What am I doing with a blog?

Awww…heck. I dunno.

It’s early, but I’ll try my best October 23, 2007

Filed under: feminism,misc — himbly @ 9:27 am

I found this article the other day: Ten Politically Incorrect Truths about Human Nature. I read it. I thought, ‘ummm…well…uh…huh?’

I can’t go into all of it right now since a/ I read it a couple of days ago and b/ I had a late night of exam marking and just woke up to a continued headache, but I’m gonna try my best here. There are two points to the article I want to address but the main point I would like to make is: I think the word ‘truths’ is stretching it.

4. Most suicide bombers are Muslim

According to the Oxford University sociologist Diego Gambetta, editor of Making Sense of Suicide Missions, a comprehensive history of this troubling yet topical phenomenon, while suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, when religion is involved, it is always Muslim. Why is this? Why is Islam the only religion that motivates its followers to commit suicide missions?

Now. Note the loophole in that particular paragraph. “…while suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, when religion is involved, it is always Muslim.” They can cite that line any time anyone brings up this:

Kamakaze pilots

I don’t buy the religion part. I mean, I do…Islam serves as a strong belief that motivates suicide bombers to perform the same act as a Kamakaze pilot did during WWII. Kill themselves in an attempt to kill others on a larger scale. Faith in their country and their service to it is what motivated Kamakaze pilots. But the article goes on to say this:

It is the combination of polygyny and the promise of a large harem of virgins in heaven that motivates many young Muslim men to commit suicide bombings. Consistent with this explanation, all studies of suicide bombers indicate that they are significantly younger than not only the Muslim population in general but other (nonsuicidal) members of their own extreme political organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. And nearly all suicide bombers are single.

Alright. This is the meat of the matter. The Western willingness to believe that “those people over there” are so very different from us “regular folk” in the West that we actually believe that 72 virgins has anything to do with it. I don’t care if every suicide bomber shrieks out “I can’t wait for those 72 virgins” before they do their horrible deed, I don’t buy it. I once heard Ayaan Hirsi Ali say (and you’ll have to believe me since I can’t find this interview anywhere to cite) that it wasn’t the 72 virgins that motivated people as much as a profound fear of hell.

That is something I am willing to accept more than this ludicrous idea that these crazy men are offing themselves at the promise of sex with 72 virgins…something which not only has the West hung their hats on, but Western commedians everywhere have built their evening shows around. But what I really think…these people are killing themselves for the same reason that kamakaze pilots killed themselves. Honour and foolishness…they were convinced that it was something important they needed to do. They have a strong belief and nothing to lose. Sex has nothing to do with the age and marital status of the men who suicide bomb, as the article suggests. Young people are most often those who involve themselves in social protest (see, like, every university) and single men don’t have families and responsibilities.

More examples of protest suicides without the promise of ‘otherworldly sex’: Buddhist monks protesting the Vietnam war

10. Men sexually harrass women because they are not sexist

Abuse, intimidation, and degradation are all part of men’s repertoire of tactics employed in competitive situations. In other words, men are not treating women differently from men—the definition of discrimination, under which sexual harassment legally falls—but the opposite: Men harass women precisely because they are not discriminating between men and women.

And once again we have come to the same tired explanation of bad behaviour on men’s parts (or bad behavour of men’s parts *rimshot*). Men are evolutionarily, or biologically, predisposed to bad behaviour. The “we’re pigs…we can’t help it…we were made that way” argument that has been sold to us. The very reason women in some countries must cover their entire bodies, women need chaperones and that date rape is such a “grey area”. Men have so successfully sold us on the idea that they just ‘can’t act right’. What do you expect, they’re men?

I say, ‘bitch, please’

I know a whole whack of smart men who act right. Manly men, too. In fact, they are more manly for it, in my book. I know that the wives or girlfriends of some of these men do not concern themselves as to where they are or who they’re with. The single ones are, though certainly not eunichs, respectful and honest.

God..I forgot where I was…oh yeah. I don’t believe for a second that men who sexually harrass women think, deep down, that they’re doing the right thing by acting as though she’s ‘one of the guys’. What the researchers have failed to examine is the type of harrassment that is deemed bullying versus sexual harrassment versus the art of shit talking your opponent (like so many men (and some women) while in competition). In fact, I’m surprised that the researchers didn’t differentiate between these behaviours. Yesterday, my collegues and I, upon watching a presentation on the prosodic tone of sarcasm, discussed and thought about several types of tone that can be attributed to sarcasm (because we are a thrilling bunch). These researchers on harrassment didn’t take into account different types of harrassment? Shame.

I think that’s it for today, children. Morning rants sure take it out of Mama Himbly.


2 Responses to “It’s early, but I’ll try my best”

  1. vintagefan Says:

    What lovely article 🙂 You’re not the first to notice! L’s written a post on the whole thing here
    and searching for her blog I found this as well:
    I had to type in that special word to find it 🙂

  2. himbly Says:

    Oh! thank you! I’m happy to find out that other people commented on this as well, but embarrassed that I never checked. I’ll be sure to read them..thanks for the links!

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