Category Archives: social activism

On a serious note: Army

My mother always said that in our family we don’t marry anyone in the army. Considering the fact my grandfather was a prisoner of war for 4 years during the Bangladeshi Liberation War in Pakistan, I understood her position. Her family had a very negative impression of the armed forces.

In a few of my classes, we discussed the need and role of a professional army and its implication.

Few days ago, American Marines urinating on dead Talibans caught  the media’s attention. And now there is a new video out of a few Indian Border guards brutally torturing a alleged cow theif/smuggler who is a Bangladeshi. The man is beaten, his clothes were taken off….I haven’t been able to see the video till its end. I am embedding the full youtube link, but I don’t know how it will stay there as the video has already been flagged. The sound captured in mostly hindi….but the images of violence and torture are universal.

 

Is there a connection between being part of an armed force and brutality? What happens to their humanity? Is the power they hold because they can legally carry weapons? Or is it the training they go through that makes them so inhumane? What happens to them?

I wish we could live in a world without the need for a professional army.

On a serious note: Rape!

When I first started writing this blog, I thought I would only concentrate on my experiences as a bou. Soon it became apparent to me that if I were to only write from the perspective of a wife, I won’t be doing much growing and would probably be annoying and whiny. Inspired by this blog,  I have decided to post about some serious content as well: to bring my academic and social activist side to view. Since I am not doing a lot of active social activism now, this will be a good way to wedge my way back in.

Today I will write about if certain women deserve to get raped. Few days ago, in Bangladesh, a model was murdered. She was probably raped,and buried in haste without her family’s knowledge.  I was surprised to see the responses from a few of my Bangladeshi Facebook acquaintances. They talked about how indecently models dressed and that’s why they deserved to be raped. One of even commented that since models dressed in immodest clothes, it is not surprising that they would be raped. One would, of course ,be surprised if a hijabi women were raped!

Of course, comments like these angered me. I replied to a few of them explaining that rape is not about sex, sexuality, sexual desire or how one dresses. It is a way to enforce power and to keep women/and men suppressed in this patriarchal society. One can dress/act anyway one wants, but that does not mean that they became rape-able. In response to this, I got a reply that if you have nice things in your house, you lock the door because you do not want to get robbed. To that I say, just because I have nice things does not mean it is okay to rob me, right??

Rape is wrong! No reasons can justify it! Women get raped! Men get raped! Good girls get raped! Lesbians get raped! Gay men get raped! Prostitutes get raped! Wives get raped! Hijabi women get raped!

Today, if we justify that wearing certain clothes makes a woman more likely to be raped because she is arousing men, then who knows what we will say tomorrow? Tomorrow, we will say she spoke too loud, she spoke aggressively, she took a walk outside her home, she is too educated, she is not educated enough, she has a job, she doesn’t want to get married etc, so she should be raped. Rape has been used a weapon in war situations. In those situation, it did not matter how young, beautiful  those women were or how they dressed.In those situations, women’s bodies became a site of war, a site violence (I can’t remember the citation for this).

Rape is a tool for sexual assault! We can not blame the victim for being raped. The rapist makes a conscious choice to rape and should be held accountable for their actions.

~bou