Getting Stoned! (4)


We’ll leave our little stoners for a moment and turn to slightly more unpleasant things. For those not familiar with it, here’s what happens at a stoning…

The criminal is put in a hole in the ground, such that he or she is visible only from the chest or neck up, with the arms and hands trapped. The assembled crowd then throws rocks, aiming for the head. These rocks have to meet very strict size requirements: not so big that impact would kill the victim outright, just large enough to smash facial bones, send eyeballs flying from their sockets, and permit the “criminal” to slowly and painfully die by bleeding to death.

I say “criminal” because the punishment is given on what we would consider the flimsiest of evidence. Hearsay is perfectly acceptable in such trials. The “perpetrator”, almost always a woman, has minimal rights to present her case — and it’s usually disregarded because, after all, she’s a woman, a temptress so alluring that the man simply cannot help himself from raping her. The mere sight of an ankle is apparently enough to enflame him into unbounded passion, so of course, you see, it’s always her fault. As such, she gets what she deserves, while her rapist is perfectly innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever.

I read about these horrific and barbaric events, and I wonder why more people in those countries dont stand up up to their “leadership” to demand this absurd attitude toward women be changed. And I am usually told that this is just the way their societies roll, that women, if they have any rights at all, must constantly fight a system utterly rigged against them. If they want any kind of political power, it will take years, even decades of very hard work, usually at the risk of their own lives, before any kind of change is effected.

We in more “enlightened” countries like to look down on the Middle East for allowing this kind of lunacy to continue into the 21st century, but when you think about it, we’re not much different. We dont physically stone people, of course… we’re above such things, we smugly think to ourselves. Yet our society takes great delight in ridiculing those it considers “beneath” it. It revels at times in throwing psychological stones, all the while insisting the “criminal” brought it onto him- or herself. If you’re homeless, for example, it’s because you’re lazy. Gay? You chose to be that way, even though God says it’s an abomination. Mentally ill? You were probably doing drugs. Brown or black skin? Hey, science has proven you have a tinier brain, so it’s no surprise you’re a criminal. And God help you in some quarters if you’re anything but Christian (preferably Protestant, of course). We dont cotten to people like you in our country. And if you dont shape up, we’re gonna make your life living hell, bleeding you off a little bit more every day. Because you deserve it, of course.

See how easy it is?

And this is why people like Scott Esk need to be watched very carefully, why they cannot be allowed to simply fly under the internet radar. Sure, there will always be wingnuts like this who will hide behind God’s robes as they claim they’re just doing His work. But what’s more frightening is that there are others out there who will actually vote for these wingnuts and put them in seats of power, where they can make decisions that are not that much different from the ones Over There who would punish a woman for getting raped. This is not a conservative-vs-liberal issue, folks. This is one of simple sanity. People like Esk have no business anywhere near a congressional or legislative seat. None, period.

It’s a bit of a tired cliche that we prefer watching American Idol over dealing with the serious issues, and yet that cliche is based in a truth we seem hellbent on ignoring. We give our social anger lip service by sharing a post on Facebook or making an angry comment on Huffington Post, and then we’ll tell ourselves we have done our part. Animal abuse? Hey, I made a really cool animated gif to show how upset I am about this! Some politician acting like a deranged idiot and inflicting pain and suffering on people? Hey, I just made this really neat jpeg of him in women’s make up! It’s hysterical, so share it, okay? — and we wont even begin to consider the subtext of that when it brandishes, for all the Internet world to see, just what we think of women, because, well, that’s not what we really mean. Nossir. Uh uh. Now where’s my Pop Tarts?

Just a mini story for you think about as the election season begins.

Okay, time to get onto happier things…. Pride events are upon us, so let’s get to celebrating… which means a new storyline to follow.

Thanks, as always, for reading.