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Ami Birangona Bolchi

I am not as self-righteous as the way I am talking to you all. Actually I never got the opportunity to express myself. I grew up with my head bent, occupied the lowest place in my family and was surviving under the radar as a member of my family. But later I met a woman who was like a mother to me, and she told me that I was an amazing woman, a hero. I may not have the body of Joan of Arc, but I have sacrificed what is most precious to me – my womanhood, for my country. But you will never see our names engraved in a tower. The reason for this omission is likely their own shame. They could not protect me from the hands of disaster. In what face would they applaud the fact that I am a war heroine? I have been ridiculed and shamed in cruel and heartless ways, but somehow a power greater than me has helped me keep my head high.
Rape survivors of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War were given the title "Birangona": an attempt by the first president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to respect the sacrifices of these women that sadly backfired. Ami Birangona Bolchi by Bangladeshi academic and social worker Nilima Ibrahim, published in 1994, chronicles first-hand stories of these women, grappling with the tension between their status and their lived experience. Recently there have been multiple translations of Nilima's work, as well as more interviews and poetry as well as an upcoming British stage production.
posted by divabat on Mar 17, 2014 - 8 comments

Throughout the ages, women have led rebellions and revolutions...

Ten amazing women who led rebellions.
posted by Mistress on Dec 10, 2013 - 12 comments

"Never, ever let anybody use your gender as an excuse."

"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 25, 2013 - 49 comments

Women in combat

Today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will announce that the Pentagon has lifted its 19 year old ban on women serving in combat roles in the military. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 24, 2013 - 73 comments

This place is such a dive.

What's life like aboard a nuclear submarine? For starters, here's over eight hours of C-SPAN 2, as they took their cameras aboard the USS Wyoming SSBN back in 2000, co-hosted by Rear Admiral Malcolm Fages and writer Robert Holzer. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 7, 2012 - 23 comments

Breastplates and Boobplates

Fantasy armor and lady bits, from the perspective of an armorer
posted by Artw on Dec 18, 2011 - 88 comments

House of Sharing

The House of Sharing is a place for the Halmoni to to live together and heal the wounds of the past while educating the future generations of the suffering they survived.
The View From Over Here details her visit to the House of Sharing, a therapeutic group home and museum for surviving "comfort women", who were systematically raped by the Japanese military during World War II. The museum displays art for and by the survivors. Via Ask a Korean. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Dec 17, 2010 - 5 comments

Cursed By Gold

Georgina Cranston travelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to photograph the women who work deep inside some of the country's disused gold mines. [more inside]
posted by gman on Dec 4, 2010 - 13 comments

The women of Afghanistan

87 percent are illiterate. 44 years is their average life expectancy. 70 to 80 percent face forced marriages.
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 5, 2010 - 72 comments

"When the day's activities include the likelihood of getting your brains shot out, maybe a little slap and tickle - while not desirable - is not the end of the world."

The New York Times examines several reports of sexual harassments and assaults on women in the US Military. In the article's comments, current and former troops chime in to suggest that this is an inevitable result of including women in combat zones. [more inside]
posted by oinopaponton on Dec 28, 2009 - 138 comments

Women Veterans Historical Collection

Jean M. Fasse (Red Cross during WWII, and later the Special Service). Shirley Ann Thacker (WAVE). Just two of the interviews from the extensive collection of material (photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories and posters) at the Women Veterans Historical Collection.
posted by tellurian on Oct 14, 2009 - 4 comments

atrocity archives

BABIES’ skulls dashed against rocks; attempts to twist off the heads of toddlers. Girls, their mothers and grandmothers (and sometimes male relatives too) raped at knife- or gunpoint, the weapons then used to inflict mutilation. Women hauled off to camps or just tied to trees and gang-raped. Thousands of children, some as young as nine, snatched or recruited by armed gangs (or regular forces) and made into drug-crazed killers, the girls among them often serially abused or taken by commanders as “wives”. Such are the horrors reported from some recent conflict zones... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 21, 2009 - 41 comments

