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Mar 31 2009

Schmucknozzle of the Week: Hamid Karzai

You know that zany, completely unfounded Unified Patriarchy Theory proposed by eccentric spinster aunts and certain other women who advocate flat shoes? The theory that defines patriarchy as a culture of domination composed of default humans (males) who maintain dominion over everyone and everything else, including a class of indentured sex receptacles (women)? The theory that further proposes that, not only does patriarchy exist, but it is experienced as oppression by the indentured sex receptacles?

Well, here’s another little piece of evidence to toss into the “Patriarchy Exists/ Sucks for Women” column.

As usual, some power-wielding dude is trading women for votes. This time it’s Afghan head cheese and ex-Bush henchman Hamid Karzai, who will gladly endure the suffering incurred by women whose husbands now have codified, legal carte blanche to rape them whenever the fancy strikes. In return for signing his great sacrifice into law, fundamentalist woman-raping hooligan godbags will vote for Friende Hamid come August.

In a massive blow for women’s rights, the new Shia Family Law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman’s right to leave the home, according to UN papers seen by The Independent.

Get a load of Article 132:

Article 132 requires women to obey their husband’s sexual demands and stipulates that a man can expect to have sex with his wife at least “once every four nights” when travelling, unless they are ill. The law also gives men preferential inheritance rights, easier access to divorce, and priority in court.

Here’s more from the Telegraph:

The law [...] is believed to state women can only seek work, education or doctor’s appointments with their husband’s permission.

This throwing-women-under-the-bus behavior is routine and universal. Liberal American dudes do it all the time. They love porn, think Camille Paglia is a feminist, and only support abortion rights because it distinguishes them politically from, and therefore makes them feel morally superior to, the “repugs.” Women never had it so good, according to Amerian liberal dudes. Discrimination and violence against women are “fringe issues.” What about the men!?! Take, for example, this randomly selected comment at the Liberal Dude Circle Jerk site, Daily Kos. The commenter is responding to a post on the Obama administration’s announcement of the new Throw’em A Bone Council on Women and Girls and Nuclear Families.

Men die sooner, have higher suicide rates, prostate cancer kills about as many men as breast cancer kills women yet receives a fraction of the funding, men make up the vast majority of combat deaths, suffer the most from overall violence, suffer the vast majority of workplace deaths and injuries, and are falling further and further behind women in attending and graduating college. There are plenty of issues affecting men. So it would be nice to see a program of general social advancement, as opposed to another one just favoring group X.

Dudes are the core of humanity, women are “group X.” Afghan godbags want it written into law that it’s OK to rape a few members of group X? Who cares? That’s well within parameters set by the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women.

Fucking barbarians.

Thanks, Luisa H

47 comments

3 pings

  1. Kerry

    Eek!

  2. norbizness

    Contra the startlingly well-preserved ur-commenter at Daily Kos, TV commercials have told me that the largest problem facing men is the proliferation of body odor from partying all night, a malady that can only be held in check with over-usage of Axe Ectoplasmic Body Wash.

    As for Karzai, I’d like to see him defy the various Middle Ages fundamentalists in his country with a withering taunt, something to the effect of “What are you going to do about it? Destroy my ineffectual puppet government with some sort of armed insurrection financed by narco-dollars?”

    P.S. Come on, nobody could be so blindingly dumb as to think that Paglia is anything other than a Pagliaist.

  3. procrastinatrix

    Thanks for once again pointing out that assholic laws like this one are just dots on the same continuum of the aptly named “Global Accords Governing the Fair Use of Women.” That’s not to say that Karzai doesn’t deserve a special place in Hell for signing this law.

    And as for Mr. “majority of combat deaths” from DKos, I’d like to point out this globally acknowledged factoid about modern combat,

    “Today’s conflicts happen where people live. In fact,
    close to 90 percent of war casualties now are civilians – the
    majority of whom are women and children. That compares
    to 5 percent a century ago.” page 11, http://www.savethechildren.org/publications/mothers/2003/SOWMPDFfulldocument2.pdf

    I know this statement conflates “women and children” into one category, which upsets Spinster Aunts and other flat-shoe wearing women like myself, but it nevertheless makes the point about who the real losers in modern warfare really are.

