Monday, March 19, 2012

Rape, Marriage, Death

Amina Filali
Amina Filali, a 16-year-old Moroccan girl, is dead. Amina was raped when she was 15 and according to law and custom was forced against her will to marry her rapist, who by agreeing to marry Amina escaped any punishment for his crime. During her 5 month marriage her husband beat Amina repeatedly. She complained to her mother who advised patience. Last week Amina swallowed rat poison.

Hopefully, this tragedy will spur changes to Moroccan law to prevent future horrors like Amina's. Thank goodness we live in a civilized country where women's rights are protected on a par with men's, a country where raped women are treated as victims rather than co-conspirators condemned to continue pregnancies to which they did not consent. Right?

The U.S. Congress, 83% of whose members are men, has of late been attempting to circumscribe women's access to contraception, denying them control of their own reproductive health. Meanwhile, in 2010 alone, 370 laws were passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures restricting abortion rights. Some of these new laws make no exception for rape. They reduce women to little more than incubators. Does this constitute a war on women? You bet it does.

Panderbear remembers well the time in America before Roe v. Wade when deaths from coat hanger abortions were an everyday occurrence. Is that what we really want for American women? Panderbear can only imagine a woman's horror at being forced to choose between criminality and continuing an unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. That's cruel and unusual punishment and a clear violation of women's constitutional rights. If such laws are upheld by the current 5-4 majority of activist conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices, how many American women will choose to follow Amina Filali's tragic example?

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  1. I can't help wondering why the women of America tolerate this garbage. Women of the past fought tooth and nail for the right to vote and today's women are passively taking whatever mistreatment the GOP cares to hand them without so much as a whimper! What the hell?

    Women of America, tell the GOP what they can do with their disrespect! There are plenty of men who are willing to back you up. I'm not the only one. But you have to take the lead and show the GOP that you are not willing to let them take away your rights! Write and call the women in Congress and tell them to cast their votes for YOU not those who strive to "put you in your place"! Write the local and national press, hold marches and sit-ins until the throwbacks to the 14th century understand that this is the 21st century and you have rights, too!

    1. Thanks for your comment Bill.

      As escaped slave and leader of the abolitionist movement Frederick Douglass said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did. It never will." Women must make their demand. No group ever received their full civil rights as a gift. They have always had to fight for their liberty.