Thursday, July 13, 2006

Rape of Abir Hamzah

Women's Space/The Margins is asking an important question to pro-feminist men: "Where the hell are you?"

She's referring to who is blogging (and not blogging about) about of the rape/murder of 14 (not 15 as frequently reported)-year old Abir Hamzah and her family by US soldiers. There seems to be a silence from male bloggers on these horrific events that are probably more representative of the nature of occupation than Americans would like to believe.

Women's Space has been following Abir Hamzah's story from the beginning and has discussed it (see parts 1, 2, 3, 4) in a way highly sensitive to the hyper-masculinity present in militarized contexts which is likely to simultaneously breed abuses of persons indigenous to an occupied territory and official disregard for (or active cover up of) reports of abuse (particularly female abuse).

These revelations remind me of the history of which they are a part. They remind me of the opening remarks of a 27-year-old John Kerry testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the "Winter Soldier Investigation" in which veterans of Vietnam "told stories that, at times, they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan."

We feminist men, we're out here. We need to stand with those doing their best to document and bring critical attention to bear on these events emblematic of patriarchy and war.

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