Pursuing natural health & thinking beyond the superficial. Deconstructing Culture.

Posts tagged ‘Politics’

Someday my Prince will come, Not. Breaking the Chain.

I don’t remember the years between 5 and 9/10 years old but afterwards I suffered major hairloss and wrote a song called ‘Amnesiac’. Other than the memories below the only other memories potentially between this time are of pain such as falling on glass, concussions, falling off a bike, swallowing paint, head getting stuck in a bannister, being locked outside, hiding for hours, burning hand, broken arm, being beaten in the back with a stiletto shoe, a steel ruler etc. Most of them I remember as accidents.

Then there was house I used to stay at every weekend, she was formerly a neighbour and had moved quite a distance but came to collect me anyway. The last time I stayed there she had friends over, it turned into a party and all I remember is hitting something behind me (probably furniture) as I slumped into unconsciousness and saw her friends laughing at me like hyenas. Shortly after at school every one in my year had to be ‘checked’, we each individually went into one of the assembly halls and our parent(s)/guardian(s) waited outside. In the hall were a group of adults seated at tables and we had to strip down to our underwear and present ourselves as well as pull our underwear down a little. Apparently they were looking for signs of abuse and that there had been a report of domestic violence but one of people from the party was on the panel.

My earliest memory was at 5 years old, and according to child psychology that’s pretty late for children; I remember being in a car and seeing lights go past (night time) and my dad being there or a father figure. Apparently it was a family outing but I don’t remember anyone else there except him and I. We were going to see Cinderella (1950 Disney version) at the local cinema but it wasn’t re-released that year… I’ve always wondered what it meant and that if it was a type of story/fantasy programming why wasn’t it the usual Oz stories, Alice in Wonderland (had elements of that in my life) or the Narnia Chronicles.

Cinderalla and the ash ‘cinders’ girls stories in general are obviously based on kindness (including kindness to animals), subservience with gratitude/grace built in to those who are greedy and ruthless, punishment (for what?) and reward, and rising again like a phoenix to royalty (as if royalty is any better) but through marriage. (Thankfully I’ve gotten rid of the ‘lost partner’ complex as I wrote about HERE in many fairytale programmings.) This was later reinforced by the book ‘Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded’ (1740) by Samuel Richardson – the story basically shows her gaining status and respect by marrying into a higher class to the man who tried to/did rape her. However in that story Pamela is a resilient character who stands her ground whereas Cinderella is portrayed as unquestioning (though not in the Grimm’s version, explained later).

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Excerpt from: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/15/8214405/cinderella-fairy-tale-history

Disney didn’t invent Cinderella. Her story is at least 2,000 years old.

Updated by Kelsey McKinneykelsey@vox.com Mar 15, 2015, 12:00pm EDT

There are two faces to Cinderella: there’s the European folk tale that evolved into the modern-day story of a girl in a big blue ball gown, and there’s the centuries-old plot that has been passed between cultures for millennia.

The story of overcoming oppression and marrying into another social class to be saved from a family that doesn’t love or appreciate you is an incredibly powerful one, too powerful to be contained by the story we all know. At the center of most Cinderella stories (whether they use that name for their protagonist or not) is one thing: a persecuted heroine who rises above her social station through marriage.

The first recorded story featuring a Cinderella-like figure dates to Greece in the sixth century BCE. In that ancient story, a Greek courtesan named Rhodopis has one of her shoes stolen by an eagle, who flies it all the way across the Mediterranean and drops it in the lap of an Egyptian king.

Taking the shoe drop as a sign from the heavens (literally and metaphorically), the king goes on a quest to find the owner of the shoe. When he finds Rhodopis, he marries her, lifting her from her lowly status to the throne.

Another one of the earliest known Cinderella stories is the ninth-century Chinese fairy tale Ye Xian, in which a young girl named Ye Xian is granted one wish from some magical fishbones, which she uses to create a gown in the hopes of finding a husband.

Like Rhodopis’ tale, a monarch comes in possession of the shoe (this time, the shoes have a gold fish-scale pattern) and goes on a quest to find the woman whose tiny feet will fit the shoe. Ye Xian’s beauty convinces the king to marry her, and the mean stepmother is crushed by stones in her cave home.

The European version of the story originated in the 17th century

In total, more than 500 versions of the Cinderella story have been found just in Europe, and the Cinderella we know best comes from there (France, specifically).

The first version of Cinderella that bears a significant similarity to the most famous version emerged in the 17th century, when a story called Cenerentola was published in a collection of Italian short stories. Cenerentola has all the ingredients of the modern-day tale — the wicked stepmother and stepsisters, the magic, and the missing slipper — but it’s darker and just a bit more magical.

In the story, a woman named Zezolla escapes the king, who wants to marry her, at two separate celebrations — before he finally catches her at the third one and prevents her from leaving. Instead of a story of requited love, Cenerentola is a story of forced marriage and six very wicked stepsisters.

Sixty years later, the Italian tale got a French twist and became the story we know. In Cendrillon, Charles Perrault — a French writer credited with inventing the fairy tale — cast the form that Cinderella would take for the next 400 years. He introduced the glass slipper, the pumpkin, and the fairy godmother (minus the bibbidi bobbidi boo). This is the version Disney later adapted into its animated classic.

The Brothers Grimm had a, well, grimmer take on the tale

The Brothers Grimm also collected the tale in their famous fairy tale compendium. That story, called Aschenputtel (Cinderella in the English translations), appeared more than 100 years after Perrault’s version in the 19th century.

Aschenputtel is a much darker tale. Cinderella’s wishes come not from a fairy godmother but from a tree growing on her mother’s grave. Her father, instead of being absent as in Perrault’s tale, is willfully ignorant of his daughter’s suffering.

In the Grimm version, the heroine’s slippers are made of gold (not glass), and when the Prince comes to test the stepsisters’ feet for size, one of them cuts off her own toes to try and make the shoe fit [My comment: how very Chinese]. In the end, Cinderella marries the prince, her stepsisters serve as her bridesmaids, and doves peck their eyes out during the ceremony. It is, needless to say, a beautiful tale for children.

For more information on Asian versions of the story look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinderella

Exerpt from: https://www.bustle.com/articles/61053-9-things-about-the-original-brothers-grimm-cinderella-story-that-are-nothing-like-the-disney-version

By JR Thorpe Jan 29 2015

9 Things About The Original Brothers Grimm Cinderella Story That Are Nothing Like The Disney Version

1. Cinderella is exactly the opposite of helpless.

Aschenputtel (remember, that’s Cinderella’s name in their version) doesn’t mope about. She sorts everything out herself, and considering that her pragmatism involves a magic tree, some enchanted birds, and the apparent ability to disappear, it seems that she isn’t actually an emotionally neglected kitchen maid, but a talented witch.

2. She is also seriously good at hiding.

The Grimm Brothers’ prince insists on accompanying his newfound love home, to see who the hell she is. (Twice, mind you, since there are actually three balls in the original story.) Aschenputtel has to hide in a pigeon coop and up a pear tree until he goes away. And she isn’t found. Good work.

3. The ‘fairy’ godmother is really just a tree growing on her dead mother’s grave.

The godmother’s not a fairy, or even a person. In Aschenputtel’s version, Cinderella’s father asks what he can get her on a business trip, and she asks for a simple twig (the stepsisters ask for gold and pearls, because they’re not maudlin hippies). She then plants it on her mother’s grave and waters it with her tears. Said tree grows up to give her whatever she wants: the dresses are just the latest incarnation. Aschenputtel is clearly powerful as hell, so why she wants to marry some dude who chases her into a pigeon coop is beyond me.

4. The stepmother has a peculiar obsession with lentils.

Aschenputtel’s stepmother throws first one, then two cups of lentils into the ash and tells Aschenputtel that if she can pull them all out, she can come to the ball. Aschenputtel manages it, which I will explain momentarily, but I still don’t know why she didn’t ask the tree to throw down a sword and just chase the lentil-hater around the garden. [My comment: reminds me of a Caribbean of African folktale about tricking a particular type of demoness by making her count rice and she has to finish before sunrise.]

5. “Fit into the shoe” actually means “cut off bits of your feet.”

None of this wimpy “my foot doesn’t fit” stuff for the Grimms. To fit her into the tiny golden slipper, one of her sisters cuts off her big toe, the other a bit of her heel. Their plans are foiled by the blood everywhere (which surely somebody must have thought about), but hey, points for trying.

6. Cinderella has some seriously badass birds as minions.

The birds are basically Aschenputtel’s soldiers: they pluck all of her lentils out of the ashes, eating the bad ones and putting all the good ones in the pot. But they’re not cheery little singing friends.

When her stepsisters cut off their body parts to fit into the slipper, the birds tell on them, by twice sitting in the Hazel Tree of Death and singing a peppy song to the prince about how the slipper of his stepsister-bride is filling with blood.

And then, once they’ve guaranteed their witchy mistress’s ascension to the throne via marriage, they find the stepsisters in the church and peck out their eyes. (More on that in a moment.)

7. The father has a strong destructive streak.

Aschenputtel’s dad’s not dead, as he was in the Disney film; instead he’s still around and being a nuisance. When the prince turns up at his door, not once but twice, with a story about a girl hiding in various bits of his property, he doesn’t call the police — he, wondering if the girl could be Aschenputtel, gets an axe and chops whatever it is down. Pigeon coop? Smashed. Beautiful pear tree filled with fruit? Kindling.

Let me remind you that he does this while thinking his daughter might be inside. She should have got her birds to make her a boat and floated the hell away from that madhouse.

8. The prince is a predator [my comment: and hunter] with a mysterious-princess-trap.

I have to give Aschenputtel’s prince credit for at least having a personality. Admittedly he does chase her into chicken coops, but he also, after the third ball, he lays a trap: he smears the palace steps with pitch so that she leaves her golden shoe behind. Smart man. (Though he then fails to notice said shoe filling with blood until some magic birds tell him.)

9. The stepsisters end up getting horribly blinded.

The Grimm stepsisters are truly awful, and get a truly awful comeuppance. You know how I said they were blinded? Here’s how that goes down: they want so badly to get the reflected glory of Aschenputtel’s royal wedding that they accompany her up the aisle, at which the birds peck one eye out. But they still want it so badly that they accompany her back down the aisle, and the birds promptly peck out the other eye. Respect.

I’ve just been refreshing my memory about jewel stones and colours in masonic training as well as the gems/colours for the tribes of Isreal (and astrology) when I found some interesting comparable parables in the bible:

http://timothyfish.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/is-there-cinderella-story-in-bible.html

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is There a Cinderella Story in the Bible?

Someone came to this blog the other day looking for the answer to the question Is there a Cinderella story in the Bible? The answer to that is yes and no. It depends on exactly what aspects of the Cinderella story you are referring to. No, you won’t find a maiden with a fairy godmother who transforms her into a princess, but yes, there are some stories that have similarities to the Cinderella story.

Consider the life of Joseph. His father loved Joseph, but his step-brothers hated him. They hated him so much that they threw him in a pit and would have killed him had not he older brother suggested they sell him instead. He was taken to Egypt and sold as a slave and eventually ended up in prison. But he had the gift of prophesy and he foretold of a great famine. The king was so convinced by Joseph that he put him in charge of preparing the land for a long period with few crops, making him a rule of the land. Joseph’s brothers came when they needed food and bowed before him.

Or consider Ruth. After her husband died, she went with her mother-in-law to her mother-in-law’s home land. Being poor, she gathered grain the reapers left in the fields of a wealthy farmer. He fell for Ruth and told the reapers to leave more behind for her than they normally would have. There’s even a shoe involved in this story.

The story of Esther is that of a maiden who marries a king.

David has a Cinderella-like story. Of his brothers, he was considered the most unlikely person to become king, but upon the direction of God, Samuel anointed him to be the king who would replace Saul.

And what about every gentile who has ever been saved by the grace of God? We were no better than dogs, but we have been made kings and priests. So, is there a Cinderella story in the Bible? Absolutely.

http://www.preachology.com/cinderella-salvation.html

CINDERELLA SALVATION

by Charles Robey
(Trussville AL)

In Luke 15:1-7, we find Jesus telling the parable of the Lost Sheep. Jesus asks, “What man upon you would not leave ninety-nine sheep, in the open pasture, and go search for the one sheep that was lost?” Like the lost wearer of the Golden Slipper, Jesus emphasizes the lost state of man.

As the Kingdom Prince had faith that he would find eternal peace, by finding his new found love, through the perfect fit of the glass slipper, so also may mankind, by way of faith, have eternal peace through God’s redemptive power.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I found this one particularly interesting: Bear in mind that El e.g. Elle or Ella or Ellie/y goes back to the Mother Goddess Lalita in ‘Hinduism’ but has become masculanized in the later Abrahamic religions.

http://www.parowanprophet.com/Great_Seal/cinderella.htm

Cinderalla, The Story of Redemption.

Cinderella -Who are you? John Bull
Where are you? March 2001 East
The story is Centuries old. Tribes # 3

Hosea 1:10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, (USA & world) Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” The Jews are no longer his people.

Matthew 21; 43 “Therefore say I unto you, (Jews) The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (USA)

This will be about Cinderella, and who the Prince will choose. If you want to learn, then you will have to un-learn all of your traditions.
You go to College to learn. And to do well you have to study.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Some people are: “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
2 Timothy 3:7

The ‘Signs’ are here now, and it is Midnight for Cinderella! And tomorrow God is really going to clean house. CLICK HERE to see the “Signs.”

You have been asleep just like the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom in Matthew Chapter 25 When the Prince comes will your foot fit into the slipper. Like Cinderella’s did?

Because you’re wise, now we will talk about Cinderella. (Don’t laugh because I said you are wise.

You are smart enough to read here, when others just scoff at me like 2 Peter 3:3 said would happen.)

There really is a Prince coming, (Matthew 25) and there will be a wedding, with the Bride of Christ. Some people think that the bride is the church, but they are asleep. The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) is coming for Israel. (Not the Jews, or the church, but true Israel!) CLICK HERE to learn of Israel.

As the story goes, Ella’s mother had died and her father had remarried a woman with two daughters, and then had to go away on a long journey. While he was gone, bad things happened.

Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 25:14-15, 28-34

Ella was treated as a servant girl in her own house. You will remember that Israel was the servant to Pharaoh in Egypt. She had to clean the fireplace and carry out all the ashes from the fires. They gave her the name that fit her “Cinder-Ella.” Because of the cinders in her hair and clothes.

Remember that before her father had left on his trip he asked what each person wanted him to bring back, as a gift for each of them.

The two stepdaughters asked for dresses, pearls, jewels. Ella asked for a ‘branch’ that she could plant to remember, and so honor her mother.

(“Zion” God even calls a city after her honor, the city of Zion. Just as we do naming Susanville, Marysvale, Virginia City, and a thousand other cities with women’s names in honor of them.

Even in our time “trees” are planted in the remembrance of people who have died.)

