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Pre-2008 Posts

Male Terrorism, Today’s News

 In tonight’s news:

Safia Ama Jan

The woman in the photo above, Safia Ama Jan, a teacher, who taught Afghan girls secretly in her home during the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and who had been head of  the women’s ministry of Kandahar since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, was shot today in cold blood as she left her home.  The Taliban has proudly claimed responsibility.   It so reveres women, it must shoot all who attempt to educate women.  This is just the latest in a string of murders of women working to educate girls and women in Afghanistan.

This guy, John “Woody” Woodring, who was studying for his master’s degree in counseling, broke into a domestic violence shelter last week where his wife had sought refuge and shot her to death. Police are still looking for him.  He was insanely  jealous, had assaulted his wife and her adult daughter and her daughter’s husband,  and was married to another woman when he married the woman he murdered.

Then, not far from where Woodring murdered his wife, another man, Joel Zelaya Rivera, 25, murdered his wife, Gloria Solis-Zelaya, injuring their one-year-0ld son and leaving two little girls without their mother.

These were just the headlines today.  I am very sure many more women lost their lives this week at the hands of “boyfriends” or “partners” or because they had the audacity to, for example, teach little girls and women how to read.

Unfortunately as women, we have no nation, we have no police force, we have no military and so we cannot launch any war on this terrorism which is waged against us every day, every night, and has been for millennia.  More unfortunately, these acts are not even recognized as terrorism.  But that is precisely what these acts are.  They are acts of terrorism intended to subjugate the people of women and to keep us enslaved, intimidated, silenced.




11 thoughts on “Male Terrorism, Today’s News

  1. Ah, Heart. You are using terrorism in a way that means something. Politicians use the word so loosely, it might as well mean nothing. They use it as a tool to feed the mob mentality, creating the image of subhuman, irrational, evil enemies. Diplomacy with such enemies can then be cast as futile, foolish, appeasement, a sign of weakness bound to lead to disaster, so the only way to deal with them must be to kill them all. That has never worked, but that fact is irrelevant to those who see violence as the only way to deal with enemies.

    I guess I am trying to say, males cannot see their terrorism for what it is. These acts you cite seem normal to them, easily justified by jealousy, wounded ego, or women rebelling against what men think is proper for women. So I have no illusions that men will recognize such acts as terrorism, because they see it as appropriate that women remain subjugated, enslaved, intimidated, silenced, demoralized, disorganized, powerless to resist.

    Women are not entirely powerless to resist, despite all this, but I think women will never get out of this trap except by seizing political power. In Afghanistan, this is a dim prospect. Here, the men in power are so thoroughly distrusted and unpopular, it might not be as hard as it seems.

    Posted by Aletha | September 27, 2006, 5:10 am
  2. There’s been a lot floating around my brain the last few days, trying to connect the threads about Luz Maria Franco Fierros, Andrea, and now these acts of terrorism. Bear with me; I’m still trying to make something coherent… I didn’t see or hear a thing about Luz Maria Franco Fierros’ murder until your post, Heart; I saw a blurb about a man forcing his way into a shelter and murdering his wife at the bottom of the screen on CNN or something a few days ago- one sentence, nothing more; I heard about Safia Ama Jan’s murder from Amy Goodman on DN, nowhere else. All of these stories of men’s violence against women just so much background noise. Background and foreground… who decides what’s in the foreground… what happens to women, like Andrea, like radical feminists, who propel the background into the foreground…

    I’m still trying to weave the threads together, but there’s a start.

    Thank you, Heart, for this space, and for being one of those women.

    Posted by Melissa | September 27, 2006, 5:26 am
  3. Thank you for this post.

    “They are acts of terrorism intended to subjugate the people of women and to keep us enslaved, intimidated, silenced.”


    We have the weapons of truth.

    Posted by rabfish | September 27, 2006, 3:27 pm
  4. ***They are acts of terrorism intended to subjugate the people of women and to keep us enslaved, intimidated, silenced.***

    My, how they love us!

    Posted by Branjor | September 27, 2006, 9:13 pm
  5. Interesting post, however the paragraph placement of jackass Woodring between an Afghan woman’s struggle against 7th century barbarism and the your paragraph that women do not have a nation, police force, etc. is confusing.

    Is the inferrence of nationless, unprotected women pointed at Muslim women or women in the United States? Judging by some of your responses it appears the context of your post applies to all women, everywhere.

    I do not make a habit of frequenting blogs of this nature but your post was a link on The Debate Link. I add this ending statement only as a sign of goodwill and to dipel any ‘You’re a troll’ responses.

