, it is somehow appropriate to replace a black woman with a white woman? What does this tell us about which bodies are valued in this society? Are we to feel more sympathetic to this pseudo-victim because she is white? Are we meant to have an easier time identifying with her because of whiteness? In a world in which the black woman is daily devalued, replacing her physical body without commentary and assuming that whiteness can represent her is truly a racist act. Just as in Richard Wrights, The Outsider, though both white women and black women are victims of violence, it is the harm done to the white female victim that is understood as the truly criminal act. This is not because we value white women universally, but because we over value whiteness to the extent that any crime committed against it is considered a true social violation.
Latina Lista addresses the way that detention centres in the US restrict access to abortion:
In an excellent article in the Texas Observer entitled Access Denied, it was discovered that almost 10 percent of immigrant women in detention custody of ICE are pregnant as a result of being raped.
The vast majority of these women, when given the choice as to whether or not they want the babies, understandably do not. Who would want to be reminded of an act of extreme violence perpetuated against them by a complete stranger?
Yet, the author of the article found that these women were never allowed the option of terminating their pregnancies. In fact, in 2008 and 2009, federal records show that while there were pregnant immigrant women in ICE detention facilities, not one had an abortion.
A British woman living in Dubai has been jailed for adultery, and failed to win custody for her children:
Her friend Sandy Norman said today’s family court hearing in Dubai was “a done deal”. She said: “As she was found guilty of adultery, it makes her an unfit mother. To my knowledge, no woman has won custody of her children in Dubai.”
Vermont is edging towards marriage equality.
Treehugger profiles the Women’s Bean Project.
AfterEllen reviews Sunshine Cleaning, “a movie written by a woman, directed by a woman, starring two women, targeted at women”.
Hull Rape Crisis is being forced to look for a new home, after its rent nearly doubled:
Hull Rape Crisis rents an office and a counselling room from the West Hull Women’s Centre, on the second floor of the Rainbow Centre.
The Women’s Centre has asked the organisation to pay £600 a month, instead of the current rate of £347 a month, from April 1.
A spokeswoman for West Hull Women’s Centre said the increase was necessary due to rises in utility bills and the fact Hull Rape Crisis now used the building on a full-time basis.
Staff are appealing to Mail readers to come forward with suggestions for a new location. Ms Moore said: “We’re not expecting to find anywhere for free, but we need somewhere that is reasonably priced.”
Only a few days left to sign the petition calling for the NHS in Oxfordshire to fund surgical procedures for gender dysphoria treatment.
Culture Secretary Andy Burnham criticises the media for failing to cover women’s sport:
“We’ve just had a great week for women’s sport in the cricket and in Sheffield with the swimming. And yet how much do the next generation of women and young girls know about it?” said Burnham. “There was no live coverage from Sheffield as far as I can tell, even though it was the first outing for Rebecca Adlington and Jo Jackson in the pool [since the Olympics].”
He said little had changed since he called for women’s sport to be taken more seriously in the wake of the success of Adlington, 400m gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu and cyclists Victoria Pendleton, Rebecca Romero and Nicole Cook.
This week, Adlington’s coach observed that media coverage of her achievements tended to focus too much on her girl next door personality, and not enough on her sporting prowess.
Maybe given that women also pay a license fee to the BBC, they shouldn’t be allowed to restrict their coverage to almost exclusively men’s sporting acheivements?