Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In the news...

Twenty percent of women who die while they are pregnant, are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands, according to a Washington Post article, as stated on ABC News. This is a very interesting phenomenon, because while the article says these men are psychopaths, and that the women simply get in the way, this appears to be a strong example of the ways in which men still continue to not only control women's bodies; it also shows how they make successful efforts to control children's bodies. The police interviewed for the story say that "these murders are sudden outbursts of violence," but I contend that these feelings are everything but sudden. This is not to say that each homicide is premeditated, but what it does speak to are the gender roles that our country relies on. In some ways, there is a lot of pressure on these men to be strong, controlling, and the like. There is also this pressure on women (to be submissive, motherly, etc). If these behaviors have been coaxed since boyhood, how much of these eruptions are founded in societal expectations, and how much of the violence is a sudden act of insanity?

More, there seems to be little attention to the fact that these relationships often circulate around domestic violence -- there may have been signs that family members, or the slain women themselves, were ignoring because they were afraid of speaking up. Also, on a side note, these stories are hot in the media -- giving hours upon hours of TV time(and news print) to these slain women, and what I find it disturbing is that these largely-covered murders are almost always about white women. Just like little children who are kidnapped or killed, it appears that our media still continues to pick and choose stories based on race.

Maxim Magazine Called On By Israel
Ok, so Maxim Magazine, which offers titillating photos of women, and then basically rates women's bodies on a scale, is still up to its old objectifying ways, but it now has a new fan: the Israeli Consulate. Its latest issue highlights women who were soldiers in the Israeli army, and are now posing. Why? "In a statement, the magazine said it was contacted by the consulate to help improve Israel’s image." So...a near-naked woman is the answer to boosting a country's ratings? There is no other way to reach young people? Hmm. How about campaigns highlighting young filmmakers, authors, artists, and the like? Oh yeah, that's right, nations reaching out to the mainstream have to weed out education and culture to reach us young folks...yep. It's only boobs and butt that get our attention. Grrr.