Femicide and Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst

They have said to us, government rests upon force, the women haven’t force, so they must submit. Well, we are showing them that government does not rest upon force at all: it rests upon consent. As long as women consent to be unjustly governed, they can be, but directly women say: “We withhold our consent, we will not be governed any longer so long as that government is unjust.” Not by the forces of civil war can you govern the very weakest woman. You can kill that woman, but she escapes you then; you cannot govern her. No power on earth can govern a human being, however feeble, who withholds his or her consent.

* * *

I’ve been researching India’s Female Genocide, spurred on by the case of the unnamed medical student, who was brutally attacked and raped 16th December. She died yesterday, the 28th. My dad asked me to sign a petition protesting against the hate crimes against women in India. Please click through to add your voice. I had no idea of the scale of violence and have been researching to try and understand how this is happening.  I’ve come up against terms and facts I’ve never heard before. I’m going to keep this brief, because my head is spinning with it all.

Corrective Rape: Hate crime that aims to ‘correct’ the perceived incorrective homosexual behaviour. Term coined in South Africa.

Eve-teasing: Forms of street harassment against women. The term implies the blame factor ever present, women brought this on themselves, ie Eve the tempter.

Rape Capital of India: Delhi. New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among India’s major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures.

Femicide: Murder of women and girls.  Term coined by Dr Diana Russell.

The statement from this article feels so familiar:

In an infanticide case the Court concluded with this statement,“60 years of independence and so-called modernization has not changed the societal attitude towards the female child.”

I prefaced this with a quote from Emmeline Pankhurst because there is some hope in it, and after the reading I’ve been doing, I needed that. Consent has been ingrained into women for generations. Women in India are silent with the force of it. Turning blank faces and deaf ears onto women’s protest is driving them to suicide. There is a reason we chant to protest, raising voices as one unified shout, even as the police are water bombing the protesters in India:

“She is not with us but her story must awaken us.”

* * *




The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in BeccaAudra, Feminist thinking

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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