Misogyny Doesn’t Just Exist in Other Countries


Lt. Rebekah Montgomery, U.S. Army Chaplain, looks over Herat, Afghanistan. Someone needs to make sure this caption goes to here. (Roger Roy/MBR)

Published: Febrary 14, 2008

People living in the United States  should really look at the existence of misogyny in this country before criticizing others.  Misogyny can be defined as hatred and prejudice towards women.  In recent years, media outlets have tended to focus more on international issues. This is due to such conflicts as the war in Iraq or the “war on terrorism.” The interest of affairs has shifted. For the most part, the leading stories in today’s news media are most likely to be what is going on in other countries; these include mainly Muslim countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and the most recent addition, Pakistan. The relevance of this in terms of America’s political apathy for women’s rights is that we tend to focus and criticize their rights in those countries rather than our own.

The truth is that, even though it is 2008 and the world has supposedly progressed so much, women have to work twice as hard to make it in today’s world—a world that generally favors men and, unfortunately, still makes women seem inferior.  Every day, women face sexual harassment, whether it is at work, in a club or even walking down the street.

In a recent article in The New York Times, Bob Herbert discusses the idea of politics and misogyny extensively. Herbert mentions the case of the pregnant marine who was murdered after she claimed that she was raped by a fellow marine.  Why wasn’t something done to protect her sooner?  Maybe being a woman didn’t put her on top of the priority list.  Women are being mistreated throughout this country, but we don’t seem to focus on it all that much.  There are many stories of women being raped and sexually assaulted in the armed forces that we see on talk shows once in a while, but are we supposed to be satisfied with that minimal discussion about such an important issue as the maltreatment of women?

According to the Associated Press, more than 722 recruiters from the army alone have been accused of rape and sexual assault since 1996. These cited instances of the abusive treatment of women in the military are proof that prejudice against women in the U.S. happens, but we don’t adequately acknowledge or discuss the issue. We might find some information here and there on the Internet, but that’s about it.

The treatment of women in this country is just as bad as what we hear about in other nations. Why is it that the U.S. government (and society in general) is so quick to criticize how badly women are treated in Islamic countries and how they have no rights, when women here are going through similar encounters?  There have been many reports in which women have said that they have been raped or sexually assaulted by someone in the military.  While these instances were reported, they are not widely publicized or brought to the attention of the public, whereas if a woman is raped in Iraq and her body left for dead, it’s all over the news and her rapists are portrayed as inhumane creatures. The focus needs to be on the women in this country; we shouldn’t be so quick to judge other nations, when the same exact thing is going on here.

This is not to discount the millions of Americans that are making strides to improve the liberties of women in this country. To ignore that would be detrimental to any future progress. But perhaps those very same people that are working hard for women’s rights are not given enough credit, and the proper amount of coverage is not given to encourage its further progress.