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Brutality in Cameroon: The Barbaric Practice of Breast Ironing

by
Posted on July 29 2010 9:00 pm
Jenn escaped blue state academia for redder pastures in the South. Follow her on Twitter and read more of her work at JennQPublic.com.

Little girls in Cameroon are being betrayed by their own mothers.  Using piping hot stones, women “iron” their pubescent daughters’ breasts to destroy any visible sign of budding womanhood.  Some of the victims of this torture are as young as nine.

The scars are horrific.

Women say it is love that drives them to brutalize their daughters this way, that they just want to protect young girls from being raped or becoming pregnant at an early age.  Instead, they end up with daughters who are both mutilated and pregnant.  Not only are the girls disfigured, but many suffer infection, pain, psychological distress, and damage to the breast tissue that can cause lactation difficulties and perhaps even breast cancer.

As with female genital mutilation, girls are having their bodies violated in unthinkable ways in order to control their sexuality.  Why bother to address a high teen pregnancy rate with education about sex and birth control when you can scald away the flesh from your daughter’s chest?  And of course, it’s easier to blame little girls for being too enticing than it is to repair a culture in which rape and assault are prevalent.

Please watch the documentary embedded below for more on this cruelty. (Note: The video contains some nudity.)

Via The Frisky.

The next time you hear a so-called feminist demanding the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act or exploding with outrage at the inhumanity of being forced to pay for abortion, remind her that the systematic abuse of women and girls is real.  She’s just never experienced it.

—–

Follow Jenn Q. Public on Twitter and read more of her work at JennQPublic.com.

97 Responses leave one →
  1. July 30, 2010

    i don't know how to express my utter horror. oh my god those poor little girls. going through that because their leaders wont change their culture. somebody needs to be shot. repeatedly.

  2. July 30, 2010

    I find the last paragraph of this blog article to be truly offensive. In a nation where one out of four women is sexually abused in their lifetime and one out of three Native American women are raped, the writer has no business concluding that American women do not experience brutality on a daily basis. Whether a woman has or hasn't, it does not change the inportance of the issues being jeered at. In order to bring about equality between the sexes, all faucets of society must be scrutinized.

    • July 29, 2010

      Few American women are brutalized on a daily basis. But that was never the point or even as aside to the original article.
      “Women’s” (abortion)rights groups routinely ignore international brutality to women by making straw women to shoot at…..like in your comment.
      Or do you propose that American women iron their own breasts to even things out?

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      July 30, 2010

      Really? You just read about little girls getting their breasts pounded and burned by hot stones but what offends you most is my characterization of American feminist priorities? That is **exactly** the kind of depraved nonsense I was talking about in that paragraph.

    • July 29, 2010

      Laura..you offend me. Please advise us when your breasts were ironed and you were subjected to FGM. If not, shut the H$%^ up. American women as a WHOLE are treated like goddesses compared to the crapholes around the world you libs love to emulate. I'm sorry if some sicko may or may not have abused you. That practice was frowned upon here until libs persecuted faith in God. That's the bed you guys made, now you have to sleep in it. I bet if somebody tried to iron their 10 year old daughters breasts here they'd go to jail and probably die there because of it. The point of the article was that this kind of sick, twisted crap is ACCEPTABLE to the very people feminists ally themselves with. That madame is no strawman. Your fallacious correlation assertion is factually void and fallaciously assumptive.

    • July 30, 2010

      Funny, I am 57, and have met only 1 rape victim. Please provide valid support for your claim.

      BTW, the Native American community has high alcoholism, drop-out and suicide rates to deal with. Why? The perpetual victim game of blame whitey and not work or learn anything in the tax paid schools provided.

    • July 30, 2010

      How I despise nonsense like this.

      Anytime a video of horrific abuse like this is shown, right away people like you compare it to anything happening in America. People such as yourself are so morally warped that you are incapable of seeing differences of degree.

      There is NOTHING comparable to this going on in America. Absolutely nothing. You cannot and will not point to it, because it does not exist.

      Finally, your outrage is against the author. Not a word about what's being done to these little girls. Now THAT offends me.

      • July 30, 2010

        @Aspacia: Yes, to a large extent we are treated the way we allow others to treat us. However, just because you assume (and given your demonstrated lack of insight on this subject, you may or may not be correct in that assumption) that you have never been the "victim" of discrimination, does not mean you are not an eligible target. If you are a woman, your basic biological make-up ensures that you are eligible.

        @Mo: You are clearly not reading my comments very carefully as I have repeatedly called the situation in Cameroon appalling.

        I'm not sure why any of you, including the author, want to make a comparison between the United States and a developing country. This argument is uncognent.

        @aspacia again: the reason Native Americans suffer from such high levels of alcoholism is that biologically they lack one of the necessary digestive enzymes to metabolize it. When a Native American drinks, the alcohol builds up in their body and then when it can't be metabolized, it floods the blood stream and the brain. This faulty metabolic process makes them vulnerable to the disease of alcoholism. It has absolutely nothing to do with "blame games."

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          July 30, 2010

          And THIS is exactly what's wrong with your ENTIRE line of "logic." If I suffered from a lack of digestive enzyme that made it impossible for me to metabolize alcohol, I would NOT DRINK IT.

          My health is my responsibility. Native American alcoholism is the responsibility of Native Americans.

          Making excuses is the problem. Personal responsibility is the answer.

