I eat skin! Roasted chicken with leeks, potatoes, Brussel’s sprouts and a rose-raspberry-lime sauce
Americans have never heard of the Asian subcontinent, but I am pretty sure that even if they had, they wouldn’t give a fig for the plight of its female inhabitants-of-color. Which is why the only news that comes out of the region — or indeed, any other region — celebrates the male fixation on guns and bombs. Unless you peruse a bunch of Indian news websites while eating your dinner.
First stop, Northern Pakistan, where male godbags, always on the lookout for new and illegal ways to totally screw the ladies, have been hard at work striking blows for patriarchy. A bunch of asshole “tribal elders,” in a fit of nostalgia for the good old Taliban and its infectious, world-famous joie de vivre, have formally disinvited women from life’s rich pageant, barring them, either as voters or as candidates, from upcoming local council elections.
The Taliban, you may recall, is the group who popularized the humorous bumpersticker “Women. Can’t live with’em? Go ahead and shoot’em.”
Next, in Delhi, a “spurt in rape cases”; and its aftermath of PFT (Pure Female Terror) is being used as a pawn in an imbroglio between opposing factions in the government (secularists vs. fatwaists). At the furor’s epicenter is, what else, a pitiful helpless rape victim from some hick town who’s been oppressed by Muslim clerics. Brutalized by her father-in-law, Imrana was subsequently informed by her provincial panchayat that, since she’d had the nerve to get raped, she’d have to remove herself from the midst of her husband and five kids. She is apparently haram, which is Shariatese for “uncool”; Not only has this whimsical fatwa had rather a polarizing effect on the Indian populus, it has also turned the popular parlor game “blame-the-victim” into a sort of bloodsport. Since politicians the world over love nothing so much as giving a crap about pitiful helpless rape victims in front TV cameras, Imrana has become, à la Terry Schiavo, the most famous woman in India. Unlike Schiavo, who had the luxury of being brain-dead, Imrana remains a sentient being, and appears to be suffering a nervous breakdown as her tragic life morphs relentlessly into public spectacle.
Onward to Chhattisgarh, India, where a “spurt” (the technical term) of “atrocities on women” has resulted from the habit of self-appointed witch-hunters to traipse through the countryside, point the fickle finger of fate at women they don’t like and shout “j’accuse!” The astonishing effect of this astonishing behavior is the torture and murder of the accused. In response, the Indian government is looking to make sorcery a felony, which they seem to think will protect women who don’t practice it from being accused of practicing it and thereby getting themselves brutalized.
Fun facts to know and tell: The UN has estimated that, since 1984, more than 2500 women have been murdered in India because their countrymen had the impression they were witches. Think this is just provincial hoodoo? Think again! Guess how many sorcerers have been murdered in the UK and Australia in the past 5 years? Four thousand!
Next week we travel to witch-plagued Australia, where women, in apparent droves, have taken to hovering over toilets!
UPDATE: Several alert readers have expressed the viewpoint that 4000 murdered witches in the UK and Australia seems a suspiciously high figure. It now appears that the UN report to which I allude does not exist. A bit of research shows that the website from which I got the statistic is a bit on the godbaggish side, and so must necessarily be suspect. If facts are your bag, see the comments section for details.
UPDATE II: Over 170 Pakistani women have issued a giant "fuck you" to the male douchebags who banned them from participation in elections, and have registered as candidates "with full enthusiasm."