Ezekiel 31 speaks of ‘trees’ as people, and nations. And the ‘trees’ in Eden, or Eden people.

Isaiah 10: 12-20 speaks of the ‘fruit’ of the king of Assyria. And the axe and the saw,
and ‘trees’ of his forest shall be few. Eve got some bad, ‘fruit’ from the ‘tree’ in Eden.

The story of Cinderella portrays her plainly as the bride of Christ.

No other people than Israel who was cast off, and migrated into the North countries, as your European ancestors did sit by the fireplace to warm themselves and cook. Today we all like to cuddle up in front of a good fire. There we watch cinders go up the chimney.

Just like Ella did. And wait for Jesus Christ,

The Prince, The King, to come save us.

The expression comes from “Cinderella’s lost glass slipper.” Remember when she fled the grand ball, (dance) the Prince chased her and she lost her glass slipper. So why was it “glass”, instead of pretty red shoes that most women want.

The Prince searched the realm for the maiden whose foot fit into the “glass” slipper. The only foot that did fit was Cinderella. When she put it on, and the fit was perfect, she pulled the other “glass” slipper out of her pocket and put it on to have the matched pair on her feet.

Revelation tell us why they were “glass” slippers. Now can you get revelation about it?
I will quote it for you: “Revelation 4: 6 And before the throne there was a sea of “glass” like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. [My comment: the so-called ultimate ‘gods’ of post-Vedic Hinduism have been described and depicted as part of the throne of Lalita as they are nothing but workers (traitors) beneath her in hierarchy. The image is also used in Freemasonry:

Which is exactly how this writer describes the Wicked Stepmother and step-sisters; remember the Scarlet woman in never a good thing in the bible but it has been twisted from older cultures where they were priestesses (and not prostitutes).]

Cinderella’s all over the world wait for the Prince. Everyone will wear soot and ashes before the wedding.    You can read all about it on my other pages.    Nuclear War Comes.

Cinderella’s all over the world wait for the Prince. Everyone will wear soot and ashes before the wedding. You can read all about it on my other pages… There is a lot more to tell you about Cinderella in the future. If you can live to see, the morning come. Don’t be late, or be sorry. If the blind are leading you, then your headed for the ditch.

What about when the Prince is a masculanized version of the Princess/Daughter? Just as most of the male avatars have been.

Her glass slippers remind me of Dorothy’s original Silver slippers (also representing diamond, crystal, glass) turned Ruby Red (lesser class) for the film and obviously since I’ve learned that Cinderella’s were also Gold (Grimm’s version).

And why does Cinderella (like the book ‘Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded’ (1740) by Samuel Richardson) always have to be accepted by a ‘prince’/’saviour’ figure. Reminds me of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in ‘Pretty Woman’ (1990) where they show prostitutes are people too, are raped and need to be saved; and then together again they starred in ‘Runaway Bride’ (1999) about a woman who just can’t bring herself to get married until she meets a man determined enough to save/marry her.

I prefer the versions of Cinderella where she does the saving like in ‘Ever After: A Cinderella Story’ (1998) starring Drew Barrymore.
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NOT NO CINDERELLA ANYMORE

Since 2013 when we broke away from a masonic situation (e.g. a recruitment agent who would call me as soon as I got back from holiday leave abroad even though I wouldn’t tell her my flight times, but schedule going back to work a day or two after yet she’d still call me as soon as I got back to a UK airport) we were followed and re-conctact and reinforcement programming/gang stalking continued (e.g. the day after we moved into a new place there were footsteps all around the property in the snow, especially around the windows and up and down the garden alongside what looked like a the prints of a machine and a message on the window. No one else had any footprints around there properties and from the looks of the road the person(s) came straight to ours. There’s tons of incidents like that).

The book described below is 17 years old but many if the techniques are still the same, the information people are lacking is about Virtual Reality which is where this book ends. Everything else I knew in the book already, the author writes about these things happening to children but it can happen to adults too though it usually starts and can continue into adulthood. Most recently I’ve been particularly reminded of being made close to someone and them deliberately betraying you, expect you to forgive them, cause confusion and then want you to act as if nothing happened/even be dependent on them and taking credit if you manage to get through the experience.

https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/breakingthechain/contents.htm

The author is spot on when they say it takes years of programming (and indeed times in a persons life where at the end of a cycle it needs to be renewed) and hence can take years of therapy with someone used to such situations to try to heal.

Next Post:
Feast of the Beast – Bride/Sacrifice of the beast, rescued.

International Women’s Day

Venus Female Symbol Sky

Picture Credit: iStockphoto

The symbol for ‘female/woman’ stands for ‘Venus’.

Most people don’t realize that Venus is actually represented by a Black woman (even wild rice or Black rice is called Venus).

Reminds me of:

BlackSheba-Conrad Kyeser c. 1405 Prague

BlackSheba-Conrad Kyeser c. 1405 Prague

I have more to say on the subject but I’m too tired, maybe I’ll fill this in at a future date.

Bananarama – Venus (Lyrics)

Goddess on the mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name

She’s got it
Yeah, baby, she’s got it
I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire
Well, I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire

Her weapons were her crystal eyes
Making every man mad
BLACK AS THE DARK NIGHT SHE WAS
Got what no one else had
Wah!

She’s got it
Yeah, baby, she’s got it
I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire
Well, I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire

Venus

She’s got it
Yeah, baby, she’s got it
I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire
Well, I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire

Goddess on the mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name
Wah!

She’s got it
Yeah, baby, she’s got it
I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire
Well, I’m your Venus, I’m your fire
At your desire

Venus was her name

Yeah baby she’s got it
Yeah baby she’s got it
Yeah baby she’s got it
Yeah baby she’s got it

Black is beautiful, terrifying and mystifying. The oldest still living (in culture) ‘dark/Black’ Goddess the Earth has: Kali (meaning ‘Black’ and ‘Time’) notice over time she has become Blue and light skinned as part of the incorporation into the later patriarchal post-Vedic Hinduism and the dominance of the male triad (who become the male singular in monotheistic religion).

Kali Maa Black Goddess

The Goddess en:Kali, 1770 Print by Richard B. Godfrey, Indian Art Special Purpose Fund – Wikipedia.

Gallery

Hidden Figures (2016) – One Giant Leap for Women (‘Coloured’) One Small Step for Womenkind

What a film!

Award worthy indeed, I absolutely love the way US folk manage to include pathos in drama where one moment your heartfelt swept up in the moment and the next laughing with joy, but seriously lay off the cheese. That said for a patriotic movie (against the Russians of course) it did well in showing US failures both in ethics and the space race whilst portraying the 60’s attitudes and work ethics in a way that is comparable today.

In a way it reminded me of one of my favourite films 9 to 5 (1980) but with mathematics and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, who unfortunately still played Sheldon but toned down and kudos to ‘him’ for playing no:2 instead of no:1 in the genius stakes. Kevin Costner was pretty damned apt at playing someone open minded enough to realize that to be the best (or at least ruthless) you have to at the very least pretend to push aside prejudice but at the same time a person who doesn’t see what’s in front of his face until it’s heavily pointed out. Kirsten Dunst did well as a woman forced to respect other women. The leading ladies were brilliant, of course, an absolute delight to watch and I couldn’t stop smiling every time I saw them (regardless of my severe discomfort due to ‘illness’). I really wanted to see and understand the equations better but I did enjoy knowing how to fix the flaws in their basic explanations e.g. the heat shield and the change in elliptical path. I did love the fact that they reverted to ‘ancient’ mathematics for ‘Atlas’ i.e. remembering the lessons of the forbears rather than needing or thinking they were inventing new theories.

It did make me wonder if/why there weren’t any Mexican, South American or other ‘ethnic’ (hate that word, White and Eurasian people are ethnic too) races involved or just Black vs White (though interestingly Black people were referred to as Browns vs Virginia [state]).

I always dislike seeing/knowing just how much it takes one person to go through to make any kind of change let alone wide ranging changes and then those individuals have to push others ahead as well considerately and sometimes to the individual’s own detriment to build enough confidence in a group to support them. Otherwise they’re practically left outside alone (as a minority or even worse, an extremist) and social change then takes forever. For all the hardship the women faced in the film and indeed also deference and respect from their male peers (which was strange to see) we haven’t come far as a society and in the end I was left thinking – great we made it into space and we can’t even solve out domestic problems, technologically forwards and socially backwards, what a way to spread our problems to the rest of the solar system and galaxy… And who knows where else.

I think NASA could’ve been portrayed a lot worse than they were (and the poster boy astronaut was particularly sickening but at least he had faith in our first amongst equals leading lady or ‘computer’ as she and those like her were known) but the film had to be funny to make it more palatable not only as a meta-nonfiction story but to the inclusive audience watching; teenage and adult women and men of all colours.


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Moving on, some snaps of what I was wearing:

9 to 5 (1980) (featuring another Dolly 😉 and I love it when Lily i.e. ‘Violet’ demands a little dignity and respect! How much do you have to go through just to be treated with the same basic rights as everybody else!?)

P.S – both Hidden Figures and 9 to 5 feature awesome period fashion hence the addition of my photos and a non-in depth review (though I’m far too tired for more detail).

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Day of the Imprisoned Writer ***UPDATED***

Day of the Imprisoned Writer [and] Writers in Prison Day is celebrated on November 15, 2016. The Day of the Imprisoned Writer is an annual, international day intended to recognize and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information. It was started in 1981 by International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee.

In addition to increasing the public’s awareness of persecuted writers in general, PEN uses the Day of the Imprisoned Writer to direct attention to several specific persecuted or imprisoned writers and their individual circumstances. Each of the selected writers is from a different part of the world, and each case represents circumstances of repression that occur when governments or other entities in power feel threatened by what writers have written.

On this day, the general public is encouraged to take action—in the form of donations and letters of appeal on behalf of the selected writers. The day also serves to commemorate all of the writers killed since the previous year’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Imprisoned_Writer

Day of the Imprisoned Writer is about authors who are likely to be/are persecuted for their work, all over the world political writers to poets are in danger and punished in many ways from surveillance, experimentation, imprisonment and death. PEN is an international organization that attempts to bring awareness to these issues and support such people. http://www.pen-international.org/ http://www.englishpen.org/ ‘Freedom to write, freedom to read’ – always check for the logo in books and if interested perhaps petition your favourite publishers to become PEN partners.

Last year I watched a film and wrote a review which coincided with ‘Day of the Imprisoned Writer’ HERE and last night when I saw Lockheed Martin look at my blog and woke up thinking I might mention it today just happened to be the right day.

Ironically enough I’ve always had people from interesting organizations look at my blog; I’m most proud of all the universities and colleges especially the best in the world such as the Oxbridge pair and Ivy League and I look down on most of the government and local government departments excepting ones like national health. That said there really is no reason for defense and ambassadorial bodies to look at my tiny, randomly updated, non-advertised, private/personal aka non-public persona or company paid for blog. I emphasize ‘blog’ – not even a self-hosted domain or paid blog e.g. ‘.com’. I don’t pay attention to SEO and the last time I checked my Google and Alexa search rankings it was somewhere at/near the bottom where it should be, so I don’t know how and why such companies/people from such establishments get to/bother to look at my site.

Here are just a few:

WORLD GOVERNMENT BODIES:
Foreign And Commonwealth Office
United Nations HQ – New York
World Health Organization – Geneva
Department Of The Interior, Office Of The Secretary – Denver, Colorado
House of Commons – UK
State of Washington
State of New Jersey
US Dept of Defense Network
National Health Service (NHS) – UK
Irish Government
Northern Ireland Civil Service
City of Pasadena – California
Centre De Traduction Des Organes De L Union Europe (Translation Centre of the bodies of Europe Union) – Luxembourg
Defense – Georgia US
Transport For London
Department of Agriculture and Food – Western Australia
Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Service

TECHNOLOGY:
Tenet Scientific Production Enterprise Llc – Ukraine
The Boeing Company – California
Lockheed Martin Corporation – Denver, Colorado AND Fairfield, Connecticut AND Texas
National Aeronautics And Space Administration – NASA – Alabama US
Max-planck-institut Fuer Kernphysik – Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics Germany
Lembaga Penerbangan Dan Antariksa Nasional (Lapan)- Indonesian Government National Institute of Aeronautics and Space
Mobile Aerospace Engineering – Alabama US
Institute of Mathematics and Informatics – Lithuania
Karisruhe Institute of Technology – Germany
Wuttisak Pharmacy Co ltd – Thailand
Aerovironment – California
Computer Sciences Corporation – Australia
Institutul Național de Cercetare Dezvoltare în Informatică (National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics) – Romania
Bae Systems Applied Intelligence US Corp
FMC Corporation (Central Engingeering Laboratories) Government Affairs – Virginia, US
Leidos – Technology for Defense, Intel, Homeland, Civil & Health – Virginia, US
Afghantelecom Government Communication Network – Apo Armed Forces Europe, US
Research Machines – UK

ENERGY:
Manitoba Hydro International – Canada
Hurricane Electric – Netherlands
Philadelphia Gas Works
Ngy Energy – US
Power Grid Corporation Of India Limited

MEDIA:
Disney Worldwide Services – London AND Los Angeles
NbcUniversal
Springer Science and Business Media BV – Netherlands
Nielsen Media Research
Russian Central Telegraph – Moscow
ITV Plc – London
Facebook HQ – California
Al-jazeera – Doha-based state-funded broadcaster owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is partly funded by the House of Thani, the ruling family of Qatar.

UNIVERSITIES/EDUCATION/RESEARCH:
Oxford University
Harvard University
King’s College London
Yale University
Cambridge University
Chanakya National Law University Patna – India
Leipzig University – Germany
University of Warwick
Orange County Dept of Education – California
London Grid For Learning
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
University College London
Canadian Dept of Education
Edinburgh University
Princeton University
Universitaet Der Bundeswehr Muenchen – Military/Applied Sciences University
National Institute of Fashion Technology – India
Boston University – Massachusetts US
Monash University – Australia
Indian Institute Of Technology – Roorkee
New York University
California State University
Santa Clara County Office of Education – California
Howard University – Washington D.C
University Of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Ask4 Limited – UK
Renater – France
University of York
Centre College – Kentucky US
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet – Technical University of Denmark
Vanderbilt University – Tennessee US
Florida Agricultural And Mechanical University
Georgetown University – Washington D.C
Queen’s University Belfast
Australian Academic And Research Network
Croatian Academic And Research Network
California Education And Research Federation Network
Canadian Department Of Education

INVESTMENT/FINANCE:
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLB
Department of Finance – Western Australia
Barclays Capital London
HSBC – Hong Kong
Credit Suisse Group – London
Capital One Financial Corporation – Virginia US
Macquarie Bank Limited
Fidelity Investments
The Berkeley Group Holdings plc – UK
Mercer US – EU division

FASHION:
Steve Madden (National US fashion chain)
Jacques Moret – New York
Polo Ralph Lauren – Worldwide

OTHER:
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)

Gallery

Blood Lust – Technologically Forwards Socially Backwards (it’s all about programming)

Medieval Torture, we haven’t come a long way.