          • July 30, 2010

            The American Medical Association and the DSM IV, as well as most practicing psychologists, social workers, and medical professionals including psychiatrists, disagree with you… but thanks for playing.

          • July 30, 2010

            Additionally, Chris, you are trying to apply commonsense knowledge to an aspect of human behavior. This knowledge is not always accurate or reliable because it rests on commonly held beliefs and is almost always colored by personal biases, rather than coming from a systematic analysis of facts.

            When facts and statistics are analyzed in regards to the lives of Native Americans and then these are studied in the context of various sociological theories, it becomes very clear that there are many variables, e.g. crushing poverty, biological, ethnic and cultural differences, lack of education, a badly run reservation legal system, and higher levels of sexual abuse, that contribute to the "choices" made, including the choice to numb with alcohol.

            You find my attitude "elitists and condescending," yet you make no attempt to understand that others may experience American life completely different than you do. Because of male privilege, (I'm guessing white, male privilege), it doesn't even cross your mind. You apply your own personal beliefs and experiences to someone else's existence. Honestly, it's quite an ignorant and callous practice.

  3. July 30, 2010

    DId the human race ever emerge from the Dark Ages?

  4. July 30, 2010

    @JennQPublic: You are setting up a fallacious correlation. ANY time a woman ANYWHERE is physically, sexually, mentally, or verbally abused it is "depraved nonsense." Try this: put the word "rape" into Google alerts and you will be inundated with stories of little girls being horrifically violated in the U.S.–often by their own family members. And these are only the cases that were reported and made the media.

    I am saddened and enraged by every incidence of female abuse around the world. However, to say that talking about the wage gap or the class oppression that denies women in poverty their basic biological rights somehow takes away from focusing on the unconscionable violence that is perpetrated against women daily and worldwide is false.

    This is not an either/or issue; it is not black and white. We can stand up against violent abuse of women and still fight for other issues that are not considered so physically and mentally violating.

    • July 30, 2010

      Laura you seem to miss the point. How many girls in the U.S. or West for that matter, have their breasts ironed and suffer genital mutilation, honor murder, stoning etc. Sure, we have our problems, but no where near the level that women suffer in Africa or the Middle-East. How many Western schools are bombed because they have the audacity to educate girls.

      • July 30, 2010

        No, aspacia, I think you have missed the point. Why you are attempting to run an oppression sweepstakes is beyond me. Abuse is just that–abuse. Never did I say that the average American woman's experience was equitable to the average Middle Eastern woman's experience. What I have said (repeatedly) is that atrocities against women around the world do not negate the inequality, sexism, and abuse experienced by American women. Not every American woman is abused but every American woman experiences sexism and inequality, as they are woven into social norms.

        • July 30, 2010

          No Laura, this is currently invalid. We have laws protecting all individuals from discrimination. Years ago, women were discriminated against, and were, sometimes, and still are violated, but so are men and children.

          The reason women in the West earned the right to vote before women on the East Coast stems from the fact than men needed women to help with farming and ranching. These women earned male respect through hard work, intelligence and common sense.

          Yes, prior to the 70's women did not receive equal pay for equal work, and many were sexually harassed on the job, I was one of them. I lost my job because I would not date the University's vice-president, yes, a liberal university. This is no longer true. Most businesses conduct training regarding sexual harassment, what is and is not legal. Annually, schools conduct these trainings for all employees, and have to take and pass an exam regarding these training.

          The sexist paradigm has changed. Please remember that I was born in the 50's, and was one of the young women protesting during the 60's and 70's. The facts on the ground have changed. At the moment, I believe that too many minorities tend to look for discrimination where none exists. For example the recent hoopla regarding the Hallmark graduation cards using the scientific term black hole.

          Ridiculous.

          If you want to be the victim, buy into the whining victimization game. Me, well, I used the rules and play to win.

          • July 30, 2010

            I think it's awesome that you were one of the young women protesting in the 60's and 70's. That's so cool! Because of women such as yourself, I was given the privilege of growing up in a very different society than my Mom's generation did. I am forever indebted to you guys. The work is not done, though.

            I'm sorry about your experience with sexual harassment. These experiences are still happening, however. Just because they have decreased doesn't make any incidence alright. The goal is to have these social ills abolished and they are not yet.

            I work in the legal system and unfortunately laws do not always protect and the justice system often fails to deliver justice. I do not accept this. I don't sit around thinking about being a victim; I engage in continuous action to further the goal of equality. There is no victimhood in that–it is solution oriented.

            • July 31, 2010

              I do not want your gratitude; I want you to be grateful for the freedoms and rights you enjoy, and to realize the very real threat of Islam. The ivory tower Muslim apologists excuse and never condemn the violence condoned by their book, and act accordingly.

              We are in a war against Islamic totalitarianism, and be aware the the distortions streaming from the "academics" regarding Islam.

              Yes, the Bible is full of violence, even Jesus said think not that I have come to bring peace; I have come to bring the sword. However, there is no part of the Bible that calls for all individuals to surrender to either Judaism or Christianity; there is in the Qu'ran and hadiths. The USC.edu website use to have these texts available on line, but have scrubbed the violent verses from the site. Typical, cowardly, academic whitewash.

              • July 31, 2010

                As I said in another post, I am very concerned about women's rights all over the globe, as "women's rights are human's rights." I regularly donate, send emails, sign petitions, post stories, and write about the plight of women everywhere.

                And you have my gratitude whether you want it or not; it's really not your choice, as I control my own feelings.

