While the demands of 24 hour news and instant, new stories can result in sensationalism and distortion for the sake of something noteworthy to report, and while the powerful influence of the media can be dangerous, we are seeing now how the media can be a force for good as it brings to light, and to the outside world, uncomfortable truths which force governments and individuals to react.
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Equality not Misogyny[/caption]
I wonder if Sudanese authorities would have agreed to free Meriam Ibrahim, sentenced to death for being a Christian, if her case had remained unknown? Why was there no interest in helping the cousins who were raped and killed in India, or finding their attackers, until there was global outrage when the story was revealed? The sad case of Farzana Parveen, bludgeoned to death by male family members as police watched, and whose husband himself had killed his then wife in order to marry her, is an extraordinary, public reminder, too, of the brutal misogyny which prevails in so many cultures. The media has highlighted well, though shockingly, how far medieval attitudes about women by men prevail in many countries, and how religion so often is used as an excuse for unacceptable conduct, and for it going unpunished.
These particular injustices occurred in Asia, where gang rapes, abuse and discrimination have been reported before, as they have been in parts of Africa too. It is easy for developed countries that talk about the importance of equality and democracy, in the EU or the US for example, to condemn such blatant examples of cruel misogyny, but it would be wrong to say that it was not a problem here too. There have been many cases that have come to light of women being held as sex slaves for years; in the UK, several women a week are killed by their partners; and in California last week, the disturbed multiple killer, Elliot Rodger, spoke in his video diary of his intense hatred of women and his desire to punish them.
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The Divine Feminine[/caption]
Each event, whether in Lahore or Santa Barbara, is seen at the time as a one-off event, an aberration, but it is, in fact, part of a shameful pattern of abuse which is endemic in human society – not, of course, in everybody, but widespread and common enough to be of serious concern to us all.
The truth is coming to light, but already the gang rapes and murders and stonings and cruelty, so much the focus of criticism for days, are fading as attention shifts to other stories, and the reality about the prevalence of global misogyny will be ignored until there is another shocking incident. For thousands of years, men (not all, but very many – and some women) have tried to suppress the divine feminine through brute force and disempowerment: it is time for the suppression to end, and the time is now.