Friday, June 23, 2006

V-Day and Iraq: an Analogy

As part of Granny Franny's Unified Theory of Everything, I've been pondering V-Day, Wednesday's call for awareness of and action to prevent violence against women.

I've come up with a rather strange analogy and, please bear with me, it may or may not make sense. But I feel compelled to post it anyway.

Iraq is a woman abused

Iraq is a woman raped, plundered and battered, then impregnated by her abuser (a cop) with a myriad of unruly children which she can not control. Her only option is to marry her abuser and now, three and a half years on, she sees no way out of a bad, very bad situation.

Like most abused women, she has been divested of any funds or resources, her attempts to rid herself of her abuser have gone awry, and with each passing day, the situation grows more dire. The children (read various militias) are totally out of control. She looks to her abuser for everything from shelter to food to keeping the lights on. And it's simply not working. Yet she sees no way out of the situation as she continues to give birth to even more unruly children, some of whom she doesn't even recognize.

The rescue options available to most abused women -- family, friends, cousins, siblings (read Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran and Turkey) -- have been demonized and/or frightened by both the situation and the abuser into ignoring her plight. Her only other option (without actually sticking a knife into her abuser in his sleep and setting the bed on fire) is to appeal to the authorities (read UN), but they, too, are powerless to help her as her abuser is part of that authority, i.e., he is a cop.

Cut and Run

We've heard all these stories before about abused women and why they stay with their abusers. And, lately, we've heard a hell of a lot against what is being called "cut and run". In this case, the abuser has no desire to cut and run. Why should he? He's got it made. But perhaps Iraq can do it for herself, with some help from the progressive left and the worldwide antiwar movement.

Here the analogy starts to fall apart; Iraq can't really leave Iraq, although her best and brightest have been doing so for the last three years.

But if enough people, through various NGOs, pledge their support, perhaps it makes sense for the woman to demand a divorce, push the abuser out the door and then call in the therapists, the professionals, and the neighbors to help heal the unruly children, clean the place up, bring in a few groceries and help her get a fresh start.

Somehow we're going to have to act or the abuser will simply move next door (Syria or Iran) and repeat the same pattern with his next victim. And we'll have even more broken households, battered women and unruly children to deal with. We need to stop this abuser in his tracks, now.

1 comment:

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