    • July 30, 2010

      Why is it hardcore feminists like you are FOREVER talking about rape? As though there's an epidemic in the U.S. where women are being raped by the thousands out in the streets. Spare me.

      Why are you changing the topic anyway? We are not talking about rape. We are talking about the cultural practice of mutilating the breasts of young girls.

      "However, to say that talking about the wage gap or the class oppression that denies women in poverty their basic biological rights somehow takes away from focusing on the unconscionable violence that is perpetrated against women daily and worldwide is false."

      What basic biological rights are you talking about? Perhaps murdering their own unborn child? That's not a right. That's murder.

      Again, where is any comparable thing as shown in this video being done in the U.S.? Show it to me. It does not exist.

      "This is not an either/or issue; it is not black and white. We can stand up against violent abuse of women and still fight for other issues that are not considered so physically and mentally violating. "

      Sure it's black and white. The practice of "ironing" breasts is appalling. That's what this video was about. Stop trying to change the topic to your perceived equality of abuse in the U.S. For the final time, it does not exist. (Unless, perhaps, in your confused mind.)

      • July 30, 2010

        That's funny. You admonish me for adding rape to a discussion of unconscionable violence perpetrated against women, even though it is well within the context of the discussion and then move on to your own fetal protectionist argument. What does THAT have to do with this subject???

        Oh, and yes, I am a hardcore feminist and a proud one. Thank you for recognizing it. ;)

  5. July 30, 2010

    Again @ JennQPublic: (Had to split the comment):

    Your comments, again, make the case that you are trying to speak to the individual girl's/woman's experience regardless of the country that she inhabits. Do you not think that is rather arrogant and misguided? Let me help you out: women are the victims of depraved nonsense around the globe. When they are not actual victims, they must live in a constant state of fear and awareness that at any time they could be one. This atrocious travesty that is the state of female reality should have a bright light shone on it 24/7. That still does not mean that the patriarchal social system should not be challenged at every level.

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      July 30, 2010

      LauraCereta, that's the difference between us: I don't accept that there's some big bad patriarchy keeping me down. When obstacles are thrown in my path, I don't wallow in victimhood, I smash them out of my way or sail over them. I don't cling to thoroughly debunked statistics about a gender-based wage gap, I don't demand that others have less so I can have more, and I don't engage in cultural relativism when there is clearly an objective right and wrong when it comes to the mutilation of women and girls.

      But thanks for stopping by to condescend to me and "help me out" by explaining that I don't recognize my own status as a victim of the patriarchy. Silly me. I'm so misguided.

      • July 29, 2010

        @JennQPublic: Did I stumble upon a Republican site or something where denial is par for the course and internalized sexism reigns?

        You are referring to yourself as an individual without taking into consideration institutionalized power. EVERY social institution, e.g. family, education, religious institutions, and government, are patriarchal in nature. To think that just because you as an individual may have not experienced or recognized your experience at the hands of institutionalized oppression does not mean it does not exist. You seem to be thinking in a vacuum, without the slightest insight into the lives of billions of women. Your individualized experience does not negate the reality of female oppression.

        Additionally, what would you propose? You have denigrated American feminists as if they should just say, "No, it's okay, deny us our biological rights; deny us fair pay." Why even use the word "complain?" You might as well have said American feminist should stop "whining" or "bitching." How would an American woman accepting less than equality help the appalling situation in Cameroon?

      • July 30, 2010

        I am with you Jenn. I do not feel victimized because I do not allow others to victimize me. This is ancient history, and laws now prevent discrimination in employment and lending practices for women. My first house had to be purchased with my parents as cosigners because I was of child bearing age and unmarried. This has changed.

    • July 30, 2010

      Patriarchal society?? Only if a woman makes a poor choice in her mate. Mine is very egalitarian. Women need to be economically independent to be sure to have the respect from any member of society and not be misused. I have worked in high school with both female and male principals, administrators etc. No problems with disrespect for either because of gender..

      • July 30, 2010

        You ask a question about society and then go right back to an example of an individual's choice. What you and apparently others here are showing is an astonishing lack of capacity to understand that your individual experiences cannot be viewed outside the context of society as a whole. You are failing to understand what sociologist Wright Mills termed "sociological imagination." This concept is an awareness between the relationship of the individual and the wider society–both present and past.

        The fact that a person may be 57 and only know one woman whom has ever been sexually assaulted, or that an individual has an egalitarian relationship with their partner, does not change the basic social constructs that bore and maintain the subordination of women.

        • July 30, 2010

          No Laura, we are all a product of our society, and we all have our cultural biases. What concerns me, is the fact that in spite of the progress our society has made regarding individual rights you are determined to slam a society in which it was men who were intelligent enough to vote for universal suffrage, and the majority culture determined to destroy discrimination. We are making huge strides, however, you do not seem to appreciate our culture's progress and how well women in the West have it. You seem determined to believe that you are subordinate to men. I do not believe this, and am not subordinate to men, just supervisors who are both male and female.

          • July 30, 2010

            Actually, I do recognize and celebrate the progress that has been made. Should my generation just stop and say "well, we're not equal yet, but this is good enough?" No. We are continuing the fight. I look forward to further progress in the future.

            • July 31, 2010

              I am claiming that feminists should be outraged when outrage is necessary. They should not be outraged regarding many of the life choices women make. For example, unmarried teenage girls, with no education and no husband choosing to keep the child, claim welfare, Medicaid, and food stamp poverty rather than choosing adoption or abortion. I am talking about unskilled women who marry an abusive man believing he will change, and have two or more children, then leaving the abusive relationship expecting the tax payer to support her.

