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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:02 AM

AMF AMF is offline
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Default OT: Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

I read this yesterday, and I've thought a lot about it since then. I pondered whether to post it to the list or not, and in the end I decided that this article was so insightful that I felt I had no choice. It relates to the Amish school shooting recently, and it's not political. It is, in fact, related in some way or another to all of us.


“Who needs a brain when you have these?”
— message on an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt for young women

In the recent shootings at an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania and a large public high school in Colorado, the killers went out of their way to separate the girls from the boys, and then deliberately attacked only the girls.

Ten girls were shot and five killed at the Amish school. One girl was killed and a number of others were molested in the Colorado attack.

In the widespread coverage that followed these crimes, very little was made of the fact that only girls were targeted. Imagine if a gunman had gone into a school, separated the kids up on the basis of race or religion, and then shot only the black kids. Or only the white kids. Or only the Jews.

There would have been thunderous outrage. The country would have first recoiled in horror, and then mobilized in an effort to eradicate that kind of murderous bigotry. There would have been calls for action and reflection. And the attack would have been seen for what it really was: a hate crime.

None of that occurred because these were just girls, and we have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that violence against females is more or less to be expected. Stories about the rape, murder and mutilation of women and girls are staples of the news, as familiar to us as weather forecasts. The startling aspect of the Pennsylvania attack was that this terrible thing happened at a school in Amish country, not that it happened to girls.

The disrespectful, degrading, contemptuous treatment of women is so pervasive and so mainstream that it has just about lost its ability to shock. Guys at sporting events and other public venues have shown no qualms about raising an insistent chant to nearby women to show their breasts. An ad for a major long-distance telephone carrier shows three apparently naked women holding a billing statement from a competitor. The text asks, “When was the last time you got screwed?”

An ad for Clinique moisturizing lotion shows a woman’s face with the lotion spattered across it to simulate the climactic shot of a porn video.

We have a problem. Staggering amounts of violence are unleashed on women every day, and there is no escaping the fact that in the most sensational stories, large segments of the population are titillated by that violence. We’ve been watching the sexualized image of the murdered 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey for 10 years. JonBenet is dead. Her mother is dead. And we’re still watching the video of this poor child prancing in lipstick and high heels.

What have we learned since then? That there’s big money to be made from thongs, spandex tops and sexy makeovers for little girls. In a misogynistic culture, it’s never too early to drill into the minds of girls that what really matters is their appearance and their ability to please men sexually.

A girl or woman is sexually assaulted every couple of minutes or so in the U.S. The number of seriously battered wives and girlfriends is far beyond the ability of any agency to count. We’re all implicated in this carnage because the relentless violence against women and girls is linked at its core to the wider society’s casual willingness to dehumanize women and girls, to see them first and foremost as sexual vessels — objects — and never, ever as the equals of men.

“Once you dehumanize somebody, everything is possible,” said Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of the women’s advocacy group Equality Now.

That was never clearer than in some of the extreme forms of pornography that have spread like nuclear waste across mainstream America. Forget the embarrassed, inhibited raincoat crowd of the old days. Now Mr. Solid Citizen can come home, log on to this $7 billion mega-industry and get his kicks watching real women being beaten and sexually assaulted on Web sites with names like “Ravished Bride” and “Rough Sex — Where Whores Get Owned.”

Then, of course, there’s gangsta rap, and the video games where the players themselves get to maul and molest women, the rise of pimp culture (the Academy Award-winning song this year was “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”), and on and on.

You’re deluded if you think this is all about fun and games. It’s all part of a devastating continuum of misogyny that at its farthest extreme touches down in places like the one-room Amish schoolhouse in normally quiet Nickel Mines, Pa.

New York Times editorial by Bob Herbert, Oct 16th, 2006

EDIT: here's the original URL:
http://select.nytimes.com/2006/10/16...bert.html?_r=1
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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:19 AM

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Default Re: [OT] Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

I somewhat agree with that. Only somewhat because not all men view women as objects, lesser people. In point of fact, it is a very small minority that does. The problem is, all the people who think women are equals of men don't do anything to stop the attitudes that objectify women. If it were socially not acceptable, stupidity like that would dramatically decrease. Unfortunately, society as a whole hasn't made it unnacceptable.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: [OT] Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

I've stated many times to other people I know that society is degenerating not progressing. Just sit back some day and really listen to the news. It’s saddening when you consider that we as a human race should be using all this wonderful technology to further ourselves and it ‘s all being used for petty issues and endeavors.

Medicine hasn’t progressed that much in the last couple of years. They come up with tons of new medicines, BUT they haven’t cured any major illnesses like HIV, diabetes and so on down the list. There’s more of a monetary reason NOT to find a cure, but to continue to treat the symptoms!

The biggest problem with society is “GREED” and it has many different spellings.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 10:36 AM

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Default Re: [OT] Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

This is one of the most important issues of our lives. These stories happen so frequently today (the rape and murder of young women) that it becomes just a "ho hum" story on the news.

