Monday, December 02, 2019

Post-Thanksgiving Echidne Musings

1.  I find it tough to write much in this Age Of Unreason.  What's the point of trying to dig up facts and logical arguments when they never grow any kind of wings or learn to fly, poor modest sparrows?  Everybody prefers watching the vultures eat roadkill or listening to the gaudy peacock scream out its rage.

(This means that I think I'm logical, rational, cool and collected, and that most of the online world has gone berserk.  Your opinion may differ.)

2.  Do this thought experiment:  Turkeys rule the world and humans are regarded as one of the "other animals."  They are of two types, the wild ones (which look like us), and the ones in cages.  The latter are artificially bred so that they are very very fat and extremely stupid.

Every year the turkey-world Thanksgiving television shows nattily dressed male turkeys mercifully pardoning one fat human from the oven.  Other turkeys can even vote for the one they would like to see live.

(This means that I have a very radical and fanatic streak, having to do with animal rights.)

3.  My take on the world is frequently too gloomy and bitter.  To sweeten that a little,  I want to give thanks that Sudan has now repealed the law which the earlier government put in place in 1992 and which, among other things,  severely limited women's dress and behavior*.  Those severe limitations were intended, of course.  And that's why the repeal of the law is both a good thing in itself and perhaps a sign of a change in cultural mores.

4.  Belated Thanksgiving wishes to you all.  I am thankful for my compassionate, intelligent and charming readers.


* A short overview of the effects of the repealed law:

The Law includes articles from chapter 15 of the Sudan Criminal Code, that criminalise certain personal behaviours such as indecent clothing, drinking of alcohol, offensive acts and seduction, among others.
Moreover, the Law covers a wide jurisdiction that includes the gathering of women and men in certain places, the use of public transportation, conditions of ‘good conduct’ for women workers, the use of loudspeakers, music concerts, and the opening hours of restaurants and shops.
Repressive tool’
The articles and provisions of the Law are specifically formulated in vague language, to give the police and the courts a free hand in its implementation, the SDFG says. The Law also gave the Public Order Police the powers of intrusion in private domains to enforce its articles.
Article 152 of the Criminal Code, on indecent clothing, is a good example of the vague definitions in the Law. The article does not set a concise definition of what constitutes ‘indecent clothing’. Thus, the application of this Article depends on the personal judgement of the arresting police officer.
In addition to this, it has led to misuse of the law by Public Order Police officers. There are numerous cases where detained women were financially, physically, and even sexually abused by policemen in exchange for their release.
These practices turn the Law into a repressive tool to enforce a particular behaviour and image of the society, the SDFG report reads.
The Public Order Law promotes discrimination against women with most of its articles focusing on their activities. The application of these articles systematically targets the presence of women in the public sphere in an attempt to limit their mobility and social activities.