              I am outraged regarding the plight of women in third world countries. The genital mutilation, the stonings, honor murders, rape, etc., that women continually suffer in the third world because their gonads are in the wrong place. Do you realize that if raped it is the woman who is often murdered, not the rapists. That a woman's testimony is half of a man's.

              What is really frightening is that feminists, like you, are not worried about creeping Sharia in the West. In the UK there are at least 85 Sharia Courts. If the demographics shift in favor of Muslims, infidels like you and me will be horribly discriminated against as badly as the infidels in any Muslim majority nation suffer.

              This is frightening, not a silly woman's stupid life choices, especially women who have all the voting, educational, and economic right they enjoy in the West.

              • July 31, 2010

                What makes you think you are privvy to my thoughts? I am absolutely outraged about Sharia law and the plight of Middle Eastern women. If you followed my twitter account you would see that probably half my tweets are about women's conditions in other countries.

                I don't know why you guys keep trying to stereotype me–sorry, I'm just not that one-dimensional.

    • July 30, 2010

      "Your comments, again, make the case that you are trying to speak to the individual girl's/woman's experience regardless of the country that she inhabits."

      Maybe because we are talking about things that happen in some countries and don't happen in others.

      "Do you not think that is rather arrogant and misguided?"

      You are the one who is arrogant and misguided, trying to make some comparison between what was shown in this video and anything happening in the U.S. or other civilized countries where such practices are not happening.

      "Let me help you out: women are the victims of depraved nonsense around the globe."

      Except they are not, in the U.S. Yes, there are rapes and abuse and such, but that's everywhere. I am talking about something comparable to what is in the video – cultural or religious practices such as breast ironing or FGM or even the Islamic practices of "honor" killings, keeping women covered head to toe, not letting them out without a male escort, etc.

      Show me where anything like that is happening in the U.S. Show it to me.

      "When they are not actual victims, they must live in a constant state of fear and awareness that at any time they could be one. "

      Maybe you do, but I sure don't. Neither do most women I have ever known.

      "This atrocious travesty that is the state of female reality should have a bright light shone on it 24/7. That still does not mean that the patriarchal social system should not be challenged at every level. "

      Aha! Now we get to it! It's that terrible "patriarchal social system" keeping women down. Gotcha.

      What utter nonsense! There is no such thing. Women in the U.S. are free to live their lives any way they choose. There are not evil men everywhere, holding us back. If you want to live that way, feel free. But that's your own twisted view of the world, not a representation of reality.

  6. July 30, 2010

    Go Jenn!

  7. July 30, 2010

    @ JennQ: Having to post this a second time, I'm a little out of steam, but there are some valid points I feel it is important to make.

    Just because your individualized experience does not seem oppressive to you, does not mean that is actually the case. Sexism is insidious, pervasive, and subtle and built into the very constructs of our society.

    There is no victimization in recognizing this. The knowledge that a woman's basic biology coupled with her minority position at the hands of socialized institutions makes her vulnerable is actually very empowering. To think about the issue of American sexism and American feminism only in terms of one's individualized experiences is short-sighted. All current sociological statistics will affirm this.

    .

    • July 30, 2010

      Laura, you are playing the victim game. It is invalid in that women do not earn as much as men because many choose to leave the work force to raise their children. The man can also stay home and raise the children -heck some men are better parents than women.

      • July 30, 2010

        How these man-haters make me ill.

        • July 30, 2010

          So you have digressed into trying to shame me into silence? Sexists make me ill.

          • July 30, 2010

            LOL! And out comes the "ists" accusation. Game, Set, Match, you lose….

            • July 30, 2010

              Calling someone a "man-hater" for acknowledging female oppression in society is probably the oldest insult in the book. It is used, as I have said several times now, to demean and degrade. It is shameful dialogue that attempts to silence the person speaking out against oppression. It is also the hallmark colloquial jargon of a sexist.

              I did not call Chris a sexist for disagreeing with me and I'm now calling you a sexist, but that is also not for disagreeing with me. I'm calling you both sexists for using sexist language in a debate rather than reason and logic. Language is an important social and cultural tool. When it is used in an attempt to oppress then I will call the oppressor what they are. And in doing so, I've lost nothing. I'm not the one perpetrating discrimination. That's what real losers do.

              • July 31, 2010

                You're a winner in your own mind and that's all that matters. In the iconic words of that great philosopher GI Joe, "Now you know; and remember, knowing is half the battle."

                • July 31, 2010

                  I noticed you made no attempt to address the content of my post. Of course once one has digressed into name-calling, that is a clear sign any real debate is over. Swearing and insulting is what people do when they've run out of ways to communicate based on reason and logic.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    I agree. When you used the word sexist you digressed into name-calling. The debate was over at that point. Refer to my comment "Game, Set, Match…". so, therefore, "Now you know, and knowing's half the battle." (cue catchey GI Joe theme).

                  • July 31, 2010

                    I labeled discriminatory behavior based on the language used. Saying that I hate men is without context. I have made no disparaging remarks about men. Saying society is patriarchal when it should be egalitarian is not a statement of hatred towards men, but rather a statement of my wish for shared power and equality.