I want to SCREAM at the news reporters when they blandly state about an 8 YEAR OLD GIRL in the news yesterday: "He murdered her parents, stole her and her brother, murdered her brother, raped her for 2 weeks, blah, blah, blah. Now on to entertainment news! Tell us what us whats up with Jennifer Anniston!" This one guy they reported yesterday, "did the right thing" by reaching a plea bargain that spared the 8 year old from having to testify. In return, he gets life in prison, instead of the death penalty.

The words "did the right thing" and that guys name should NEVER be in the same sentence. In fact, I don't think that sparing her from testifying was necessarily in her best interests. In 10 years, she may still be traumatized by the fact that this guy is alive somewhere, getting up in the morning, having scrambled eggs and hash browns with a cup of coffee at the expense of tax payers. It may give her more closure to know that the rest of society viewed what he did as so satanicly vile that society demanded his life.

Until our society gets it priorities straight and someone stands up with the courage to put these guys to DEATH, we get what we deserve. Or, as your sig says:

"You deserve what you tolerate"
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Old October 17th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: [OT] Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

I propose the reinstation of the guillotine in efforts to expediate the execution queue.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: OT: Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain UNALIENABLE rights, that among these are LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Killing is just never an answer.

To force a victim to re-live the most traumatic moments of his/hers life and to spill your innermost feelings to the public is just like to do it all over again.

I do think the world at large has a huge problem with women rights. We are all created equal and so we should treat each other.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:15 PM

RonGianti RonGianti is offline
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Default Re: OT: Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

Quote:
Mephisto said:
Killing is just never an answer.

Too bad the guy who killed her parents with a hammer, then killed her brother a week later and repeatedly raped the 8 year old girl for a week didn't believe the same as you.

Tis a shame.

The "state" is not the same as a individual, who, as you point out, has certain "inalienable" rights. An individual does not have the right to kill another individual, but then an individual cannot tax another individual, nor can an individual setup their own road laws and enforce them in front of their house on a public street either.

It is a noble thing, to want to wipe off killing in general with a wide brush, and that little girl may be traumatized and best if she is spared. That is, maybe. But to put "do the right thing" and that guys name in the same sentence is still sick and twisted. And it should be her right, when she is old enough to decide, that if it would feel right to her that a trial go on, and he be put to death for his crimes, that too should be her inalienable right, not through herself as an individual, but through the institution of goverment, which has the right to enforce its higher will on individuals and always has.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:16 PM

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Default Re: OT: Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

Xrati: that's far too cynical. You think the world is getting worse because that's the only thing the news likes to report, and we're getting news from all over the world. And technology..if you really look at history, most innovation has been driven by war or mass death. Disturbing, but its not a sign of a "world in decline".

For example, the worst American school killing wasn't in this decade. Or the 90s. Or the 80s. It was in 1927, when a school board member blew up a newly built elemttary school because he felt it had cost too much to build. While it was in session..

As for medicine, look up causes of death sometime. A 100 years ago, it was infectious disease mostly. Now? Diseases that are mostly causes by obesity Think about that one for a moment. It used to be being fat was a status symbol because it meant you were richenough to afford all that food!

RonGianti: it isn't just women you know. Murders don't make the news unless they're similar to another one or there's something odd about them.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:31 PM

RonGianti RonGianti is offline
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Default Re: OT: Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

Quote:
Phoenix-D said:
RonGianti: it isn't just women you know. Murders don't make the news unless they're similar to another one or there's something odd about them.
Thats true, but the last 3 big news stories that are jumping out at me are the 8 year old raped for a week, the killing of Amish girls and the guy who took some girls hostage in a school, molested them, then shot one in the back of the head when the police arrived.

I just don't see any... outrage. Or even questioning. But I know more about Paris Hilton and Jennifer Anniston then I could ever care about in a lifetime. Neither one is news on any level, but they get reported on more than rape and murder. Something somewhere is... wrong.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: OT: Insightful (re: Amish shooting)

I love women.

I think men that hurt women are the lowest forms of gutter trash known to exsist. Men who call the women in their lives "*****es" and "ho's" are without honor and are in fact cowerdly little closet thumb suckers.

While some women are truly evil most, like men, are just getting along. Then you have the few who enjoy perpetuating the negative sterotypes of women like that bumbling self absored spoiled rotten little trollup Paris Hilton. Hell that girl is NO role model yet millions of teenage girls around the world want to be just like her. WTF?

TV not only perpetuates the negative image of women, they are now telling women that in order to be cool you must be blond, dumb, and have a boy friend from another race who calls you ***** all the time as if he owns you.

Then when the news reports the kind of things they enjoy reporting because it gets ratings, people all of a sudden go "oh my God" and then quickly forget all about it. Just in time to turn on Paris Hilton on MTV and watch more "These are my *****es" rap music videos.
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