December 14th, 2010

photography

Gender Politics



"Sir, I understand you are not accustomed to having a woman in a position of authority over you. Quite the opposite, I am sure. You may not park here, however."



click either image to enlarge

"Sir, I am not moving. You need to get back in your car and park elsewhere."

He didn't, and he got a ticket. Whether he paid it is another question. There is a very interesting conflict between religion and government here. Conservative Muslims would never give a woman this sort of power, just as conservative Christians wouldn't if they had their way. The difficulty in the Middle East is that religion is too closely entwined with government. Take honor killings, for example, where a brother will repeatedly stab his sister for dishonoring the family by being raped. He will go to jail, because it is the equivalent of a crime of passion here, or manslaughter. The problem is, half of the sentence is decided by the judge, and half by the victim's family, who almost always waive their half, so the murderer serves maybe 3 1/2 years in jail. You have a secular (relatively) government banning and condemning honor killings but then tacitly endorsing them by allowing the guilty family to reduce the sentence.