                    If I referred to a KKK memeber as racist, am I calling them a name? No. But if I called a KKK member every four letter word in the book (I'm not saying you did that to me–this is just an example), then I would have digressed into name-calling rather than having a debate on the issues.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    Laura: "I'm now calling you a sexist, but that is also not for disagreeing with me. I'm calling you both sexists for using sexist language in a debate rather than reason and logic."…..I never used sexist language. You, therefore, accused me of something I did not do in an attempt to smear me. That's name-calling. Good day.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    You have a fundamental way of just not getting things, don't you? Or perhaps you willingly choose ignorance; I don't know. Accusing a woman who speaks out about women's rights of "hating men" when there is zero context to back up such a comment is name calling. It is also sexist language.

                    What was said most often about second-wave feminists? That they were "bra-burning, man-hating, lesbians who didn't shave." These words were used to try to shame a group fighting for power into silence and submission and were (and still are) oppressive and sexist.

                    Furthermore, when I also called Chris out on his sexist language, you came to his defense with the red herring that I referred to him as a sexist because he didn't agree with me. Defending a sexist is sexist behavior in and of itself. I have provided plenty of sound context for which I chose my label of you.

      • July 30, 2010

        Lack of denial does not equal victimization. I'll say it again–knowledge about one's place in a minority group on society in empowering, not victimizing.

        And yes, I know a few men whom are better parents than the women they're with, or in some cases, were with previously.

        • July 30, 2010

          Laura, I am well aware regarding the Sociology definition of a minority, and do not buy into this. First, women are the majority of the population. Second, women usually choose to take themselves out of the workforce to raise children. This fact contributes to the loss of wages and less women in dominant professional positions.

          Heck, I even made this choice and was a housewife for as long as I would stand it, and my now ex husband.

          • July 30, 2010

            Clearly you are not. A minority group is not deemed as such based on the size of the group. The fact that women comprise 51% of the population does not change their minority status. How many times do I have to repeat this? We are talking about institutionalized power – not individuals; not numbers; and not ideologies.

            I'm sorry you feel the discipline of sociology is perpetrating lies. However, your opinion is just that and is not based on any factual or statistical evidence.

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              July 30, 2010

              Laura: "How many times do I have to repeat this?"

              In fact, you don't have to repeat it at all. Your condescending, elitist attitude doesn't make you right, and you won't "convert" anyone, male or female, to your "all women are victims" mentality by rephrasing and repeating.

              You exhibit precisely what is wrong with feminism in your insistence Jenn is "ignorant to [her] own reality as a woman." Jenn defines Jenn and THAT is feminism.

              • July 30, 2010

                Repeating sexist talking points in an attempt to shame, demean, and minimize a woman into silence is not necessary either. It's also not new.

                To a certain extent a person does define themselves, but you are kidding yourself if you think that is done absent the socialization process that begins the moment they leave the womb.

                Chris, feminism is the belief, practice, and/or advocacy of social, economic, and political equality between the sexes. It is also the movement that strives through action to bring about such changes in society. Do you typically go around making up your own definitions for words?

                Also, I am not part of a cult or religious sect and have no interest in converting anyone. I do like truth, however.

                • July 30, 2010

                  So because Chris disagrees with you, he's a sexist? This discussion is over, you have no credibility.

                  • July 30, 2010

                    I addressed Chris's sexism in an earlier reply to you… the same reply in which I addressed yours. ;)

                    Actually, my education in the subject we're discussing gives me credibility. What are you bringing to the table besides opinions?

            • July 31, 2010

              Clearly I do understand, I just do not agree with the definition. Do not play the "level of education" game, as I have more than 130 hours of graduate work under my belt. I also disagree with communist theory, and pedagogy theories. Sure, I know the material inside and out, took the require exams regarding the various theories, aced them and graduated Cum Laude, almost Magna Cum Laude with a 3.56 GPA in History and English.

              You state all women are in an institutionalized, subordinate position. Specifically, what institutions?

              I refute this claim because women often choose to leave the work force to raise families, and lose the work experience necessary to climb the ladder. This ladder usually requires fifteen or more daily work hours to succeed, which is difficult when an individual has children.

              I said I do not buy into this ivory tower theory, and do not believe sociologists, pedagogists, and communists are lying; I do believe they believe their theories regardless of how these theories do not work in the real world.

              • July 31, 2010

                You say you don't want to "play the education game" but then go on to play it. Alright. I have 2 bachelor's (and I DID graduate Magna Cum Laude), a master's and a juris doctorate, and yes, one of those degrees was in sociology, which is primarily what we are discussing. How do degrees in English and History make you an expert in the discipline of sociology? None of this matters, though. Neither of us need any degrees to look up statics form Amnesty International or the World Health Organization. Point blank: these statistics say that your claims that sexual harassment, unequal pay, and a large degree of sexual brutality do not go on in the U.S. are false.

                The 4 main social institutions are family, education, organized religion, and government.

                Again, statistics.

                Sociological theories are very relevant. The one that can most aptly be applied to this entire dialogue is Structural Functionalism. Google it. I'm tired of teaching a soc class.

                • July 31, 2010

                  Yes, I played the educational level game because you seem intent on telling posters how much better educated you are than they. The point is, I too have two B.A.'s one in English, the other history, and an M.A. in English and have taught philosophy, specifically argument at the university transfer level. I refused a job at the university level, offered by the department chair, because I disliked most of the liberal, narrow minded professors in the English Department.

