Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Butch Bush_t and its alternative


Lots of smart women are teeing off on some dimwit named Harvey C. Mansfield who has noticed that the Presnit gets over by playing butch: he "seeks and welcomes drama and prefers times of war, conflict, and risk." That is, he's a dysfunctional Neanderthal. Mansfield calls this "manliness" -- and thinks it is a good quality that enables men to dominate in politics. Via Pinko Feminist Hellcat I particularly enjoyed a great take down of both fools at Black Looks.

But really, this post is an excuse to post the accompanying photo and tell its story. Reuters reporter Opheera McDoom wrote the tale from Darfur in the Sudan. Rose Etim, pictured with a friend, is one of the African Union police now patrolling Ardamata refugee camp where non-Arab Darfuris have fled from marauding Arab Janjaweed militias. The U.S. charges the Khartoum central government with instigating the attacks. One of the chief weapons in the Janjaweed's war on the Darfuri has been rape.

The first contingent of AU police were all men but they were unable to help the women in Darfur who are so often the victims of sexual attack.

Etim, who has worked as a policewoman in West Africa for 25 years and is a trained nurse, was sent in later with a band of women to protect and comfort these traumatized civilians.

Etim heads up the AU police station, which has six other policewomen, maintaining a 24-hour presence at Ardamata Camp for the past six months. Since then, Janjaweed incursions have been reduced to once a week compared with multiple attacks each day.

How has Etim managed to create this oasis of relative peace in the midst of the killing field? According to McDoom:
  • On arrival, she "spent hours... sitting with [suspicious local] police to gain their trust. She even bought material and paid a tailor to make them uniforms and gives them notebooks to record complaints in."
  • "She greets everyone by name, stopping to touch them in a gesture both loving and reassuring."
  • When she came upon a woman whose child had died, "Etim and the woman embraced each other and both of them cried."
Rose Etim is not manly. She is tough and human. Thank goodness for the Rose Etims of the world.

1 comment:

Miss Eagle said...

An inspirational good news story. And it is good to hear of on the ground activity by the African Union - Africans doin' it for themselves. Thank you for this.

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