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Blogs from 2012


on 31 January 2012. Posted in 2012

logo cnnI’ve been sick for several days (sorry to anybody I was snippy to on Forum—I feel like you-know-what.)  But then I saw this article on CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/31/world/asia/afghanistan-strangulation/index.html, that is about a man who, with the help of his mother, beat and strangled his wife, Storay Mohammed, for bearing him a daughter rather than a son.  The cowardly guy is on the run but he left Mom behind to take the heat . . . and to say, unbelievably, that her son had not committed any crime, but that Storay, feeling guilty for being unable to give her husband a son had committed suicide.  Hands up, everyone that knows of a woman who has strangled (not hanged) and beaten herself to death.  (Squinting blearily.) No, I didn’t think many people would have heard of that one.

I’m going to give more to Amnesty International this year, and I’m going to research some organizations where women help other women.  I saw a bit of a clip on this story and a representative from an Afghani women’s group was saying that while it is better now than under the Taliban, that Afghanistan is still one of the worst places, if not the worst place, to be a woman.  Horia Mosadiq, a London-based Afghan researcher for Amnesty International, said the abuse inflicted on Storay Mohammed is not an isolated instance.

That means there are other women out there being killed because their husband didn’t make a little boy instead of a girl inside them.  (It’s the man’s sperm, not the woman’s egg, that determines the sex of a child.)

And, God, I just cannot get this horrible murder out of my mind.  I keep wondering how the baby in question will grow up—if she grows up at all. (I hope and pray they didn’t give her to any of the murderer’s relatives to be cared for.)  

I also keep thinking of the Pulitzer Prize winning book THE GOOD EARTH by Pearl S. Buck, in which the main character, O-lan, a poor woman so beaten down by life in general that I can’t remember if she was beaten by her husband or not—how one day O-lan worked in the fields all morning, went inside in the afternoon alone, had a baby, and returned to her husband ashamed saying, “It was only a slave this time—not worth mentioning.” (Chapter Seven.)   Nine months of pregnancy—and the result?  A girl and therefore a slave and not even worth having a conversation about.  This is not one of those books that cheers you up at night.

Then what does my mind jump to?  You know what the Japanese character for wife is?  The character for “woman” plus that for “slave.”

How did we ever come to this?  How did half the human race become slaves in so many places?  Of course, THE GOOD EARTH was published in 1931, almost a century ago.  The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the good ol’ USA had only been made in 1920.  (That was the one that said: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex," in case you don’t remember.)  Since then, on a relative basis some countries have achieved wonders—but even they still have a long, long way to go (If you don’t think so, check out another currently breaking story, about “Mark Berndt, 61,  [who] worked as a third-grade teacher at Miramonte Elementary School [in Los Angeles, CA] for more than 30 years. He was arrested at his home in Torrance on Monday, and on Tuesday, he was charged with 23 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child—[he did a bunch of things I won’t talk about to a bunch of little girls.])  I don’t mean any disrespect here to boys who have been molested, either—maybe I’ll do a blog on them, next.

But I’ll bet you that there is no country where the character for “husband” is  “man” plus “slave”  And right now in modern Afghanistan a modern man can connive with his own mother to beat and kill his wife for having a slave instead of a son, and it’s not an isolated incidence.  

The final little prickle in this chiller of a story is that they beat the poor woman, Storay, before killing her.  Why?  Just to increase her agony?  To prolong their enjoyment?  It certainly couldn’t have fed into the suicide theory.  Were they expecting any investigation by police?  Or, if this story hadn’t caught the eye of the international media . . . would the killer have quietly passed Go without anyone trying to jail him at all?


+1 # RE: UNBELIEVABLE!amber 2012-02-01 04:50
That isn't the only story about that I have seen this week. There is also the one of a man and his wife killing their daughter and their aunt by honor killing.
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Jennifer Collins
+2 # Not surprisingJennifer Collins 2012-02-01 06:06
This breaks my heart but I'm not surprised by it at all. I spent the last few years of my life studying to be an instrument of change in the world and I continue to find things that are wrong like this. The world is a horrible place because there are people who are selfish and uneducated. However, the more people who bring awareness to the issues, the more people they will find willing to do something about it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this story and raising awareness on some of the issues faced by women. Please continue to do so as even one mind changed by your words is one mind looking for a solution.
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+3 # RE: UNBELIEVABLE!Beth 2012-02-01 08:45
This is a horrifying example of how women are treated in countries where their rights are dictated by religious beliefs & fueled by distrust and lack of education.

