Thursday, June 02, 2005

Moving Into The Sunlight

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Egypt anger over 'grope attacks'

The fact that men assaulted women protesters by tearing their clothes and groping them to shame them in public is not of interest to me. The behaviour is appalling, no doubt, but the remarkable thing about the news story for me is the reaction of women to the incident. There was a time when the women who had been assaulted would have gone home to hide in shame, but now women are protesting the behaviour and demanding the resignation of the head of security who should have kept the protesters safe. The men who attacked the women are operating under the old mentality, that people can be frightened and shamed into hiding and living quietly without protest. The women who are protesting are operating under a new and, to my mind, healthier mentality that bringing wrongful behaviour into the light of day can stop it.

When I was growing up in California, I recall a conversation among my mother and her friends, women who had grown up all over the US and Europe. Virtually every single one of them had been molested at the very least when they were young, most of them by male relatives (cousins and uncles were favourites). In my mother's case, as a fourteen year old she'd been raped on a train by an American soldier and was too afraid to even push the emergency button to call for help. All of them had been taught to be good, quiet girls and not to make a scene in public. They all instructed their daughters never to put up with any behaviour from anyone that was inappropriate and to make a VERY Loud Fuss In Public should they find themselves in a tough situation. To the best of my knowledge, none of the daughters ever faced the kind of abuse that their mothers had faced.

As a housecleaning veteran, it's my firm belief that if you want something to stay clean it must be exposed to fresh air and sunlight regularly. The same maxim goes for behaviour. Evil flourishes in the dark and the more the public eye is on something, the less likely of wrongdoing. So, good for you, ladies! Keep up the racket!


حـدوتـة said...

well-said Maryanne!

i'm very proud of all those ladies, and i agree: it's a healthy sign.

have a sunny (but not hot) day :)

Mighty MaMa said...

Great post! I agree and hope that the men that assault women & children get the appropiate punishment! Something that is lacking in the US.........While the number of those abused goes up.