Saturated by a steady stream of steamy television shows, raunchy movies and suggestive advertising, Americans have a hard time understanding the severe restrictions imposed on the women of Afghanistan under the now-defeated Taliban totalitarians.
We found it difficult to grasp how forcing a woman to cover herself from head to toe could be acceptable in any culture. Those people must just hate freedom, we told ourselves.
Maybe. But some of those now-liberated women certainly could be forgiven if they used their new-found freedom to catch an eye-opening glimpse of Americas tolerance for decadence and simply said: Thats nasty.
That certainly would be their reaction if they were exposed to something like the upcoming event at Augusta State University, sponsored by ASU Womens Studies.
Using faculty and students, Womens Studies is staging V-Day this Thursday, Feb. 7, with a performance of Eve Enslers The Vagina Monologues.
While the name may be a shocker, V-Day is a global program that sets aside one day - scheduled sometime around Valentines Day - to raise awareness of violence against women and to raise money for organizations whose mission support an end to this violence, explains Kathy Schofe, ASUs communications director.
Most of the funds from the performance of Enslers work, famed for its racy run in New York and elsewhere, goes to Safe Homes of Augusta. A small portion also will help the Revolutionary Association of Afghan Women.
Those great causes deserve our communitys support. But somehow, America has to do better. Surely we didnt free the people of Afghanistan from their brutal overlords just so they could enjoy the liberating experience of sitting in a crowd and listening to performers discuss sex and bodily functions. Surely we dont rescue women from abusive relationships just so they can be empowered by objectifying their genitalia.
To do so is simply slamming the pendulum from one extreme to the other. Abuse and forced subservience violate basic human rights; but glorified immorality is a damning indictment of our inability to appreciate the responsibilities of our own freedom.
The Taliban-oppressed Afghan women were imprisoned by a harsh moral code that robbed them of free choice and expression. Too bad some people believe stripping women of all modesty and dignity somehow makes them any more free.
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