    Posted by Trickish Knave | October 3, 2006, 5:46 pm
  6. Trickish Knave, I am speaking in my post of all women, everywhere. Everywhere women are terrorized by men, in Muslim countries, in the United States, everywhere.


    Posted by womensspace | October 3, 2006, 5:59 pm
  7. At first I thought that was a bit melodramatic, perhaps I still do, but I do see where a woman who is constantly treated like a second class citizen, beaten, covered from head to toe and forced to have her clitoris removed can be terrorism. That is the fate of women who live in the Middle East under men who can’t get the 7th century lifestyle out of their heads. But women in the United States enjoy a much more broadened sense of security from people like that, except, perhaps the ones that are getting beaten with empty beer bottles.

    Women in the M.I. do not know what a restraining order is, or what it is like to be treated like an equal. I saw first hand how the men treat their women like shit when I pulled into Bahrain. They are gaining ground however. A judge finalized a landmark case that will make it illegal for a family to stone to death, or by any other means, a female member of the family because she was raped. On the whole, I think women are treated better in civilized countries although the figures of abuse still point to a systemic problem.

    True, the police can’t do much to protect a woman from a psychopath bent on hurting women except punish them when it happens. Small consolation there, I know. Unfortunately, the problem of simpletons who insist on hurting women, for whatever reason, will not go away. Interestingly, since you are defining that type of abuse as terrorism then I submit to you the abuse will continue just as these other acts of terrorism will continue.

    How do we stop lunatics from going into schools and shooting innocent children, or blowing themselves up in supermarkets, or from beating and killing women?

    Posted by Trickish Knave | October 4, 2006, 4:25 pm
  8. Trickish Knave, you are focusing on the Middle East as backwards, heads in the seventh century, but I don’t see it that way. I don’t think there is such a cosmic difference between the way women are treated in the Middle East and the way they are treated in the West, for one thing. I think the tendency is to view abuses which are unfamiliar to us as really hideous and horrible and to minimize the horror of abuses familiar to us. Muslim feminists often point out to Western feminists that we may be all about how oppressed they are in their burquas, but they would not change places with us for a moment, subjected as we are to the tyranny of the fashion and beauty industry in the U.S., tottering around on stilletto heels (which is not to say that some women who wear burquas don’t wear stilletto heels under their burquas, some do), subjecting ourselves to all sorts of painful, expensive, tedious procedures in the interests of beautifying ourselves, just for one example. Men don’t usually think of what the fashion/beauty industry imposes on women and girls is abusive, but it is. It results in pain, injury, disfigurement, and sometimes death. And yes, Middle Eastern men often brutalize their wives, but so do American men, don’t kid yourself, in all sorts of ways, including in ingenious ways they’ve developed which aren’t illegal, but are nevertheless brutal (like using pornography or prostituted women.) Suggesting misogyny in the Middle East is so much worse than misogyny here is way too close to racism for my blood, the white western man priding himself that he’s not like those barbaric uncivilized heathens. No. That’s not the way it is. White western men are every bit as barbaric as any other kind of man, it’s just that they’ve developed new and better ways to be barbaric given that the system in the U.S. does punish some kinds of brutality now.
    The reason I put those three incidents in the post here is that they are very clear incidences of terrorism. The guy, Woodring, didn’t just kill his wife. He invaded a *domestic violence shelter* and killed her there. The message to all women was, “You are not safe from us anywhere, even in DV shelters.” Safia Amajan was murdered ONLY because she is a woman’s rights advocate. The message is, “If you advocate for women’s rights, we will kill you.” The man who killed his wife in front of his three children did so despite restraining orders. The message was, “Restraining orders will not protect you from us.” The message to his daughters and son also was, “Women who defy their husbands deserve murder.” These are all, again, acts of male terrorism.

    Posted by womensspace | October 4, 2006, 7:19 pm
  9. TK, you also mentioned clitoridectomy, a heinous practice. But there again, western medicine has been and is no less heinous in its treatment of women. It cuts women during childbirth, either the perineum or in c-sections, the vast majority of which are unnecessary, it performs huge numbers of unnecessary hysterectomies every year, it medicates women who are suffering just to shut them up, it mismanages pregnancy, labor and childbirth and makes seeking the help of midwives difficult, it provides face lifts, chemical peels, liposuction, boob jobs, all of which are dangerous procedures which can kill women, and it does all of this stuff with the blessing of a patriarchal medical establishment. So let’s not be ugly Americans, okay? Let’s not be ugly western white people. Our shit is FAR from together. It’s worse than that, we’ve spread our shit all over the whole earth, then told everybody how much it doesn’t stink.

    Posted by womensspace | October 4, 2006, 7:25 pm


  1. Pingback: Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » “It seems as though he wanted to attack young, female victims” - October 3, 2006

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