I had been troubled for weeks by the graphic photograph of a burkha-clad woman beheaded by the Taliban. The burkha bothered me. Even in death the woman had no identity. Strangely, to the spectators (all male) it was more indecent to uncover her head than to cut it off. Whose rules? I said f… the damn burkha. F… the Taliban. And then I saw this:
Tripla was just 17 when the man who bought her took her into a field and decapitated her with a sickle. Her crime? Refusing to sleep with her owner’s brother, who cold not find a “wife”. Her parents had sold her for 170 pounds.
India has nuclear weapons, a thriving business district in Mumbai, and (a shock to me) the highest number of labor slaves in the world. Most of them are women and girls (not so shocking) but…
From The Price of Being a Woman
Just 25 miles from the mall is a slave market for women.
Desirability is based on skin color, age and virginity…that is
if the purchase is for sex or resale. If it’s for labor, anyone will do. Labor slaves are 96% of total number of slaves although the sex-slaves are more profitable. A single female may be resold many times, whenever a deal can be struck or a profit made. Mummia was a great deal.
Mummia was considered particularly beautiful. She was sold three times in just three weeks.
Girls are now so few in number in some areas there is no one for the men to marry. The desire for the financial benefit of sons and onerous dowry requirements has resulted in the abortion of female fetuses. Doctors use coded language and write their charts in red and blue ink to circumvent the laws against sex-select abortion.
Sometimes the women’s mothers-in-law demand the abortion of the female fetus.
No one involved in the trafficking and killing of women seems to connect the treatment of the female gender with the long-lasting social consequences of their acts.
So, what you say, does this have to do with Earth Day?
Because as it goes for women, so it goes for the ultimate female, for Gaia, for Mother Earth. Rape, exploitation, slavery, a lack of regard for the integrity and rights of another. Anything that can bring a profit: strip mining, chemical dumping, depletion of the oceans, global warming, annihilation of species, war. Whatever. It’s all of a piece.
A new poll indicates the populous is less committed now to saving the planet than it was forty years ago. It was President Nixon that signed into being much of the environmental legislation such as the EPA, Toxic Control Act, Clean Water Act, that we now take for granted. He did it because the people demanded it. And it was also nearly forty years ago that the push for the Equal Rights Amendment seemed strong and headed for victory. But the regressive movements fought back and we are at a standstill. Economic matters now concern us most, our jobs, mortgages, childrens’ futures, the gigantic economic engine,so wizard-like, really powered by greed and imagination. Our fauxgressive new president talks the talk on women and the environment but so far he has done everything BUT walk the walk.
And yet….There is an awful portent in the destruction and extinction of women.
As the number of women born declines their utility and profitability in whorehouses, fields and factories has become more obvious. We all want to be rich.
Villagers attacked the police who came to rescue the purchased brides. Villagers enforce the women’s silence about their plight.
Women are shipped by container to brothels in New York. The profits on the sale of female labor rivals that of guns and drugs.
They’re handed over by their husbands and families for a few rupees to the:
carpet sheds of Brohadi, as prostitutes and kitchen slaves in West Asia, the U.K., Korea. They’re sent to the Philippines for pornography. If they are children they might be sent to Saudi Arabia as beggars.
And so it goes. Cheap goods on the backs of female slaves. Disposable everything because it’s all free for the taking.
So I’ve come full circle, back to the burkha-clad woman and her shameful head on the ground. It still troubles me.