Speechless

November 2, 2008 at 8:12 am (Crime, Society)

Amnesty International reports:

Child of 13 stoned to death in Somalia

31 October 2008

A girl stoned to death in Somalia this week was 13 years old, not 23, contrary to earlier news reports. She had been accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law.

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was killed on Monday 27 October, by a group of 50 men in a stadium in the southern port of Kismayu, in front of around 1,000 spectators. Somali journalists who had reported she was 23 have told Amnesty International that they judged her age by her physical appearance.

Inside the stadium, militia members opened fire when some of the witnesses to the killing attempted to save her life, and shot dead a boy who was a bystander. An al-Shabab spokeperson was later reported to have apologized for the death of the child, and said the militia member would be punished.

At one point during the stoning, Amnesty International has been told by numerous eyewitnesses that nurses were instructed to check whether Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was still alive when buried in the ground. They removed her from the ground, declared that she was, and she was replaced in the hole where she had been buried for the stoning to continue.

Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow was accused of adultery, but sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape to the al-Shabab militia who control Kismayo. It was this act that resulted in her being accused of adultery and detained. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.

She was detained by militia of the Kismayo authorities, a coalition of Al-shabab and clan militias. During this time, she was reportedly extremely distressed, with some individuals stating she had become mentally unstable.

Amnesty International has campaigned to end the use of the punishment of stoning, calling it gruesome and horrific. This killing of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow demonstrates the cruelty and the inherent discrimination against women of this punishment.

This reminds me of Atefah Rajabi Sahaaleh’s fate in Iran.
Rest in Peace, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow.
Rest in Peace, Atefah Rajabi Sahaleeh.
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Just mentioning…

August 3, 2006 at 5:20 pm (Crime)

It’s about the rape and murder of Jennifer Moore again. I guess most people read the New York Post article and there’s a detail that left me puzzled.

You know, they start describing what had happened and this quite detailed. They even go as far as to include this one:

Jennifer, meanwhile, wandered away from the lot, wearing a white miniskirt and black halter top.

I wondered why they mentioned this.

  • The clothing of crime victims is sometimes published if they were abducted and not yet found – in order to increase the chance of finding them, of course. But Jennifer Moore’s dead body is not missing.
  • Do they look for evidence needing eye witnesses? Well, they don’t say so, don’t give a phone number (i.e. police department) and seem to know about the happenings quite well.

Ok, so i looked for a description of what Draymond Coleman wore (the guy who allegedly raped and killed her. Most people seem to forget that he exists – see my previous post for an example) or his girlfriend/prostitute/mother of their child (Crystal Reardon). But i didn’t find any.

Why not? Why Jennifer Moore’s clothing?

So the “Bash-the-victim” classic “dressed like a slut” came to my mind. Only the (murdered) rape victim’s clothing is mentioned along the way. Neither Coleman nor Reardon have been reportedly raped. There’s not even the right context. The whole quote goes like this:

Friends who talked to Talia said she remembered nothing between the time of the ambulance ride and when she woke up safe at home.

Jennifer, meanwhile, wandered away from the lot, wearing a white miniskirt and black halter top. Detectives suspect that Jennifer – who was not old enough to drink legally – was worried about getting into trouble with cops.

It’s like they were just giving information they thought were interesting or necessary for us to know. Like miniskirt and halter top were responsible for the rape and murder (though the alcohol got more attention in the end but i don’t want to repeat that).

I just wanted to point this passing mention out which creates a certain impression without directly adressing it. They can be quite dangerous if they serve a special purpose like discrediting Afro-Americans, Jews or Muslims – People with a different skin colour and/or religion, etc.. Maybe some reader (if someone reads this at all) knows more examples. Just have nothing else to the fore at the moment.

 

The Godfather says: 

The devil is in the details

 

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Just a small detail missing

July 29, 2006 at 4:41 pm (Crime)

There’s a nice post over at Feministe about Jennifer Moore – The young woman who was abducted, raped and killed in New York City. The main suspect is the taxi driver she ordered on behalf of her boyfriend.

