March 11, 2006

Prove it


For women reading this, here is your challenge for today, and everyday: prove to me that you are not a prostitute.

Seriously, I’m waiting. Prove it. Come on. We don’t have all day. Get on with it, where’s your proof?

What? You can’t? So, you must be a prostitute. Really, you can’t prove to me that you are not a prostitute, can you?

Well then, off to jail with you little lady.

That’s the scenario facing all ordinary women under new Indonesian laws.

Almost worse than the new laws is this disturbing statement:

“…intellectuals, feminists and artists are beginning to mobiles against what they believe is a plan to reshape Indonesia.” (Moral Crusaders focus on females, The Age, 11 March 2006)

That’s it? The treatment of women and young girls throughout Indonesia is to be left in the hands of “intellectuals”, “feminists”, and “artists”. No-one else cares? No-one else is up to the task? That’s the best support that can be mustered?

Why does the care and concern for the treatment of women fall into the hands of a powerless minority of pretentious gits?

May a nice omnipotent deity be on the side of Indonesian women, because it would seem their powers on earth are up shit creek without a paddle.




8 comments:

  1. Caz, I'm perusing your blog and enjoying your common sense and witty commentaries. In response to your question about one of my images at BlueHour, I will happily ship a print to Australia. I've just been behind and hadn't put it up in my store yet. If you can tell me what size you would like, I'll send you a quote that includes shipping. My email address is andy@bluehourphoto.com. Thank you for the inquiry and a good read.

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  2. I enjoy your common sense and witty commentaries too, Caz, and I'm not even trying to sell you anything, yet.

    Not sure what you're saying here, tho. I understand the futility of expecting that intellectuals will be useful under any circumstances whatever. But what do you think ordinary Indonesian women (and men)should do?

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  3. Drunka – no, you merely want our hearts & minds to be surrendered of our own volition, to your strangely seductive and eclectic blog, which you offer to us wantonly & freely.

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    Reasonable question and I wish I had more knowledge of the Indonesian political structure to provide a response with some level of depth. However, we shall push on in our usual shallow swamp of non-modernist thought, minus any resort to higher authorities, such as Chomsky.

    When I read the piece I was struck by the mention of the “holy trinity”, and my thought was simply how futile was such a gathering, and yet, a “cause” of any kind is supposedly lent some degree of gravitas and credibility if one or more of the holy trinity can be called upon.

    I read both the polemics and general ramblings of “intellectuals” with as much due respect as I do the thoughts “non-intellectuals”, in other words, they have to stack up on their merits, because I don’t get suckered by anyone with an “intellectual” tag stuck on their forehead. Intellectuals have proven to be just as ignorant and just as stupid as the rest of us, a fact never obliterated by their gloating tag.

    You can well imagine my gag reflex at the notion that having “artists” on-side should be cause for doing a premature celebratory jig about anything. I’ve never grasped the causal link between being able to paint in oils, or act, or turn metal bits into abstract metal things, and the possession of personal & intellectual qualities such that one is morphed into a social, political, environmental, or economic commentator of our times, with sensibilities and insights out of the ken of the rest of us.

    Feminists, in this instance, should definitely be putting up their hands and doing a bit of yelping, but I’m not aware that Indonesia has any significant feminist power base upon which a cause such as this could hope to rely for sustained and substantive opposition.

    Your question suggests a level of surrender; that you don’t believe the ordinary person can do anything?

    I would hope that men and women would vigorously and boisterously object, both formally and informally, in whatever manner the Indonesian system permits. (There was an invisible husband in this story, where was he, why wasn’t he & his family & neighbors standing up to have this women home with her family, instead of in jail? Where was the woman's boss, the one she works for into the night?) Collectively, all of them; or at least those who don’t believe that this is an appropriate manner in which to treat women who are going about their daily lives.

    For unpalatable reasons, a lot of Indonesian men and women no doubt support the new laws. Perhaps I am naive and ignorant to hope that the majority don’t.

    What is the alternative for the ordinary person – obsequious?

    We shouldn’t need obscure minorities with no authority and no power to wave their “tags” about; wave their “credentials”, whether “intellectual”, “artist”, or “feminist”, in order to say that something is wrong, or to raise objections, and for that opinion to have a degree of validity. As a risk management measure there must be other voices, because intellectuals, artists, and feminists fail in their objectives, more often than not, only to abscond to their next fashionable 'cause'.

    Which doesn't answer your simple question.

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  4. Grrrr, that makes me so cranky.

    I was talking to someone about the film Osama the other day. It is about a little girl growing up during the Taliban era. If you haven't seen it, please do. What I most got out of the film is that fundamentalist Islam is based on pathological sexuality. The desire to see every woman as a "whore" is also to do with that, in my opinion.

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  5. For some reason, I seemed to have lost my earlier response to this. I hope that this is vaguely coherent as I lapse into a chemically induced stupor.

    I totally agree with Major Anya's comments. The need to disavow one's sexual urges as fundamentalist Muslims do is the (ahem) root cause of an unstable society. The men refuse to accept that they can have attraction to any woman outside of marriage. If they do, it must have been provoked by the woman. And they must take full responsibility for it ie they are intentionally provoking the men ie they are sluts and whores.

    However as it is unavoidable to be stimulated and even when the woman is covered head to toe, there is increasingly fetishistic outlets for these desires.

    Most religions try to control (or loosen control: see Wilhelm Reich or Bagwan Shree Rajneesh) the sexual urges of their followers by imposing rules. The addition of common law and guns in an uneducated and unsophisticated group makes what may sometimes be metaphorical to be quite dangerously literal in this area.

    Frankly, the horse has bolted about the chatting classes intervening. It is deeply disturbing that it is happening on our doorstep.

    Although I would rarely admit it, France was probably right about trying to secularise the dress codes as a way of normalising the behaviour.

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  6. The root problem is Islam. Frankly, I think Islam is bad for males too, but it is much worse for women.

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  7. I read that article about what that dickhead beak did to that woman while not allowing her to call her husband to back up her story.

    He is one of those who should be first in line to be raped with a wire brush dipped in paint thinners and then locked up himself for being a masochistic sodomist. He took it up the arse, so he must be if I were to use his logic.

    Grrr-rrrr >:/

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  8. Caz, off topic, I know, but you may enjoy this piece on how being veiled can impact upon your view of self and the world around.

    I'm putting that clumsily, but it's worth a read. This is real feminism, as opposed to the feminazism that tends to abound.

    Well, in my opinion, anyway.

    Ultimately, with regards to islam and how it affects human relations, any sort of reform has to come from within, and it will come from the woman who wrote this piece.

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