Philobiblon: But, but, but ...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

But, but, but ...

An American women's magazine called Glamour has made Mukhtaran Bibi, a Pakistani rape victim who has become a campaigner for women's safety, one of its "Women of the Year". Of course Mukhtaran Bibi deserves to be celebrated for her bravery, but ....

If you turn this around the other way, she is being used to sell more copies of Glamour. Now possibly this is a positive publication that doesn't urge women to spend more money than they can afford on possibly toxic cosmetics, to buy clothing made by sweated labour, and encourages women to live full, happy lives the way THEY want to live them, but somehow I doubt it.


Mukhtaran, also known as Mukhtar Mai, shot to prominence three years ago for her court testimony against neighbours who gang-raped her on the orders of a council of elders. The rape sparked international outrage and a legal saga that is now before Pakistan's supreme court, where 13 men could face the death penalty. US media and civil rights groups have showered Mukhtaran, who is barely literate, with plaudits since she arrived from Lahore last week.

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