May 04, 2007

Where is the outrage?

Today Fred asks the tough questions about gender oppression in the Middle East and elsewhere:

One of the worst examples of this gender oppression was Afghanistan during the Taliban days. Women were not allowed to go to school, to work outside the home or even go out in public without a male family member. A woman with a medical emergency, but no male relatives to take her to a doctor, was expected simply to suffer or die. An aged woman with no one to bring her food was expected to starve. Too many did.

Life for women under the Taliban and similar governments ought to inspire anger and indignation in everybody, especially human rights advocates. Iím constantly surprised, however, by the apparent apathy among many who say they care about the rights of women and other minorities.

I doubt, for example, that our television networks have spent as much time exposing the horrors of life for millions of women in pre-liberation Iraq and Afghanistan as theyíve spent covering Abu Ghraib. For some reason, everyday atrocities such as the endemic beatings, honor killings and forced marriages of women just donít seem to be newsworthy.

The other side of that coin is that we also rarely hear about dramatic improvements in the lives of women when they come about due to American actions.

Fred's right.  Where is the outrage at the perpetrators of these crimes?  Where is the praise for those who come in behind and right the wrongs?  Whether the hero is from the US or anywhere else?

Why does the media CONSISTENTLY portray the US as the world's only bad guy?  Because we supposedly know better than the savages who live in other, less-advanced countries?  Are they saying that people from other countries are STUPID?  Or just that we should expect this kind of behavior, as we would from children, or animals who don't know any better?

Evil is evil.  Cruelty is cruelty.  Period.  It shouldn't matter whether it's a battered wife in Peoria or a widow starving to death in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.  Everyone should be brought to task for their bad acts equally.

On the other hand, good is good, too.  And it should be praised.  Yet we never hear the good stories, the uplifting moments, the people and programs that reach out.  All we hear is the bad, when it finally gets reported.

We should challenge ourselves to do as Fred ultimately suggests, to look at both sides of the story and ask "Where is the outrage?  Whence comes the help?" and put these events back into real-life perspective, rather than seeing them only in the harsh blue glow thrown off by the boob tube.


Posted by caltechgirl at May 4, 2007 01:57 PM | TrackBack