Magnum Photos' two newest nominees

American-Dutch photographer Peter van Agtmael and English photographer Olivia Arthur are the two newest nominees recently welcomed into Magnum Photos. Agtmael's images of Afghanistan and Iraq are very powerful - he discusses his work in Conscientious. Arthur's recent work has focused on women's experiences in what she calls the Middle Distance. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 8, 2008 - 8 comments

"We, having been so nearly destroyed, can use what we've learnt from our destruction to start the world again"

Three award-winning photographers come together to photograph women from around the world, who have been the victims of war, and survived to tell their tale.
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 4, 2008 - 4 comments

Let it blaze! Let it blaze! For we have done with this ‘education’!

Virginia Woolf: A feminist's view on why we go to war.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 24, 2008 - 25 comments

Freaks in the Big Top the Artwork of Mark Bryan

New Work from artist Mark Bryan's Sideshow [more inside]
posted by hortense on Oct 2, 2007 - 2 comments

Born to War

Born to War is a series of paintings of American women killed in Iraq. The combination of the increasing role of women in the American military and the blurring of lines between combat and non-combat roles in Iraq have made this the first war in which female US soldiers have died in direct combat. The focus on a smaller number of women provides a more approachable view of casualties than more general sites like Iraq Body Count and raises some interesting questions about the role of women in the US military.
posted by scottreynen on Feb 23, 2007 - 13 comments

A Tale of Two Soldiers

A tale of two West Virginia soldiers: one named Jessica, one named Lynndie. Both are on opposite sides of the propaganda war. One is a hero, one is a monster. No, wait - actually, one is a fraud, one was just following orders. No wait, one is perky and blonde, the other is kind of butch and ugly. Now I'm all confused. Help me Metafilter, you're my only hope.
posted by PrinceValium on May 11, 2004 - 20 comments

umm, whose women? and who are

Rumors of rape fan anti-American flames "They are raping our women!" - This is the eternal tribalistic cry and lament, often all too true but also often used as a baseless or exaggerated claim for war propaganda, to incite to hatred of a "barbaric" enemy who commits unspeakable acts ( see The "Rape of Kuwait"). The history of Rape in Warfare is long and may be instinctually driven, at least in part. Now, mass rumors spreading through Turkey - which seem to have inspired a recent indigenous Turkish terrorist car bombing - allege mass rapes of Iraqi women by American troops. "There are more than 4000 rape events on the record" claimed the Turkish journal Yeni Safak, on October 22, "citing" (though the purported supporting citation contains nothing about such atrocities) internet sex therapist Dr. Susan Block's piece on the metaphorical "Rape of Iraq"[ Warning : preceding link is NSFW ! Here's the work-safe CounterPunch version]. Having more or less invented modern PR and propaganda techniques (see Ed. Bernays, Ivy Lee) - handy during both war and peace - Americans are now on the receiving end of Propaganda's use of the shameless lie. (identification of "mystery meat" links inside)
posted by troutfishing on Jan 7, 2004 - 13 comments

Dress code for female troops in Saudi Arabia changed.

Dress code for female troops in Saudi Arabia changed. An update to this thread. They don't have to wear abayas any more, but they still can't drive cars.
posted by JanetLand on Jan 23, 2002 - 28 comments

Business as usual.

Business as usual. "Children, the weakest link in our society, are raped, battered, shot, tortured and murdered, while their tormentors go unpunished. Pedophiles roam the globe in search of countries where their offense is viewed as tourist entertainment. Women are beaten and abused without recourse on a daily basis; the cruelty of parents and employers is often dismissed as disciplinary measures necessary in the home or the work place; wars are waged in which women and children are the main victims. We look the other way, or, at best, applaud the launching of well-meaning organisations expected somehow to ease our feelings of guilt at the havoc wrought on innocent and helpless people's lives."

While I find this author quite provocative, I see that later in the article she mentions an alleged lynching that may or may not have taken place. Is this Cassie Bernall revisited?
posted by ethmar on Dec 11, 2000 - 20 comments


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