The notion addressed in “The Burka and the Bikini” of dieting being an American female necessity was very interesting to me. “Now that the Taliban’s horrific treatment of women is common knowledge, dieting and working out to wear a string bikini might seem to be a patriotic act.” (Brumberg, Jackson, 2001). I believe the way this paper was written helps in it sounding more ‘powerful’. Brumberg and Jackson draw comparisons (will opposite, yet still equally extreme) between women’s body management/ treatment in Afghanistan and America. Many Americans were and are horrified with how women are treated in Afghanistan this paper elicits the same emotions but makes people think about how women are treated in America.
Like “The Burka and the Bikini” Narayan’s work elicits the same kind of comparison; drawing on similarities and differences between dowry-murder and domestic violence in America. Considering that Narayan could not find specific numbers and figures for domestic violence, it was initially concluded and referred to on page 97 as the “phenomenon with no specific name”. Domestic violence murders could easily have statistics kept on occurrences but yet there is not a huge national concern so the statistics seem to fall to the side. Something I found interesting about this reading was that Narayan did not just end the article with what was found but yet went through to explain all the problems faced in making this comparison. Such as being too narrow or too broad, or not having sufficient data to make comparisons.
I think it is interesting the idea that “absences” makes it so some people in America do not make the connection between dowry-murder and domestic violence murders. I would like to think that as people, our society is smarter and can make comparisons and notice similarities without needing things to be more ‘at home’. I guess this truly shows how media and the news can effect people and be some of the only information people get. For example domestic violence murders are not addressed on the news and are not seen as a wide spread US problem and that just is not the case, but that is how the news perceives it.
In the final reading “Unveiling imperialism: media, gender, and the war on Afghanistan” by Stabile and Kumar, addresses how treatment of women in Afghanistan were used to justify the US war on terror following September 11th 2001. What is most important to note is that the treatment of women in Afghanistan was hardly addressed or covered in the news until September 11th. On page 771 Stabile and Kumar state: “According to any objective standards, life in Afghanistan was harsh beyond comprehension. Yet until Afghan women proved rhetorically useful, their tragic circumstances merited little coverage in the mainstream media.” Something I find so interesting is that the treatment of women and children was used to justify the war. It’s one thing, in my opinion, to justify the treatment of children in a different nation because children are younger and by nature more dependent. Contrary women are not viewed as equal to men (no matter what nation you are in) and still need the U.S. troops to protect and save them. It is disturbing that women were used as a justification for this war yet; they were not helped, according to the article, as much as they could have been or should have been.