Terrorist War On Women and Girls

Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman”

Why would terrorists target girls and mothers?

You’ve surely heard of the ISIS attack at Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” concert in Manchester, England.

“Dangerous Woman” — an anthem of female empowerment. Scary stuff to male-supremests.

The intended victims were teen girls — average age around 14, guessed one concert-goer. They were attacked as they clutched pink balloons that had been dropped earlier from the rafters.

The bomb detonated somewhere between the concert venue and Victoria Station — named for the beloved matriarch Queen Victoria.

Twenty-two died. Many more were injured.

The war on women: Malala, Witch hunts, Christian Fundamentalists

The war on women has a long history.

Powerful women have long been feared by patriarchal societies that favor men and masculinity.

Malala was shot point blank by the Taliban in a move to halt girls’ education. But she survived and the attack only strengthened her cause.

The witch hunts of yesteryear were grounded in fear of a pagan religion (that had no devil) which put gods and goddesses, priests and priestesses, men and women on level ground.

About 80% of the victims were female. In two German villages only one woman per town was spared.

It was a holocaust of women.

And American religious fundamentalists today stage their own war on women, attacking our health, our rights and our autonomy.

Planned Parenthood, which provides care to 1 in 5 American women, is a perennial target of attack. And our fundamentalist-inspired Republican administration eliminated guaranteed insurance coverage for maternity care and mammograms, too. But Viagra is covered.

Now many more women will die of breast and cervical cancer or complications from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Some will die from having too many babies or from lacking prenatal care. Other desperate girls and women will die from trying to abort an unwanted pregnancy all by themselves.

8-year-old Victim of ISIL terrorist.

And without contraception, more women will grow dependent on male partners, it is hoped.

Patriarchal death cults vs matriarchal life cults

Early patriarchies were marked by an obsession with death. Their gods were war gods and they worshipped weapons like Excalibur and Thor’s hammer.

But matriarchies — which were actually gender-equal, not female dominant — favored fertility and life. They valued girls and the women they would become.

They celebrated goddesses of fertility and motherhood, goddesses like Isis — so different from the death cult of ISIS who has been ironically slapped with the name of a pagan goddess.

No wonder patriarchal terrorists target girls and mothers.

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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 May 24, 2017, in sexism, violence against women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. This is a very important perspective on the attack in Manchester at Ariana Grande’s concert. I think ISIS’ terrorism that night was not only to cause as much damage as possible but to intentionally target young women.

    Malala’s story is one that has always touched me deeply, and the attack on her from the Taliban truly did make her stronger. I saw her tweet this morning actually that it’s her first day at Oxford University. She’s been thriving and making a difference which is really inspiring.

    And regarding women’s health, the Trump Administration’s recent move on women’s health care, allowing employers to back out of supplying women’s insurance coverage for birth control for religious or “moral” reasons, is yet another attack in the GOP’s war against women. Women need birth control for other personal health reasons as well, besides it’s use for contraception.

    It’s important now more than ever to come together and unite. It has shown in the past just how powerful we all are together – Ariana’s benefit concert after the attacks and Malala’s fight for education for everyone to name a couple – and the fight for women’s health care rights continues to this day.

  2. Araceli Toscano-Hernandez

    What I don’t understand is, who would want to be a part of their religion if they ensure chaos and malice. They are not helping their cause, by bombing a concert filled with little girls and for what? In the name of showing these girls who’s boss. I made the correlation of this attack not being against other religions, but against women who are being progressive in this world. Who use their sexual side and dress however they want to dress. Why is this such a threat! It angers me that these girls died purely because they were girls following Ariana Grande who is a strong “dangerous woman.”

    It scares me that men out there and women would rather kill a girl than let her attend school, would rather cut off her nose than let her see a hollywood movie, would rather beat and rape her then let her be other than just a mother. Why are men so afraid to let us be purely human, why must we feel oppressed and scared. Why is this still a war on women? When will it end..

    • I think that religion here is just used as an excuse to harm people. Hurt people hurt people. If they actually cared about the religion, and people adhering to it, it makes no sense for them to behave this way.

  3. Reagan Newton

    What the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS stands for an extreme islamic faction that does not recognize a woman’s worth or any rights in modern society. Their message to the world is to dominate and terrorize societies and norms that don’t fit with their ideology. They view women as second class citizens or less, therefore they will do whatever they can to marginalize and subjugate women. In the view of ISIS fanatics, women should not only be subservient to men, but they should not be educated, should not be seen without a hijab as well as many other civil rights that we in the United States as well as many other civilized countries take for granted. By attacking innocent young women at the Ariana concert, ISIS shows their distain and their attempt to dominate the western civilization, but especially women.