Remember (for example) the next time you get on a plane and fly over airspace that is being used for war that whilst you’re off on a business or leisure trip there are people, animals and land being ripped apart in some of the most brutal ways right underneath you that you might never have heard of or forgotten even if it’s on the news everyday. Weapons of war get more ‘sophisticated’ from biochemical warfare to cluster bombs and ones that release masses of tiny blades to cut up everything in reach leaving survivors to take remains of loved ones and those around in carrier bags.

Many of the methods below don’t occur anymore but quite frankly if/when people could/can get away with such things, they do and can’t you just imagine those who would want to. This is why I aspire to pacifist yet we live in such a violent world.

Medieval Torture Devices

The Scold’s Bridle or Branks Bridle – I remember reading husbands used this to silence ‘nagging’ wives and it could even be heated up – it also has a plate that fits onto the tongue.

England, Wales and Scotland

First recorded in Scotland in 1567, the branks were also used in England, where it may not have been formally legalized as a punishment. The kirk-sessions and barony courts in Scotland inflicted the contraption mostly on female transgressors and women considered to be rude or nags or common scolds.[3][4]

Branking (in Scotland and the North of England)[5][6] was designed as a mirror punishment for shrews or scolds; women of the lower classes whose speech was deemed “riotous” or “troublesome”;[7] — often women suspected of witchcraft — by preventing such “gossips or scolds” from speaking. This also gives it its other name ‘The Gossip’s Bridle’

It was also used as corporal punishment for other offences, notably on female workhouse inmates. The person to be punished was placed in a public place for additional humiliation and sometimes beaten.[8] The Lanark Burgh Records record a typical example of the punishment being used, ” Iff evir the said Elizabeth salbe fund scolding or railling… scho salbe sett upone the trone in the brankis and be banishit the toun thaireftir” (1653 Lanark B. Rec. 151).

Germany

During the 1500s it spread to some other European countries, including Germany. Some bridles even had a bell on top of them to draw more attention to the wearer, thus increasing their humiliation. It continued in use until the early 1800s as a punishment in German workhouses.[9]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scold%27s_bridle

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The post below is from: Feminism and women’s rights

A call to feminists to remember the history and sex-based nature of women’s oppression

writing by renee

Trigger warning: feminism, women’s rights

the-pear

The real brilliance of patriarchy… it doesn’t just naturalise oppression. It sexualises acts of oppression. It eroticises domination and subordination. It institutionalises them as masculinity and femininity. So, it naturalises, it eroticises and it institutionalises domination and subordination. The brilliance of feminism is that we figured that out. – Lierre Keith

In recent months, so much legislation has been passed or proposed in the U.S. and elsewhere to indicate a frightening escalation in the war – yes, it is a war – on women. The Russian parliament just voted 380-3 to decriminalise domestic violence. This is in a country where an average of 40 women per day – 14,000 women per year – are murdered by male partners. The United States, where over 1,000 women are murdered by their partners per year, has of course just elected a president who boasts that “when you’re a star, they let you do it, grab them by the pussy”, and has been involved in pornography and sex trafficking. He plans to eliminate funding for 25 domestic violence programmes, and is ordering female staffers to “dress like a woman”. Texas is now looking to remove voting rights from women who have had abortions; Arkansas, to enable rapists to sue women for having them.

All of these advances rest, of course, on a long established notion of women as male property. The stigma on abortion rests on the idea that women do not create human life through a ten month process of gestation and labour; men ejaculate life into women, and women, as state-regulated incubators, are obligated to carry it to term. Domestic violence, the porn and prostitution industries that fuel sex trafficking, dress codes – these all rest on the same principle of male sexual entitlement. No wonder commentators are calling the current coming to life of Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale; a new era of more orthodox, strictly designated rules and roles for women in the West. All justified through myths that women are biologically predisposed to such roles and rules.

Given the situation we face, it is alarming to confront the reality that the left is equally as ill-equipped and unwilling to discuss women’s oppression as the conservative right. Nowadays, notions of “gender identity” for instance, are threatening to swallow women’s collective understandings of sex-based oppression whole. A “gender identity” ideology claims that gender is a personal matter of identification, and one’s biological sex can be switched and changed at will. “Cis” is a word women are increasingly adopting to signal they understand the “privilege” of having a gender identity that matches their biological sex. At the same time, of course, women are being pressured to swallow the idea that biological sex itself isn’t real.

The thing is, being female is very real, and being gendered as a woman as a result is, too – and it is not a form of privilege. It is a form of oppression women have resisted since the creation of patriarchy. By offering a potted history of the cancerous, globalised, Western system of sexual objectification we live under today, I hope to offer a small reminder of that here. This essay tracks the development of sex-based oppression from its roots, through the witchcraze, slave trade, pathologisation of women’s bodies in gynecology, and backlashes to feminist uprising up to today.

Matricentry, and the creation of patriarchy

Despite the orthodox insistence that male rule simply reflects the “natural” order of things, patriarchy is only a relatively recent development in human history. For 99% of our existence human beings have not lived under patriarchal rule. Feminist author Marilyn French calls the horticultural, subsistence, matrilineal kinship groups that existed widely before the development of patriarchy matricentric; Audre Lorde writes about reverence of goddesses like Afrekete, Yemanje, Oyo and Mawulisa; Max Dashu’s film Woman Shaman explores the art and archaeological finds that remain from these matricentric cultures around the world.

femaleiconspromo

Source: Max Dashu

French’s History of Women and Gerda Lerner’s The Creation of Patriarchy are incredible texts on the historic processes by which men created the patriarchy that forms the basis of Western society. This happened over the course of about 2.5 thousand years, from around 3100 B.C, during the agricultural revolution. According to Lerner, the transition from subsistence living to agriculture meant that children became an economic asset, a labour supply – and women became the first form private property.

French shows how male dominance was first asserted through paternal claims to ownership and naming rights of children. The murder of firstborn children was common in early patrilineal groups, when men wanted to ensure a wife’s firstborn was really his ‘own’. The fact that abortion is still in New Zealand’s Crimes Act is a contemporary expression of this presumption that human life is made and owned by men. In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also sanctified men’s ‘rights’ to children through a new policy declaring failure to find a sexual partner a ‘disability’.

With the appropriation of control over children, the institution of marriage increasingly became a practice that commodified, disempowered and isolated women from their families and communities. To put this in perspective, rape within the context of marriage was not made illegal in New Zealand until 1985.

With the institution of marriage came dowry, and the main value of having daughters became their potential as brides; “bride stealing” and “ritual defloration” was commonplace, as it still is today, for instance in Kyrgyzstan. Kidnapped “brides” are often children, and today an average of 15 million girls each year are forced into marriage. In 2013, an eight-year-old Yemeni girl died of internal bleeding the night she was married to a man five times her age. This is what patriarchy does to girls.

One of the practices that best exemplifies commodification through marriage was the Indian suttee, only legally banned in 1829. This practice involved the burning of female widows, including girls kidnapped as child brides, alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands. A myth that girls and women lost husbands as a result of their own bad karma underpinned the practice. As this was supposed to be a “cleansing” ritual, men typically avoided burning women while they were menstruating [my comment: menstruating women are also considered dirty to this day and not allowed in temples], and waited two months after the birth of a child if she was pregnant. Countless women could be burned after the death of a single, royal male.

After men appropriated control of women and the domestic sphere, the status of women was further institutionalised and codified into law through the building of monotheistic religions, the state, and development of commercial prostitution. If anyone tries to tell you that prostitution is the “oldest profession”, they are being condescending and essentialist: as Max Dashu shows, medicine women were practicing long before men figured out how to objectify and profit from women through prostitution. Lerner discusses how the burqa, the veiling of women, was designed to help men distinguish between the “respectable and non-respectable” among us; between wives and women in prostitution.

As Moana Jackson writes, colonisation always comes with a takeover of historical memory, plundered so that vast silences proliferate. “Sometimes that silencing is described as a “social amnesia”,” says Jackson, “in which the past has slipped from the mind in the kind of almost accidental and blameless forgetting that occurs with the passage of time.” What really happens though, he says, is that stories are consciously redefined in a way that “flies in the face” of the political and social realities of the colonised. The same applies to women. Today, few of us know our history – either that of our oppression or of our resistance to it, since history is told by the patriarchs. But we can reclaim it.

The witch burnings and gynecology

the-pear

The “pear”. During the witchcraze, torturers heated this tool in a fire, then pushed it into a woman’s vagina, screwing its parts open.

Medicine women continued to practice widely in Europe up until the so-called “Enlightenment” period. Between the Roman Empire and that time, the witchcraze and its “myth of feminine evil” resulted in the slaughter of 9 million people, nearly all women, over 300 years. History remembers this 300-year effort, if at all, as a sort of freak superstitious episode (think of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible). Yet feminist writers like Mary Daly, Andrea Dworkin and Max Dashu offer a different account.

Dworkin writes how many women deemed witches were medicine women, a truth that still exists in our cultural memory, only in distorted and corrupted form, in the frogs-and-cauldron stereotype. But these were not green-faced, evil women. According to Dworkin, it was as midwives, especially, that learned women really offended the Church.

The witches used drugs like belladonna and aconite, organic amphetamines, and hallucinogenics. They also pioneered the development of analgesics. They performed abortions, provided all medical help for births, were consulted in cases of impotence which they treated with herbs and hypnotism, and were the first practitioners of euthanasia.

Anna Göldi is said to have been the last woman executed as a witch in Europe. She was a maidservant to a physician, who accused her of having placed needles in his children’s bread by supernatural means. After attempting to escape trial, she was captured and beheaded in Switzerland in 1782.

In her book Gyn/Ecology, Mary Daly points out how gynecology was established as a practice governed by men after the time of the witch burnings. 1873 marked the publication of Dr. Robert Battey’s invention of ‘female castration’: the removal of women’s ovaries to “cure insanity”. Male gynecologists have since routinely pathologised, and medically and surgically tortured and injured women and women’s bodies through violent childbirth practices, radical mastectomies and hysterectomies, electro- and hormone “therapy”, and lobotomies.winckel1

By the 1890s, there was a mad interest in wood and glass prosthetic or mechanical “wombs” (“artificial mothers” or “child hatcheries”) – technology that attempted to challenge the indispensability of women’s bodies. In these incubators we see how the present push by transactivists to neuter and dehumanise the language of pregnancy and childbirth, and sever the connection to women’s bodies and women’s health, has echoes through history.

Daly points out that the male takeover of women’s health after the witchcraze was not coincidental:

Many feminists have noted the significance of the fact that the massacre of the wise women / healers during the witchcraze was followed by the rise of man-midwives who eventually became dignified by the name “gynecologist. Gynecology was slow to rise. Man-midwives of the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were under fire from woman midwives, such as Elizabeth Nihell, who described their instruments as “weapons of death”. Nevertheless, the nineteenth century saw the erection of gynecology over women’s dead bodies.

The compounding of abuses

J. Marion Sims, “the Father of Modern Gynecology,” used African-American women in slavery to conduct his surgical experiments. Sims medically experimented on black women for research into illnesses like cancer – without providing anesthetics or other pain-numbing medicines. If a woman died from complications or excessive bleeding, Sims simply replaced her with another slave, and his practice was completely legal.

harriet-tubman-pictures-1

The compounding of oppressions on black women is the topic of Angela Davis’ Women, Race and Class. In it, Davis discusses the experience of black women during the slave trade; including Harriet Tubman (pictured), who rescued over three hundred people through the Underground Railroad and was the only woman in the U.S. ever to lead troops into battle.

Black women, says Davis, had to work as steadily on plantations as men, performing the same tasks, despite the myths that patriarchy perpetuates about women.

Women were not too “feminine” to work in coal mines, in iron foundries or to be lumberjacks and ditch diggers. When the Santee Canal was constructed in North Carolina, slave women were a full fifty percent of the labour force.

Women were sex slaves in addition to this labour. “If the most violent punishments of men consisted in floggings and mutilations,” Davis writes, “women were flogged and mutilated, as well as raped”. White men also saw Black women as “breeders”:

During the decades preceding the Civil War, Black women came to be increasingly appraised for their fertility (or for the lack of it): she who was potentially the mother of ten, twelve, fourteen or more became a coveted treasure indeed. This did not mean, however, that as mothers, Black women enjoyed a more respected status than they enjoyed as workers. Ideological exaltation of motherhood – as popular as it was in the nineteenth century – did not extend to slaves. In fact, in the eyes of the slaveholders, slave women were not mothers at all; they were simply instruments guaranteeing the growth of the labour force. They were “breeders” – animals, whose monetary value could be precisely calculated in terms of their ability to multiply their numbers.

Since slave women were classified as “breeders” as opposed to “mothers”, their infant children could be sold away from them like calves to cows.

queeriodsThis is another reason we should look sideways at the introduction of terms like “menstruators” and “incubators” into the language of women’s health, pregnancy and childbirth as a result of transactivism today. These phrases have a history, and are tied especially to the dehumanising treatment of black women in sexual slavery. The documentary Google Baby shows how women are currently forced to tolerate life treated as “incubators” in surrogacy clinics in India, often giving birth to white babies in through the use of both egg and sperm donors.

The production-line treatment of women who give birth to babies in surrogacy clinics is spine chilling, yet the surrogacy trade sees 12,000 foreigners per year coming to India to hire the wombs, usually of poor women, in an industry worth an annual $1 billion.

An expression of racist, patriarchal colonisation as painful and brutal as the surrogacy clinics in India would be hard to find, if it wasn’t for the oldest oppression: prostitution. Today, 80% of people used in prostitution are women, as are 98% of sex trafficking victims. Almost all johns are men, and sex trafficking generates men U.S.$32 billion a year. An increasingly violent porn industry accrues about US$97.06 billion, which is more than the combined revenue of the top 10 web technology companies combined. The latest ‘trend’ in porn is for women to be raped anally until they suffer rectal prolapse (“rosebudding“). Nevertheless, Amnesty International has signalled its support for this industry, buckling under pressure from influential pimps.

As Cherry Smiley points out, indigenous women are disproportionately affected. In New Zealand, 15% of women are Māori. In our country’s fully decriminalised sex trade, 32% of prostituted persons are Māori. There is a narrative gaining traction in New Zealand, no doubt fuelled by the white man running programmes at the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), that it is “racist” to critique prostitution because of the Māori and Pacific women within the industry. Remember that demand for this industry comes from wealthy, white men. In 2017, liberals are still being coached to believe that indigenous women are somehow innately predisposed to being subjected to the abuses of wealthy white men.