                  I rejected sociology, pedagogy, Keynesian, and numerous other theories because I found them illogical. I also discount most of Amnesty International's claims as they are biased against capitalist societies, and target these cultures rather than the vicious nature of the third world cultures.

                  Yes, sexual harassment and sexual does occur, and legally has recourse in the West, but not in the third world. This is the whole point of Jenn Q's argument, which you discount, and seem to hold our culture in disdain. So leave.

                  Currently, unequal pay in the West stems from individual poor life choices, as previously mentioned.

                  The family suppresses women. Why? Regardless of a sexist father or mother, a female child has the right to pursue any goal she prefers, including construction, physician, auto shop,etc.

                  Now our educational system subordinates women. How? Women are pushed and babied through the hard sciences and math classes because of the previous discrimination they endured. This is not happening now, and if there is, legal recourse is possible.

                  Organized religion: This one, especially Pauline, Islamic, and Torah text is often used to subordinated women, hence, I am a Deist.

                  Government; No way.Our laws protect all individuals from discrimination, and there are often economic punitive damages awarded if discrimination is proven.

                  Again, I discounted most Sociological theories back in the late 80's as I found them to often omit important facts. Why should I Google Structural Functionalism when I discounted most Soc. years ago, probably near the time of your birth.

                  You have never really encountered the huge amount of discrimination that individuals of my generation have endured. This is history, and frankly, I have not encountered any discrimination since the 90's.

                  Sure, children, the elderly and women are usually the targets for crime, hence my significant other and I often sleep with two loaded handguns near us. My son is in his thirties, but we were very careful with firearms when he was young.

                  You have no inkling regarding real discrimination, and often pull fabricated insults out or your cap to try to keep feminism relevant. I bet you dislike Palin too, a strong, accomplished woman who can take care of herself and her family.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    I'll address your points quickly, as I think since you discount the discipline of sociology, we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

                    In the family, the man is still most often the bread winner (even though more women than men are in the work world now) the handler of fiances, the higher wage earner, and the disciplinarian.

                    In education, while women are quickly taking over this institution, most textbooks written and theories taught were derived from men. So students are still learning about the world through a man's eyes.

                    In organized religion, most women cannot hold certain positions of authority and most sacred texts actually call for the willful subordination of the wife to her husband.

                    In government, all three branches are comprised of many more men than women. New laws are actually made every day and the existing ones clearly are not enough to stop discrimination as it continues daily. Patriarchy means "power of the fathers" and when more men than women are in legislative duties than men hold the power.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    @aspacia (had to split)

                    In regards to your last paragraph: you would lose that bet. I like Palin and voted for the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008. I take issue with some of her policies but I have never said a demeaning or degrading thing about her–EVER.

  8. July 30, 2010

    @JennQ (Had to split again…)

    I find it odd that a person can be up in arms about a horrific tragedy half a world away and yet demean the goals of American feminists. Many who, again, have experienced brutality themselves. It sounds very much like conservative denial to me, and as I said in my first writing of this post, internalized sexism.

    Your very dialogue serves as proof of institutionalized oppression because you are clearly ignorant to your own reality as a woman. That's really sad to me

    • July 30, 2010

      Specifically, how is here dialogue proof of oppression. Jenn sounds liberated to these ears, and my MA is in Linguistics, specifically Gricean theory.

  9. July 30, 2010

    @Jenn: Thank you for hanging in there for the duration of the debate, bored or not. I see our conflict as indicative of a larger problem and that is that women are the only minority group that does not consolidate. We would rather fight each other than fight the forces that oppress us.

    Again, I enjoyed this conversation and maybe we can talk again. I'm following you on Twitter so please tweet your next piece of writing.

    • July 30, 2010

      Laura, we consolidated, fought and won our equality. Where were you?

      • July 30, 2010

        Is this a fantasy of yours? Where was I during second-wave feminism (I'll assume that's what you're referring to)? Um, not born. And since I've seen quite a few rather random shots taken during this ongoing dialogue at "liberals" and "leftists," you do realize that second-wave feminists were liberals, right?

  10. July 30, 2010

    @ InTheKnowOG: I'm sorry you're offended but I'm not really sure why. I've clearly stated that I find this phenomenon appalling. I have also stated that comparing American feminist goals to that of a third world country is not a fair comparison; it's apples to oranges.

    Additionally, I have stated that any violence perpetrated against a female enrages me. You assume this rests on some personal experience instead of considering the fact that it's a simple matter of justice and principle.

    I'll ask you the same thing I ask Jen: what is your solution? Swearing at me certainly cannot be it. The very idea that American women are treated like "goddesses" is so wrong that it's frightening. Please look up some basic statistics on violence against women in the U.S.

    • July 30, 2010

      You missed the point. I'll repeat it "The point of the article was that this kind of sick, twisted crap is ACCEPTABLE to the very people feminists ally themselves with." Answer this simple question….why? I believe it is the cowardice of the left. You left out the rest of my "goddesses" reference. Was that deliberately edited to change the context? Comparatively speaking, the plite of American women is nothing compared to that of the rest of the world. Also, there is no pervasive acceptable cultural attitude here regarding the abuse of American females. To imply that a statistically significant higher number of aggrevated crimes occur to females compared to males is absurd.

      • July 30, 2010

        Again, an oppression sweepstakes is not needed.

        I did not imply that women are victims of crimes more than males. I am saying (not implying) that women who are victims of crimes are usually the victims of a male perpetrator. This is statistically factual.