  4. ginmar

    I love it when assholes complain that men die sooner and all that other shit. Men are more violent, more indulged, more spoiled. They wind up in prison because they commit ninety percent of all violent crime, for fuck’s sake. There IS this thing that addresses their goddamned needs: It’s called the WORLD.

    I want a revolution now.

  5. PhysioProf

    It is disheartening how many “liberal dudes” go fucking ballistic when asked to examine their own class, race, or gender privilege.

  6. martine

    This article makes me sick!
    Let’s go Ginmar!

  7. Leigh

    Was just harrumphing to a friend about this fucking Karzai thing. And now you’ve tossed this whole douchenozzle over at Daily Kos in my face. It seems I am doomed to harrumph all day.

    And, to punch another little hole in the “dudez have it worse” argument, though it may be true that more male soldiers’ deaths in wartime are classified as “combat-related,” there is also this lovely little factoid to consider: women serving in the U.S. armed forces are more likely to be raped by their fellow soldiers than killed by enemy fire. And no, that is not a comment on how few women are die “combat-related” deaths.

    Just for a little perspective. Not that anyone dwelling in the land o’ privilege gives a rat’s ass.

  8. Rachel

    It’s telling that the woman MP who campaigned againt this legislation says, “It is totally against women’s rights.”

    Not human rights? Not civil rights?

    I’d like to propose that the term “women’s rights” serves to de-legitimize by reinforcing the notion that >50% of the population is a group distinct from humans.

    Thoughts from the blametariat?

  9. Twisty

    Rachel, are you making the “Feminism? Why not humanism?” argument? Seriously?

  10. MissPrism

    The total potential years of life lost from breast cancer is about three times as much as for prostate cancer.

  11. yttik

    Thank you for naming the “Liberal Dude Circle Jerks” and the “Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women.” The patronizing liberal dudes from hell are simply the flip side of the same coin. Half the time you don’t even have to turn the coin over to see it.

    I’ll stop now before I say something about the liberal dudes that I will regret. Or worse yet, something I won’t regret at all. Ha!

  12. amy

    I think Rachel was just trying to point out that women’s rights are human rights. Maybe? That’s how I read it.

  13. Orange

    MissPrism, are you suggesting that an old man’s life and well-being are not worth more than those of a younger woman? The men probably have bigger bank accounts (which, mind you, they’re not spending on prostate cancer research).

    I know the U.S. government feels there are compelling anti-terrorism reasons to stay in Afghanistan, but sheesh! If an American military presence doesn’t dissuade Karzai from tossing half of the Afghan population under the bus, just how much effect can the U.S. possibly be having there?

    And what the hell? It’s not 1400. It’s 2009. Why go with the Taliban’s medieval sharia laws? It’s not as if that will appease the Taliban and then they’ll sit quietly and behave. They won’t rest until they control the entire country and deprive women and girls of still more rights. Give ‘em an inch, they’ll take a mile–and they’ll stomp on women the whole way.

  14. Sarah

    Breast cancer receives so much funding because of the patriarchal belief that women without big titties available for men’s fondling are not complete people.

    I hate DK.

  15. PilgrimSoul

    Charmingly, Hillary Clinton also had a summit with Karzai today. And what did she say in her closing statement but that women in Afghanistan were doing well!

    God I hate everyone, except Twisty, who I would marry every day of the week and twice on Sundays were it not such a patriarchal heteronormative institution.

  16. Twisty

    Amy: “I think Rachel was just trying to point out that women’s rights are human rights. Maybe? That’s how I read it.”

    Whups, my bad. Man, I’ve got a hair trigger when it comes to that ‘humanism” shit.

  17. CoolAunt

    The men probably have bigger bank accounts (which, mind you, they’re not spending on prostate cancer research).

    Most of them aren’t spending it on prostate exams beginning at age 45, either, while most women pay for annual health exams starting from puberty and mammograms starting at age 45. But they must be spending a shitload of it on Extenz, Viagra and other penis- and erection-enhancing products, judging by all the ads for them on tv.