Angela Davis’ book points out not only how black women have been affected by the compounding of race, class and sex-based oppression, but have also had to fight the hardest for political representation, even in resistance movements. Her book explores the intersection of the abolition movement to end slavery, and the first wave of feminism; neither of which sufficiently represented the plight of black women. Sojourner Truth stood up to the white feminists of the first wave, just as bell hooks to those of the second wave. Today, we again see a white, middle class liberal movement, marketing ‘sex positive’ identity-based liberalism as women’s rights. This has happened because the backlash to each feminist wave has ensured that mainstream feminism has come out the other side domesticated, whitewashed and sexualised.

Sexology, pornography and feminism

In her essay Sexology and Antifeminism, Sheila Jeffreys describes how the “discipline” of sexology was founded as a backlash to the first wave of feminist suffragists.

This period, immediately after World War I, was a time in which many women had considerably more freedom and independence than they had had before. The fact that large numbers of women were not marrying, were choosing to be independent, and were fighting male violence caused considerable alarm. This alarm is apparent in sexological literature.

Many women had little interest in sexual intercourse, and moreover, thought that “no woman should have to do sexual intercourse” (this was, of course, many decades before second wave feminists fought to have marital rape criminalised). In response to this increased resistance and independence, and to defend the status quo of women’s oppression, women’s sexual subordination being naturalised in sexology. Havelock Ellis, the founder of sexology, argued that male sexuality was absolutely and inevitably aggressive, taking the form of pursuit and capture, and that it was normal and inevitable for men to take pleasure in inflicting pain on women. Women’s sexuality, he said, was passive. Women were supposed to be captured and took “delight” in experiencing pain at the hands of male lovers.

Sexologists also invented the concept of women’s “frigidity”: “frigid” women were defective, and had to be sent to gynecologists and psychoanalysts.

Hot off the heels of sexology came the pornography industry that we know today. By the conclusion of World War II, there was big business in the promotion of this objectification of women. Businessmen-pornographers like Hugh Hefner (Playboy) Bob Guccione (Penthouse) and Larry Flynt (Hustler) began grooming the market to make porn socially acceptable. By the 90s, bunny merchandise was being consumed by girls everywhere – the bunny branding everything from stationery to pyjama pants. Cosmopolitan’s publishers, Bauer Media, have been involved in this global sex trade lobbying, and once owned the publishing license for Germany’s Playboy.

“It was a very different world,” says feminist writer Gail Dines, “after Hefner eroded the cultural, economic, and legal barriers to mass production and distribution of porn.”

It is now even considered up for debate now whether pole dancing is the best after school activity for 8-year-olds.

How did this shift to the mainstream happen? The answer is simple: by design. What we see today is the result of years of careful strategising and marketing by the porn industry to sanitise its products… reconstructing porn as fun, edgy, chic, sexy, and hot. The more sanitised the industry became, the more it seeped into the pop culture and into our collective consciousness.

Second wave feminism recognised and resisted the abuse and normalisation of pornography – but the university Women’s Studies departments in which a lot of this critique could be made are no more to be found. Even the books are now under threat. The discipline that usurped Women’s Studies is queer theory, and according to feminists, queer theory is to the second wave of feminism what sexology was to the first: a backlash. Sheila Jeffreys states how this backlash has come from sexual liberals on the left – in particular, from men – and from a large part of the gay male movement. That is where the backlash is coming from, but it is being represented within feminism as well. [My comment: most people forget that feminism/anti-sexism was the umbrella that incorporated and supported homosexual rights and what is now LGBT but for a long time it was all about gay men, lesbian woman were also called ‘gay’.]

Lierre Keith illustrates the representation of this backlash within feminism:

As early as 1982, Ellen Willis invented the term “sex positive” to distinguish herself from radical feminists – because we’re so negative, us radicals. Rape, rape, rape – it’s all we want to talk about. Well, I’ll make you a deal – if men stop with the rape, I’ll stop talking about it.

Keith also points out that the search term “torture porn” results in 32 million online hits. It is worth noting that the aesthetic, the tools and the practices of modern pornography and BDSM endorsed in “edgy” and “sex positive” queer theory and ‘kink’ stem back to the witch trials. Max Dashu’s essay Reign of the Demonologists shows how the torture of witches was sexualised, through fetishised torture routines and equipment and forced confessions of grotesque sex with devils. An interview with Audre Lorde in Burst of Light critiques sadomasochism for similar reasons.

Sadomasochism is congruent with other developments going on in this country that have to do with dominance and submission, with disparate power – politically, culturally and economically… Sadomasochism is an institutionalised celebration of dominant/ subordinate relationships… Sadomasochism feeds the belief that domination is inevitable and legitimately enjoyable.

Feminist Susanne Kappeler offers us a reminder for when we find these kinds of practices accepted and celebrated as groundbreaking in academia.

As feminists, we would do well do remember and highlight the fact that the history of liberalism, of libertarianism, and libertinism has been a history of gentlemen advocating liberty and license for gentlemen – liberties to which the rights and liberty of women have routinely been sacrificed.

749px-franck_hexen

Copy of a 1515 “witch porn” drawing by Hans Franck.

Commodification and “choice”

The production of sex robots is a contemporary, further entrenchment of the objectification of women that disciplines like queer theory allow to slip by, and even celebrate. Eating disorders and demand for cosmetic surgeries like labiaplasty are only two examples of the impact of escalating objectification on women. We are seeing other bizarre inventions on the market, too: the penis FitBit, a mouthpiece for blowjobs.bowjob-mouthpiece

One way that the sex trade lobby gets under women’s skin, sucks confidence, encourages competition and fosters dependency like an abusive partner or a pimp, is through media, through women’s magazines. 70% of women report experiencing guilt and shame after three minutes of browsing these kinds of magazines. It is well known that publishers and their advertisers feed off insecurity – and abuse. Most models in these magazines weigh 25% less than the average woman, and are in the anorexia weight range. Now, in the U.S. and EU, 50 million women suffer from eating disorders, and girls as young as six are increasingly expressing anxiety about their shape.

Bauer Media publishes Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day and teen magazine Dolly. It also currently profits from online porn, and used to hold publishing licenses for a range of German porn magazines: the German Playboy; Das neue Wochenend; Blitz Illu; Schlüsselloch (which means ‘keyhole’); Sexy, Praline and Coupé. Bauer Media also own one third of the famous private T.V. channel RTL II, which airs pro “sex work” reality shows almost daily. It’s not surprising to see the latest issue of Cosmopolitan offer advice on invasive cosmetic treatments from brow tattoos, to lip filling, laser treatment and light therapy.

Labiaplasty – surgical reduction of women’s labia – is another Western trend on the rise that has connections to more brutal practices, in this case that of female genital mutilation (FGM). According to the WHO (who actually endorsed this practice in 1958) more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated. These practices can see girls having their clitoris or labia removed; in Somalia, there is a practice of sewing up the labia, leaving only a small hole. Somali woman Hibo Wardere says urinating through such an opening feels like “an open wound rubbed with salt or hot chilli.” Feminism needs to work to end genital mutilation, not get busy glorifying new, commercial varieties as sex-positive “choice”.

Patriarchy mines and cuts up women’s bodies whilst women’s worth is undermined. From the tenth century and for ten centuries of course, Chinese patriarchs saw to it that girls and women would never run around, by binding their feet, and fetishising this act of crippling women. Today we see trades in woman’s hair, our eggs, breast milk and wombs rented through surrogacy. While surrogates are normally poor women; egg donors are usually young, educated women screened for heredity diseases and not warned of the implications or possible side effects of egg harvesting.

Mainstream, white feminism will today frame labiaplasty as something women ‘choose‘. Like immolation was ‘chosen’ throughout the practice of the Indian suttee. Like mothers ‘chose’ to bind their daughters’ feet, ‘choose’ to cut out their clitorises; like women ‘choose’ to be prostituted and even trafficked, to wear the burqa, to wear stilettos, to not eat, to bind their breasts flat. Not only are these practices so often marketed and claimed as ‘choice’, but altruism. [My comment: a lot of women enable these practices to continue by a) endorsing them (like middle and upper class White women who claim university campus rape is a part of culture and girls shouldn’t moan about it) and/or b) not standing up against it, many think they went through it therefore the next generation has to and there’s plenty of cases where women are behind it. If they had stood up a long time ago things might have been different… But that’s wishful thinking. However there are also women who believe that mutilation is a form of protection against non-acceptable males (‘acceptable’ being the ones generally forced on them via marriage or ‘favour’/obligation and that includes one’s boss if you work). It’s all brainwashing.] Prostitution, surrogacy, and immolation have all been called ‘atruistic’ practices. Women, obviously, want to be able to choose and to contribute. And what choices does society allow us to make? These. So we claim to have made these choices ourselves. But feminism needs to acknowledge what Meagan Tyler does – that yes, “we make choices, but these are shaped and constrained by the unequal conditions in which we live.”

stepping-forward

NZPC markets prostitution as a woman’s “choice”.

When it comes to modern trends like transgenderism, we cannot separate the male desire for access to women’s spaces and for uterus transplants, from a history of patriarchal appropriation (including “prosthetic womb” imitations). We cannot separate this movement from the entire history that precedes it, of the simultaneous mining of women’s bodies and undermining of women’s worth. We also cannot separate men’s desires to stifle and appropriate the discussion and capacity of women’s ability to create life from a history of the same. The white, male establishment has worked to appropriate control of women’s bodies and ability to create human life, and to stifle feminist dissent, since it came to power. In this Trump era, that history continues.

Conversely, we cannot separate women’s manufactured desires for male privilege, and women’s “choices” to undergo breast ironing and binding, mastectomies and invasive surgery from a history of oppression, demonisation, mutilation and self harm.

We cannot separate any discourse on gender from the realities of sex-based oppression – that’s if we ever want freedom.

barbara-kruger-4

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#Reallifehorror

The 25 Most Unimaginable Medieval Torture Devices!

March 30, 2015 at 14:10PM

https://moviepilot.com/posts/2820059

ByAnna Olvera, writer at Creators.co Writer, Filmmaker and Horror Geek at MoviePilot. Like and Follow me at Screaming for Horror on Facebook and @Raging_Rain on Twitter.

During the Medieval Ages mainly nobles and royalty had pretty much power over society. Although when it came to “justice” it wasn’t any different. Most people with low resources such as peasants, labor workers and farmers, had little to no rights, when it came down to the “law”. The dark age torturers and executioners that created these devices, were really imaginative when it came down to torturing others and apparently it payed off because millions of people suffered the unimaginable when it came to their deaths. Most of them highly painful and very slow, while others were used as means of interrogation. Unfortunately many people died when these devices were used, but the ones that didn’t still suffered a great amount of pain and were scarred for life. Next I’ve put together a list of the 25 worst medieval torture devices.

NOTE: NOT ALL torture devices are listed here.

medieval-torture-devices-saw-torture

1.- SAW TORTURE

In this method, the victim is hung upside down, so that the blood will rush to their heads and keep them conscious during the long torture. The torturer would then saw through the victims’ bodies until they were completely sawed in half. Most were cut up only in their abdomen to prolong their agony.

medieval-torture-devices-judas-chair

2.- THE CHAIR OF TORTURE

Also known as the Judas Chair, it was a terrible, intimidating torture device that was added to dungeons in the Middle Ages. Used until the 1800′s in Europe, this chair was layered with 500 to 1,500 spikes on every surface with tight straps to restrain its victim. Made of iron, it can also contain spaces for heating elements beneath the seat. It was often used to scare people into giving confessions as they watched others being tortured on the device.

medieval-torture-devices-stretcher-rack

3.- THE RACK

Is a torture device consisting of a rectangular, usually wooden frame, slightly raised from the ground, with a roller at one or both ends. The victim’s ankles are fastened to one roller and the wrists are chained to the other. As the interrogation progresses, a handle and ratchet mechanism attached to the top roller are used to very gradually increase the tension on the chains, inducing excruciating pain. By means of pulleys and levers this roller could be rotated on its own axis, thus straining the ropes until the sufferer’s joints were dislocated and eventually separated. Additionally, if muscle are stretched excessively, they lose their ability to contract, rendering them ineffective. One gruesome aspect of being stretched too far on the rack is the loud popping noises made by snapping cartilage, ligaments or bones.

medieval-torture-breast-ripper

4.- BREAST RIPPER

Known in another form as the Iron Spider or simply the spider, was a torture instrument mainly used on women who were accused of adultery, or self-abortion. The instrument was designed to rip the breasts from a woman and was made from iron, which was usually heated. The tool was used popularly in the Free State of Bavaria, a state in Germany, in 1599, and in parts of Germany and France until the nineteenth century.

medieval-torture-devices-tongue-tearer

5.- TONGUE TEARER

Looking like an over sized pair of scissors, it could effortlessly cut the victim’s tongue. Their mouth would be forced opened with a device called a mouth opener, and then the iron tongue tearer would uncomfortably twitch the tongue with its rough grippers. Once a firm hold was maintained, the screw would be firmly tightened and the victim’s tongue would roughly be torn out.

medieval-torture-devices-iron-maiden

6.- IRON MAIDEN

This torture device consisted of an iron cabinet with a hinged front and spike-covered interior, sufficient enough to enclose a human being. Once inside its conical frame, the victim would be unable to move due to the great number of steel spikes impaling them from every direction. The interrogator would scream questions at the victim while poking them with jagged edges.

medieval-torture-devices-guillotine

7.- GUILLOTINE

One of the most notorious forms of executions, the guillotine was made of a razor sharp blade attached to a rope. The victim’s head was placed in the middle of the frame as the blade dropped, severing the victim’s head from the body. Since the decapitation was considered to be an instant and painless event (at least less painful than the other torture methods), it was often considered the most humane method of execution.

medieval-torture-devices-brazen-bull

8.- THE BRAZEN BULL

Also known as the Sicilian Bull, it was designed in ancient Greece. A solid piece of brass was cast with a door on the side that could be opened and latched. The victim would be placed inside the bull and a fire set underneath it until the metal became literally yellow as it was heated. The victim would then be slowly roasted to death all while screaming in agonizing pain. The bull was purposely designed to amplify these screams and make them sound like the bellowing of a bull.

medieval-torture-devices-iron-boot

9.- BOOT

The term boot refers to a family of instruments of torture and interrogation variously designed to cause crushing injuries to the foot and/or leg. The boot has taken many forms in various places and times. Common varieties include the Spanish boot and the Malay boot. One type was made of four pieces of narrow wooden board nailed together. The boards were measured to fit the victim’s leg. Once the leg was enclosed, wedges would be hammered between the boards, creating pressure. The pressure would be increased until the victim confessed or lost consciousness. Newer variants have included iron vises,sometimes armed with spikes that squeezed feet and metal frames employed red hot.

