**TRIGGER WARNING for sexual assault**
The rescue of hundreds of Nigerian women and girls from terrorist group Boko Haram received more press coverage than the human rights of women and girls are generally allocated. But what wasn’t included in that coverage is how the U.S. is actively denying those same women and girls the medical care they desperately need.
Many of those rescued were raped and forcibly impregnated while being held captive. This is becoming an all too common tactic of war, employed by Boko Haram and other groups such as the so-called Islamic State. The governor of Borno State in Nigeria, where Boko Haram is most active, told reporters, “The sect leaders make a very conscious effort to impregnate the women…Some of them, I was told, even pray before mating, offering supplications for God to make the products of what they are doing become children that will inherit their ideology.”
In Iraq and Syria, one humanitarian aid worker described the Islamic State’s strategy of systematic rape and forced pregnancy as having the goal of breaking “their spirits so they would become compliant mothers to children of the Islamic caliphate.” Continue reading…
We’ve deliberately not touched on the controversy surrounding the formerly rather popular family of 19 Kids and Counting. There didn’t seem to be much to say: the family that many Americans enjoyed watching as a “good, wholesome family” fell from grace with the reveal of abuse inside the family and what was and was not done about it.
Perhaps it’s only because they’ve been revealed to be not so perfect that people are actually beginning to talk about what they represent outside of the conservative value and big happy family they oozed. Check out this article from Ms. Magazine on the intersection between the Duggars and the conservative movements they’re the public faces of the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists, the Advanced Training Institute and others all under the umbrella of the Christian Patriarchy movement and the bizarrely popular Christian purity movement.
Some of the more unbelievable excerpts from this new book:
“But I want you to understand something, it is not your responsibility to keep your wife in the marriage by any means necessary, and certainly not by giving in to her willful, rebellious and sinful behavior.”
“Change your bank account so her ATM card becomes worthless. Cancel your credit cards. If she does have a job, stop paying for anything in her name and make her pay for any credit that is in her name. The Bible only requires that you provide her with food, clothing and shelter. It does not say that food and clothing has to be the fancy kind she likes to get.”
“You have the option to divorce her for her sexual immorality.”
The breakdown reads like something from decades ago when women were much more reliant upon their fathers and then their husbands to eek out a living, and assumes that women are completely unable to be self-reliant. Not to mention that none of what this book seems to contain is good advice for a healthy relationship.
We see a lot of nonsensical things in this day and age, but this has got to be one of the most confounding. It really is a pointless endeavor that tries to imply that “good men’s” hurt feelings are more important than the very real issues and threats women deal with on a daily basis. Take a look at the full article here.
This is just one example of how the abortion, reproductive health and reproductive justice debates are not nearly as black and white as debating politicians would like people to believe. Each and every one of these decisions is deeply personal and deeply felt and definitely not something women need overbearing “help” with.
The deepest grief I ever experienced was over the loss of a life that I, myself, ended. I was so traumatized by the entire experience that I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
I had all the symptoms: flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks. I would obsessively replay the scene in the abortion clinic over and over again in my mind, desperately wanting it to un-happen. I would have sacrificed a limb instead, if I could have. But that wasn’t the choice I was given.
My options were to lose a pregnancy or lose my life, and… well, I guess you could say I chose life.
I had been overjoyed when I found out I was pregnant. I thought there might be a little trouble at first because I suffer from a number of chronic health problems that would no doubt be difficult to treat without medication, but I figured they would all be manageable. Continue reading…