Amnesty International is a wonderful foundation and they support a wide variety of initiatives that concern the equality and health of women.

I would highly recommend checking out Women for Women International - an organization that helps women rebuild their lives in areas ravaged by war.

I think it's incredibly important that we as a society recognize how women are constantly devalued. This is a problem where patriarchy reigns supreme. Women in North America are routinely discriminated against and are often advised that we're only of any worth if we please men.

Women are human beings but we're rarely awarded the same benefits that our male counterparts are privileged with but that IS changing! Donating to organizations that value women is a great way to move us into the future.
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Nelly Jane
+2 # Unbelievable, but sadly believable.Nelly Jane 2012-02-01 09:21
I felt sick when I read this blog post. I'm so tired of the way that a certain percentage of people in the world treat women - it just makes me want to scream.
This story is one of the worst I've heard, and I feel so incredibly sorry for Storay Mohammed.
All these things that are happening in the world are adding fuel to my fire. I'm doing my bit for charity and am helping to give orphaned children in Africa an education. I've decided that when I'm old enough for a job, I'm going into human rights and I'm going to protect women like Storay and make sure they have their equal rights as well.

R.I.P Storay Mohammed
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+3 # I've been researching gender inequality...Tianna 2012-02-01 10:25
I'm in secondary school and in French I'm researching women's inequality. One of the books I picked up is called 'Le Feminisme' and it runs through a brief history of human society. It was almost painful to see that at one point they believed society had been matriarchal.
I thought a good point brought up by the book was that 'domestic empowerment' as is given to women in some cultures where they are otherwise unfairly treated, is not really something that makes the situation better. So what if you can have all the say in your house? You should have just as much power outside of it. I've read some things that make me believe that life is really unfair.
As for this case of violence on a woman, I agree with other commentors that while it's shocking, it's not a once-in-a-blue- moon kind of situation. I think in Spain one year the number of women who died from domestic abuse was something like seventy. :/
Let's all pray it gets better.
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+2 # RE: UNBELIEVABLE!Lourdes 2012-02-01 11:30
I can't comprehend why this kind of situations happens.

It's really hard for me to understand why in so many places treat half the population (as L.J. Smith said) as property. I'm still in shock.

The sad part is this is not the only story we have heard or read about.

Giving donation to Amnesty International is a really good idea. Beth gave us another organization we can donate too. I suggest every one of us to check out our local organizations where we can give and help not only to the unfairness against women, but to those who need it too.
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0 # What to Say.....Stephanie 2012-02-01 14:32
This makes me sick, phyically and emotionally. I know this happens around the world, but I just can't imagaine it.
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+1 # Add Fuel to the Flame...Administrator 2012-02-01 15:59
It is unbelievable but stuff like this is happening even closer than you think in and around United States.

Below is from CNN. Click the link to read the story and a view the video coverage >>
Family plans to appeal convictions in 'honor' murderswww.cnn.com/2012/01/30/world/americas/canada-honor-murder
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+1 # RE: UNBELIEVABLE!Rose 2012-02-01 16:25
A terrifying reality when it comes to what other parts of world treat each gender. It is something that we as human beings should not "get used to", these terrible events.
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+1 # RE: UNBELIEVABLE!Kyssandra 2012-02-01 17:29
This is just horrible. I hope that man gets caught!
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+1 # Re: UnbelievableAriadne 2012-02-01 18:23
I wish this was completely unbelievable but I read too many stories of women beaten and killed for the flimsiest of reasons and in the most horrid ways. There was another story recently of a woman whose husband's family (it was an arranged marriage) tortured her because she refused to become a prostitute. She was more fortunate than Storay Mohammed, may she rest in peace, as her uncle came looking for her and she was eventually rescued.
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+1 # SilverlilyK 2012-02-01 19:49
The world and society is rotting away.
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0 # Japanese character for wifeMerilee 2012-02-01 21:43
Japanese has two writing systems, one ideographic and one phonetic. I assume by "character" you meant the ideogram for "wife". All Japanese ideograms (Kanji) are derived from Chinese. The Chinese/Kanji character for "wife" does not contain the the character for "slave". However, the character for "slave" does include the character for "woman" in it (as well as other components). Hope that clears things up
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Mel Sepping
+2 # re: UNBELIEVABLEMel Sepping 2012-02-02 02:10
This blog is one that I believe is closer to home for more of us than any of us would believe. Not only in places like Afganistan or China, but definately in the US and AUS. We are such a multicultural world now that unfortunately the beliefs and traditions of many of the countries outside of our own are breing brought into and carried out right in front of our faces. It's just a shame that the only way anything is really done about the cruel, violent and unspeakable acts is if it is brought to light by international media. It doesn't matter where in the world you live, a woman should no longer be looked upon as a slave. A woman should no longer be a dishonor to the family, nor should they be treated as anything less than a male.
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+2 # So very sadLesley 2012-02-02 02:14
It IS unbelievable that in this day and age of information and human rights that such things continue to occur.