medieval-torture-devices-hung-draqn-quatered

10.- HANGED, DRAWN AND QUARTERED

During medieval times, the penalty for high treason in England was to be hanged, drawn and quartered in public and though it was abolished in 1814, it has been responsible for the death of thousands of people. In this torture technique, the victim is dragged in a wooden frame called a hurdle to the place of execution. They would then be hanged by the neck for a short period of time until they are near-death (hanged), followed by disembowelment and castration where the entrails and genitalia are burned in front of the victim (drawn). The victim would then be divided into four separate parts and beheaded (quartered).

medieval-torture-devices-strappado

11.- STRAPPADO

The Strappado is a form of torture in which the victim’s hands are first tied behind his or her back and suspended in the air by means of a rope attached to wrists, which most likely dislocates both arms. Weights may be added to the body to intensify the effect and increase the pain. Other names for strappado include “reverse hanging” and “Palestinian hanging” (although it is not used by the Palestinian Authority) It is best known for its use in the torture chambers of the medieval Inquisition.

medieval-torture-devices-wooden-horse-spanish-donkey

12.- WOODEN HORSE/SPANISH DONKEY

One of the torture devices during the Spanish Inquisition and medieval ages, this is probably one of the most gruesome of them all. The victim is put astride, naked, on a donkey-like apparatus, which is actually a vertical wooden board with a sharp V-wedge on top of it. After that, the torturer would add varying weights to the victim’s feet until finally the wedge sliced through the victim’s body.

medieval-torture-devices-pear-of-anguish-choke

13.- PEAR OF ANGUISH/CHOKE PEAR

The pear of anguish or choke pear is the modern name for a type of instrument displayed in some museums, consisting of a metal body (usually pear-shaped) divided into spoon-like segments that could be spread apart by turning a screw. The museum descriptions and some recent sources assert that the devices were used either as a gag, to prevent people from speaking, or internally as an instrument of torture.

medieval-torture-devices-judas-cradle

14.- JUDAS CRADLE

The victim would presumably be placed in the waist harness above the pyramid-shaped seat, with the point inserted into their an*s or v*gin*, then very slowly lowered by ropes. The subject is tortured by intense pressure and stretching of the orifice, eventually succumbing to tears in muscle tissue that could turn septic and kill from infection, or simply being impaled.

medieval-torture-devices-crucifixion

15.- CRUCIFIXION

Principally practiced in antiquity, though it remains practiced in some countries today; it is one of the most well-known execution methods due to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is a deliberately slow and painful execution where the condemned person is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until they die, which usually takes days.

medieval-torture-devices-neck-torture

16.- NECK TORTURE

Humiliating and painful, this punishment was something of an endurance test where the victim would be hooked into a neck device, either made of metal or wood, which prevented the victim from adjusting into a comfortable position. The cruelty of this punishment lie within the fact that they were unable to lie down, eat, or lower their head for days.

medieval-torture-devices-ticklers-fork

17.- HERETIC’S FORK

The device was placed between the breast bone and throat just under the chin and secured with a leather strap around the neck, while the victim was hung from the ceiling or otherwise suspended in a way so that they could not lie down.Usually the Heretic’s fork was given to people who spoke the lord’s name in vain, blasphemers, or liars. This way, the punishment made it nearly impossible for them to talk. Also, a person wearing it couldn’t fall asleep. The moment their head dropped with fatigue, the prongs pierced their throat or chest, causing great pain. This very simple instrument created long periods of sleep deprivation. People were awake for days, which made confessions more likely.

medieval-torture-devices-breaking-catherine-wheel

18.- BREAKING WHEEL/ CATHERINE WHEEL

Was a torture device used for capital punishment from Antiquity into early modern times for public execution by breaking the criminal’s bones/bludgeoning him to death. As a form of execution, it was used from “Classical” times into the 18th century; as a form of post mortem punishment of the criminal, the wheel was still in use into 19th century Germany.

medieval-torture-shrews-fiddle

19.- SHREW’S FIDDLE/ NECK VIOLIN

is a form of rigid irons whereby the wrists are locked in front of the bound person by a hinged board or steel bar. It was originally used in the 18th century as a way of punishing women who were caught bickering or fighting.

medieval-torture-devices-coffin-torture

20.- COFFIN TORTURE

The most preferred torture technique in the Middle Ages was known as coffin torture. This method involved placing the victim inside a metal cage roughly the size of the human body; hence the name. The torturers also forced overweight victims into smaller cages to heighten their discomfort as they hung from a tree or gallows. Generally, they would be left there until the crows came to feed on their remains.

medieval-torture-devices-spanish-tickler-cats-claw

21.- SPANISH TICKLER/ CAT’S PAW

Is a type of torture instrument, consisting of long, sharp iron spikes curved so as to resemble claws. It was often attached to a handle, or else used as an extension of the torturer’s hand. In this way it was used to rip and tear flesh away from the bone, from any part of the body. It was also used as a weapon. This device was commonly used on thieves and unfaithful wives. Most who were tortured in this manner died not at the time, but afterwards. Especially with the Cat’s Paw, the device would cause infections as the device would cut so deep. The prongs were nearly never washed, so the chances of these infections were very high.

medieval-torture-devices-knee-splitter

22.- KNEE SPLITTER

The knee splitter was a form of torture used mainly during the inquisition. It was created from two spiked wood blocks, placed in front of, and behind the knee. The blocks were connected with two large screws. When turned, the blocks would close towards each other, destroying the knee underneath them. This method was used to render the knees useless. The number of spikes on the blocks would range from three to twenty, depending on the captive.

medieval-torture-devices-skull-crusher

23.- HEAD CRUSHER

This metal device featured a plate that sat below the victim’s jaw, which was connected by a frame to the head cap. As the torturer slowly twisted the handle, the gap between the head cap and plate decreased in width, causing crushing of the skull and facial bones, including teeth and jaws, and ultimately inducing death; even if the torturer stopped before death, permanent damage to the facial muscles and structure would occur. The victim’s head would slowly be crushed, killing the victim, but not before the victim’s jaw had been crushed, and their eyes had popped from their socket.

medieval-torture-devices-skull-crusher

24.- THUMBSCREW/ PILLYWINKS

Is a torture instrument which was first used in medieval Europe. It is a simple vice, sometimes with protruding studs on the interior surfaces. The victim’s thumbs or fingers were placed in the vice and slowly crushed. The thumbscrew was also applied to crush prisoners’ big toes. The crushing bars were sometimes lined with sharp metal points to puncture the thumbs and inflict greater pain in the nail beds. Larger, heavier devices based on the same design principle were applied to crush feet and ears.

medieval-torture-devices-impalement

25.- IMPALEMENT

Given his name, it should come as no surprise that this was the most favored method of execution by Vlad the Impaler. In 15th century Romania; the victim was forced to sit on a sharp and thick pole. When the pole was then raised upright, the victim was left to slide down the pole with their own weight. It could take the victim 3 days to die using this method and it has been said that Vlad once did this to 20,000 people all while enjoying a meal.

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The above posts show that there is something seriously wrong with humanity; we’re deeply cruel, traumatized and haunted to the point of normalized atrocity and apathy.

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What not to look forward to on Valentine’s Day

Today is ‘International Puzzle Day’ (yes I try to do a jigsaw and a wordsearch at least, every day) but here’s a good puzzle – why do people find vampires appealing? Physical, emotional and psychic?

Here’s an example of a very common type of human vampire that the media have always pedaled as attractive (much like Rhett Butler’s rape of his wife and her apparently liking it the next day in one of the most popular films of all time, ‘Golden Hollywood”s Gone with the Wind (1939) – and yes it was ‘legal’ to rape your wife in the UK up until 25 years ago and still is in many parts of the world – and the gang rape in Saturday Night Fever (1997)) and people just eat it up. Buying into this just keeps the abuse going.

Apparently the first book was so badly written it was a wonder as to why it became a bestseller and neither the book/film did anything for connoisseurs of S&M actually annoying and insulting many and yes even anti-feminists agreed. So why the follow-up and why on V-Day? What type of gift is that? “Me caveman, you woman, here come and let me beat you then rape you and make you say you wanted it.” Yeah… No thanks, and die while you’re at it.

And Fifty Shades Darker? Excuse me, darker? Who would fall for that ‘man’ unless under hypnotism/coercion? How is it romantic to watch this? At least in Pretty Woman (1990) (a film I didn’t like and couldn’t see the point in its popularity other that it was a typical boy/girl from different sides meet story) they showed that prostitutes get raped and are human with interests/hobbies instead of glamorizing it. Sidenote – Julia Roberts has done a lot of great feminist films, one in this category being Sleeping with the Enemy (1991).

national-center-on-sexual-exploitation-campaign-fifty-shades-of-grey-abuse

My comment: See how they’ve made her look sultry instead of manipulated?

national-center-on-sexual-exploitation-campaign-fifty-shades-of-grey-abuse

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/52480-fifty-shades-darker-is-abuse
and
http://endsexualexploitation.org/fiftyshadesgrey/

Organizer:
National Center on Sexual Exploitation
@ncose

The #FiftyShadesIsAbuse campaign is a global campaign led by London Abused Women’s Centre, Canada, Collective Shout, Australia, and Culture Reframed and The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) and joined by many other groups around the world.

Hollywood is portraying the Fifty Shades trilogy as a risqué, passionate romance. The second film in the Fifty Shades franchise, Fifty Shades Darker, is set to be released on Valentine’s Day. But is this a love story?

Christian Grey, the male lead, exhibits the traits of an abuser through possessive, manipulative, and coercive behaviors, including frequent stalking. Having introduced a younger, inexperienced college girl to the world of sadomasochistic sexual abuse in the first film, in 50 Shades Darker Christian becomes obsessed with his latest sexual submissive and proposes marriage.

As in the first film, Anastasia Steele, his “lover,” is consistently isolated, threatened, and manipulated, yet she comes back to Christian and agrees to marry him because she thinks her love can change him. As the story progresses, Ana, who was first fearful and disturbed by Christian’s dark and violent sexual practices, gradually comes to desire rough sex.

The 50 Shades series is permeated with graphic scenes of sex and sexual abuse. Its lead male character exhibits classic hallmarks of an abuser, and yet Hollywood is portraying his relationship with Ana as a sexually titillating Cinderella story.

This movie, and the entire Fifty Shades franchise, glamorizes and legitimizes both sexual and domestic abuse. In real life, women in these situations don’t end up like Anastasia—they end up in a woman’s recovery agency, on the run from their abuser or, sometimes, dead.

Help take a stand against the normalization of abusive relationships and join our Thunderclap to schedule the social media post, “It’s time for Hollywood to stop sending the message that domestic abuse is sexy. #FiftyShadesIsAbuse” and visit FiftyShadesIsAbuse.com to find additional ways to get involved.

You can also donate $10, $25, $50 or whatever you can afford to help the women experiencing the real-life version of Christian and Ana’s abusive relationship. Donations can be made to any domestic violence agency in your area – share that you made a donation online with the hashtag #50DollarsNot50Shades so we can help promote it!

If you are in the United States you can find a list of women’s recovery agencies at DomesticShelters.org. There is even a “wish list” of specific items for which these organizations have need.

A trilogy of this rubbish? A Cinderella story? I’m not one for fairytales let alone their programming (and ‘loving’ psychotic handlers, waiting for princes and vampires are part of human culture/legend/history so Fifty Shades pays tribute to that) but I prefer modern takes on them like Brave (2012) and Malificent (2014) (sans Disney who were/are very much part of the problem and they’re begging the re-surging/upcoming Dark Mother planetary re-consciousness for forgiveness whilst acting innocent with Brave and Malificent).

And here are the ‘new’ vampires:

artificial intelligence robot laws

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Today is [Inter]National Hug Day – These Women and More Need All the Support Possible.

An acid attack is predominantly carried out by a man to a woman, usually after he has been rejected/upset in some way; they are common in South Asia (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) and other parts of the world but the epidemic has been spreading with occurrences in Europe and the perpetrators and victims aren’t always Black/Asian (for the racists out there who think they are). Both a horrific thing to go through and leaves you scarred for life, survivors everywhere are trying their best and need all the support they can get from legal action, support groups, integration back into society to feeling good about themselves again and knowing they’re beautiful e.g. make-up for burns victims.

Despite stricter laws and punishments, the number of acid attacks in India continues to increase. DW examines the reasons behind it and the measures needed to prevent acid violence in the South Asian nation.

http://www.dw.com/en/why-acid-attacks-are-on-the-rise-in-india/a-19313750

Asia

Why acid attacks are on the rise in India

Despite stricter laws and punishments, the number of acid attacks in India continues to increase. DW examines the reasons behind it and the measures needed to prevent acid violence in the South Asian nation.

Acid Attack Victim Pragya Prasun After Her Wedding By Male Relative

Acid Attack Victim Pragya Prasun After Her Wedding By Male Relative

Pragya Prasun was on her way from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi to the capital New Delhi days after her wedding, when a distant male relative poured acid on her.

“I initially didn’t realize what was happening. My skin was burning, fumes were coming off it, and it smelled as though a tire was burning on my body,” recalls Prashun, who was only 22-years old at that time.

The relative attacked her with acid because she had rejected his marriage proposal.

Ten years have passed since the assault, which burned 47 percent of her body.
Still, Prasun remains thankful to a doctor who was traveling in the same train as her on the night of the attack. The doctor, she says, saved her life that night.

“She instantly recognized it as acid and requested everyone in the train to put as much as water as possible on me so that the acid gets washed off,” Prasun told DW, adding: “she gave me her scarf to cover my body as my clothes were burned along with my skin.”

Attacks on the rise

Prasun knows the pain that every acid victim goes through in India, where receiving proper medical treatment remains a huge challenge for the victims.

”There are very limited specialized burn hospitals in India and these hospitals are always flooded with burn patients. For that reason, getting admitted to an affordable government hospital is almost impossible for an acid victim,” Prasun said, pointing out that ”the wounds take nearly four to five months to get healed.”

Statistics show a clear increase in the number of acid attacks in the South Asian country in recent years. At least 106 such attacks were reported in 2012, according to the Acid Survivors Foundation India (ASFI). And that figure rose to 122 in 2013 and 349 in 2014. Activists say that figure climbed to over 500 in 2015.

However, Prasun disputes the figure, arguing that many cases remain unreported. She estimates that around 1,000 acid attacks take place in India every year.

There are many unreported cases of acid attacks where victims die, especially in rural areas. Sometimes people try to hide information if the attacker was the husband or a family member of the victim,” said Prasun, who runs Atijeevan Foundation, an organization that rehabilitates acid attack survivors in the southern city of Bangalore.

The majority of acid attack victims are women, reveals a report commissioned by the Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) and published last year.

The victims are attacked over domestic or land disputes, a rejected marriage proposal or spurned sexual advances, according to the report.

Farida from Bangladesh. Acid Attack Victim Violence Domestic Abuse

Farida from Bangladesh.
Farida’s husband was addicted to drugs and gambling. He lost so much money that he had to sell their house. She threatened to leave him. That night, while she was sleeping, he poured acid over her and locked the bedroom door. Farida cried and screamed so loud that neighbors came to her rescue, breaking the door open. – More stories and images on the website’s slideshow.