    • July 30, 2010

      What about violence again men? Your biases are obvious. No, women are not treated as goddesses, most have to work for a living, as I do. Women are free to compete and start businesses, and they often do.

      Lose the victim game, it does not work.

  11. July 30, 2010

    Between what your excellent article brings out and the removal of their clitoris I just cannot get over why the Women Rights Groups are not involved with this.. Evidently the Muslim Male is not to be trusted around women,. The Muslim female must cover their bodies from head to toe, in addition of going through physical and psychological pain of mutilation.

  12. July 30, 2010

    I had never heard of this before. I wish I had never learned it.

    My God, what sort of sick and twisted society is this, to come up with such savagery?! Who THINKS like this?

  13. July 30, 2010

    You know what is most interesting about this conversation, guys? The internalized sexism of the conservative woman when expressed sounds identical to the sexism expressed by the liberal male. Two separate ideologies, but when advocating oppression, both groups sound frighteningly similar. "You're a victim. You hate men. blah, blah, blah…" I wish sexism deniers would get some new insults; it becomes rather tedious listening to the same tired jargon.

    This debate has actually become slightly humorous to me, but I am laughing at myself. I can't believe I stumbled onto a conservative site and ended up in a debate with a bunch of people spouting traditionalist diatribe under the label of feminism.

    On a more serious note, despite the completely unnecessary last paragraph, I commend you JenQ for bringing this atrocity into the light. I had never even heard of breast ironing, but you can know it is now one more thing I will vigorously speak out against. Thanks for writing the article. There is no more need for discussion with sexism deniers, though… at least right now. I might feel differently later, lol.

  14. July 30, 2010

    You know the old Biblical saying of "Before taking out the speck in your brother's eye, remove the log from your own?"

    It sounds to me like Laura, instead of removing either the log or the speck, would seem content to remove neither and instead harangue about how much of an injustice it is that people have to live with pieces of wood in their eyes.

    • July 30, 2010

      Yes, I an familiar with the biblical passage.

      I do stay very aware of my own discriminatory attitudes. We all have them. We're socialized into it. A person is responsible for owning those attitudes and beliefs, however, and constantly challenging them with truth.

  15. July 30, 2010

    I read Lauras comments and can't help but visualize one who, despite facts has the opinion that the Sociology book is divinely inspired.

    • July 31, 2010

      Um, that would be books, plural, as in years of school. I don't find them divinely inspired. I don't even agree with everything I studied. Which "facts" are you referring to that you think disputes sociological theory and research?

  16. July 30, 2010

    Isn't there an organization – or even ANYONE – out there trying to help these poor girls? They're paying the price for assumptions, lack of sex education, and what was done to their mothers! It's truly barbaric.

  17. July 31, 2010

    Referring to women as a "minority group" is hysterical.

    Barring radical totalitarian measures such as have been brought to bear in China, females always outnumber males in any human society.

    • July 31, 2010

      Why are facts hysterical?

      What is the male/female ratio in Congress? On the Supreme Court? In the history of the Presidency? In all state legislatures? In business and marketing? In law? In banks' higher echelons? In medicine (not nursing, but those with MD's)? In hedge fund companies? In organized religion's positions of authority? In higher education textbook authors? All power positions in society are held by a much larger ratio of men than women; a much larger ratio of whites than minority races, a much higher ratio of babyboomers than any other generation, and a much higher ratio of wealthy folks rather than middle class or the impoverished. Who holds the most power in society then? Older, rich, white males. What does that make society? Patriarchal. It's really not a tough concept when reviewing statistical analysis.

      Please get back to me with all these hysterical figures. If you don't want to do that, keep laughing, but make sure it's directed at yourself since your opinion is not based on facts.

  18. July 31, 2010

    Just because your individualized experience does not seem oppressive to you, does not mean that is actually the case. Sexism is insidious, pervasive, and subtle and built into the very constructs of our society.
    from LauraCereta above

    Classic, classic leftist double-think / newspeak.

    Your experience isn't real. Your false consciousness is incapable of perceiving the mysterious invisible influences that a properly trained leftist can see.

    What you see is not what you see and what you know is not what you know. You must learn the doctrine in order to perceive the REAL truth.

    Mere observation of fact and logical thought will not get you where you need to be.

    Yowza!

    • July 31, 2010

      Of course your experiences are real, but they must be viewed within the context of the wider society. Do you really think your personal experiences equal everyone else's personal experinces?? Come on!

  19. July 31, 2010

    False religion is naturally followed by self hatred, mutilation and finally suicide.

  20. July 31, 2010

    @JennQPublic: I think it's interesting that you follow someone on twitter (who is now for some reason following me!) named "Feminists Are Evil" and whose home page is full of disgusting misogyny. Talk about having no credibility.

    I take back my props to you for writing this article. It is clear that you are not really a supporter of women's (or girl's) rights AT ALL.

    • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
      July 31, 2010

      LauraCereta, you're a liar. I have never followed anyone named "Feminists are Evil." Someone by that name started following me this week and I didn't follow back. This is why I refuse to debate you: you are completely dishonest.

      But go ahead, continue your smears. Maybe I'll go ahead and publish the email you sent me in which you throw a temper tantrum because you (erroneously) believe I'm censoring your comments. Talk about having no credibility … or pride.

      • July 31, 2010

        If you want to publish a private email that's on you. It speaks only to your lack of ethics, not to me. I have no problem with what I emailed you.

