Wednesday, January 4

Just for teaching girls

Stories like this make me sick, and cause me to fume at the idea that some people feel we are living in a post-feminist world, or, worse, a world past the need for feminism. Sure, our little cultural bubble may be so enlightened and so egalitarian that it's easy for us to think of many powerful and influential women who prove that women have conquered the earth and gleaned all the prosperity and happiness and equality it offers, therefore rendering feminist work frivolous, whiny, and useless.

But that would be a devastating, deadly wrong thing to think.

Because somewhere out there in the world, the misogyny courses so thick through the veins of some people that they are killing schoolteachers just because they refuse to stop educating girls.

Armed men burst into the home of Malim Abdul Habib in Qalat, the capital of restive Zabul province, on Tuesday night. They dragged him into a courtyard and forced his family to watch as they cut off his head, said Ali Khel, a local government spokesman.

Mr Habib was head of Shaikh Mathi Baba, a coeducational secondary school with 1,300 pupils. Threatening notices calling for an end to the education of girls had been pinned to shop walls in the town in recent months but Mr Habib was not thought to have been directly targeted.


The Taliban insurgency has taken a brutal twist in the past year with militants avoiding shoot-outs with American troops -- which they usually lose -- in favour of targeted assassinations of teachers, aid workers and pro-government clerics.

Last month gunmen pulled a teacher in Helmand province from his classroom and shot him at the school gate after he ignored orders to stop teaching girls.

Your hatred of women and girls has to be enormous to inspire you to kill a male teacher just for teaching girls. Think about it. Think about it for just one minute, and then please try to tell me why feminism -- the constant quest for women to be recognized as valuable, as equals -- is outdated or unnecessary.


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