Zuzu discussed the Post’s and Daily News’ coverage but the commenters didn’t care.

A poster called rebecca had the following to say about the issue:

I don’t know about the whole race thing you’re getting at, but I agree that the coverage seems to be trying to force her into the victim role. It’s tragic what happened, but Jennifer made a number of really stupid decisions that are not terribly sympathetic (to me, at least). Driving into Manhattan to get tanked (while underage no less), then not calling parents or authorities for help when she and her friend got stranded was profoundly bad judgment. I shudder when I see these girls all over new york getting blackout drunk…don’t they know that they are putting themselves in horrible danger? Beyond alcohol poisoning, they’re basically hanging a “fuck with me” sign on their backs. It’s unfortunate that we always have to be cautious, but I firmly believe women should never get so drunk that they cannot take care of themselves–no matter who they are with. It’s incredibly stupid and I get so angry when I see it.

First, a correction: Jennifer Moore was not “blackout drunk” as rebecca states, her friend was. Jennifer Moore did drink alcohol and therefore avoided to call the police but called her boyfriend instead when a stranger stalked her (she was too young to be allowed to drink alcohol, aged 18). Her boyfriend told her to call a taxi…

rebecca is focused on alcohol as others like ginmar already discussed.

What made me wonder was the fact that a small detail is missing. Just a very small one. Something you can easily lose sight of….

Everything’s there: The young woman (or “girl”, “gal”), her misbehaviour (going to town with a female friend, doing things boys do (drink alcohol) and the punishment (abduction, rape and murder or “tragedy” as rebecca would say)). The good old story of a girl that doesn’t behave the way girls are supposed to. She acts like a boy and then the inevitable happens. All of this could have been avoided if she’d stayed at home and learned how to cook and wash while daddy’s looking for the right guy who’ll make her some babies… But she didn’t want to listen…

Now what’s the small detail i’m referring to? It’s the rapist, the murderer. He doesn’t play a role in rebecca‘s post. Does rebecca think he was just the tool needed for the girl’s punishment? rebecca talks about alcohol and the girl’s “several mistakes” and even confuses rape with sexual intercourse (“basically hanging a “fuck with me” sign on their backs”). But there’s no place for the rapist and murderer in her little rant.

This is quite typical cause the actions of boys and girls are not judged in the same way. Girls and women behaving like men or boys don’t experience the same reaction towards their behaviour most of the time.

Sex: A man who sleeps with a lot of women is admirable. He may not be regarded as the best husband and father but the perception is mainly positive. He is the man who makes women loose their minds. A woman doing the same is a slut cause women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex and if they do it’s unnatural. Anyway, what does a woman have to do to have sex except for broadening her legs (insulting to men, isn’t it. and this is also not the right moment to mention the fact that women have to do sports all day in order to stay attractive and even have to rely on plastic surgery to please the boys – their body is all that counts, you know) and the perception is therefore purely negative (especially if it comes to rape).

Alcohol: Boys who drink too much – well, they are just boys! That’s just the way it is. Of course, it’s not that good and can be dangerous but we all made stupid things during our adolescence, didn’t we? A girl getting drunk – man, she could  be raped and then she was to blame (and the alcohol)! What a risky behaviour! But don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Strange to see that some things never change.

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Taser her only if she’s helpless

July 8, 2006 at 9:34 am (Crime)

A nice video, isn’t it? A bunch of men surrounding a woman who’s lying on the ground. All the men are actually policeman and one uses a taser gun on her though she’s already restrained to the ground and helpless.

In my opinion, this is a perfect display of male dominance over women. I guess the guy using the taser gun had a hard-on while she was suffering.

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Sex-for-asylum Scandal: Exploitation of a rape victim

May 21, 2006 at 1:27 pm (Crime)

The Guardian has an article about chief immigration officer James Dawute (53) hassling the rape victim Tanya (18) from Zimbabwe for about two weeks. She seeks asylum and he wanted to help her with her application if she had sex with him. There are also two videos from their meeting (14.1 Mb each).

