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Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the 11th International Trans Day of Remembrance. This is a day where we stop and remember all of those who have lost their lives due to others hatred towards transgender people.

This day of remembrance is held annually, and here is why it all began (courtesy of GLAAD):

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed in late November in recognition of the 1998 murder of Rita Hester. Rita was a highly visible member of the transgender community in her native Boston, where she worked locally on education around transgender issues. On Saturday, Nov 28, Rita was stabbed 20 times in her apartment. A neighbor called the police and Rita was rushed to the hospital, but passed away from cardiac arrest only moments after being admitted.

A year later, Gwendolyn Ann Smith decided to take it upon herself to create a vigil for Rita, but also for other transgendered people who had been killed. Therefore, the Transgender Day of Remembrance was born. It has become an internationally recognized day, and events and vigils are held all around the world on this day.

Some facts about violence towards those that are transgender (again, courtesy of GLAAD):

According to an estimate by the Human Rights Campaign, transgender Americans face a one-in-12 chance of being murdered.

Statistics from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) show that in schools 14.2% of transgender students report being physically assaulted as a result of gender expression, while 30.4% experienced physical harassment.

According to the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website, there have been 12 people murdered out of anti-transgender bias during 2009 in the U.S. alone.

To get more information, you can go to the Transgender Day of Remembrance website, here.

Categories: death, lgbtq, murder, transgender, violence Tags:

Horrible news of the day

July 30, 2009 Leave a comment

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A 23-year old woman, who was 8 months pregnant was found dead in her apartment today. Her fetus was cut out of her body and has not been found.

There isn’t much more to this story yet, but how awful is this? It’s disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

Benazir Bhutto assassinated

December 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Most of you probably already know this, but it’s good to put it here anyway. Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan was assassinated after addressing a large group of her supporters.

Not only was she killed, but 22 others as well. The President said that the people who assassinated her, and killed 22 others, were the “extremists that Pakistan is fighting a war against.”

Luckily, I do not think that this is a true women’s issue. Her father and brothers were also assassinated. But all in all, we have to mourn the loss of this great woman who did so much for her country, and just by being a political leader, many women as well.

Christmas is over…

December 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Which means getting back on top of the stories is on! I wish I didn’t have such a horrible story to start off the day, but I do.

Two women were killed, and another was sexually assaulted by a 46-year-old man named Fabian Hands.

Officers were called to the house in north Omaha Monday night. When they arrived, a 20-year-old woman came out of a bedroom and said she had been sexually assaulted. Hands followed her out of the bedroom and assaulted her in front of officers, according to a police report. Officers subdued him and took him into custody. Police found the bodies of the woman’s 36-year-old mother and 48-year-old aunt in the basement during a search of the house, authorities said. Paramedics pronounced the women dead at the scene.

Thank God that the 20-year-old was able to call the cops before she herself was killed. Of course, that doesn’t make the situation any better, but who knows if he would of been caught if the cops were never called. Sad, disgusting story of the day. Sorry we have to start it out so horribly.

Update on “Muder over hijab?”

December 14, 2007 1 comment

This story has apparently sparked a wildfire across North America, and I imagine maybe further than that. The Toronto Star states that,

On Facebook, at least 11 groups have surfaced in response, with more than 5,000 members, some ranting, some pontificating and others spewing racial epithets.

On YouTube, at least 11 videos, viewed in total more than 16,000 times, have been posted. One website, somalinet.com, published a story on Parvez’s death and included a poll about whether the father was justified in the alleged killing. As of last night, five of the 19 who responded agreed.

The girl who was murdered, Aqsa Parvez, is going to be buried tomorrow and over 1,000 people are expected to show up. This really is huge. It’s one thing when a teenager dies, but it’s a completely different thing when their parent kills them. And of course, with all the Islamophobia in the world right now, it’s even a bigger deal.

An Islamic leader spoke to the press yesterday about the situation and stated that “parents fail and bring shame upon themselves if a child chooses to abandon holy writings and not wear the hijab.” As well,

“It is their duty to convince their kids that this part of their culture,” he said. However, he said Muslims “categorically” denounce acts of murder. “This is not allowed in Islam, totally.”

I really don’t like that statement. I mean, yes, he’s saying that murder is not allowed in Islam, yet at the same time he’s defending the father. I can understand a parent wanting certain things for their children, but parents must respect their children’s choices if they choose another way.

Finally, at the end of this article, Shaila Kibria, who works on human right issues within the Muslim community, said that this is a greater, greater issue than the hijab, which is something that I stated in my previous post about this issue.

“It’s so controversial because there are so many interpretations about whether the hijab is a requirement in Islam,” said the 32-year-old who chooses to wear the hijab. “But the hijab and religion are not the real issues. What this poor girl went through, which is domestic violence and violence against women, isn’t being recognized; what’s being recognized is the hijab.”

If the discussion remains centred on the issue of the hijab, Kibria said she fears Muslim men won’t take responsibility for the “extremist religious patriarchy” that exists within their community.

I completely agree with her, and hopefully more will see this. This heinous violent act has unfortunately been covered up by the hijab, and not taken for what it really is.

Murder over hijab?

December 11, 2007 2 comments

I really am not trying to attack Islam in any way, but today, it’s just how the stories are coming!

A 16-year-old girl in Toronto was declared dead after her father allegedly attacked her for not wanting to wear a hijab. Of course, this is not the whole story. The two were having arguments about this and she didn’t want to follow the conventional way and was possibly planning to run away.

Aqsa Parvez’s friends told CBC News that the teen had been having arguments with her father because he allegedly wanted her to wear a traditional hijab.

“She kinda wanted to go a different way from the way her family wanted her to go,” said one friend.

They also said that she wanted to escape the family conflict by running away.

The father has been arrested and has admitted to the murder.

This is just one extremely sad and unfortunate events. It looks like a generational disagreement at first, but it had to take the next extreme step. I’m not really sure what to say. It seems as though religion, conservatism and sexism rear its very ugly head here. But let’s just strip away the religious aspect. Too much is blamed on religion nowadays, in my personal opinion. This is a heinous crime that no father should commit against his daughter. I have a very hard time believing that this is a purely religious conflict. I could be completely wrong though. I honestly don’t know enough about Islam to say much more about that. But the fact is that a 16-year-old daughter was killed by her father. I hope justice is brought to this case.

Women are being killed in Basra for “Westernization”

December 11, 2007 Leave a comment

I’d say that this is very serious. Women are being killed because they don’t look “Islamic” enough with their dress. And even some men are being killed at the same time.

The police said women were being apprehended by men patrolling on motorbikes or in cars with tinted windows before being murdered and dumped in piles of rubbish with notes saying they were killed for “un-Islamic behaviour”. He said men had been victims of similar attacks.

Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the rise of Iraq’s Shia-dominated government, armed men have forced women to cover their heads or face punishment. In parts of the predominantly Shia south, even Christian women have been forced to wear headscarves. In some areas of Basra, graffiti warns women that forgoing the headscarf and wearing make-up “will bring you death”.

There is so much oppression and misogyny going on here. The new Shia dominated government isn’t any better than the former Sunni government. The war in Iraq has created a huge mess, and we all know that. And there are three wars essentially going on. Of course, Iraq and America, a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites and this mental, emotional and political war between America and the rest of the world. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you get my drift.

That got a little off track, but it’s not something to forget about in our everyday lives. This is a humanitarian issue, but a major feminist issue as well.