Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto will present the U.S. premiere of India’s Daughter by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, which has been banned for telecast in India.
The controversial BBC documentary revolves around the horrific 2012 gang rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi which sparked a national furore and massive street protests.
Co-produced by well-known Indian journalist Dibang, the film includes an interview with one of the four jailed attackers – Mukesh Singh – who said women were more responsible for rapes then men, igniting local and international outrage.
via Meryl Streep, Freida Pinto to Present U.S. Premiere of Banned Indian Rape Documentary – Hollywood Reporter.
“It’s kind of a subtle thing that men enjoy their superiority in getting the best jobs, the best opportunity to go to university and that sort of thing,” says Carter. “Two of the most revered institutions in the United States of America is our university system and our military. Sexual abuse or assaults on campuses in our major universities, like Harvard and Yale and Emery University where I teach, is really horrendous and only four percent of the rapes on college campuses are reported. There are about six times as many reported in civilian life outside of universities, and this is primarily because presidents of colleges and universities and deans and so forth don’t want to bring discredit or a bad reputation on their own institution. So they encourage girls not to report.
“And soon, a few boys on the campus who are students realize that they can commit these crimes with impunity. So they become serial rapists and get away with it. The department of defence found that in the US military alone, 26 thousand sexual assaults took place, and only about 300 actually resulted in anybody being punished. That’s about one percent.
“You see, there’s an aversion to admit what goes on even in our most cherished institutions.”
via Jimmy Carter’s Call to Action – Women, Religion, Violence and Power – Look to the Stars.
On Islamic Feminism and Women’s Rights: Lecture by Dr Amina Wadud : Aquila Style : Sya Taha.
Islamic feminism and Muslim feminists
I leave the discussion of Islamic feminism for last, because the term “feminism” next to “Islam” tends to raise certain preconceptions. This is especially because there are also many definitions for Islamic feminism. According to Dr Amina, Islamic feminism simply says that “Islam belongs to all of us.” Islam is not the exclusive field of scholars, priests, or policymakers, but Islam is what every sincere, believing and educated Muslim lives every day of her life.
Dr Amina confesses that she did not identify as a Muslim feminist for a long time, but that recently the term seems to best describe her work on social justice. While for medieval jurists, guardianship of women was a form of justice for their time, justice today must consist of “reciprocity” between human beings (we can exchange services with each other without either one losing anything), which is only possible with “a profound understanding of tauhid”. She leaves us to ponder if our ideas of family today reflect this justice.
Finally, I experience firsthand Dr Amina’s wit and humour in dealing with the gravity of her work in the face of harsh opposition. When a member of the audience pointed out to her that she had been criticised for “reading equality in the Qur’an”, she simply responded with what seemed to be the obvious response:
“If it’s okay to read patriarchy in the Qur’an, then damn straight I can read equality in it.”