Network for acid attack survivors

Alok Dixit, the founder of the Stop Acid Attacks (SAA) campaign based in New Delhi, agrees with the report’s findings over the reasons for these attacks. He has established a cafe in the northern city of Agra that is run by acid attack survivors. [My Comment: I agree with Monica Singh in the article below – I’m not keen on cafes for acid attack survivors (remember it’s a fatal attack) where technically they’re in servitude though they themselves and Alok don’t see/describe it that way as it’s a safe place for them to be and feel supported/happy. I think it’s better that they have the option to both feel support from people who’ve been through the same thing whilst not put on display and to mingle in society normally if they want e.g. getting normal jobs. I still respect and very much see the good in this campaign though.]

“We created a network of acid attack survivors in India. Our aim is to make them leaders. It’s not like we represent them, it’s more like they themselves take care of their cause and fight for their rights,” Dixit told DW.

As the cafe in Agra has created a positive impact on the survivors, he opened another cafe in Lucknow recently, and planning to set up two more cafes – one in Udaipur and another in New Delhi – soon. Acid attack survivors will run those new cafes as well, he confirms.

The SAA campaign has been using social media to raise awareness of acid violence since 2013. The campaign was given DW’s “The Bobs – Best of Online Activism”.

“We focus more on social change because we believe only laws can’t stop these crimes. Because these offenses are passion crimes and most of the times family members or colleagues or friends of the victims are involved. It happens out of passion. We need to stop that via social awareness,” Dixit stressed.

His online campaign has grabbed huge attention in India. He collects donations via crowdfunding and his latest request for funding for the surgery of an acid victim met the target immediately after it was posted online.

“People started talking about acid violence in 2013, and very soon we got better laws, better rules and there are better facilities for survivors,” said Dixit. “But even though change is happening in society, it will take a long time to notice it in as big a country as India.”

More needs to be done

But Megha Mishra, a spokesperson for the ASFI, says the Indian government needs to do much more to end acid attacks in the country.

“The very first thing the government has to do is to ban the sale of acid in the retail market. Second, it has to get very serious about punishing the perpetrators. Third, it has to ensure proper medical treatment for the survivors as they still need to fight to get medical support,” Mishra told DW.

In 2013, the Supreme Court of India ordered the government to limit over-the-counter acid sales to people over 18. But Prasun criticizes the authorities, arguing that they have failed to implement the rules governing the sale of acid in the country.

This, in turn, has resulted in acid continuing to remain available everywhere at a very low price, she said. “I demand a complete ban on acid. It is not a commodity which should be available in the retail market. Acid only harms and it has destroyed so many lives in our country.”

DW recommends these other articles for reading:

http://www.dw.com/en/indias-daughter-filmmaker-time-has-come-to-tackle-gender-inequality/a-18313773
http://www.dw.com/en/attack-on-body-and-soul-how-do-women-survive-acid-attacks/a-17816263
http://www.dw.com/en/for-indian-women-the-battles-only-just-begun/a-17306344
http://www.dw.com/en/rejection-doesnt-mean-you-scar-a-womans-face/a-16991767
http://www.dw.com/overlay/media/en/surviving-acid-attacks/17814565/19313750
http://www.dw.com/overlay/media/en/dws-bob-awards-honor-online-activism/19229191/19313750

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The above leads to a lady I heard about in December:

Comic-book superheroine to spotlight India’s acid-attack menace

http://www.dw.com/en/comic-book-superheroine-to-spotlight-indias-acid-attack-menace/a-36141976

A new comic aims to draw attention to the problem of acid attacks, which disfigure and maim hundreds of women in India every year. The survivors face intense emotional and physical trauma as well as acute ostracism.

Monica Singh author of Priya's Shakti superheroine gang rape acid attack

“Life is too precious to cry,” says Monica Singh. And she simply refuses to see it differently. “I do not insult life by crying about my past over and over again. I am alive and that’s what matters.”

When the young woman looks at her in the mirror today, she sees a different person than the one several years ago. That’s not only due to the fact that she has become older, but also because she now has a new face.

A scarred face that tells what happened to her on this one dark day in her life in the year 2005. When a jilted suitor hurled acid on her in full public glare, causing major burns all over her body. It totally upended her life.
The then 19-year-old Singh, hailing from Delhi, had hitherto been full of dreams and aspirations. She says it will be impossible for her to erase the moment of the acid attack from her memory.

“It’s an unforgettable moment in any girl’s life. Feeling burnt like we never experienced before, yelling for help in middle of the street, all the people witnessing what was going on, being eye witnesses to a live horror show. Horrible. I don’t want to say anything more about it.”

Singh says the perpetrator used to stalk her, pressuring her to marry him and leave her family and education behind.
But when she spurned his advances, he turned furious and attacked her with acid.

In the subsequent years, Monica Singh has been repeatedly hospitalized and undergone numerous surgeries, totaling almost 50. She has received support from her family, particularly her father. Singh’s friends have also been as supportive as they can.

The 30-year old now lives in New York, where she is studying fashion marketing. Furthermore, she has founded her own foundation and regularly appears as a motivational speaker.

‘Cultural stigmas’

In the spring of 2016, Monica Singh met filmmaker and producer Ram Devineni when she gave a speech at the United Nations. A few months earlier, Devineni had already met two other survivors of acid attacks. The director was impressed by their strength, and at the same time he was angry.

“What I discovered after talking with them is that they faced the same cultural stigmas and reactions from society that rape survivors had to endure,” Devineni noted.

“How society treated them intensified the problem and their recovery. How they were treated by their family, neighbors and society determined what they did next. Often they were treated like the villains and the blame was put on them,” he added.

Devineni wanted to change this, by raising public awareness about the problem. And to that end, he decided to use a comic, named “Priya’s Mirror,” which was officially presented over the weekend.

In the comic, a group of acid victims fights alongside the female superheroine Priya, a character that helps acid-attack survivors to overcome their fears and escape the tyranny of a demon king. A story ripe with symbolism.

In fact, the character of Priya started with a prequel, called “Priya’s Shakti,” which tells the story of a gang-rape victim who would later gain strength to fight sex crimes. [My comment: Empowering story for a comic and great for what it is but for the living I wish you didn’t have be a victim first, everyone should be fighting against this regardless.]

“Priya is India’s first female superheroine and a survivor of rape. [My comment: AFTER ALL THIS GODDAMNED TIME IN A COUNTRY FILLED WITH GODS AND TONS OF THEM FEMALES AND WARRIOR FEMALES AT THAT – WHY ARE THE GODS/GODDESSES AND MEN TREATED WITH RESPECT AND NOT THE WOMEN!?] She was created after the 2012 gang rape on a bus. [My comment: As you can see from these articles these criminals don’t care about carrying out attacks in public even.] Her mission is to attack patriarchy and create empathy for rape survivors and survivors of gender-based violence,” said Devineni. Priya fights against India’s prevailing patriarchal social norms that encourage discrimination against women.

With over half a million downloads, “Priya’s Shakti” has been an international success, underlined the director. “The main character, Priya, resonated with audiences and was written about in 400 news publications reaching nearly 20 million readers.”

An educational tool

“Priya’s Mirror” is the first comic to have received financial assistance from the World Bank. It is freely available for download on various platforms and in different languages, including Hindi, English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

And it’s expected to be released in other languages as well.

The producers hope it could be particularly useful for educating teenagers and young men about gender rights and respect for women. “Teenagers are at a critical age when they are learning about relationships and developing their opinions of each other. So, this comic book series is a powerful tool to talk about gender issues,” stressed Devineni.

The comic is released together with an app, which offers a possibility to create profile pictures for social networks such as Facebook or WhatsApp resembling the faces of acid-attack victims. The intention behind this is to raise awareness and stimulate public discourse about the issue.

Around 1,500 girls and women across the world become victims of acid attacks annually, according to aid organizations such as Acid Surivors Trust International (ASTI). The real figure could be even higher. “Often, acid-attack survivors do not tell others that they were attacked with acid because of the stigma attached to it. Rather they say they were burned in a cooking fire or something else,” pointed out Devineni. [My comment – like they walked into a f*ckin’ door, fell down the stairs or something when a man/men in their lives beats then.] But others – like Monica Singh – do the opposite.

Ram Devineni Monica Singh Priya's Shakti Mirror Comic Acid Attack Rape

Devineni: ‘What I discovered after talking with them is that they faced the same cultural stigmas and reactions from society that rape survivors had to endure’

A tough task

“I never hide myself, but I definitely understand the feeling of being inhibited, the fear of being viewed as an abnormal person in society,” said Monica Singh. She decided to face off the situation: “I have never allowed myself to be labeled as an ‘unfortunate girl,'” she noted. That’s why, perhaps, Monica Singh is among the few women whose faces feature on the cover of the comic “Priya’s Mirror.”

They were drawn by artist Dan Goldman – not an easy task for him. “Creating the artwork required a delicate hand for my part: I didn’t want to render the acid victims’ scars in any kind of exploitative way, but at the same time, it was essential to show the degree of scarring endured, otherwise the issue we’re addressing loses it impact,” Goldman said, adding: “I struggled with this for some time…”

The artist ultimately found a way out of his dilemma. “I found out that the style was in rendering the women as normal as possible and then adding their scars last. This way, I was able to make them feel whole and give them a kind of poetry as women, rather than addressing the scars first and people second.

“I did send my drawings to them before the book was published to make sure they were comfortable with how I was portraying them and was happy to take any kind of notes from them,” he explained.

“It’s already a very sensitive issue centered on their appearance and violence, and therefore the last thing I’d want to do is portray them in a way that made them unhappy or upset,” he added.

Monica Singh, however, is very content with the response for their work. “Everyone loves this book; we just need references of real-life heroines for girls and young women. And projecting ourselves the way we are is more valuable and impactful.”

Not ‘a victim’

Singh has always remained true to herself, both in the old as well as in the new life. She’s got a different face, but she’s still Monica – the one that will always stand her ground. “My parents say that I have always had this never give up attitude.”

She explains that for acid-attack survivors like her, it’s extremely important that they accept themselves for who they are. If they fail to do it, there wouldn’t be any progress in their lives, she said. Singh adamantly refuses to regard herself as a victim.

“I don’t see the word victim as an accurate description of me. I am a self-confident, educated and strong woman who left her home for a mission in her life, and now she is on her journey… I am more than a survivor,” she said, stressing that: “I am a motivational speaker, fashion designer, stylist, marketing expert, philanthropist and a model, among other things.”

I even walked the runway at New York fashion week, she pointed out.

When asked if she’s happy with her life, she said: “I won’t say I am a happy person, but I am definitely a very funny person. I did learn how to deal with the situation. I know my strength is my confidence and education. If a person has a good heart and knowledge, I believe everyone finds that person beautiful.”

Audios and videos on the topic

http://www.dw.com/overlay/media/en/i-am-monica-singh-why-giving-up-is-never-an-option/36136233/36141976

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It doesnt’ even have to be family/’love’ related, it can be random:

Acid attack injures three girls waiting for bus in India just days after landmark death sentence verdict

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-13/indian-girls-injured-in-acid-attack-waiting-for-bus/7837536

Posted 12 Sep 2016, 9:25pm

Three girls in eastern India are being treated in hospital after acid was thrown on them, just days after a court handed down a landmark death sentence verdict to a man found guilty of murdering a nurse in an acid attack.

The teenage girls were attacked late on Sunday (local time) in West Bengal’s Bankura district, as they were returning home from tuition classes and were waiting near a bus stand.

Deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi said they were taken by three men in a car where they were attacked and acid thrown on them.

The three men have been arrested, he said, adding that the victims were now recovering in hospital.

“A Bolero vehicle [a four-wheel drive] and three persons have been arrested — a driver and two other persons — and cases have been registered against them,” Mr Bhoi told Asian News International (ANI).

Acid attacks — meant to maim, disfigure or blind — occur in many countries.

They are most common in Cambodia, as well as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

Most victims are women, injured and disfigured by jilted partners or relatives.

Previously classified under grievous harm, acid attacks became a specific offence in India in 2013 after public pressure forced the Government to improve laws to protect women following the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a New Delhi bus in 2012.

According to India’s home ministry, there were 222 cases reported in 2015 compared to 309 the previous year.
Activists say the number is under-reported as many do not report cases for fear the perpetrators will seek revenge.

Landmark death sentence for fatal acid attack

On Thursday, a man in the city of Mumbai was sentenced to death for a fatal acid attack on a nurse at a busy railway station three years ago in what is seen as a legal landmark.

Preeti Rathi, who was 23 when she was murdered, had just arrived from Delhi to join the Indian navy as a nurse.

Her neighbour Ankur Panwar attacked her after she rejected a marriage proposal.

It was the first such sentence for an acid attack in India.

While certainty of justice and punishment is crucial, regulating the sale of acid is also essential, campaigners said.

“It is shocking that despite the Supreme Court guidelines, acid is so easily available to people like those who did this to these girls,” lawyer and women’s rights activist Abha Singh told reporters.

“The Supreme Court has given very clear guidelines that you cannot easily sell acid over the counter and is it the responsibility of local authorities to do surprise checks to see if acid is being sold illegally.”

India’s top court in 2013 ordered the Government to curb the sale of acid to control attacks on women.

It made it mandatory for anyone wishing to buy the chemical, which is cheap and used as an everyday household cleaning product, to be over 18 years of age and have an identity card.

Remember like other attacks – particularly sexually and family related – not all are reported or even dealt with properly (fairly and considerately to the victim) when they are.

The above article leads to:

Indian acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi walks the New York runway

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-09/indian-acid-attack-survivor-reshma-qureshi-wows-new-york-runway/7830254

Updated 10 Sep 2016, 1:46am

Reshma Quereshi Acid Attack Survivor Fashion Runway Strong Message Victims

Reshma Qureshi, a 19-year-old acid attack survivor and campaigner for the #EndAcidSale movement, walks the runway at New York Fashion Week in what she calls a life-changing experience. Reshma Quereshi hopes to send a powerful message to other survivors.

Since Ms Qureshi was attacked by her brother-in-law in 2014, pinned down by his friends and her face doused in acid, she has become the face of a campaign to end the open sale of acid in India.

Ms Qureshi was invited to take part in Fashion Week by FTL Moda, a fashion production company committed to challenging industry stereotypes of beauty and which last year invited Australian model Madeline Stuart, who has Down Syndrome, to take part.

Ms Qureshi brushed off nerves to stride the runway like a pro in a cream and floral floor-length gown by Indian designer Archana Kochhar on Thursday, the first official day of New York Fashion Week.

“I feel really good and the experience was great,” she said afterwards, speaking in Hindi through a translator.

“I feel as though it has definitely changed my life.”

