The Better Half

A couple of days ago, I read a very powerful blog post by Joss Whedon, creator of the awesome Firefly and Buffy series.

The post – read it! – talks about the status of women in our society. Recently, he saw graphic Internet video footage of the brutal ‘honor killing’ by stoning of a young woman in Northern Iraq. During the same time frame, he came across a preview for a Hollywood feature film where a young woman is kidnapped, tortured and murdered.

He asks – and I ask too – why are women in our society seen as flawed and ready victims? Perhaps, in a religious sense, it goes all the way back to the concept of original sin – and in a secular sense, there are all sorts of issues related to fear, dependence and objectification.

Our culture seems to glory in violence, in stories, songs and media that make women weak and desperate and sorry.

There are women in less egalitarian cultures that are being killed, battered, mutilated and deprived of the most basic freedoms every day within and outside the legal system. Even in our Western culture, I have online and real life friends that have been battered both physically and verbally/emotionally by their partners. Most women I know still earn $0.70-0.80 on the dollar and have limited opportunity compared to their male counterparts.

Why in the world do we tolerate this? Why do we accept any cultural definition that says half the world’s talent, brainpower, skills and heart are somehow less worthy of value and respect?

But we do. And then we even allow an outspoken few to glorify it under the banner of “freedom of speech” by making obscenely, graphically misogynistic media for public release. Some watch it, cringing, like we watch a wreck on the highway, cringing, as we drive by. It finds an audience.

And the cycle continues. Where will this end? What will we become?

As Joss says, it’s no longer enough to shake our head. When we ignore the injustice, the horror, the brutality, it continues to flourish. Do something – anything! Act locally. Act globally. Give. Serve. Write. Pray.

Joss’s blog has a link to one organization. There are many, many other service agencies out there for women and children – just search.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
  ~ Edmund Burke

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