  18. Rebekka

    “Breast cancer receives so much funding because of the patriarchal belief that women without big titties available for men’s fondling are not complete people.”

    Sarah, the patriarchal belief is that women are *not* people. The reason for lots of breast cancer funding is because women without big titties are broken and not fun toys any more.

  19. wiggles

    From that Kos comment it sounds to me like men need to stop oppressing themselves. They suffer more violence – so stop hitting and shooting each other. They’re falling behind women in college. Boo hoo. Sign up for college and study, dipshit! Dayam.

  20. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    “Schmucknozzle”? My new favorite expletive!

    Did Hilary even know? I mean, the story only just broke. If so, shame on her. If not, now that she surely does she needs to go back over there post haste and kick Karzai’s butt but good.

    From the Guardian article, it appears that this law is actually a bundle of laws applying only to 10% of the population, a Shia ethnic group, including this Article 132 dealio that therefore applies to only 5% (half being women). I find it horrifying that there can be a legal subclass of women in any country, never mind one that treats the majority of its women as badly as Afghanistan does. Not to mention that this creates an über-class of patriarchs.

    But I suspect that this is also precisely why Karzai might have thought he could fly this one under the international radar.

    Bully for whoever leaked it to the UN. May she live long and prosper.

    Non serviam, all you schmucknozzles.

  21. Twisty

    The reason for breast cancer funding is Komen. Komen is a marketing juggernaut that sells its logo to corporations looking to sanitize their tarnished public images. Komen put breast cancer on the map, sentimentalized, pinkified, and teddy-beared it, but they have not reduced breast cancer deaths by a single iota.

  22. DarthVelma

    Pink breast cancer shit is a plague. I saw a pink ribbon bumpersticker on my drive home today with “Save the Ta-Tas” printed on it. It was all I could do not to just ram them.

  23. Chocolate Tort

    This talk of breast cancer reminded me of something we discussed just for a moment in my intellectual property class today. Some philosopher proposed a model of incentivizing (I hate that word!) medical research by awarding people who create new drugs on the basis of how much they reduce the “global health burden” instead of granting them patents.

    We only had a few minutes for it, but it seems like this could go a long way toward combating both the ridiculous amounts of money spent on Viagra and Botox research as well as the Komen crap – reward companies who actually do things that benefit a lot of people, rather than rewarding those who catch the attention of rich folk. This is getting off-topic, but it was on my mind.

  24. Jimmy

    I always wondered about the whole pink thing. I mean it’s great to increase the awareness of danger of breast cancer and its consequences but it would be way more helpful if these advertisers really cared and lobbied legislations to give big funds to actual research communities and cancer prevention communities (ACS and whatnots) then mere $1′s from random products which you don’t even know where this money funnel into.
    The Daily Ko person forgot to research before commenting. You’d be surprised how much money goes into prostate cancer related research. This is the main one that we can detect early and cure quite effectively when found early. Even though you don’t see many advertisements, this is one cancer that we actually see some result from research so they put more money into prostate cancer than any other. Even with such advantage, many men die from prostate cancer because they just don’t want to lose their anal virginities to rubber covered cold hands of white bearded old doctors.

  25. Julia

    I second Jimmy’s comment. There are a number of excellent early detection tests for prostate cancer, and the lab down the hall from mine is working on new urine proteomics tests to find even earlier and more reliable ones than are currently used. I do not know of a blood or urine marker of breast cancer, though undoubtedly some labs are working on this.
    Shit, that reminds me, I gotta schedule my mammogram. (Bad family history, got to start at 30.)
    This also remeinds me, do no go to Afghanistan.

  26. Lauren O

    I encourage you all to contact the US State Department and ask them to do everything they can to get rid of this law diplomatically.

  27. Lauren O

    Oh, and if you want a template for State-Department-letter writing, there are a few in the comments thread here (Melissa McEwan’s in the second comment is the easiest to find).

