I’m also noticing a trend here between women and the media.
Reading this week’s articles, along with the other previous ones, has made me realize how powerful on an institution media can be. Like seriously. The media has been able to manipulate us by making us believe that everything they say it’s true, when in reality they are just being biased or are covering up the truth, as shown in “Unveiling imperialism: media, gender and the war on Afghanistan” by Stabile and Kumar.
Reading Stabile and Kumar’s article was quite interesting. I learned a lot of things about the United States… things that I was not expecting to find out. In the past, I was never informed about the history between the United States and the Taliban, prior to the Afghanistan war that occurred after the 9/11 incident. I always believed their interaction built up after we experienced one of the greatest downfalls in American history. Perhaps, I could blame this on the fact that the media did not want me to know because they would rather focus on another issue that seemed even more compelling and important than the issue at hand. I’ve been completely blind to everything that has been happening, especially with the fact that the United States is highly responsible for the things Afghan women face in today’s society. We need to recall the fact that “US media have never been particularly good on domestic women’s issues, much less international women’s issues, for a host of reasons. Since the early days of television, news producers have avoided topics that might prove ‘controversial’, a word that was and remains a euphemism for arguments that might indict capitalism as an economic system.” (777) The US only went into war against the Taliban because they were oppressing women. What the US media forgot to mention was that Afghan women had always been oppressed prior to the formation of the Taliban due to how the Afghanistan people hated Western culture and traditions. The US only cared about the issues in Afghanistan when they could profit out of something. In other cases, they would not meddle into anything just to reassure that they still had a connection and access to their oil. I found these truths to be obliterating to my personal knowledge, making me wish I knew about it before-hand. It comes to show how the media failed to release factual and accurate information to their own viewers.
When reading “The Burka and the Bikini,” this is the image that popped into my head. It’s a great representation of the comparison that’s being made between the two cultural women in relations to their body management or treatment.
As for Narayan’s “Death by Culture,” it was also an interesting read to see how the author looks at the historical development of US feminist movements against domestic violence and Indian feminist movements against dowry-murders to highlight the ways in which cultural contexts shape the way debates over violence against women develop. Narayan explores the way dowry-murders in India have been misrepresented in Western contexts by ignorance of the cultural context. Americans are not well informed about cultural practices that take place in other cultures. It’s the same issue with domestic violence. India is not well informed about the domestic violence that American women confront throughout their lives. I believe the culturally-dependent differences of these debates makes it difficult for US women to recognize the similarities between Indian dowry-murders and domestic violence in the US. I don’t think it’s possible to come to a cross-cultural understanding about these two issues.