My mother raised me to believe that I could do anything I wanted to; could be whatever I wanted to be and had the right to do so. If I wanted to be an astronaut, I could – if I wanted to be a ballet dancer I could – if I wanted to be a writer, well… that sort of worked out okay.
But she never told me that there were men out there who would not only try to stop me, but would go to extremes to do so just because of my gender. Just because I was a woman.
I’ve faced discrimination over my short life, having worked in the security field and seeing plenty of men who disliked me even being in the same building as they were – nevermind pulling down equal pay and wearing the same uniform.
But, thank God, none of them tried to stone me to death.
This past May, 2007, a woman named Dua Khalil was stoned to death by a group of men in Iran. Yes, you read the date right. 2007. Not some historical recreation; not some faked show for the tourists – she was stoned to death. For the crime of loving a Muslim boy. Seems that she was part of the Yazidi faith, that believes they are descended directly from Adam, *not* Adam and Eve, and she dared to considering marrying outside of her faith.
The men in her village, outraged at this, stoned her to death.
And the police watched.
And it was captured on cell phone.
And it was put up on CNN and Youtube.
A woman, 17 years old, stoned to death. Large pieces of rocks smashing into her face; breaking bones; shattering ribs; disfiguring her until her soul gave up and fled the broken and beaten body.
Of course, *after* the ruckus caused by the media the police chief arrested four of the men, including her cousin who was supposedly the first to throw a rock at her head. And Al Queda, on behalf of the Sunni population, murdered twenty-three men in retaliation for this attack on the Sunni faith. Most of the men involved have left the village or gone underground.
The police officers, seen standing by and allowing the mob to murder this girl, were not disciplined at all.
Just a wee bit scared?
Equality Now is the place to start – get thee hence and find out how you can help women fight back and stay alive.
Nothing But Red is Skyla Dawn Cameron’s project to raise funds to help EN keep fighting the good fight.
But why should you get involved, you say to yourself? Why, when after all the majority of you reading this post live in Western, “civilized” countries?
Because we’re not immune, folks. That could happen to your sister, your mother, your girlfriend very soon.
Already there have been movements in Ontario, Canada and in various US States to allow different types of religious law to be used as an alternative to the legal system. And if these religious extremists have their way, any woman could end up like Dua Khalil – her body burned at the edge of the village and buried with a dog’s corpse. And if you haven’t, get thee hence and read “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.