Monday, May 09, 2011

How Women Get Erased from History

UPDATE: (5/12 10:13 p.m. but unable to post until 5/13 1:59 p.m. because Blogger was down to resolve some issues) Looks like someone took Hecate's suggestion (see her comment below) or maybe it's that great minds think alike... In any event, has published the pic in question with only the two women, because, according to Free Williamsburg, having the men in the photo was "too "scintillating to handle." WTG Free Williamsburg! (And tip of the hat to Rachel Maddow, who closed with this item on her MSNBC's program last night [i.e., Thursday night].

An ultraorthodox Hasidic Yiddish newspaper, Der Tzitung, has "photoshopped" out Hillary Clinton and Audrey Thomason from the well-known White House photo of people watching the raid on the Bin Laden compound. Clinton is U.S Secretary of State; Thomason is Director for Counter-Terrorism. Der Tzitung is located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY. The newspaper says it was following its policy of not showing women in photos with men because it can be sexually suggestive. For more info with pics, see The New York Magazine, and The Jewish Week, which is critical of Der Tzitung. This is of course just the most recent instance in a long tradition of various religions finding ways to erase women from history.

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At Monday, May 09, 2011 6:02:00 PM, Blogger Hecate said...

Odd they didn't decide to photoshop out the men.

At Wednesday, May 11, 2011 9:02:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saudi officials continue to require women to obtain permission from male guardians to conduct their most basic affairs, like traveling or receiving medical care, despite government assertions that no such requirements exist, Human Rights Watch said, to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Saudi Al-Watan newspaper reported, that Saudi doctors have confirmed that Health Ministry regulations still require a woman to obtain permission from her male guardian to undergo surgery. Saudi border guards at the Bahrain crossing refused to allow the renowned women's rights activist Wajeha al-Huwaider to leave the country because she did not have her guardian's permission, al-Huwaider told Human Rights Watch.

"The Saudi government is saying one thing to the Human Rights Council in Geneva but doing another thing inside the kingdom," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "It needs to stop requiring adult women to seek permission from men, not just pretend to stop it."

Human Rights Watch documented in an April 2008 report, "Perpetual Minors", the impact of the "guardianship" system, which requires Saudi women to obtain permission from male guardians before they can carry out a host of day-to-day activities, such as education, employment, travel, opening a bank account, or receiving medical care. The report demonstrated the negative consequences for women whose guardians - fathers, husbands, brothers or male children - refused to give such permission.

At Wednesday, May 11, 2011 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad, that trivial news about a photograph in an obscure Yiddish newspaper, sensationalised in a mainstream US journal - representing the real male power in the States, is enough for Medusacoils to be blinded and divert attention from important news.

If this is how you are "Fiercely defending, bravely exploring Goddess and spiritual feminisms" - I'm not surprised that the recent UN report on Sri Lanka, on the systematic rape and murder of Tamil girls and women escaped your attention.

"Evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka, UN report... The report says it has authenticated video footage which showed naked and blindfolded prisoners being "kicked and forced to cower in the mud before being shot in the head at close range." Another film, broadcast on Channel Four News, showed a landscape of executed prisoners including women and a young boy.

Rape and sexual violence in the last weeks of the conflict was under-reported, photographs of dead female Tamil Tiger 'cadres' indicated "rape or sexual violence may have occurred, either prior to or after execution."

At Wednesday, May 11, 2011 2:53:00 PM, Anonymous Only me said...

I would argue with Anon, as I feel strongly that the insult to our Hillary Clinton, in a newspaper with a readership of around 2437 people, is of global importance and "Fiercely defending... feminisms, etc"

Our Hillary's missing picture is far more distressing to the national pride, than the fact, that for example in India, over a million female foetuses are aborted every year, and thousands of newborn girls are killed in the first week of birth.

It has long been known that girls in India are often deliberately subjected to hunger and neglect. It is a cruel form of torture, for often it is how a family vents its anger on the daughters for being born as girls. Many are dying of malnutrition and/or starvation. If a girl falls sick, the family often will not take her to the hospital or buy her medicines. A 2007 UNICEF report affirmed that girls under-5 years in India had a 40% higher mortality rate than boys the same age. This essentially is negligent homicide.

A 2011 report on a study conducted jointly by the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed that girls under 5 years in India were dying at an abnormally high rate because they were being subject to inhumane violence at home by their families. The study observed that girls were 21% more likely than boys to die before their 5th birthday because of violence. And infant girls, who were one year and younger were 50% more likely to die because of violence than boys that age. The head researcher commented, “Shockingly this violence does not pose a threat to your life if you are lucky enough to be born a boy.”

Female infanticide has a long history in India, and chillingly each region has had its own established, traditional way of killing infant girls, methods that include drowning the baby in a bucket of milk, or feeding her salt, or burying her alive in an earthen pot. In a study by the Registrar General of India published in 2010 in the medical journal “The Lancet,” a curious factor came to light. Girls in India of the age 1month to 5 years were dying of pneumonia and diarrhea at a rate that is 4-5 times higher than boys that age.

The answer is provide by author and journalist Gita Aravamudan, in her book Disappearing Daughters , which is based on her research from more than two decades of field investigations of female infanticide and feticide in India. She observes that old, traditional methods of killing infants can be immediately detected in case infanticide is suspected and an police investigation is launched. She says

“[To avoid arrest] families adopt more torturous methods of killing [infant girls]…Female infanticide I found had become more ‘scientific.’ Inducing pneumonia was the modern method. The infant was wrapped in a wet towel or dipped in cold water as soon as it was born or when it came back home from hospital. if, after a couple of hours, it was still alive it was taken to a doctor who would diagnose pneumonia and prescribe medicine, which the parents promptly threw away. when the child finally died, the parents had a medical certificate to prove pneumonia. Sometimes the infant was fed a drop of alcohol to create diarrhea: another ‘certifiable disease.’ (pg.22)

The "50 Million Missing" is a global campaign to stop the ongoing female genocide in India
For further information and to join the campaigne see:


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More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.