Dawute, who was suspended yesterday: 'She's a vulnerable rape victim,' Dawute said. 'I wouldn't want to have sex with her. I'm the father of four kids.'

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Blame’em 4-ever

April 19, 2006 at 6:05 pm (Crime, Society)

Ever seen the Russian film „Lilja 4-ever“? It’s a good movie with a great leading actress. It’s about a girl who’s forced into prostitution in a foreign country (Sweden) after believing some guy (young, seemingly) attractive that she was heading towards some work on a farm. The cajolery was quite ridiculous (reaping vegetables during winter) and she ends up as a sex slave.

I don’t want to tell you everything about the film and it’s not that I knew this film by heart (I saw the movie a long time ago), you may want to watch the film (I really recommend it).

What I want to talk about is neither the film itself nor sex slavery in Eastern Europe or generally around the world but the reaction of many people hearing/reading/watching stories of girls/women who hit the hay.

The first reaction is to thrust it away by claiming them to be fully responsible for what happened to them due to their stupidity. But I think that this behaviour is highly unfair and shows the lack of will to think about it and to look into the difficulty those girls and women faced.

Just try to put yourself in one of these girls’ position: The town you live in is bedraggled, there’s nobody who takes care of you, poverty is the norm, your adjacencies don’t motivate you to strive for higher education and there hardly any prospects of ever getting a job which enables you to leave this dull environment or a job at all.

You are not well-educated and all that is left to you are dreams of a better future without an idea how to achieve this goal. Nobody really tried to cultivate your mental abilities.

You are NOT sitting at home in your middleclass household, graduated from high-school and went to college. You DON’T know about the problem of slave trade and all you want to DO is to turn over a new leaf.

No one really knows what’s going on in those girls and women who fall for the slave traders before the human trafficking occurs except for them selves and it’s only presumptuous to judge them for what is happening to them afterwards.

And you should never forget that even the most preposterous stupidity is in no way decreasing the guilt of slave traders. Nobody deserves the destiny of those girls and women and the greatest fatuity involved in this whole issue is putting the blame on the victims!

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Outgunned: Up against the MRA

April 17, 2006 at 9:27 pm (Crime, Society)

MRA? He probably intended to write NRA, didn’t he? No, I didn’t! MRA is the abbreviation of “Men’s Rights Activist”.

Some men consider themselves the losers of the feminist movement. There are actually some problems like mothers preferred over fathers when it comes to custody battles even if the father may provide better living conditions for the child. Not that it’s always like that but it shouldn’t be concealed.

But a real MRA doesn’t let reality slow him down. So he proceeds to fight windmills wherever he encounters them.

MRAs blame women for everything.

Sure, the evergreen is: “She asked for it” or even worse “If you ask for it, you deserve it” – a real classic to make excuses for raping a woman but for beating her up, too. You know, everyone is to blame except for the rapist. She was either dressed the wrong way, drank too much, “flirted” with the rapist to-be or just enjoyed freedom (but only men are allowed to in a MRA’s mind).

Another one is: “He didn’t really rape her. He took advantage of her”. What an innocent guy – he’s not a brutal rapist but merely a rascal. Well, but this is still not stupid enough for a hardcore MRA.

No, the woman not only asked for it or deserved it, it’s even worse in some people’s perception: She used her beauty (“provocative beauty”) as a weapon against those poor guys. So they were just defending.