  28. not a dudetiful wife

    How ironic you’d post this when I was just today looking at a video about a polygamist wife in the US running away from the cult city she lived in.

    http://fora.tv/2007/12/05/Carolyn_Jessop_on_her_Escape_from_the_FLDS#chapter_01

    People, even some liberal people, don’t see the big deal about women being in these religious cults. There’s Big Love on HBO…we should be tolerant of religion….They say it’s a choice and as feminists we should support choice. They have no idea.

    This woman testifies that they get women very young and tell them their salvation is dependent on them being obedient and suffering to their man and the male leadership of the church. They isolate them, don’t educate them, and keep them continually pregnant so where, most cannot think of leaving because they cannot slip all their kids out and cannot earn a living. This woman said that her hysterectomy, which kept her kid count at seven, allowed her to get away, because they use pregnancy and continual child care-taking as a form of control on women who may mature and decide to get out.

    They cannot choose their own spouses in many cults. Also, the cops and judges are all in the cult. They do not allow the women to have driver’s licenses so they can pick them up on the road legally at any time for this “violation.” If a woman protests or runs, they never allow her to see her kids (if she can’t get them all out or she’s unsuccessful herself), or they get her mentally institutionalized, because only a mentally ill woman would be unhappy. This is happening here in the US. Now.

  29. TheBellWitch

    Thank you for the links, LaurenO. Very helpful. And thank you Twisty, for pointing out how “routine and universal” this trading of women’s lives for power is.

    According to the most recent Guardian article on the topic, Clinton spoke out against the law in a press conference (“This is an area of absolute concern for the United States. My message is very clear. Women’s rights are a central part of the foreign policy of the Obama administration.”) and spoke to Karzai privately. Argh. “Area of concern?” I know she’s a diplomat and all, but really? That’s the strongest she’s got for a law that actually legalizes rape? Excuse me, that wet sound you just heard was my obstreperal lobe exploding.

  30. TheLady

    Hang on, did they really legalise rape though? I mean, do we know for a fact that rape is illegal in Afghanistan in the first place?

    I think the real reason Karzai thought he could fly this one under the radar is that it represents a continuation of the status quo for women in Afghanistan.

    It’s not this law we should be getting all het up about, it’s the fact that it mirrors widely accepted social norms. Which we kind of are, too, I do see that, bu just want to be specific here. Writing to the State Department askingthem to press Afghanistan to repeal this law won’t result in women there being safer from rape.

    By all means write to the Stat Deprtment asking them to protect Afghan women, just don’t put all of the amphsys on repealign this law, because if the law gets repealed that’s a PR coup for Karzai and his mafia but bupkis benefit to women.

  31. TheLady

    Oh my lofty foot, how bad is my typing today?

    Blametariat, I apologise.

  32. speedbudget

    Jimmy-ACS is no better than Komen. I read an interesting interview in The Sun with Samuel Epstein about the cancer establishment. If you trace the people who sit on the boards of the ACS, the pharmaceutical companies (who necessarily make money off of sick people), and the petrochemical companies (largest producer of carcinogens), they’re all the same people. They cycle through. The money is not in curing cancer. It’s in keeping people sick.

    Sorry to threadjack, but this sticks in my craw. I haven’t given one penny to ACS or any charity that funnels money to them since reading that interview.

    ON TOPIC: Did Mr. Privilege consider that maybe one of the reasons more men die in combat (I’m leaving the civilians out of this; everyone here knows they’re the real losers) is because of the sexist rules the patriarchy set up for who gets to be in combat? Nice. We get blamed for not dying enough in combat because they won’t allow us in combat.

  33. slythwolf

    Hang on, did they really legalise rape though? I mean, do we know for a fact that rape is illegal in Afghanistan in the first place?

    Where is rape really illegal? Does there exist a place somewhere on earth where rapists are convicted at the same rate as people who commit other violent crimes, and where they get the kind of sentences they should be getting (and not, say, the six months of community service three boys in my high school got for videotaping their gang rape of a 15-year-old girl, which by the way should also have carried child porn charges)? Seriously, I want to know. So I can move there.

