Thursday, August 20, 2015

Slaves and Objects

I've run a series of items recently that have been probably somewhat calculated to offend. Well, as some say, if you aren't offending somebody with your commentary, you are probably doing no good.

The first of these would be the one that dealt with the decline in the standard of dress.  The second one had to do with how women are increasingly treated like objects.  Whether these topics offend or not, they apparently do interest people, as the the dress story, for example, had way more hits in a day than most of my entries here every have, ever.  It isn't in the top ten list yet, but if the trend continues, it might make it.

The reason that some might find these offensive is that people don't like to be told what to wear, they don't like being told how to behave, they don't like being told that something they're doing may be having a negative impact on others, and people generally don't like bad news if they're somehow participating in it.  I haven't received any negative comments so far, but most people don't comment anyhow.

Okay, so that's how I probably offered offense.

Now, I'll increase the offense, going back specifically to my comments on viewing women as objects, and how marketing and magazines have caused us to do that.  I'm going to relate that behavior as being in the same category as what ISIL is doing to women in Iraq and Syria.

And what is that?

Well, mass assault and the most primitive horrific slavery imaginable.  Field hands in the Old South were subjected to horrors no less unimaginable to what is happening to non Muslim women in those suffering lands.

Now, no doubt, up in arms, people are saying "are you saying that's the same thing as my buying Old Ossified Freak's Rag?

No, I'm not, but I'm saying that those rags swim in the same pool.  Maybe in the shallow end, but in the same pool nonetheless.

Hugh Ossified Freak's genius in taking what was clearly trash and marketing it as something that should be a male dominated norm managed basically to enormously expand the over the tracks part of the mental city, so that all girls ended up living there to some extent.  Prior to the publication, there were women in the occupation of vending their services, but over time, Hugh put them all there, except even the market place aspect of that exchange disappeared, and it became an expectation, wanted or not.  When that occurs, the value indeed is gone, and we've seen the results.  Women not only have been personally objectified in this fashion, but now their image is everywhere, offering the same, in support of the sale of everything.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his adherents share that view, except that their view of their right of expectation is modified to include only non Muslim women.  They're acting physically on their view, over thousands of non Muslim women in the region, and as we now know al-Baghdadi himself did so with American Kayla Mueller. The Mueller story is tragic in the extreme, but it's shared by numerous nameless women and girls who have been reduced to slavery by their ISIL masters.

The common thread here is how these women are viewed.  In spite of its claims to later be in the forefront of "liberation" of women, Hugh's rag held them out, and still holds them out, as toys for men.  Any man who bought the magazines was entitled to view the women featured in them in the same physical fashion that ISIL's combatants view non Muslim women.  Indeed, the secular Hugh was offering a paper variant of what the religious ISIL combatants feel that they will gain in the next world, and endless supply of exactly what's portrayed in the magazines.  Indeed, a critical element of those magazines is that their portrayal, at least at first, did not portray the subjects as fallen, as prior magazines had, but rather the opposite. Special, in more ways than one, just for you.  

The sole real distinction, therefore, is that the creepy ossified purveyor of the print version of this view in the United States, and now around the globe, takes a violently secular view of things.  He's hedonistic and in it for right now, and his justification for the objectification is accordingly not only thin, but darned near non existent.  It's the most primitive justification imaginable, "I'm a man and I get what I want."  Al-Baghdadi and his adherents, however, justify their violence in this area upon the Koran, which, no matter what its apologist may claim, specifically allows the campaigning Islamic fighter to do just what they're doing, take slaves and do what you will with them.

Now, I'm not claiming, anywhere, that the majority of people who have shoved cash at Hugh all these years have done something intentionally to enslave women. But I am saying that the impact of it is wrong and it serves to reduce them to objects.  I'm also not saying that the majority of Muslims now, or at any time, have held this view about assault. Indeed, I'm confident that even in the periodic episodes of violent Islamic expansion, most don't.  But I am saying that this stuff is going on right now, and that its symptomatic of a view of women that's simply intolerable in this or any other age.  And, by extension, if this sort of conduct bothers a person, they ought to act up on that, whatever that means for them personally.

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