Iraqi Women Take on Roles of Husbands

Sabriyah Hilal Abadi began sleeping with a loaded AK-47 by her bed shortly after the war began.

So begins the Washington Post commentary on Iraqi women, in a piece about their positions on the ‘new Iraq government.”

Iraq’s government is intent on proving it can enforce the law. But in its determination to rid the party building of its squatters, the women say, the government has plunged them deeper into homelessness and may have pushed others toward violence.

The article says Iraqi women have “embraced new roles” as “their men” have been claimed by violence.  Abadi is quoted as having watched an American news show “on an hour long rescue of a cat stuck in a drainpipe,” which had given her hope for the mercy and gentleness of the American public.

The bias towards seeing Iraqi women, even in the midst of conquest, as saved from their oppressive roles, is clear.  What man woman wouldn’t feel liberated with a gun in her bed?  Why even start an article like this with a dual reference to such sexualized objects as the bedroom and objects of warfare, unless the intent is to create a connection to the sexualized Western ideal of liberation?

Yet another thought occurs to me.  We have failed Abadi as much as the characters in Control Room, the correspondent proclaiming at the very beginning of the bombings that the American people would surely stop further invasion, that he had absolutely faith that this was true.  Yet our apathy may allow the Infernal Machine’s author’s prediction to come true, that in the current state of non-involvement we may enter into a dystopian future of permanent war against a (constantly evolving) invisible enemy.  The allusions to Big Brother are astoundingly clear; when will the book burnings begin?  The book banings already have.  The media censorship is so entrenched as to be invisible to the American public.  Their faith in the goodness of the government in many ways absolute.  We are spending billions more dollars in war and terror and creating billions of fearful citizens in the process.

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~ by 1womanarmy on April 26, 2008.

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