  34. MLH

    To not a dudetiful wife, I was thinking about these religious cults, when I saw some news bit about the Octomom circus story. Everybody is making such a big deal about this -probably- mentally ill woman when so many men do similar things (breeding kids they can’t afford) in much worse and destructive ways!!
    Anyway, going back to the Karzai story, and his (and the Taliban’s) total disregard for women’s rights, if this is news, can you imagine the stuff is really happening there? How awful it must be for women over there that making rape legal is being discussed, like it’s not big deal? The other stuff we are not hearing about?

    I second the thought put forth by one of the posters above. We need a revolution.

  35. Jezebella

    “Octomom” has a name. It is Nadya Suleman. Can we, as feminists, not grant another woman the courtesy of calling her by her actual name and not the ridiculous moniker laid on her by the tabloid press?

  36. MLH

    Jezebella, that’s why I referred to it as the “circus story,” I was implying the “Octomom” name was given to her by the media itself. But, fair enough.

  37. Agasaya

    Writing to the state department about Afghani law won’t help the women. However, if codified Afghan law allows women to be raped (as opposed to just, you know, ‘custom’) and be officially deprived of access to education, medical care or the right to leave their homes, then Afghan women should be allowed to approach US military personnel and request political asylum. Transport to the American embassy (or other neutral but inviolable embassy) for relocation to a safe location should be automatic.

    We may be fighting terrorist cells there but should not provide military safeguards to men who are raping and imprisoning women. If we can’t protect all Afghanis equally, we ought to establish refugee status for those who cannot be protected.

  38. tinfoil hattie

    Men also cause the majority of combat deaths, and perform 99% of violent killings. And several years ago, the number one cause of death at work for women was murder. More women than men graduate college now, but the vast majority of power positions in this country are still held by white men.

    And by the way, how is changing any of the above for the better *not* considered to be “for the general advancement of society”? Oh, that’s right. Twisty explained it! Men are the core, and the majority of the population makes up “Group X.”

  39. CoolAunt

    …You’d be surprised how much money goes into prostate cancer related research. This is the main one that we can detect early and cure quite effectively when found early. Even though you don’t see many advertisements, this is one cancer that we actually see some result from research so they put more money into prostate cancer than any other. Even with such advantage, many men die from prostate cancer because they just don’t want to lose their anal virginities to rubber covered cold hands of white bearded old doctors.

    Which just goes to prove that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him turn his head and cough.

  40. Twisty

    “Which just goes to prove that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him turn his head and cough.”

    Ha!

    See, this is what I mean when I say, in the FAQ, that “blamers must make jokes.”

  41. ginmar

    Speedbudget, I’m a soldier in the Army and women do die in combat. It’s just that women make up only fifteen percent of soldiers in the Armed Forces and combat-related positions are the only sure way to the higher ranks in many specialities. I was in combat. It was a clusterfuck, and it was impossible to do more than aim in the general direction of the enemy and fire back. There’s a coterie of conservobot military scumbags online who’ve made it their mission to harass, stalk, and out me for having the temerity to call them on their bullshit. I’ve received hate mail and death threats at my house. At my house. So much for band of brothers. The liberal guys in the military….well, like most liberal guys, they’re a mixed bunch. I’m sleep deprived so I don’t know what I’m rambling on about. PTSD, of course, which also gets you jeered at the REMFs (rear echelon motherfuckers.)

    Men like to whine about the draft but there’s been no fucking draft for thirty years and besides, I don’t see the more conservative assholes joining up. Just ask the Yellow Republican website.

    In short, I have some very definite ideas about revolution and how best to put scumbags up against the wall. I’m sick of sexists, assholes–but I repeat myself—-and bankers who whine but I can’t afford both houses! Screw this shit, let’s overturn everybody and depose Karzai, who’s a useless fuck and a relic of the Bush years. Pitchforks and torches all around, I say.

  42. speedbudget

    ginmar: I never meant to imply that women never die in combat. I was ineptly trying to make the point that maybe the reason more men die in combat is that due to sexist rules, it’s near to impossible for a woman to be put in combat. Which, you’re right, in turn makes it impossible for a woman to advance in the military. I did not know about the 15%, which necessarily negates any argument we or anyone else are having about this. When you’re only 15% of the force, OF COURSE your combat death numbers will be lower. ALL your numbers will be lower.