Ms Qureshi, whose ambition remains to finish the last two grades of high school and attend college, said she hoped her participation would send a powerful message to other acid attack survivors.

“Why should we not enjoy our lives? What happened to us is not our fault and we’ve done nothing wrong and so we should also move forward in life,” she said.

“I want to tell the world — do not see us in a weak light and see that even we can go out and do things.

“People have a tendency to look at acid attack survivors from one perspective and I don’t want them to look at them like that anymore … I do feel brave.”

Reshma Quresh Acid Attack Survivor Victim Fashion Model

Photo: Reshma Qureshi’s ambition is to finish the last two grades of high school and attend college.

Acid attacks, which overwhelmingly target women and children, are a particular scourge in South-East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the West Indies and the Middle East.

In India, an estimated 500 to 1,000 attacks take place each year, and while they rarely kill they leave severe physical, psychological and social scars that can see victims ostracised and hidden away.

Ms Qureshi’s appearance at Fashion Week came the same day an Indian court sentenced a man to death for murdering a 24-year-old woman by throwing acid on her face after she rejected his offer of marriage, in a landmark judgement.

‘Every day, a girl becomes a victim of an acid attack’

Ms Qureshi appears in YouTube videos for Make Love Not Scars, a charity that aims “to raise awareness for acid attack survivors and empower them to live life with dignity”.

The videos, filmed in her home base of Mumbai, offer make-up advice and beauty tips and discuss crimes against women.

Last year, Ms Qureshi’s “perfect red lips” tutorial went viral — a video which ends with Ms Qureshi saying: “You’ll
easily find a red lipstick in the market, just like concentrated acid.

“This is the reason why, every day, a girl becomes a victim of an acid attack.”

[My comment: There’s too much false empowerment in the world where women give men what they want when in the past and less ‘modern’ countries women are still forced into. Far too much superficial and inappropriate flaunting labelled as ‘role models’ acting like ‘perfect women’ and normalized soft porn (when really they’re fodder for misogynists and idiots who label feminists ‘femi-nazis’) yet there are real women and children like Reshma, those like her and those supporting are doing their best to survive their ordeals and prevent others from happening. Don’t undermine their experience to be a celebrity, celebrity wannabe or follower.]

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I agree with the death penalty for acid attacks, disfigurement, rape and torture. Don’t blame the victims.

Going back to Monica Singh above; her comic book website is here: http://www.priyashakti.com and her foundation here: http://mahendrasinghfoundation.org/

Notice the author uses augmented/virtual reality to fight the demon/rapist(s) (based on god/mythology/religion i.e. ‘others’ in their own parameters and perhaps dimension(s) e.g. dreamspace).

Excerpt from:

India’s raped comic ‘super hero’ returns to fight acid attacks

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-37287071
By Geeta Pandey BBC News, Delhi
26 Sept 2016  India

Priya's Shakti Mirror Comic Book Rape Acid Attack Survivors Victims

Artwork by Dan Goldman

Priya's Shakti Mirror Comic Book Acid Attack Rape Survivors Victims

Mr Devineni says the comic, which uses augmented reality technology, is aimed at teenage boys.
“It’s a perfect way to educate them on issues of gender violence, to tell them how devastating this liquid weapon is.”

In the book, Priya (which means love) rides on the back of her ferocious tiger Sahas (courage) into “The Castle” to confront the villainous Ahankar (Ego or Arrogance), a demon disguised as a benevolent man, and liberate the acid attack victims who are trapped there.

Paromita Vohra, who co-authored Priya’s Mirror with Mr Devineni, says Priya’s weapon is rather unusual. Called the “mirror of love” Priya encourages the women to peek into it and look beyond their scars, to see what they were once, like singers, carpenters and painters.

Priya's Shakti Mirror Acid Attack Rape Victims Survivors Comic Book

Having spent time in South America and Brazil, Mr Goldman says he was aware of the problem of acid attacks, but found the scale “very very shocking”.

“I knew it happened a lot, especially in Colombia. But I didn’t realise it was so unbelievably prevalent.”

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Still Smiling – The women fighting back after acid attacks

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-4799f705-bc19-4b9f-8391-1f955f800d2a

Acid burns the skin and eats the flesh – acid attacks can blind and maim and leave a person’s face unrecognisable.
In India it’s estimated that there are 1,000 such attacks per year, maybe more.

But in the shadow of the Taj Mahal a group of strong women, all survivors, have come together to run a cafe and tell their stories to the world.

Dolly

Dolly Acid Attack Victim Survivor Sheroes

A young waitress stands in the doorway of Sheroes cafe in Agra. “Welcome to our little cafe,” she says above the rumble of the rush hour traffic.

Her name is Dolly and she is 15 years old.

“I’m the youngest here and the naughtiest,” she says, and then laughs – it is impossible not to join in.

A few customers arrive for a quick cup of masala chai. Agra is submerged in a dense winter fog, so the cafe’s colourful murals offer some morning cheer. Dolly takes an order and heads off to the kitchen, flashing another broad grin.

Three years ago someone tried to destroy that winning smile. He didn’t succeed but there is no ignoring the thick scar tissue which snakes across most of Dolly’s face.

The trouble began when a man from the same neighbourhood – twice Dolly’s age – wouldn’t leave her alone. He started stalking the 12-year-old schoolgirl, making lewd remarks and suggesting they should sleep together.

Then one day he suddenly turned up at her house while she was playing with other children.

“I ran away towards my room but he threw acid on my face. It started to burn and I screamed and shouted.”

Dolly’s family immediately doused the raw flesh of her face with water and she was rushed to hospital. Thanks to the quick thinking of a doctor, her eyes were washed out and her sight was saved.

Even so, Dolly is now permanently scarred and she still has trouble breathing because of the damage to her nostrils. She recalls the moment she asked to look in a mirror after returning home from the hospital.

“My mother refused and told me I was still beautiful. She said I could look in the mirror later. Then my little sister accidentally put a mirror in front of me and I saw it. I cried and howled and screamed.”

Dolly didn’t want to eat or leave the house. “I even thought it would have been better if I had died,” she says.

Her gut instinct was that she should cover her face with a veil. For a year, she would ignore the gentle encouragement from her mother to try venturing outside the house.

Dolly’s life changed when her family heard about Sheroes. Here she met another survivor called Sonia, who changed her view of the attack.

“She told me that I wasn’t the one who needed to keep my face covered since I hadn’t done anything wrong. The person who has committed this crime should be the one to cover his face.”

Her assailant is now in prison. Dolly recently sent him a letter to tell him that he had failed to break her spirit.

“You burned my face, but not my will to live. You cannot throw acid on that,” she wrote.

She said she had forgiven him but she admitted that it had been a difficult process. “Sometimes, I have wondered how it would be to empty a full bottle of acid on you,” she told him. [My comment: For some people forgiving and forgetting is part if not the only way to deal with things and move on, it’s not for everyone (e.g. me) but she’s young and best of luck to her.]

In the cafe Dolly dances and sings, but she is wise beyond her years.

She is troubled by the fact that some people think the victims of acid attacks bring their misfortune on themselves, by rejecting the assailant’s advances. That is why she believes it is so important that survivors like her engage with the world instead of hiding themselves away.

She works hard at the cafe, serving backpackers who pass through town on their way to see the nearby Taj Mahal. She jokes with them in broken English and tries to teach them snippets of Hindi.

Sheroes helped her get her confidence back.

I like the fact that my parents feel pride in my work and that I’m standing on my own two feet.”

Dolly hopes one day to return to her studies and perhaps become a doctor.

So what would she say to another woman who was attacked today?

“I would tell her that whatever has happened has happened. Look forward. Don’t look back.”

Rani

Rani Acid Attack Victim Survivor Sheroes

Rani is the newest arrival at the cafe. She is not able to dance or sing like the irrepressible Dolly because her injuries are far more serious.

Instead, she sits in the cafe’s front yard, enjoying the shade, once the morning fog has lifted.

Rani was also pursued by a man who wanted to marry her.

Now 20, she was a teenager at the time so her mother told him to wait a few years until her daughter had finished school. But he persisted.

One day he accosted me in the street and tried to molest me. I slapped him. That made him angry and a few days later he attacked me with acid.”

Rani’s injuries were so bad she could not even walk – acid can destroy nerves and muscle as well as skin. The doctors in her home town were not equipped to treat her properly.

Even when she was transferred to a bigger hospital her burns were not washed out with water and she was left in the same bandages for days on end. Eventually she was sent to an Intensive Care Unit and she remained there for nine months.

In this time her weight halved. Rani’s family became concerned and had her discharged from the hospital, despite protests from the doctors.

She was then kept at home, bedridden, for four years.

During this period she got no medical treatment at all and became blind in both eyes. The only visitor she had was a childhood friend.

Luckily, a kind stranger intervened and secured Rani better care in a nursing home. There she received physiotherapy and began to learn to walk again.

Rani’s story is disturbing in many ways. Some in her family blamed her for the attack.

“They wished that I had agreed to marry that man and let him do as he pleased. But I wanted to study.”

Then there’s the unsettling fact that her attacker still walks free today. Rani has heard that he is married, has a family and a steady job. [My comment: Dear Goddess why does this happen?.. Rhetorical but still soul destroying to hear.]

He has all this, while Rani’s own dreams of joining the Indian Police Service lie in ruins. She still feels that she did not get the support she needed to see her assailant held to account.

“I want him to be punished. I want my case re-opened. I want him to suffer his punishment for life.”

Taking the train to Agra after four years shut away in her bedroom and the nursing home was incredibly exciting.

“I now feel like I have the strength and power to do things – the strength and support that I could not get from my family,” Rani says.

“I want to study more and being here has made me believe I can do that. By coming here I have gained a lot of courage.”

[My comment: ‘Thankfully’ someone showed her some mercy, not that she didn’t wrong at all, I just hate having to find concession from anything evil. You shouldn’t have to make the best of it. This poor woman, no one should go through this except those who do/help it.]

bbc acid attack case study taj mahal cafe womens group

Acid is cheap in India. It costs less than milk and is readily available in shops and markets. [My comment: Even junk food and sometimes pharmaceuticals are cheaper and more readily available than clean water, clean fruit/veg and toilet paper in some places.]

It is commonly used in households as a cleaning fluid for sinks and toilets, and in numerous industries, from textiles to jewellery-making.

In 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau recorded 309 acid attacks, but experts believe the real figure could be nearer to 1,000 a year – or three every day.

Many of the most serious cases are recorded because the victims require medical treatment. But there may be other cases that never get logged for fear of reprisals or because a victim’s own family might regard her as the author of her own suffering.

In remote areas, campaigners believe even fatal attacks remain hidden from view. A death may be hushed up and recorded as a suicide or a house-fire fatality.

The vast majority of cases are against young women – usually because they have rejected a suitor or annoyed an abusive husband or father.

It is a particularly vindictive form of crime. By disfiguring the victim for life, the perpetrator is hoping to deprive them of love. [My comment: Remember ‘Oath Maker’ W a few months ago when I asked “will I be able to love again” and that stumped you and your partner?]

And survivors often do end up ostracised by friends and neighbours simply because of their appearance.

BBC Acid Attack Victims Case Study

Not all victims have the support that the women of Sheroes provide for each other says Aarushi Ahluwalia, a journalist who specialises in shedding light on violence against women.

Many of the survivors she has interviewed have simply had to resign themselves to the fact that “they will never have careers, they will never get married and they will never be able to live the life of a normal woman,” she says.

“They are suffering in many ways we don’t even see.”

BBC Case Study Acid Attack Victims Law Violence Against Women Children

Three years ago an acid attack survivor named Laxmi Agarwal stood before India’s Supreme Court.

Laxmi was 15 years old when she was attacked in Delhi in 2005. She had rejected a marriage proposal from a family friend who then became obsessed with her.

One April day, when Laxmi was waiting at a bus stop on her way to a music lesson, her stalker threw a bottleful of acid in her face. It took seven operations to heal her wounds.

BBC Acid Attack Case Study Acid Attack Victims Survivors

Laxmi Agarwal
(photo: Viva N Diva Couture)

But out of this terrible episode, there emerged a tireless campaigner for changes to the law. Before arriving in court she had gathered 27,000 signatures for a petition to curb the sale of acid.

“When I saw Laxmi standing in the court it really pained me. She had gathered together all her strength to get justice not just for herself, but for every acid attack victim,” says Rajendra Mal Lodha, one of the judges, who went on to become India’s Chief Justice.

The Supreme Court responded with a demand that central and local government pass laws to restrict acid sales and provide better compensation and healthcare for survivors.

Buyers of acid are now required to provide photographic identification and vendors need a licence to sell it.

Campaigners have welcomed these changes but remain worried that there is a gap between the legislation on the statute books and everyday reality. It is still easy to buy acid in India, they say, without showing any ID at all.

Rajendra Mal Lodha agrees there are problems. “The laws may be there,” he says “but they have to be effectively implemented and unless that is done I don’t think much can be achieved.”

He would also like acid attack cases to work their way more quickly through the Indian courts. According to the law firm, J Saga Associates, the average case takes somewhere between five and 10 years to complete, which makes it hard for victims to move on with their lives.

“Things move slowly in our country,” says Lodha. [My comment: So slowly the victim might be dead before it ends.]

But Bangladesh has done great things. They have passed a law where the investigator has to complete his investigation within 30 days. Special tribunals then have to complete the trial within 90 days.”

Prosecutions should be fast-tracked in special courts in India too, he argues.

Ignorance and insensitivity can lurk in the most unlikely places – even in hospitals and courts. Lodha recalls an incident where a tactless judge once asked an acid attack victim to cover her face during proceedings. [My comment: that is beyond awful. Remember ‘Game Face/Rugged/Computer Software Tester/Decoy’ W after the second time you attacked me and got away with it scott free in fake proceedings, merrily running away on your like bike, how all yours got in the way and even hit me from behind.]

“Mindsets have to be changed” he says firmly. “Perhaps this could be part of education in schools for girls and for boys.”

Improving the status of women in India should be part of this, he says.

If men consider women equal in all spheres of life then perhaps a lot of this problem can be solved.”

Alok Dixit from Stop Acid Attacks – the NGO which runs Sheroes – agrees that changing society is still the biggest challenge of all.

“When you are an acid attack survivor, you walk out and everyone is watching you. People will comment or they decide not to give you a job. People treat you like something from another world,” he says.

In fact, Alok first came up with the idea of Sheroes cafe after he met and fell in love with Laxmi – the woman whose case moved the Supreme Court to action.

They now have a nine-month-old baby girl.

More recently still, Laxmi became the model for a range of designer clothing. One of its slogans is “What does not break you makes you stronger.”

BBC Acid Attack Victims Study Article

In February 1834 in Glasgow a man called Hugh Kennedy threw acid in another man’s face.

“The crime of throwing vitriol has, we grieve to say, become so common in this part of the country as to become almost a stain on the national character,” wrote the Reformers’ Gazette.