Some MRAs go even further. Can you still go further than giving the victim the responsibility for the crime? Yes, you can! Richard demonstrates special impertinence:

What strikes me as peculiar is prosecutors’ reluctance to admit that innocent men go to prison due to false rape allegations. We get the normal platitudes about them having been very “careful” in their investigation, and how the woman is so “very brave”, but none of them want to deal with the actual statistics and just how uncertain it is that the vast majority of reports are actually rapes.[…] And this is what concerns me, the apparent complete lack of curiosity about the true number of false reports by those charged with prosecuting rape. When I broach this subject with folks in law enforcement it’s as if I’m challenging some religious doctrine; something deep in their soul is threatened by the very possibility that false reports might be significantly higher than they believe. The possibility for them is off the table, because they are "very careful", the woman have been "through so much", and we are lucky to have such "brave" women "come foreword". That's all I get. Finally, it would have been instructional if you told us what the accused rapists go through as the result of the accusation, and what their lives look like afterward if they are eventually acquitted.[…]

Richard goes on presenting “evidence” for false accusations but it’s not over yet.

My point is that it is extremely easy to find rape acquitals, much more so than other crimes. That may be because the nature of the crime's focus on consent (and therefore intent). Absent strong evidence of contemporanous physical abuse and/or an eye witness, it becomes a he said/she said matter that is very much open to abuse.[…] If a certain type of crime is known to be more open to false reporting than other types of crimes, than this is an extremely important fact that I believe public policy should take into account.[…]

Richard goes the whole hog. All this claptrap about responsibility is not enough. He doesn’t even bother to make up excuses for rapists. He claims that rape was more open to false accusations than other crimes. He really hit rock bottom!

Here’s a nice site with an interview presenting a real MRA to us.

The world is not perfect. And women aren’t either. Men sometimes turn out to be disadvantaged and if this is the case they have all the right to complain about it. But those MRAs lost every sense of proportion. It’s not that feminism threatened men and society and equality meant discrimination of men. The opposite is true. It’s not a fight between the sexes but aspiring toward a better society in which nobody’s being oppressed. But many men don’t get that. They think it was some kind of competition with them being on the edge of a loss. The elimination of inequity is a win-win situation. I know that this may sound quite idealistic. I’m not an idealist but I just wanted to make this clear.

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Evolutionary Psychology and Rape

April 13, 2006 at 9:32 pm (Crime, Science, Society)

I just found the following article on the site of the centre for evolutionary psychology:

Is rape an adaptation?

No one knows, nor is there currently enough evidence to decide the question either way. A better question is whether or not a rape adaptation in humans is conceivable. Here, I think the answer is clearly yes. That rape might be an adaptation is a reasonable hypothesis to pursue, and the proper framework is intersexual conflict. Nature is rife with violent conflict–conflict between members of different species (such as predators and prey), conflict between members of the same species (such as males competing for females), and conflict between males and females (such as the killing of offspring by unrelated males during harem takeovers). Further, many organisms clearly possess adaptations to successfully engage in violent strategies (e.g., fangs and claws). There is no principled reason why animal nervous systems could not be specialized for coercive mating, including rape. In humans, the benefits of rape for males may have outweighed the costs during the EEA in the following circumstances:

High status males may be have been able to coerce matings with little fear of reprisal.

Low status women (e.g., orphans) may have been particularly vulnerable to being raped
because males need not have feared reprisals from the woman's family.

During war, raping enemy women may have had few negative repercussions.

Men who were low status, who were likely to remain low status, and who had few
opportunities to invest in kin may have realized reproductive benefits that outweighed the
considerable costs (e.g., reprisal by the woman's family).

Whether human males possess psychological adaptations for rape will only be answered by careful studies seeking evidence for such cognitive specializations. To not seek such evidence is like failing to search a suspect for a concealed weapon. It is extremely likely that human males, like males of many other species, have both physiological as well as psychological adaptations for successfully engaging in violent strategies. Rape may well be one such strategy. However–and this is important–adaptations provide organisms with special abilities. Rape is a behavior. It could easily result (for example) from the ability of individuals to use physical aggression to achieve any one of a number of goals, including sex; it may not require any cognitive specializations whatsoever. In order for a rape adaptation to evolve, there would have to have been cognitive problems involved in successfully raping someone in the EEA that were specific to rape, and did not generally occur in other aggressive encounters. It is not entirely obvious what these problems might have been. Perhaps identifying circumstances that were propitious for rape, as outlined above, would be one example.

