By now, everyone has seen the picture of Bibi Aisha in Time, nose mutilated by her husband for having the nerve to leave him. This violence against her occurred in 2009, and this fall will mark the ninth year of the war and U.S. occupation.
Aren’t you surprised Afghan women aren’t roaming the streets in mini-skirts, and fuck-me pumps, with little fluffy dogs stuffed into purses? Then again, in a heavily landmined country, you might want to keep those fuck-me pumps in the box for now, ladies.
Say, aren’t a lot of Afghan women “doctors and lawyers and business executives?” Well, perhaps. Provided they aren’t mutilated by acid attacks for committing the revolutionary act of seeking an education, as was the case in Kandahar last year. I always find it distracting to study with a burnt and disfigured face, don’t you?
Amazingly, the young ladies and their teachers at Kandahar’s Mirwais School for Girls are, for the most part, keepin’ on keepin’ on. You go, girls! (I promise that is the last time I will ever write that sentence. I’m swearing on the Bible, Torah, Koran, Ramayana…)
Back to Aisha and Time. Slightly below Aisha’s scarred face are the words “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan” (emphasis added). Somehow, nine years of war and occupation just have not turned the country into an egalitarian, pro-woman paradise. Considering that Aisha’s attack occurred in 2009, during the U.S. occupation, troop presence was irrelevant to this horrendous outcome (and others).
Of course, the war in Afghanistan was never about women’s rights. Plenty of people knew about the horrible things being done to women in the region well before 9/11.
One of the most interesting responses to the Time piece actually came from the Taliban, under its fancypants Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan honorific: “In sacred Islamic law, cutting of human ears and noses whether the human is alive or dead is illegal and prohibited… how can the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan carry out this act especially when the person to whom it is done is alive and is a Muslim?”
Indeed. I might ask, how can this be done to a living person with the right to bodily integrity?
There needs to a revolution in Afghanistan. But it seems unlikely to be inspired by the bombs and guns of the American military.