The War on Women: Gendercide

A Saudi woman is beheaded for “witchcraft.” Girls are disappearing in India.

Women are “disappeared” in so many ways.

Non-witches in Saudi Arabia may still be “honor killed” for being with boys, for being raped, or for adultery.

So women are more expendable than men.

As they were during the witch hunts of Europe which lasted from 1450 to 1750, resulting in tens of thousands of killings. Three-quarters of the executed were women.

Steven Katz, author of The Holocaust in Historical Context, says,

The overall evidence makes plain that the growth — the panic — in the witch craze was inseparable from the stigmatization of women.

Continuing, Katz quotes The Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches), published by Catholic Inquisition authorities in 1485-86.

All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman. … What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colours…

For the sin of being “woman” so many were killed in two German villages that only one woman per town was left alive at one point of the witch hunt.

Echoing ancient Germany, in some Indian communities few women can be found today. ABC news recently reported:

Fifty thousand girl fetuses are aborted every month in India. It is a staggering number. And it has created whole villages where there are hardly any women. We went to one such village in the province of Haryana. Everywhere we looked, we saw boys, young men, old men, but very, very few women. It was unsettling, especially because we knew this was not some freak of nature, but a result of the deliberate extermination of girls.

As we all know, China faces a deficit of the female sex, too.

In both China and India girls are a drain on family finances. Indian brides require huge dowries which can run their families huge debts. And the eldest son is “Social Security” in China. No son? No one to care for you in old age.

Currently, right-wingers are staging a war on women in the U.S., pushing to block the cancer screenings and tests for HIV that Planned Parenthood provides. They seek to prevent access to birth control and abortion that could save women’s lives. And they want to cut nutrition programs for women and children. Women just aren’t that important.

Patriarchy too often rids the world of women and finds each man smothering the feminine within, whether a stance, a way of walking, a way of talking, an emotion… If he does not he will be accused of being a woman, a girl, girly, girly man, sissy… or he may be called woman-like: fag or gay. Pretty awful, huh?

And so the feminine is “disappeared” in male-dominated societies and within men, themselves, while sexist women and men bolster the cause even as egalitarian men and women fight the good fight.

Where misogyny wins no one is better off.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 16, 2011, in feminism, gender, psychology, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. savedaughters19

    Beginning of December, a program aired on ABC 20/20 about India’s deadly secret. It was about 40 million girls who have vanished. All aborted before they could take their first breath. Their crime was that they were girls. As you know the gender ratios is India are terribly skewed about 914 girls per 1,000 boys. In Punjab it is about 833 girls per1,000 boys.
    Unfortunately this happens amongst the privileged and the educated also. The only woman who has brought cases against her in-laws and husband is Dr Mitu Khurana. Please watch her story (

    and sign her petition for justice. Please give those 40 million girls silenced forever, a voice. Please forward this to as many friends as possible.

    After you sign the petition, there will be a request from the site for a donation. This donation is totally discretionary and does not in any way or form affect or benefit Dr Mitu Khurana. All she is asking for is your support (signing this petition) so that pressure can be put on the Indian authorities that the whole world is watching them in total disbelief as they make a young mother run around in vain for four years in search of justice.

  2. I read an article recently and it’s been reported that an estimated of 40 million girls have gone “missing” in India. Most of these girls are either killed after birth or inside the mother’s womb. In India, it is illegal to get an ultrasound and find out the sex of the baby, and since “girls are a drain on family finances” due to dowries, almost all of the families in India want to have a baby boy. Also, with reproducing more males, money comes in and the males would make money for the family instead of the money flowing out. A lot of women in India gets abortion, or throw the babies into the garbage and leave them on the streets. The women who wander the streets and live in their society are not valued but they are lucky to be alive because they have to be in fear for the rest of their life of being killed until their death.

  3. Practices like these baffle me. These cultures, like in India, who abort girl fetuses and devalue women are systematically ensuring their own extinction as a culture. Last I checked men cannot give birth to children. This may come off as psychotic but it reflects the craziness behind the motives of these cultures; maybe we should allow these cultures to continue their women killing practices and inform outsiders to avoid men from these groups as to prevent them from having kids. This way over time these groups will eventually disappear due to lack of women to bred with and thus the culture will fade away over time. Yes. This is crazy talk and should not happen but these groups need to learn a lesson and maybe the threat of complete cultural dissolution will force these people to rethink what they are doing. And whats worse is that this practice increases competition for women in these cultures which may further devalue women there as women are no longer treated as people but as commodities to fought over and controlled. Another negative effect that affects outside cultures and societies, that men who do not find women will spill out to other cultures and compete with men who, in my eyes, are far more deserving of female company than these women hating men. Worse more these men will bring their backwards ideals to cultures who do not use the same practices and create social problems there.

  4. The U.S shouldn’t be trying to block services women, and children benefit from. I feel they are the most important in the human race. As for calling men who don’t do normal things “sissy” or whatever is all an opinion. People shouldn’t worry about giving their opinions. That is why th world is messed up as is, people dont know how to mind their business.

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