Guest post: How do we now take care of the tyranny of misogyny?

Guest post by Tasneem Khalil, originally on Facebook and re-posted here with Tasneem’s permission.

“[White] Swedish women are whores.” – group of South Asian men (speaking Urdu), watching a blonde woman get off the bus (in Malmö).

“If you are not a whore, why do you need to cover your head!” – group of white men (speaking Swedish), watching a hijabi woman playing with her child in a park (in Örebro).

“… this little whore.” – Swedish politician, referring to a woman (in Stockholm).

“There is a difference between [dressing like a whore] and dressing like a respectable woman… Islam will guide you in protecting yourself from sexual violence [by dressing up properly].” – a psychologist, talking to a survivor of sexual molestation (in her childhood).

“This whore will not wear saree to uphold Bengali culture…” – Bengali man (living in Sweden), referring to his Bengali wife.

he he ho ho… this whore is a good-for-nothing…” – Bulgarian man (living in Sweden), referring to his Japanese wife.

In a men’s world, there are so many doors to whorehood for women: taking the bus; wearing hijab; surviving sexual molestation; not wearing saree; becoming the butt of husband’s joke etc. etc. Now that the events in Germany are making headlines, we will hear a lot about men’s violence against women. Now, people who suggest all white men are veritable feminists, should google and find out more about Julien Blanc; or, maybe find out more about the rape apologies and misogyny propagated by such luminaries as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Long story short: misogyny knows no culture, no class, no ideology, no geography. However, there is no denying that there are cultures in which violence against women is an everyday ritual. There are cultures, societies, institutions, families… where men are still treated as gods and masters, in whose service women remain engaged and enslaved. In some parts of our world, we took care of the tyranny of religion by building secular societies. How do we now take care of the tyranny of misogyny and topple the violent man-gods who occupy our streets and homes? By building feminist societies – right?

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