Saturday, November 26, 2005

Violence Against Women A Moral Outrage

Women do not speak of domestic violence - WHO
One in six women worldwide suffers domestic violence - some battered during pregnancy - yet many remain silent about the assaults, according to the World Health Organisation.
"Women are more at risk from violence involving people they know at home than from strangers in the street. There is a feeling that the home is a safe haven and that pregnancy is a very protected period, but that is not the case," WHO director-general Lee Jong-Wook said.

Slain woman 'brought smiles to everyone' family remembers
CBC News
A pregnant teenager found in a Mill Woods townhouse Wednesday night died from multiple gunshot wounds, the medical examiner's office said Friday. A 19-year-old man, who police say had known Olivia Talbot since childhood, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death.

The right wing will now decry this and call for more law and order, but it is their religious morality that is the cause of this violence against women.

Violence against women is the result of patriarchy, of the religious ideology that says women are the chattel property of their husbands, fathers, brothers.

It matters not which religious sect of monothiesm espouses the belief in the Sacredness of Marriage, those that speak of such sacredness are merely excusing their right to 'own' their wives. To do with them as they will, which includes beating and even killing them.

Recently, Mr. Oppal characterized the gang violence afflicting his community in Greater Vancouver as a "cancer." More provocatively, he said the difference in the way many Indo-Canadian families raise sons and daughters is a contributing factor. "There are still a lot of families who celebrate the birth of a boy but don't celebrate the birth of a girl," Mr. Oppal said in an interview. "And you see this reflected in the way they bring up their children. The boys get carte blanche treatment and the result is they grow up to be gangsters in many cases."

It is a moral depravity of these religions of patriarchy, and should be seen as such. While the religionists around the world are quick to denounce the moral turpitude of secular society, we must remember that this so called secular society is the result of humanities revlusion to the moral decadence, political power and its abuse by the theocracies that have ruled our lives.

Every time the religious establishment denounces sex education, womens rights, and humanism in general they are creating the continued conditions of oppression of women.

To say the unborn child takes precedence over the mother and her rights as a woman to choose, is to say she is chattel property.

To fail to have a comprehensive human relations education, sex ed if you like, in our public schools will continue to haunt us with examples like that above.

While denouncing sex education, what the religionist does is throw the baby out with the bathwater. For in having human sexuality education one learns tolerance, one learns about the problems of relationships including jealousy.

We cannot pray away these very real human emotions, nor can one hope they will not occur, they do in all relationships, and in order to mature into a relationship one needs education, including moral education. But that moral education needs to be humanist, to recognize the problems that exist in our relationships with each other and to also honour each other as inviduals not for our social roles.

The moral bankruptcy of leaving sex ed/human relations education to the Church/Temple/Synagouge etc. and to the parents continues to result in the abuse and death of women and children.

Until we recognize womens individuality, to their right to ownership especially over their own persons, and to own property, then violence against women will continue, it is the disease of patriarchy.

The Failure of Christianity

by Emma Goldman

Everywhere and always, since its very inception, Christianity has turned the earth into a vale of tears; always it has made of life a weak, diseased thing, always it has instilled fear in man, turning him into a dual being, whose life energies are spent in the struggle between body and soul. In decrying the body as something evil, the flesh as the tempter to everything that is sinful, man has mutilated his being in the vain attempt to keep his soul pure, while his body rotted away from the injuries and tortures inflicted upon it.


Polly Jones said...

I don't think that it is only religions that contribute to the patriarchal conditions - economic power, sexual power, social and cultural power - It is ingrained everywhere. It is not just the religious women who don't speak out...There is a silence of shame.

It is a super complicated issue. I'll be posting more on the issue in months to come. I'm glad other people are interested and looking at the issues that contribute - you're right that reproductive power is a big piece of the puzzle!

Polly Jones said...

Additional thought:

I agree that many people condem what they see as individual acts of crime - rape or murder - and few acknowledge how they are part of it. Look how frequently men degrade women by sexual labels...People don't get away with racist labels, even homophobic labels in the same way. Ugh, I have to stop...I think people are really in denial about the epidemic levels of violence against women....Did you know that the number one cause of death for pregnant women is homicide by their partners???!!!!