An Arab Woman's Blues
Layla Anwar gives the world a piece of her mind in beautifully powerful prose that leaves you simply awestruck. One commenter summed her blog up in one word - "wow". Here are her words on the plight of Iraqi women:
You know what woman battering is don't you?
It is basically when a man beats, strikes, punches, kicks, pounds...a woman and sometimes severly enough that she ends up in hospital and sometimes severly enough to bring about her death.
It is interesting to note that the verb "to batter" is also used in cooking i.e to make a dough. The French have similar anologies between battering a woman and food. They would say he turned her into a "compote".(compote is cooked fruits). Ditto for Arabic expressions. They would say he broke her bones, they became like "soup"...
Am sure other "cultures" have more analogies of the same sort. I will leave it to you to dig up some expressions that you are familiar with, along the same lines...
Did you notice something here? A common trait in the use of words, in the use of language?
It is as if they allude to render that "thing" liquefied, easily moulded, soft to the palate...
In sum, easily mixed and easily digestible. I will also leave it to you to make further associations on the same theme.
No society is immune from woman battering. I will not dwell on figures now. All societies are guilty of it. East and West, equally guilty. And R.Kipling was wrong when he said that East and West shall never meet. They do meet. They met. They met in Iraq.
They met in Iraq, the land, the earth, the Mother...
They also met and agreed on her daughters bodies - Iraqi Women.
That body which, since the "liberation", has become a public commodity. A public thing. A thing to be veiled, a thing to be controlled, a thing to be ordered about, a thing to be disposed of, a thing to be battered, moulded, shaped into a liquefied, soft, yielding thing. A digestible thing.
Yes, batter, pound, strike, punch, beat, rape, torture, imprison...that "thing" and ultimately dispose of it, annihilate it.
Both "East and West" are bent on the destruction of Iraqi women.
It is as if, plundered, occupied Iraq has become the center point, the "lieu" where these forces can pour out their venom, their deep hatred, their frustrated instincts, their perversities...In sum their collective misogyny.