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Monday, July 10, 2006

Women Fight Back.

Yesterday, on the Jerk List blog, I posted about Steven Green, and four other US soldiers who raped a young woman then killed her whole family. It is horrifying. At Women's Space / The Margins, there are three articulate and terrifying posts looking at the issues of rape as a weapon of war, and how this is not a 'one-off' event, but inherent to how the US & Allies are fighting the war.

Trigger warnings are most certainly relevant, especially for post two which has graphic and disturbing photographs. With that warning, the three posts from Women's Space / The Margins, are here:
Post 1 - The Rape of Iraq: Deep Sexing the News
Post 2 - The Rape of Iraq, part 2
Post 3 - The Rape of the Hadji Girl Part 3.

Women are fighting back in Birmingham, against the growing commodification of women's bodies in the form of ever increasing numbers of lap dancing clubs in the area.

They say,
For those old enough to remember the women's protest group of the 70's and 80's, 'Women Fight Back' are back!

The increasing emergence of lap dancing clubs in the city was enough to make a group of local women and girls take up the challenge of fighting back against the exploitation of women's bodies for men's profit and enjoyment. The exploitation of women's bodies seems to be becoming a more and more acceptable medium for advertising and entertainment. What was once deemed politically incorrect 20 years ago is now deemed as being okay, It would seem that with all the Equal Opportunities policies we now have in society, women's equality is now considered guaranteed and safe from threat. Policies have actually resulted in women' issues being put on the back burner, the fight is over, so anyone discriminating against us in the workplace etc will be taken to court. However what we are actually left with is a green light to sexism, there is no resistance to exploitation of our bodies anymore, there doesn't need to be because there is a policy that does that for us!

Lap Dancing clubs are emerging everywhere, Birmingham has been described as the 'lap dancing capital of the country'. Adverts for Spearmint Rhino appear on billboards along the city’s major roads. Wherever you drive around the city, the image of a sexily clothed woman lying back under text that says, 'The Negotiator', is inviting men along to clubs to negotiate their price for her.

Women Fight Back are serious in their intention to rid the city of these centres of sexual exploitation and of the harm that they cause to women, children and society as a whole. Campaigning will take on many forms, there will be something for all women to get involved with, age is no problem, as long as you are female you can get involved. Email the link below for more info or get involved.

I am so, so pleased that these women in Birmingham are doing this. Working together as women and girls, with a clear and vivid political and feminist understanding of the meaning of women's bodies being bought and sold, the messages this gives out to men and women, girls and boys, and the inherent exploitation and danger in these types of men's clubs.

On the front page of today's Sheffield Star newspaper is a story about a 16 year old Kenyan-born girl, who was pregnant after being forced into prostitution by men who bought and sold her.
She was held captive in a flat, possibly in London, after being shipped to the UK by men who told her she would be working as a house lady.

Her captors regularly beat and raped her and forced her to sleep with 10 men a day for nine months.

She eventually became pregnant by one of her captors but was forced to continue sleeping with clients.

She was driven to Sheffield and dumped when she became too pregnant to work.

That women and girls are being literally bought and sold, kept captive, used as prostitutes, raped and tortured, is not a surprise to me, but is always a shock. It is positive that the local paper was duly outraged and publicised the issue, but unfortunately this girl's situation is not that unusual. This particular girl is now apparently being 'looked after', and I really hope she is. The police are looking for the pimps / traffickers / kidnappers / rapists and I bloody hope they catch them. But we, and they, need to do more.

We need a world where no women are commodities to be exploited and sexualised and objectified and beatn and raped. Where this modern-day slavery is unheard of.

These three stories, blogged today, are immensely depressing yet there is also some encouragement, that being that we can see clearly that there are women who speak out, women who ask for help, women who join together to campaign, women who will not hide the truth and who will not tell lies about what happens to women.

Women Fight Back That's a statement of fact, and a plea.

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Women Survivors Founder said...

Women Survivors

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