Where is the outrage?

Source: AllAfrica.com


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Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC)

Guinea: September 28 Massacre Was Premeditated – in-Depth Investigation Also Documents Widespread Rape

27 October 2009

excerpt:

Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 27 victims of sexual violence, the majority of whom were raped by more than one person. Witnesses described seeing at least four women murdered by members of the Presidential Guard after being raped, including women who were shot or bayoneted in the vagina. Some victims were penetrated with gun barrels, shoes, and wooden sticks.

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?!  Jeez, this is disgusting. Evil would not even be sufficient to describe it. THEY’RE MUTILATING AND TORTURING WOMEN – IN THEIR VAGINAS – and nobody’s outraged?!? 

“Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out
the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon
them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either
words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by
the endurance of those whom they oppress.” — Frederick Douglass

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere —Martin Luther King

 

 

The Mismeasure of Woman

Great op-ed in the New York Times in regard to measuring the status of women in light of the recent Shriver Report. Here’s an excerpt on a topic that really riles me up:

The mismeasure of woman

…The Internet gave everyone a soapbox. The louder, the more offensive, the better.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that exactly at this moment, women began losing ground — and not just in measurable ways, like how many women make partner or get jobs as chief executives.

I’m referring to how we are perceived. The conversation online about women, as about so many other topics, degenerated from silly and snarky to just plain ugly — and it seeped into the mainstream.

Recently, before a TV appearance, I did an Internet search on one of the interviewers so I could learn more about her — and got a full page of results about her breasts.

This was hardly an isolated incident. Whether it’s Keith Olbermann of MSNBC calling Michelle Malkin, the conservative blogger, “a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it,” or Glenn Beck of Fox News suggesting that “ugly women” are probably “progressive as well,” women these days are portrayed as either witches or bimbos, with pretty much no alternatives in between.

I’ve been puzzled by these screeds, which are so at odds with the real achievements documented in the Shriver Report and elsewhere. And then it struck me: Part of the reason we’ve lost our way, part of the reason my generation became complacent, is that many of us have been defining progress for women too narrowly. We’ve focused primarily on numbers at the expense of attitudes.

I’ve “boycotted” radio stations for their lewd comments on breasts, been offended by commercials in their stereotypes of women, been outraged by movies for their sexual exploitation, and, more recently, been left incredulous at TV stations’ bashing of women.  It’s perfectly okay to call women hos, whores, skanks, baby mamas, bitches, etc. on TV. Why is this okay?! Moreover, it’s leeked into print media. My local paper recently referred to women as #@%#$#. WTF is up with that? It’s a newspaper, not a forum for female hatred. Attitudes need to change…and we all know how long that takes. So it’s time to get to work – for the sake of future generations if not our own.

BELIEVE WOMEN

When I attended John Jay College’s femicide conference last year, the presenters said we could prevent femicides by responding to women’s fear or threat levels. Great, I thought, now how do we get people to believe them?

Women’s claims of abuse and fear are often disbelieved or worse, perceived as acts of vengeance towards their partners.

Here’s one of many articles on a woman’s plea for protection. They were ignored. The result? She was trapped inside a geographical prison, disbelieved, forced to go into counseling with her aggressor, killed (along with her mother)…

Three people are now dead. The ex-husband killed himself and left their 2-year-old orphaned.

These senseless deaths could have been prevented.

Woman wanted to flee with son before apparent murder-suicide

A Peoria mother whose body was found Friday had recently tried to leave Arizona after receiving threats from her apparent slayer, but a judge denied her request, court records show. Two weeks before she was killed, Dawn Axsom pleaded with Judge Jose Padilla of Maricopa County Superior Court to let her leave Arizona with her son because she feared Gabriel Schwartz, the toddler’s father, would harm her or their boy. Padilla denied the 26-year-old’s request and ordered the pair to attend parental counseling together. Axsom’s body was found in her Peoria residence Friday. Police also found the bodies of Schwartz, 28, and Lisa Braden, 56, Axsom’s mother. Schwartz is suspected of shooting and killing both women before turning the gun on himself, Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef said Monday. Tellef said the violence likely began in the downstairs kitchen, where Schwartz shot Braden. Then, Schwartz went upstairs, shooting Axsom in the master bathroom and killing himself in a bedroom. Police discovered the grisly scene at about 10 a.m. Friday after Axsom didn’t show up for work and a friend and the friend’s mother went to the home, located in the 7400 block of West Sierra Street, to check on her. When the friend knocked on the door, she heard Axsom and Schwartz’s nearly 2-year-old boy crying upstairs. The woman called police, who arrived and found the child unharmed inside his crib. “When the officer took the baby outside, he covered (the child’s) eyes so he couldn’t see anything,” Tellef said, recounting the scene. Friends and co-workers who gathered outside Axsom’s residence Friday said she was having ongoing custody problems with Schwartz and expressed frustration that the court system wouldn’t let her leave Arizona when she knew Schwartz might harm her. Court records show Padilla granted Axsom a protective order against Schwartz four days before the Oct. 6 hearing where he ordered her to attend parental counseling with him and denied her request to relocate to Maryland with the pair’s son. Axsom’s son was placed into the custody of state Child Protective Services.

