01 April 2009

Legalising rape

So the Afghan government has pushed through some barbaric legislation allowing husbands to rape their wives - or that is, "Article 132 requires women to obey their husband's sexual demands and stipulates that a man can expect to have sex with his wife at least "once every four nights" when travelling, unless they are ill. The law also gives men preferential inheritance rights, easier access to divorce, and priority in court."

When travelling? What about when not travelling? That little piece baffled me. But regardless, women are required to obey their husband's sexual demands? WTF?

There are so many places to go with this story. So many.

First, because it interests me, the religious aspect of it. Apparently, the law was passed to appease the small Shia minority who are a block of swing voters. Now, first of all, that makes me sick - that human rights are traded for votes. I suppose I should be more jaded, but I'm just not. But the other thing about this is the fact that this sort of treatment of women is NOT mandated by the Koran (Qu'ran, if you're a purist). Furthermore, there is nothing in the Hadith that suggests that Mohammed was approving of this behaviour. So, again, wtf? Now, I know what you're going to say (that is, if you think like I do, and a pity for you if you do!), since when do religious people follow the rules of their churches and not co-opt them for the own agendas? Well, they don't, and that's my point. This is only religious in the sense that a bunch of people who follow Islam have added these rules in an attempt to control women. It's very reminiscent of the way that extremist Christians have added a bunch of odd rules that have no, or very little biblical backing, and then calling it a matter of religion. For example, there are a number of sects that don't allow women to cut their hair, but insist on brush cuts for men. Weird. The thing of it is, the extremists with their controlling rules make it part of the religion when there is no basis for it, as a way of making it God's rules. Rules that cannot be broken without divine implications. Also, it makes it so that they, as God's tool (ha!) can punish those who break the rules. It's insidious.

Second, we have the problem of not being part of the culture, and well, is it okay to tell them how to behave? Most of the time I say "No. Their country, their culture, their rules". However, when the women of that country are saying that this isn't okay with them, then no, I say we step up and help. Besides, isn't that the bullshit reason that we were given for our military to be there? Well, now they actually do need the help, so step up and do it, or GTFO.

Canada NEEDS to help put a stop to this shit. And we need to do something about the atrocities in Africa too. It's a cliché, but if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. And I'm not sure how much of the solution we are right now.






(I've seen this posted all over, so I'm not leaving a h/t. Suffice it to say, y'all are quicker than I am about finding these stories!)