Tuesday, July 10, 2012


The Taliban, buttressed as well by the general misogynistic attitude of a large percent of men in Afghanistan (not to mention most of the Islamic world), is highlighted recently (again) for the killing of a woman falsely accused of adultery because she had some sort of relationship with two rival Taliban commanders (who apparently were later killed by a third leader). A large number of men attended the slaying and were caught on camera laughing and jeering. President Karzai claims he wants to bring them to some sort of justice. It is an outrage the treatment of women in Afghanistan (and many other countries)---where they are made into little more than chattel slaves and objects, although strides have been made for many, in such groups as the Hazara. Afghani women now can vote and work, but they are frequently attacked (even schoolgirls have been poisoned and sprayed with acid) and harrassed. What I wish is that an American general would bravely get a couple of hundred female volunteers (and I stress, volunteers) and seed them generously amongst ground troops in the most Talabani regions and let them do foot patrols through the villages alongside their male colleagues. Maybe even a few female sergeants and higher officers could be included, who would have a visible leadership role. A message for the men? Yes. But even more so, a clear message for women and girls, who would see that they were capable of anything, even being soldiers carrying weapons and protecting themselves and serving their country. What a message that would be! Even better if the NATO troops from several countries did the same thing. I would wager hundreds, if not thousands, of female American soldiers would jump at the chance (even noting the resistance that they would probably face from males in our military) to show the flag and their strong femininity. I have three beautiful nieces (who I would never want to be endangered) who would be kickass soldiers and damn fine officers if they ever chose to join the military! In fact, I bet their mother, my sister (in law) Patty, would have made a great soldier too. They are all tough and smart, and I know there are many women just like them, willing and capable of serving in almost any role if given the chance. If I had a daughter I would want every door open to her, and I want every door open to all women of the world.

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