Most states fail to protect children’s rights

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 900,000 children are determined to have been abused and neglected each year. Most of them will go through court proceedings that will determine their lives and futures. Yet while the state and the allegedly abusive or neglectful parent stands in court with an attorney by their side, the child often stands alone and silent, or is excluded entirely from these critical hearings.

This Second Edition of our groundbreaking report evaluates whether and how each state’s laws provide for the
legal representation of abused and neglected children. 

Since the First Edition was published in 2007, 33% of states have adopted new legislation in the right to counsel arena.

In addition, many states have engaged in valiant efforts towards legislative reform, litigation, and other advocacy to ensure that these children’s voices are heard and their rights protected in court. The report also indicates that there are many states who have earned failing or near-failing grades that have a long distance to go in improving their representation of children. 

This report aims to help present a snapshot of where we are as a nation in the fight to provide counsel to these most vulnerable of our citizens at one of the most frightening and threatening moments in their lives. We hope to promote public awareness of the movement towards right to counsel in this country, and to catalyze state and national legislative reform. 

Source: First Star

Read the Report here: A Children’s Right to Counsel

“Nice guy” kills wife

Jeez, they just never stop, do they?

‘Well-liked Palm Beach County employee kills wife:  “She was cheating on me. I caught her and now it’s done.”

This article begins with the headline “well-liked” county employee shoots cheating wife. Well-liked? How many murderers get such nice treatment from the media? Only if they’re white, middle class and male (am I missing any other characteristics?) The wife, who was just shot dead by this killer in front of their 9-year-old daughter, is branded a cheater. Do they have proof of that? 

And custody of the child? Yeah, she goes to the killer’s parents. They did such a good job raising him, didn’t they? Killer’s determine custody. Jailed convicts determine custody. They kill their wives and get custody of their children. Where is the justice?

Court ordered abuse?

Kathleen Russell’s op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor sums up the problem with family court – children are not being protected.

Child abuse: when family court gets it wrong

Information is posted on NOW’s web site –

The crisis in family law courts

Obama just nominated Susan B Carbon as head of the Office of Violence Against Women. Carbon was a family court judge and is very familiar with how battered women fare in court –

White house press release

There is hope…

Double standards

In this corner, we have a mother who was intoxicated and passed out in her mini-van. Her toddlers wandered away.

Broward police: Mom found passed out drunk in car; toddlers left to wander

A Broward judge had harsh words Thursday morning for a Cooper City woman accused of getting behind the wheel of her minivan while intoxicated and passing out in the driver’s seat, leaving her two barefoot toddler children to climb out and wander nearly two miles from their home.

Her punishment –

The mother was charged with driving under the influence and child neglect. Thursday evening, she remained in the North Broward jail in Pompano Beach with bail set at $5,000.

And in this corner,  we have a father, with multiple allegations/charges against him, accused of neglect in the death of his son.  

New state documents gave a startling look Friday at the criminal history of Michael Reese, the Port Orange father who claims to have fallen asleep when his son and another teenager overdosed on his OxyContin.

Further details –  

A DCF report shows Jeremiah Reese also took morphine and oxycodone while his father had been home, apparently also under the influence. Police said the teenager and a friend popped several pills.

Updated details –

Police said the father told them he was asleep much of the time the boys were there. Police said the father is on a lot of pain pills for a medical condition and was under the influence when they questioned him. His son Jeremiah was dead on the couch, surrounded by narcotics that likely belonged to dad, and homemade smoking and snorting devices, police said.

His treatment –

“The Department of Children and Families said it didn’t have proof that the teenager was in danger until he died.”

“”This was a tragedy,” said Reggie Williams, of DCF. “All of us wish it didn’t happen.”

“”He made that decision,” said the victim’s friend, James Rose. “It’s kind of sad he did. I don’t think his dad needs to take the blame for it.”

“That’s what’s unfortunate — undoubtedly drugs were an issue,” Williams said. “I believe we did everything we could do.”

Ding!

Women are often held to higher standards than  men when it comes to child care. In the first article, her toddlers wandered away and were unharmed. “Harsh words” and punishment for her! And, I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve it, but get-a-gander at the next article. In this, the father was drunk and drugged while his son and friend took drugs. The son died. And…why shouldn’t the father be blamed? Why should there be more sympathy expressed in this case than in the former?

This is not about igniting a “gender war,” this is about raising awareness of double standards and the effects they have. We need to cut women some slack when it comes to parenting – and hold men to that very same standard. One does not deserve more sympathy, harsher punishment, etc. Both deserve to be held to the same standards and afforded the same treatment.