I’ve been pondering over the place of women in society. Deep stuff. I know. There have been a few things that have spawned my interest. The first I think is pretty silly. Did you see this?
I can’t seem to find the original article, but basically some religious leader wants women to be banned from handling particularly shaped produce. Ladies, stop eyeing those cucumbers, bananas, carrots in a sexual way. You know who you are. And if you really must have a carrot or banana, see if you can get your husband or other male family member to cut it into smaller pieces that wont give you such lustful thoughts. As a woman, this seemed ridiculous—maybe men think this way but I’d dare say most women are probably more worried about how ripe or colorful their fruit is than how much it looks like a specific body part. This is the part where I would go on a rant about how I have never had an inappropriate thought about a vegetable (or fruit)--but I did get the giggles after seeing this baby at the grocery store this week. Bad timing I guess!
So much so that I had to bring it home (after I purchased said fruit) for Abe to see. I feel like this is bordering on inappropriate, until I remember (and I hope you will, too), it’s a pear! There is nothing inherently inappropriate about pears (or cucumbers, carrots, bananas, etc) unless you assign it that role. Which I guess in this case, I did. Maybe I do need Abe to help me handle my produce, just in case. Either way, I feel lucky that I can handle and think of my fruit in whichever way I choose. And even if I choose to think of it that way, remember how I said it “made me want to giggle?” No lustful thoughts here.
On a serious note, I read an article about an Afghan women sentenced to prison for 12 years because she was raped. She clearly was having an affair with the man as she became pregnant and “everyone knows that you can’t become pregnant the first time you have intercourse.” Thus, she was obviously having an affair and brought shame upon herself and family. She was given the option to marry her rapist to legitimize her daughter and their affair or remain in prison for the full 12 year sentence. I am glad to see in this article http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/01/world/asia/afghanistan-rape-victim/index.html?eref=edition that now she is being released without this condition. I was furious to read that this sort of thing (continues to) happen(s) to women. I find myself frustrated by my own sense if injustice that occurs to women in our own society, but it makes me sick to think of this poor women’s story which I am sure she shares with others. I don’t know what to do to help, but I wish I could.
And finally, a personal experience. Last weekend when I was on-call I was called to the ER to evaluate a woman about my age who had been assaulted by her boyfriend. I guess I am so used to seeing facial injuries that her black eyes and broken jaw, lacerations on her chin and scalp, large bruises on her cheeks didn’t really phase me. Then I looked at her arms which were severely bruised and gasped when I saw the whip marks on her back and arms that were clearly from a belt or some other blunt object. She had reportedly been beaten with brass knuckles and a belt. As if hitting a woman multiple times with your fist isn’t enough, really teach her a lesson with some of these:
I was angry to see this. I am grateful that despite what I see as perceived injustices towards women—glass ceilings, job discrimination, objectification/sexualization, that I have so many freedoms and that I have men in my life, especially my husband, who only use their hands to give me a pat on the pack or a gentle hug.
I have always wanted to volunteer for a women’s shelter or rape hotline but these have large commitment times for training. If anyone has any ideas of how to help, I’d appreciate the feedback.