When I laid eyes on the cover of this week’s Time Magazine, I was too stunned for words. The Afghan woman missing her nose and ears, hacked off by her husband upon Taliban orders as punishment for trying to escape the brutal abuse of her in-laws, stares from the magazine defiantly. It’s as if she knows how much we in the West want to pretend that what happened to her- and to thousands of other women- is not real.
I was not stunned by 18-year-old Aisha’s disfigurement; I’ve seen women missing parts of their faces in women’s shelters in Afghanistan before. I was stunned that a mainstream news media outlet had actually explicitly acknowledged what the Taliban represent, and what the consequences of abandonment will be to Afghans. The headline, “What happens if we leave Afghanistan” has no question mark at the end.
Time’s cover made me realize how numb I’ve become to the western indifference over the fate of Afghan women and especially, to the squirming discomfort that seems to envelope those who believe themselves to be “anti-war” activists whenever it’s pointed out that militarism might be good for feminism: should international forces leave Afghanistan, a Taliban government...More >>