    PS–I bet that guy making that argument was a REMF. (I’m an army brat. My dad used to go on about those guys all the time. He flew medevac helicopters.)

  43. Rachel

    Amy: “I think Rachel was just trying to point out that women’s rights are human rights. Maybe? That’s how I read it.”

    Yes, thanks Amy, that’s correct. I do see how one could have interpreted a humanism argument from my assertion that the term “women’s rights” is problematic, especially when one deals regularly with similar troll-esque comments. It is definitely not what I meant. I retract.

    There was just something that irritated me about the statement that this is “totally against women’s rights”. It somehow missed the mark.

    The same woman was also quoted as saying that the law “makes women more vulnerable”. Well yes, of course it does. But it’s almost as though the law can now be cast as a misguided attempt to protect women which — oops!– accidentally did the opposite. It’s as though this isn’t actually active de-humanization.

  44. ginmar

    Speedbudget, no worries.

    You have to sit through a briefing on sexual harassment to really raise your blood pressure. Suddenly, it’s ‘both’ men and women can be raped. By whom, exactly? Both implies equality. So are fifteen percent of the population doing fifty percent of the assaults? That fifteen percent tends to be young and low-ranking. Rank alone sure doesn’t protect women, but the power structure is male. Whoever is raped, it’s men doing the raping.

    Also, they love to cite that fifty two percent of rapes involve alcohol. Huh. That means forty eight percent are comitted while the attacker is sober. That’s not a huge margin, is it? Why don’t they address that? Why don’t they address the culture of alcohol worship in the military?

    Oh, and the guy giving our briefing? Had been repeatedly disciplined for sexual harassment and other shit.

    These guys come from our culture. The degree to which our culture differs from that of Karzai’s is just a matter of pretense and denial. Lots of western men wish rape was legal, and in fact it practically is.

  45. dina

    You know, it’s depressing, but I wonder how much the rape piece of this law even matters in the day-to-day. Will women be arrested and jailed for refusing their husband’s sexual advances, or will it just be a legal justification for rape within marriage? If it’s the latter, well, I can’t imagine there was much support for rape victims who are married to their perpetrators in Afghanistan before this law, was there? The other aspects of this law are at least as disturbing, and probably have a more practical impact on women’s daily lives.

    According to the Guardian:

    “The final document has not been published, but the law is believed to contain articles that rule women cannot leave the house without their husbands’ permission, that they can only seek work, education or visit the doctor with their husbands’ permission, and that they cannot refuse their husband sex.”

  46. lysistrata

    Applause! Full stop.

    Shouldn´t we question firmly and loudly, WTF is US/nato doing in Afghanistan at all?….. Not to mention the lives of our dearest and our taxes. Supporting a hand-___picked, rape-happy P? With deep respect to ginmar, what honor is there in continuing to partake in the patriarchy´s default-war-mode and combat?

    My always shaky Obamahope keeps teetering on the brink of despair, when he just did the dog-n-pony show in Europe for more geeeeeeee20 troops. I have sent my thoughts to the State Dept. –thank you, Lauren O— and to my ´other´ government: gabinete@presidencia.gob.es to stop considering war/Afghanistan a viable option of ´political life´.

    Yes, even a socialist (= hurrah!) government, the last one left in Europe!, gets walled in constantly by the global P-interests.

    If we can begin the Women_Evolution anywhere for real, in business and goverment, please let me know; and if any of you want to start it in Madrid, Spain, my house is open for free: We are dealing with two dark forces here: the corruption-indicted conservatives, PP (duh!), and the most retrograde vestiges of the vaticide, colluding to give its last, but nastiest kicks to humanity, at once.

  47. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6036521.ece

    A little high profile, perhaps an anomaly, but I hope this means more women starting to bug out of Afghanistan.

    “Existing as a female in Afghanistan” should be grounds for political asylum.

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