More generally, the human sciences may be forced to consider that individuals are innately capable of doing bad things.

First things first, i was surprised that the term "habituation" was not used in this article.

The "benefits" of raping:
Primarily they talk about mating: A man rapes a woman and impregnates her thereby so that the "rape-gene" is given to the child. Reproduction's successful.

But I'm not convinced. The chance of becoming pregnant after one sexual intercourse is very low (i didn't find any figures but who would disagree?) and the rapist probably doesn't know about the woman's menstrual cycle. If pack raping comes to your mind – the chance of the woman being impregnated rises with the number of rapists but the chance for every single rapist remains the same. Ok, if you consider the rape-gene to be impetus then this may even make a bit of sense. Some kind of altruism would be involved because what's the benefit of the guys who participate but aren't those fathers to-be? It would be better for them to rape alone because there's no competition (you're reminded of the text: such as the killing of offspring by unrelated males during harem takeovers). And there would still be no explanation for any other rape than pack rape. The other problem would be the mother's relationship to the child and the chances of surviving would probably be lower (look at circumstance Nr.2). A woman who suffers from a trauma and with no father to care for the child… A stable relationship is by far a more successful strategy than raping could ever be. The development in medical science which led to abortions not being kind of a butchery anymore should have had a major impact on the success of an alleged rape-gene also.

Rape is a way of wielding power and this shows that there's an intention so the mating being a benefit of rape becomes even more unlikely. They provide us with another possible reason – a violent intersexual conflict. Using rape to domineer the women? This idea is not new (Susan Brownmiller's "Against our will: Men, women and rape" or Buchwald's, Fletcher's and Roth's "Transforming a rape culture" perhaps) but linking it to evolutionary psychology is just speculation. I don't think that this needs a subconscious instigation to be case.

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Bernardo Provenzano apprehended

April 11, 2006 at 12:53 pm (Crime)

The 73 year old head of Sicily's Cosa Nostra was caught today after 40 years of abscondence.

He may have been involved in the assassination of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.

There are three major Mafia Oraganisations in Italy: Cosa Nostra in Sicily, Camorra in Naples and the N'drangheta in Calabria. It's interesting to note that the N'drangheta is considered the most powerful Mafia Organisation in the world.

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Suicide by Killer?

April 6, 2006 at 12:15 pm (Crime)

The Times has a story about the former spy Dennis Donaldson who was found dead on April, 4. He was a former chief of staff for Sinn Fein and named as a spy for the BSS at a press conference last December.

Living in a cottage in Ireland with no comfort whatsoever.

The journalist discovered that Mr Donaldson seemed to spend his days making the most of his meagre resources to survive. Water had to be drawn from a well, heating and cooking were from a peat-burning range. His only communication with the outside world was a battery-operated radio. At night, with the temperature dropping below zero and the Atlantic gales howling across the hills, his only source of light was a Tilley lamp. His only luxury was a petrol-driven log-cutter.

This reminds the Godfather a bit of Latitants but that's another story… His journey obviously came to an end. But it's even more fascinating that this was not some kind of a good ambush.

Terence Slowey, the Donegal councillor with the opposition Fine Gael party, said: “It’s up a very isolated bog road — you wouldn’t be on it unless you had cattle. “There were certainly many visitors from Belfast, you’d hear the accents. People did come and go to the house. It’s on a very bad road but it’s my understanding that senior republican people would have known about the house for years.”

Some journalists found him also. The question who killed him remains and the IRA claims to have nothing to do with his death.

Did this man give up? Maybe he didn't find the strength and lacked the will to flee or commit suicide. So he sat there in his shelter and vegetated. Lying for about twenty years and then suddenly being uncovered must have been hard to take. This cottage may have been so bedraggled that he could have been detracted from the latent threat of being killed.

His life ended but the story is not finished yet…

The Godfather says:

A man who thinks that he has no future is already dead.

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