Monday, May 26, 2003

Body and Soul's Jeanne has posted a couple of times about the scenes on television of crowds in Iraq-- solidly male crowds, and asks "where are the women?" More specifically, she says:

"Since the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, the front pages of major newspapers have regularly featured photographs of crowds of Iraqi men... Invariably, the captions and the accompanying stories have referred to the crowds as "Iraqis" or perhaps "Shiite Muslims" -- never as "Iraqi men" or "Shiite men," despite the conspicuous absence of women and despite the fact that a crowd of Iraqi women would surely be referred to as just that."-J

"The failure to note that the crowds are all-male is part of the larger failure to ask the question that should follow automatically from such images: Where are the Iraqi women? -- Elizabeth Goitein, The Washington Post"

I think that the absence of women on the streets is an indication of the absence of safety on the streets-- an absence that should be laid at GW's feet as his responsibility, especially after the administration got the UN security council resolution they sought that OK'd the postwar reconstruction to be supervised by just the US and the UK, after they did such a bang-up job protecting the hospitals and museums and libraries.... I seem to remember an article in the online Christian Science Monitor mentioning that incidents of rape have gone up dramatically in Baghdad since the so-called reconstruction started, but I forgot to bookmark it, I must embarassedly admit.

Nevertheless, I found this NY Times article on Common Dreams which partly supports this arguement regarding the absence of women on the streets.