Women in Afghanistan still suffer some of the worst gendered conditions in the world: forced marriages, lack of education, and conditions far beyond anything we can encapsulate in even those awful-sounding soundbites. One of our favorite organizations works to empower women there through fostering and publishing their writing about their lives, the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. Another idea: Giving women there economic power by fostering sales of their crafts. Read more at The Daily Beast’s Women in the World.
Feminism Through Art: Meet Hangama Amiri
Looking at the painting, “Girl Under the Taliban,” (left) by Hangama Amiri is like being slapped across the face with a reality check. In it, a young woman sears a determined stare into the viewer’s mind with one eye while the other burns with fire. She’s clutching a textbook in one hand and a burqa in the other. It assaults you with its literal message of oppression, but confounds even more with its rich complexity. It’s the story of Nargis, a 13-year-old Afghan girl banned from seeking education under the Taliban. It is not a unique story, but it’s one that isn’t being told nearly enough.
“Girl” is the third in the series, “The Wind-Up Dolls of Kabul,” by artist Hangama Amiri. She has made it her mission to tell stories about Afghan women through her work.
Amiri could have had the same story as Nargis–or one much worse. Her family fled Afghanistan in 1996 when the Taliban took over. She spent several years as a refugee and finally settled in Canada, where she went to college, became an artist in residence and began her career. “The Wind-Up Dolls” series is Amiri’s first solo exhibition and has come to define her feminist identity as well as the arc of her artistic vision.
She talks to Sexy Feminist about her inspirations, the concept of feminism in Afghanistan, and the way art is an important part of the global discourse on the treatment of women.
Link of the Day: Afghan Women’s Lives in Prison
SF Talking Points: Judge Rules That Women Who Wear High Heels And Tube Tops Are Inviting Rape
Canadian Judge Doesn’t Send Rapist To Jail Because “Sex Was In The Air”: In a case where the woman was wearing (gasp!) a tube top with no bra, high heels, and “plenty of makeup,” it was more OK for the man she was with, Kenneth Rhodes, to force intercourse with her on a dark highway. At least that’s what Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Dewar decided. Poor guy; he was just a “clumsy Don Juan.” He sure was clumsy — he left a permanent scar on the victim’s knee from the the attack. But “Protection of society is not advanced one iota by putting Mr. Rhodes in jail,” Dewar said. That’s where he is oh, so wrong.
While the judge maintained that this case shouldn’t be seen as a precedent, how can it not be? This sounds like a ruling that would result from language like “forcible rape” — well, slow down there, let’s take into account just how forcible it was. She was dressed like she was asking for it? Check. The two involved were drinking? Check. Well, then, any time a woman wears a tube top and makeup and has a few drinks, she better expect to end her night with a bit of rape.
How does Dewer not realize how disgusting the message he’s sending is