From the March-April 2017 issue of News & Letters
As part of a campaign to raise awareness about the violent reality of prostitution, the French feminist charity Movement du Nid created a fake escort service site “Girls of Paradise.” Men looking for prostitutes click on an image of a woman and a message appears, telling how the real woman was murdered or injured by a client or pimp. Then the photo changes to show the woman’s injuries and the statement: “When you are a client of prostitution, you are an accomplice to the violence they face.”
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In October, the Argentinian feminist collective Ni Una Menos (Not One Less) led “Black Wednesday,” the first region-wide Latin American march against femicide and male violence against women. Thousands in Uruguay, Paraguay, Perú, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, México, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Spain took part. They have called for an International Women’s Strike on March 8, International Women’s Day. Thirty countries plan to march with the slogan “Solidarity is Our Weapon.”
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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an amendment changing first-time domestic violence assaults from criminal to civil offenses and reducing the penalties. Feminists protested, while the Russian Orthodox Church praised it as “strengthening the family.” A Russian newspaper quoted an evolutionary psychologist known for pseudoscientific racist studies as saying that women should be “proud of their bruises” and quoted a proverb that “if he beats you, it means he loves you.” Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot warned: “Putin is building a new conservative order all around the world; he’s doing his best to create a retrograde, misogynistic, morally and economically corrupted empire.”
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Lian Zaher Nasser, a 19-year-old Arab-Israeli woman, was murdered along with 38 others when an ISIS terrorist opened fire in a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, on New Year’s Eve. Thousands attended her funeral, including hundreds of young Arab-Israeli women there in defiance of fundamentalist Muslims claiming her death was divine retribution for celebrating a Christian holiday with men where alcohol was served. Even religious “moderates” asked what Muslim women were doing in a nightclub, comparing it to a brothel. Arab members of Israel’s parliament joined many Muslims of the younger generation in stating that Nasser had done nothing wrong.