Sexualised Violence Against Jewish Women in the Holocaust

In December 2010, a fairly significant text on the experience of Jewish women in the Holocaust was published to little to no fanfare. The book, Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust, wasn’t the first text to address the issue of sexualized violence in the Holocaust. After all, survivors started writing about their experiences in diaries during the war and testimonies published in the immediate post-war era. However, and as with the experience of women in history, these stories were subsumed and eradicated under a Patriarchal discourse which suggests that if didn’t happen to men then it wasn’t important [which is fundamentally bizarre because men were raped during the Holocaust. Rape during warfare is gendered and most victims are women and children but to pretend that men weren’t raped is equally problematic.]. Rape, during the Holocaust, was not a systemic part of the genocide but the frequency with which it occurred suggests, at the very least, a policy of mass-rape as a by-product.

Since it’s inauspicious publication, Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust hasn’t exactly been getting lots of publicity; partly because its an academic text and academic texts don’t usually make the New York Times Best seller list but, mostly, because of the subject matter. That is until Gloria Steinem, one of the original reviewers of the book, got properly involved. Her outrage at the failure of sexual violence to be located in and considered part of genocide and modern warfare partly inspired the founding of theWomen Under Siege online project. Women Under Siege is possibly the most important piece of feminist activism of 2011. It features 6 conflicts during the 20th century in which rape is used as a tactic of war: Holocaust, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Darfur-Sudan, Egypt and Libya as well as blog posts on sexualised violence in other war zones in the 20th century. The erasure of the gendered experiences of women in war from mainstream political and historical analysis is shameful and the most concrete example of Patriarchal-Capitalist Misogyny in practise.

This International Women’s Day, we need to stand up for these women and make sure their voices are heard; that their experiences are no longer white-washed out of history in order to support the aims of the destructive military-industrial complex and the Patriarchy.

Jewly Hight’s Right By Her Roots: Americana Women and Their Songs

Right by her Roots

The problem with this book is that it is just one book. It should be nine separate books: the eight singer-songwriters that Hight adores so much:

And, Jewly Hight herself; because Hight might claim to be writing the stories of these eight women singers-songwriters and their examination of “their geographical, cultural, familial, and religious roots in their music” but Hight’s actually written herself into the text. I want to know more about the 8 female artists and Hight.  A longer book would have allowed the inclusion of more of the lyrics by these talented women but also more of Hight herself.Right by Her Roots is a love affair with these talented women singer-songwriters and it’s love-affair that just isn’t long enough.It’s all fascinating but at 200 pages, there simply isn’t enough space to really examine these issues and fully explore the back catalogues of the music of these women. I want to know more about all 8 women but equally I want to know about Hight. I want to know about how Hight traces her roots and I want more of Hight’s personal responses to these women.

I definitely recommend this book but with fingers crossed that Hight writes more in-depth books about these women (and herself).

 

Maria Miller must be replaced by a woman.

Maria Miller needed to resign as a cabinet minister. Frankly, she should have resigned as an MP and be under police investigation; although, to be fair, that applies to rather a large number of people currently in parliament.

What cannot happen is for Maria Miller to be replaced by a man. Cabinet reshuffle all they like but the number of women simply cannot drop.  Parliament itself is unrepresentative of our country; the cabinet even more so. We need more women in cabinet. Not another rich white man.

At this point, I’d be open to any woman being promoted to cabinet.

In the realm of beyond fucking creepy we have ….. man marries daughter

Dying man “weds” 11 year old daughter in fake wedding because he won’t get to see the real thing.  In what universe is this anything but seriously fucking creepy? And, horrifically traumatising to a child?

Jim Getz, who is 62, got a priest to “marry” him as “Daddy and Daughter” and he put a ring on a finger. People actually donated money to buy a “wedding dress”, cake and the rest of the shit involved so that an old man could assert his ownership of his daughter’s body one last time before he died.

There is nothing sweet or sad about this. It’s just fucking creepy and patriarchal and horrendously unkind to a child putting her in the shitty position of being solely responsible for her father’s dying wish. What if she doesn’t get married? Or, what if her husband is an abusive shit-bag?  The emotional manipulation and blackmail here is disgusting.

This is all about the father’s desperate attempt to retain control and ownership of his daughter and nothing to do with her emotional well-being and health. It is, simply, fucking creepy.

And, it’s no surprise that the creeps at Good Men Project think this is awesome. As a general rule of thumb: if they think it’s a good idea, it’s not.