        Well, I took a cache of your follow of this freak but appearantly this blog won't let me upload or copy/paste pictures. It doesn't really matter. Maybe you should check your twitter account, because if you don't want to follow this person, you should block them. Just my opinion…

        • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
          July 31, 2010

          First of all, the about page on my blog says that I reserve the right to publish anything that makes its way into my inbox. It's said that since 2008. So there's no ethical quandary at all.

          Second, you're still a liar. I never followed this person. I'm sure you're busily Photoshopping some sort of "proof" and I look forward to seeing it so I can laugh myself silly.

          But you know what? What if I did follow someone I disagree with or even loathe? A follow is not an endorsement. And I follow more than 1,000 people. Some of them are leftists. Some of them are Paulestinians. I even follow Basil Marceaux! This guilt by fabricated association game is a typical leftist tactic. It's ridiculous.

          • July 31, 2010

            I wasn't questioning your legal right; I believe it's still not ethical. But again, I have no control over it, making it your issue. Do whatever you feel confortable doing–that's not my call.

            Photoshopping? LOL! I have neither the time nor the inclination to first learn how to photoshop, and then try to photoshop "fake evidence." I'm actually doing my own writing right now. I'd love your you to read my piece when it's up.

            I was just shocked by the whole thing. It's your choice who you follow and I also follow people whom I don't agree with, but I personally would not follow such a raging misogynist. I'm willing to engage in debate only up to a certain point and that is because I've made the mistake in the past of letting things go on too long where people actually became verbally abusive. Don't ever moderate a political forum–it's a glorified babysitting job. ::rolling eyes::

            • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
              July 31, 2010

              Just so we have this straight:

              Laura lying about who I'm following on Twitter: most ethical statement evah! (in my best Nancy Pelosi voice)

              Publishing unsolicited abusive emails in a manner explicitly spelled out in my policy on unsolicited abusive emails: totally unethical.

              • July 31, 2010

                Uh, you might have a point if I was lying, but I saw it for myself. And what's with the exaggerating? Obviously, dishonesty in a public space (or in private) is not ethical. I would not have said what I did if it wasn't true. I have no reason whatsoever to do so. In my last statement to you, I complimented you and thanked you for writing the blog piece. We may disagree on some fundamental issues but I have no reason to want to smear you.

                • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
                  July 31, 2010

                  Put up or shut up, Laura. If you're not lying, prove it.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    Dude, I already told you the blog won't let me post pictures. Anyway, you can easily look at your twitter account to see who you're following. This discussion is getting tedious. I was just shocked by it, that's all.

                    BTW: you appear less of a feminist and more of an ideologue to me. What's with mocking Pelosi's voice? I don't like Pelosi and I don't agree with many of her policy positions. I can have a debate on her policies, though, without talking about her voice, her hair, her clothes, her botox, whatever.

                    I don't want to hear about non-issues when it comes to female politicians, whether it's Pelosi, Hillary, or Palin. I can agree or disagree with these women, but I can talk about their policies without demeaning them. I'll leave that job for the media and the sexists. I would encourage you, if you're really concerned about women's rights, to be aware of the language you use–it can be very powerful and if you're not part of the solution, than you're just contributing to the problem.

                  • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
                    July 31, 2010

                    Everyone can read what I wrote and see that I didn't mock Pelosi's voice. I mocked you by comparing what you wrote to Pelosi's statement that this is the most ethical congress ever. Again, you don't seem to care much about the truth.

                    And funny how you can't seem to paste in a link to the picture. Oh, wait. You didn't try.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    Yes, I did. I copied and when I opened up the box, there was no paste option. I also see no where here that I can add an attachment.

                    By mocking Pelosi's accent, yes, you were mocking her voice. I hadn't realized you were doing a play off her comments about Congress. I agree with you that the statement was ridiculous and laughable.

                    And now, I really, really have to get back to work so we'll have to continue this later if you want.

                  • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
                    July 31, 2010

                    Laura, people can literally see my comment in which I made no mention of Pelosi's accent. I wrote "in my best Nancy Pelosi voice" so people would make the connection between what I wrote and what she said about the ethics of this congress. That's it. You're intentionally overreacting to have something to criticize.

                  • July 31, 2010

                    I'm not looking for ways to criticize you. I call things the way I see them.

                    Also, I owe you an apology. I rechecked things and when I had originally checked out this FeministsREvil freak I was wondering why he was following me so I checked the other people he was following. When I ran across your name it said "following." I didn't realize that meant I was following you, not that you were following him.

                    Sorry. I've only used twitter since May of this year. But anyway, you can choose to believe I was "lying" or not, but if we continue to dialogue, I hope there will come a point when you realize I'm not like that.

                  • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
                    August 1, 2010

                    Laura, I can understand making that mistake and I truly appreciate your apology. I'm glad to know it wasn't an intentional smear.

                  • August 1, 2010

                    Thank you for your acceptance of my apology. You could have really slammed me for my mistake but you did the honorable thing; I appreciate it. There may be hope for us yet. ;)

                  • July 31, 2010

                    @Jenn (another split)

                    For example, not too long ago, it was socially acceptable to make jokes about black people and even use the n-word. Now society at large condemns such language. I look forward to the day when society as a whole condemns demeaning, belittling, and degrading language against females. We're not there yet, though.

                  • Error: Unable to create directory uploads/2014/08. Is its parent directory writable by the server?
                    July 31, 2010

                    Pelosi's laughable statements are fair game. End of story.

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