sucks to be them


Anyone living in a world with access to television, the Internet, and newspapers has likely heard the word Taliban lately. The Taliban reign over most of Afghanistan right now, and they’re making headlines all over the place – destroying priceless, ancient statues of Buddha has been the story du jour. But I happened to run across another little story about what’s going on in Afghanistan that’s not so well known. It figures. The real hubbub – about the statues – has far eclipsed this other, smaller story about the bad things happening to women (and men) in the country.
And after all, we know that mere women (particularly in these countries) aren’t nearly as important as statues.
The Guardian reports that two women accused of prostitution were publicly hanged to death while about 1,000 onlookers (whaddya want to bet they were all men?) stood witness. Two other women accused of adultery were lashed in the same “event” which was held in a sports stadium. Yes, men were also lashed there too, for the same reason. All thanks to the Taliban.
According to the report, strict rules are also being enforced – women have to travel with a male relative, have to keep themselves hidden by some sort of scarf over the head and face, are not allowed to work or attend school past the age of eight.
I cannot begin to tell you the helplessness and frustration this stirs up in me. I am in outright amazement that today, in the year 2001, that an entire gender (men) still have the power to completely subjugate and deprive another entire gender (women). How is this possible? How can these men tell 50% of their country’s population that they are without worth in and of themselves, that they are either not intelligent enough or simply not entitled to advance their mind through education, and that they are in fact simple chattel, owned and controlled by the men in their lives?
How do the women put up with it? Well, that part I understand a little more easily. When you’ve been told your entire life that you have no worth, it’s awfully easy to believe it… to not even consider other possibilities whatsoever.
Remind me to never travel to Afghanistan.

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Vikki McKay
By Vikki McKay

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