Friday, November 04, 2005

Ann Althouse :Who is Muktar Mai? [S]he was gang-raped


there were a few comments that made me jump.
I used to admire all the posters here. Now I am wondering.

This will be a very long post so be patient and please read and use your brain!!!But I know that a few will post an answer as fast as they can move their finger.:

Comments:EddieP said... God bless Muktar Mai and her muslim sisters. They will be the salvation of, and driving force behind, the reformation of Islam.
I (Anne) say that hell will freeze before.

11:01 AM, November 04, 2005 Pastor_Jeff said... Ann,
What an encouraging and inspiring story! On the one hand, it's a terrible reminder of the real oppression many women still endure. And yet, it's ultimately about one woman turning personal tragedy and injustice into hope and opportunity for many others.
With all the examples of partisan sniping and political posturing, it's so easy to become cynical. Thanks for sharing this.

I (Anne) say: Another one who does not read the news. This was a very big story for a long time. My conclusion is that you are a) un-informed or b) "political posturing".

11:04 AM, November 04, 2005 Elizabeth said... I've been following Muktar Mai's story since it was first reported, maybe last year, if I recall correctly. I'm repeatedly blown away by her poise and resiliance. That's hard to come by, even in a culture that tries to be supportive of rape victims. Imagine having your rape framed as a formal act of justice.
I would like to see her and her allies get more Western support, especially from women. Western feminists are in conflict over how to respond to Islam; one side tends to be too accommodating, citing post-Colonialist doubts about the validity of Western critique of other cultures, particularly given the West's role in destabilizing those cultures, while the side I tend to support takes the stance that essential women's rights are not mutable, even though cultural expression may well be.
I use Marjane Satrapi's graphic novels Persepolis I and II, in two of my literature courses, one of which is also a women's studies course, and ran into conflict with a colleague over whether our students would take her story as being anti-Islam. I think our students are smarter than that, and it's my job to help them past that, anyway. Satrapi's work is autobiographical, and it's hard to argue that we should avoid her because her experience growing up in a secular family during the Iranian Marxist/Fundamentalist revolution complicates a muilticultural utopian outlook.
I think Muktar Mai similarly challenges feminists to expand our ability to view other women's experiences through their own perspectives.

I (anne) say that this is another one that is a verbo motor personality. (this is a very questioning query about the common sense of the writer)

12:53 PM, November 04, 2005 Synova said... This is fantastic. Good for her!
I'm at a total loss, though, to figure out how the heck gang raping her could have anything to do with restoring her family's honor because her brother was with a girl... unless... "with a girl" is a euphamism for sex, if not violent rape, at least fornication, so it was a matter of "you raped one of ours so now we get to rape one of yours, and that will make it fair."
I (Anne) would like to remind you that this is class / tribal thing. It was still done until very recently in Europe. It renders the young girl impure even for the male of her social group. Do not tell me that among your friends you have never heard the label "She is a whore" used to eliminate a wonan competitor.
Maybe they figure that this is better than destroying the brother for breaking the rules. I wonder what the punishment is supposed to be for someone who fornicates.

I (Anne)say that you should not demonstrate your ignorance that clearly.

I wonder if it would have involved the brother *and* the girl from the other village.
One of the arguments against making punishments too harsh is that the people in charge of doing the punishing won't apply it.
(Yes, it's easy to be curious about convoluted social reasoning when it's not happening to me. Also, it's a huge mistake to view understanding motivations as approval in any way shape or form.)

1:03 PM, November 04, 2005 Goesh said... I'm sure once muslim women can vote and don't have to wear sacks and cover their faces all will be well. Just say no to clitorectomy can be their campaign slogan of reformation as they march in jeans and mini-skirts in the islamic capitols of the world. After all, islam is a religion of peace. They should have nothing to fear.

I (Anne) say The sack is used in Yemen but no clitorectomy. Most places where women are subject to clitorectomy the women walk around naked. or bare breasted. We have two different situation here. In Indonesia they used to walk in jeans.

1:15 PM, November 04, 2005 wildaboutharrie said... Synova, no, the brother did not have sex with the girl from the other tribe:
"Mai's then 12-year-old brother Abdul Shakoor (pictured behind her) had been seen walking with a girl from the more influential Mastoi tribe; they demanded Mai's rape to avenge their 'honor.' Mai's family sat helplessly while she was dragged into a room, even as she screamed and pleaded for mercy. To further humiliate her, and make an example of those who would defy the power of local strongmen, she was paraded naked before hundreds of onlookers. Her father covered her with a shawl and walked her home."

I (Anne) say at least some body that got informed before commenting.

1:46 PM, November 04, 2005 wildaboutharrie said... (Sorry, I should have said "apparently" did not have sex with her...but I've been following this story for a while also and I've never heard it reported that the two young people had sex...)

1:48 PM, November 04, 2005 wildaboutharrie said... Synova, I'm confused, I think you're contradicting yourself or I'm addled with baby-brain:
You seem to be saying that taking the woman's perspective into consideration means you have to bow to the cultural norms, but then you say knowing her perspective affirms what is consistent across cultures.
It's an interesting question, anyway. And making it even more difficult is that so often practices we abhor - rape revenge, bride burning, female genital mutilation - are carried out or at least supported by many women.

I (anne) confirm that almost 98 percent of culture is transmited by women brvo for saying it
"And making it even more difficult is that so often practices we abhor - rape revenge, bride burning, female genital mutilation - are carried out or at least supported by many women." I know the Horn of Afrika culture and can certify that very few father approve of clitorectomy. But they go along because they must respect the elder women REPEAT : THE ELDER WOMEN
Even in this forum we have an elder women that want to dictate to younger generation and i name :Elizabeth

3:22 PM, November 04, 2005 Elizabeth said... PatCA,
I think the reasonable side is winning that debate in feminist circles, as we did in the 80s with anti-porn dogma.
Where I am led to agree with the post-colonialists is when they argue that Western feminists don't always have the best ideas on how to address women's issues cross-culturally, and need to listen to the women themselves, not just proceed with an assumption that we have all the answers. Asking "what do you need from me" can be more useful than "hey, here's how we do things in the First World."
In this case, notice that Muktar pursued her case, won in court, and used the money to build something that might make a difference in her local community.

I (Anne) say that if you get yourself informed you will find that she could not get justice in court. It is only when the US government (under influence of its citizen) twisted a few arm that Parkistan did the rigth thing.

3:35 PM, November 04, 2005 whit said... Synova:You wrote - "It affirms the fact that human rights ought to be applied across cultures. Women should not be raped or mutilated, children should not be sold, and it doesn't matter if these things are a normal part of the "culture."

I (Anne) say that these are only the values of the day - today. They will change with time. A few years ago young girls had their feet crippled in some asian culture. It does not happen any more. A few centuries ago European cultures arranged marriage...In a few centuries, if we do not control the population, people will recycle the dead in food (maybe)!!

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