“It is so savage and cowardly that fiends only, in the human form, can be guilty of committing it.”

BBC Case Study Acid Attack Victims Newspaper Article

Extract from Reformers’ Gazette, 1834

So acid attacks are not only a challenge for modern India. Pakistan, Colombia, Cambodia and Uganda are among other countries facing serious problems today.

The worst country for acid attacks may well be Afghanistan, campaigners say, but there are no reliable statistics to back this up and the evidence remains anecdotal.

The phenomenon often tracks the use of acid in industry according to Jaf Shah from the London-based charity Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI).

“In Cambodia, for example, it’s more prevalent in districts where there is rubber production. In Bangladesh, it’s those areas where the jewellery or cotton industries exist.”

In the UK, attacks appear to be on the rise. Five hundred people have been injured or threatened with acid since 2012.

The police believe it may be becoming an alternative weapon to guns and knives, especially in gang-related violence. The Home Office is currently looking at whether there should be more regulation of corrosive substances.

In India, most attacks are perpetrated against women. But interestingly, in both Uganda and Cambodia 40% of victims are men. Gradually countries are beginning to share data along with suggestions on how best to stamp out the crime and rehabilitate survivors.

Like Rajendra Mal Lodha, campaigners often point to Bangladesh’s success. There has been a dramatic 70% reduction in cases in that country since 2002. It was the first nation to pass laws to control the sale of acid.

Pakistan, impressed by its example, followed suit in 2011. But not every country would want to go as far as Bangladesh in introducing the death penalty for acid attackers.

Colombia has been making progress too, following a high-profile case in 2014, when a woman from a middle-class background and was attacked by a stalker.

Natalia Ponce de Leon’s story shocked the country in a way that other previous cases had not.

BBC Acid Attack Victims Case Study Survivors

Natalia Ponce de Leon
(photo: Eugenia Rodriguez Peria)

The President of Colombia offered reward for information leading to the arrest of her attacker and the case recently prompted the country’s Senate to change the law.

Perpetrators now face sentences of up to 50 years, and a programme to provide protection to victims, their families and witnesses, encourages more people to pursue prosecutions.

Jaf Shah from ASTI believes a lack of confidence in the police and judiciary is one reason why so many cases across the world go unreported.

Many police officers don’t investigate attacks efficiently enough. Once that happens, you’ve lost vital evidence which might help bring cases to court.”

But perhaps the most powerful force for change is still the survivors themselves.

Dolly, at Sheroes cafe, knows only too well about the urge to cover up the scars and hide away in shame.

Today, however, her advice to other victims is simple: “They should not lock themselves up. They should meet people and talk to them.”

By telling their stories, they can help keep acid violence on the political agenda.

By having the courage to remain part of society, they can help break down prejudices and make it easier for others to step out of the shadows.

Find Out More:

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Acid attack hospital admissions have almost doubled in last 10 years

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/30/acid-attack-hospital-admissions-have-almost-doubled-in-last-10-years

Data obtained by the Guardian shows a worrying rise in assaults using corrosive substances, while many incidents still go unreported

Carla Whitlock Acid Attack Victim

Caption: Carla Whitlock, 37, suffered serious burns after being attacked with acid in Southampton on 18 September. Photograph: Hampshire police/PA

The number of admissions to hospitals as a result of attacks using a corrosive substance, such as sulphuric acid, has almost doubled in the last 10 years, new data reveals.

Amid rising concerns about acid attacks, statistics obtained by the Guardian from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show that in 2004-05 there were 55 stays in hospital caused by them in England. But provisional data for the most recent period, 2014-15, shows this has risen to 106 admissions.

Reported Acid Attack Victims in England 10 years decade research

In one recent incident, Carla Whitlock, a 37-year-old mother of six, suffered serious burns after she was attacked with acid in Guildhall Square, Southampton, on 18 September. Two brothers were charged by police on Wednesday.

The Guardian has spoken to victims, community workers, support groups, ex members of gangs, and the police – and all warned that such attacks were of increasing concern. One male former gang member said: “Young gang members are more ruthless than they used to be. It’s now become part of the natural thought process to use acid; it’s on the roster.”

Analysis of the data also reveals a trend which surprised experts, with the biggest age group of victims being those over 75, who accounted for 253 of the 925 total admissions in the last 10 years. The figures refer not to people but admittances and it could be that older victims need more visits for treatment, and that such attacks on older people have been surrounded in secrecy and have been under-reported.

It is believed the real overall figures may be much higher because some victims do not report attacks and because hospitals are not forced to record the reasons for burns. A female victim who the Guardian spoke to described how she had been followed by a stranger before being attacked and was too scared to go to the police.

Six in 10 of all victims were male, while 71% described their ethnic origin as white British, the figures show (white British, according to the 2011 census, accounts for 80% of the British population in England and Wales). Globally, an estimated 80% of victims are women.

Jaf Shah, the executive director of the support group Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), said: “Looking at the data in general, there is a fairly large probability that a high percentage of the incidents are male on male attacks and most likely to be gang related. The numbers appear to be very high and suggest an increase, which is very concerning.”

Kwambe Ibegbuna, a social worker and community activist in Manchester, said acid attacks were becoming more common – not just among gangs but in cases of domestic violence and also for intimidation. “I’ve had people tell me they wanted to leave a mark, others say they were attacked because they rejected people’s sexual advances. The stories vary greatly but the most consistent feature is to ensure the victim is traumatised greatly by the experience and that power has been exerted.”

A woman from West Yorkshire, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she had acid thrown at her two years ago by a man she had never met before but who had followed her home twice before the attack. “The third time it happened, I felt really intimidated. I turned around to see who it was and he was standing there with a bottle and bag looking at me. I didn’t know what was in it.

“I turned around and carried on walking, this time at a pace. But he just followed.

“I looked over my shoulder again and that’s when it happened. It was so fast, he threw the liquid at me. It hit my neck. I’ve never felt something so strong, it was a really strange sensation, as if something was breaking through my skin. I was so distressed but I didn’t want my family to find out, so I ran home.

“My neck started to blister. I frantically tried to wash it off with water in the bathroom sink, but that seemed to make it worse. I know it sounds terrible but I tried to pick at it, just to get it off my skin. For the next two weeks I didn’t go out, I was in total shock. I was worried about my mum finding out.

The woman said she did not tell the police because she thought the man who attacked her was very well connected in the community. “I just didn’t want any backlash. It’s just me and my mum you see … I didn’t want her to be attacked.

“I still feel self-conscious and nervous if I go out of the house, and I’m afraid of strangers.

“I was walking in the same area three months ago and I saw him again. I was petrified. He just said to me, ‘I’m sorry’.

I said ‘It’s OK’ and hurriedly walked away. My family have never found out. I still don’t know why he did it.”

The former gang member said using acid had become more acceptable and was not seen as a “big deal”.

He said: “People don’t think of the consequences. It’s easy to buy most of the ingredients legally… One of my cousins was done a few years ago. He was attacked on his shoulder and my uncle just dressed it for him at home. Acid is used as an extreme mark of dominance. It’s letting the individual know I haven’t killed you, but it’s almost worse than that, it’s a mark – on your face. It’s a sinister legacy.” [My comment: like when you’re kept alive just enough to be tortured every day.]

He was sceptical about the government’s chances of reducing the number of incidents. “Acid violence has become part of society. We need honest conversations about relationships earlier with our young people. Men no longer are trained to love and respect women. If you don’t get what you want it’s not OK to act like this.

“Young men need to be educated on how to sort out disputes with other young men without resorting to violence. We need to work out why these young people are so unhappy.”

Deputy chief constable Andy Cooke, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on violence and public protection, said he believed the number of attacks was underreported.

“Although the Guardian’s statistics do show an increase, I’m also sure that some offences of this type are not reported as a crime to the police. I would urge anyone who is a victim of this type of attack to report it so that we can deal with the matter positively and sensitively.

“It is virtually impossible to ban the sale of all corrosive substances, as many are household products. In recent years, the police service has made great inroads in tackling violent crime and has consistently worked to significantly enhance its intelligence picture. Intelligence coupled with consistent risk assessment and offender profiling may give us the opportunity to help reduce this type of offending in the future.”

One criminal law expert, Dr Loretta Trickett, of Nottingham Trent University, said the way data on acid attacks was collected “varies considerably in terms of how incidents are classified and whether persons or incidents are counted”, adding “This means is difficult to gauge the extent of the problem and speculation is inevitable.”

Separate to the HSCIC data, freedom of information requests revealed that 3 out of the 32 burns centres in England and Scotland do not currently code for these attacks.

Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP, who is a former GP, said: “It’s important to understand which groups are being targeted and that is difficult if these admissions and crimes are not being consistently and accurately recorded.”

The HSCIC data showed 12 admissions involved children under 10 years old, and 21 admissions for those aged between 10 and 17.

However, Shah said: “The most startling and shocking figure relates to the number of over-75s. This is a particularly vulnerable group.

“ASTI’s experience of working with local partners in low-income countries is that many victims of attack are reluctant to come forward and report the attacks for fear of reprisals.”

Gary FitzGerald, the chief executive of the charity Action on Elder Abuse, said: “These figures are horrifying. Although we see multiple instances of abuse reported to our helpline each year we have received no reports of this nature. We need to understand what is going on – is this hidden hate crime, domestic violence, or something else? We need an urgent inquiry by the government into what is going on, why, and what needs to be done about it.”

The Guardian put all the concerns raised around acid attacks to the Home Office. A spokesperson for the department said: “We want to get a true picture of this type of crime and we need victims to know they can come forward with the confidence their allegation will be taken seriously and be properly investigated by police. This government puts the highest emphasis on the needs of victims. We have given victims more rights under the victims’ code, and will reinforce this by putting key entitlements in law.

“There’s no place in society for these sickening attacks and perpetrators face a life sentence if they are convicted.”
The FOI figures show that the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham has treated the largest number of victims since 2004, with 69 patients. The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle treated 44 people, the St Andrews Centre in Essex 24, Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London 20, and Glasgow Royal Infirmary 19.
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Organizations Against Acid Attacks:

http://www.acidviolence.org/index.php/acid-violence/
http://www.stopacidattacks.org/
http://www.asfi.in/
https://www.actionaid.org.uk/news-and-views/acid-attacks-a-survivors-story
‘Seventeen-year-old Neela Amina Khatun is one of more than 2,700 victims of acid attacks in Bangladesh over the past decade. “My husband was angry for a long time because he claimed a dowry but my family couldn’t provide one,” she says. Forced into marriage at 12 years old, Neela’s husband attacked her when she was just 14.

“His plan was to sell me in Saudi Arabia – when I refused he threw acid on me and he fled. The moment the acid was thrown I tried to cover my face with my hands. It was very painful, I was screaming and all the neighbours could hear and they came and took me to the hospital,” she says.

“I spent six months in hospital. I was so depressed because I was in a closed room and my whole body was bandaged up, so I couldn’t move. It felt like I was in a cage.’


A song my Mum was listening to recently that reminded me of this issue:

Five Finger Death Punch (remember the move ‘The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique’ in ‘Kill Bill’ (2003) which ‘The Bride’ is taught and what happens to her, brutal attack, abduction of her child through an ‘abortion’, coma, rape) – Wrong Side of Heaven

My opinion: This is why I’ve never liked soldiers yet have always stupidly cared (Goddess I hate being sympathetic and empathetic nowadays) about the way they’re treated when/if they get back ‘home’. They’re tools, stupid imo for being patriotic, for fighting others just like them, for the mass rampant evil they instigate and perpetuate, and get away with. For the world wars they never end and continue. For being puppets to their egos, the governments, agendas, warmongers, corporations, international bussiness experimentors/torturers and who knows what else. Then when they have the ‘opportunity’ to regret SOME of them realize they’re not heroes and never have been and neither are those who encouraged and enabled them.

To those who’ve seen war God is now a woman, the Devil is a man. Soliders work for and look like the Devil.

Lyrics:

I spoke to God today, and she said that she’s ashamed.
What have I become, what have I done?
I spoke to the Devil today, and he swears he’s not to blame.
And I understood, cause I feel the same.

Arms wide open, I stand alone.
I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone.
Right or wrong, I can hardly tell.
I’m on the wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell.
The wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side, righteous side of hell.

I heard from God today, and she sounded just like me.
What have I done, and who have I become.
I saw the Devil today, and he looked a lot like me.
I looked away, I turned away!

Arms wide open, I stand alone.
I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone.
Right or wrong, I can hardly tell.
I’m on the wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell.
The wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side, the righteous side of hell.

I’m not defending, downward descending,
Falling further and further away!
Getting closer every day!

I’m getting closer every day, to the end.
To the end, the end, the end,
I’m getting closer every day!

Arms wide open, I stand alone.
I’m no hero, and I’m not made of stone.
Right or wrong, I can hardly tell.
I’m on the wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell.
The wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell.
The wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side, the righteous side of hell.

I prefer warriors not soldiers, and leaders should live by example not use pawns like some cosmic chessboard.
(I taught my Mother how to play chess btw and she’s better at it than Me 😉 )

End the game.
.
.
.
I’ve been feeling like wearing a mask lately because of my ugliness.

Photo source: Pinterest

Photo source: Pinterest

(The voice[s] in my head: “It’s a full mask [not a half face because my scars and continued bleeding run deep]”.) Flashback to another [World] Hug Holiday. My commentary in that and NO (I’ve always refused everything and never given permission) to a certain someone’s ‘hug ritual’ “to ensure they don’t hurt you” (and ‘QUEEN’ invasion “to prove we care/love/trust you”) and look where that sh*t has led HERE, HERE, and HERE

I hate masks (virtual reality, spiritual and/or physical), and ‘people’ (VIPs as opposed to the regular Jane/Joe ‘ppl’) and ‘others’ (non-human) [‘ppl, people and others’ being my terminology] who hide; their anonymity, power and fake authority. I’ve always preferred to be the real me and not a pale shadow of what I used to be nor what others want/ed me to be. I’ve always been Gold through and through, I don’t need your contamination and if I was a ‘guru-teacher-yogi’ aka REAL WARRIOR NOT SOLDIER/TEACHING ASSISTANT I would never have let ‘my’ (not that I’ve ever had any nor would I, I’m not a egoist who needs/wants followers) ‘students’ suffer unlike you and what you claim e.g. “My Lady, I’ve been going through all this to send you to school”.

The reptile Black chip is dead, the inner voice group is down to 1, other sh*t is coming through, what next? Take your demonic “Jasper-White-Sun” trash and die, you should’ve stayed married to your Sissy/Sister and implanted yourselves with your stupid chips. Miss the tree? Keep missing Me.

You remind of this campaign and another where the domestic abuse tv ad says the woman only gets flowers after he beats her and it’s too late to sorry when she’s dead with flowers at her funeral.

He Beat Her 150 Times She Got Flowers Once Campaign Domestic Abuse

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