Up in Canada there was recently a case about a man, his 2nd wife, and his son killing the man's 3 daughters and his 1st wife (it was a plural marriage, which isn't legal in Canada) because they dared to become Westernized. It was also a family from Afghanistan. The daughters dared to date, and dress in western clothing, with the youngest, only 13, even daring to get bad grades. Can you imagine?

I am glad to have lived and grown up in a country that is one of the most free in the world, and punishes those severely that dare to do this to people. I hope some day everyone on Earth can say the same thing.

Rest in peace, all those women, children, and even some men, that have the horrible inhumane things done to them. May your souls be guided to your final safe havens.
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+1 # RE: So very sadI 2012-02-02 07:55
Unfortunately,I read articles with similar stories including one were the father beat up his daughter because he found out that she had a profile on Facebook.They justify their terrible behavior with words like:preserving the integrity of the family.
I really don`t understand how someone could do something like that,no matter where they come from.
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+1 # Baby BriannaKasper 2012-02-02 15:45
This is a horrific story. People can be so horrible to each other. I don't know if anyone here has ever hear of Baby Brianna? It happened in New Mexico. This case would show you how truly sick some people are in life and in death.
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+1 # What has the world come to?!Kaitlyn 2012-02-02 20:36
Oh My Gosh. If I hadn't had read this, I would have never known that this was happening! I cannot believe that I could be so oblivious to a matter like this. I really want to do something about it, like hold a fundraiser at school and raise money to give to Amnesty International.
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+1 # So sad..Jess 2012-02-07 02:31
I understand that those things occur all the time in those sort of countries but it still breaks my heart hearing stories where women are being abused for the little reasons. My heart goes out to those in corrupted in countries that have the disadvantage.
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+1 # :(Jennifer 2012-02-08 12:43
Unfortunatley, in the world today people have such a feeling of entitlement that they believe they can do whatever they want to get what they want. I know that in places like Afganistan and Iran have a lot against "Western" ideas, but it is hard to ignore the science that shows how a baby is made and the genetics behind how basic characteristics for that child will be determined. I also read a book (very good book, but again, not something that will make you happy to read) which showed the treatment of women and blacks and whatever else. It was set back in the post WWII era; it astounded me and angered me to no end to read about the ideas that people had about other people. How somebody can look at another human being and feel that they are less of a person is beyond me. I hope that one day this world will be a place where everyone can feel safe without a ton of security measures to make it that way.
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+1 # RE: UNBELIEVABLE!Quinn 2012-02-09 21:52
This is a very sad posting to read. I am from Canada and I read that story in the news about the Shafia family as well. It is so painful to know that there is so much hate, selfishness, and violence in the world. How could any of these women and GIRLS have known that they would lose their lives simply because they are female? That they did not fit a cultural expectation of how females should behave? I am also angered and grieved by the fact that, in the case of the Shafia family, they moved to Canada only to commit acts of such viciousness and cruelty, ones that go against everything our country stands for. People too often forget that in our society, where we are so spoiled for choice and where everything comes so easily, that this kind of situation still exists for so many out there.
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0 # RE: UNBELIEVABLE!Maiya 2012-03-04 08:14
That is so sad woman inequality is terrible
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0 # unbelievableBrittany 2012-03-12 00:55
This is disgusting!!! Some people are so ignorant to the good things happening to them that they only want to focus on the negative. The man should have been happy to have a child at all! Some poor couples try for children for years and are never blessed with one! Ugh this makes me sick.
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