Women in Afghanistan

So CNN just did a story about self-mutilating women in Afghanistan. The first person they talked about was a 16-year-old girl who was married to an abusive douche bag who would beat the fuck out of her daily. The cops apparently wouldn’t do shit, so to escape it she set herself on fire. Only then did the cops arrest said douche. Furthermore, the report states, this shit happens all the time over there. Just this week 5 women have been admitted to this hospital for the exact same reason. To illustrate that point, they then told a story of an 11-year-old girl whose mother was marrying her off to a 35-year-old man in exchange for money. To avoid this marriage, the girl set herself on fire. She claims that she is glad she did it, because she couldn’t bear to be married to an older man.

Later, they talk about arranged marriages in the opium trade. As police and American officials crack down on the opium trade in their never-ending attempt to deny people a good time or a lucrative business, many former opium farmers are having to sell their daughters to the drug lords in order to repay their debts. They had some clever name for these marriages, but I forget what it was. They talked to one former poppy farmer who had to marry off his 5 daughters and was still $12,000 in debt.

In the end, the had some dude explain to the viewers that “the lives of women have drastically improved” over the past 8 years (since the American invasion). He cites women getting jobs, going to school, etc. (Because, you know, Americans are a liberated species and therefore qualified to liberate others.) Obviously progress in Afghanistan is even slower than progress in the West, which means that in about 3,000 years they’ll have advanced to the point of implied sexism as opposed to overt woman-beating. Whoopee.