  4. I feel all religious groups in someway can bring a harsh light to the way women are treated and viewed. There is always extremest in all forms of groups that find hate toward woman or find that they were created on this earth to be the controlled. I feel like that situation was a horrific example of a man with hatred towards women that went to the extreme of trying to hurt, scar, and hinder empowered woman. It is harder for women to live a truly free life without sometimes carrying the burden of fear. When we choose to become sexually active we are the ones walking into that clinic with a mob of angry people holding pictures and posters and shouting hatred. Yet a man can walk into any store and be the “ responsible” one for being careful. In many different aspects all over the world there is a war against women then next question is what will we do to help change that.?

    • Yes. Fundamentalists of all religions wage war on women and girls. Those of us who dwell in the egalitarian arms of these religions must work with the aim of recognizing the worth and dignity of all, regardless of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, etc.

  5. Nowadays, terrorists target is girls and mothers because I think a lot of terrors are occurred because of religion and women have limit in law of religion more than men. Therefore, women have more law which women have to obey. If women break the law from religion, they could be criminal or betrayer. Then, women is easy to be target of terror.

    • And particularly patriarchal forms of religion. ISIL is a strongly patriarchal form of Islam versus the Sufis or West Indonesia or the Wodaabe of Nigeria in Africa — all of whom are Muslim but quite gender-equal.

  6. Why it’s so difficult for men to agree to the fact that women are as capable as they are in each realm of life? The feeling of superiority and the fear of losing ground is the root cause of all sorts of violence and hostility towards women…sometimes, I think in this way…

  7. Hi there dear Georgia… This is an enlightening post… I don´t think what happened in Manchester was a random thing. Or that it even could have been related to security lapses whatsoever. Ariana Grande´s mesage was the target, as I see it…
    She expresses sexual freedom and many of her songs speak of sex. She is very sexy when she dances too… The idea of dangerous women could be linked to that, for sure.
    Ariana´s song “Side to side” (Ft Niki Minaj) alludes to having hard sex, being unable to walk properly later on “walking side to side”. Also the video is very provocative and so are the lyrics. I am attaching the links here (video & lyrics) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXiSVQZLje8 https://genius.com/Ariana-grande-side-to-side-lyrics
    This is a great post and I am glad that you highlighted these factors … I consider them specially relevant!…. Have a great weekend! 😀

    • I think that what you are describing is another dimension to the whole problem of female empowerment.

      I will be writing more about this later but Women-positive societies tend to also be a sex-positive.

      There’s an interesting book by Rattray Taylor, Sex In History” which chases more and less patriarchal societies and their attitudes towards sex. The more patriarchal society the more sex negative they are.

      For now I will just say that in pre-patriarchal times Women were often valued for their ability to produce life. So in patriarchy one thing that is done is to you mean both women and sexuality — the thing that brings life. And to create a double standard so that sex is more okay for men than women. Not only do men have more freedom but Women have more shame. Both work superbly to create patriarchy.

  8. A feeling of prejudice against them is largely what is radicalizing and causing this sort of problem. In Europe there is higher levels of discrimination against Muslims compared to other groups, higher levels of unemployment, which means more of them are in poverty or in jail. This creates discontent and anger.

    The best solution is to accept and stop discriminating and share that the values of equality, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, are important and should be shared by all.”

    Perhaps, but it doesn’t help having open borders for years without thoroughly checking or well enough and then years later the person becomes radicalized. Were the parents fundamentalists? That father? Which makes the point of how too many fundementalists muslims brings the potential of them or offspring becoming radicalzed. Though that’s hard to check which muslims coming in are more liberal and less fundamentalist. You said how europe should be inclusive for muslims, but what if such fundamentalists don’t ever want to assimilate, as you know people can be very stuck and stubborn not just on their beliefs but principles too. It sounds like you feel the “moana” approach to possible brewing “lava demons’ is the answer compared to how things have been handled since then in the ‘maui” way.

  9. Are you familiar with the Christian Godde project? It attempts to bring out the divine feminine in Christianity. Maybe a good place to start vis-a-vis patriarchy and religion.
    Please see what they are doing at: http://www.godde.wordpress.com

  10. I think most would describe what happened in Manchester as the work of radical Islamic terrorists rather than patriarchal terrorists. However, all three of the major religions that sprang from their middle eastern roots tend to disadvantage females.

    • I’m sure that most people wouldn’t notice the war on women behind this. That’s why I made that my focus.

      And yes, there is a war on women whether you are talking fundamentalist Muslims are fundamentalist Christians, or fundamentals of any kind.

      • How fucking pathetic and powerless are these men, that they spend their lives trying to destroy other people’s lives instead of living a life themselves? People are right when they say guys like this try to look powerful, but they are powerless, because you have to, to spend your waking hours harming people and seeking this instead of trying to live a life. What kind of POS cowards go after teenages, especially girls and children and women?

        What bothers me though is people need to talk about why this is happening rampantly in europe. Does this show the problem with open borders or atleast improper vetting? Is America and Europe examples and Sweden examples of two extremes and the problem with both? And how a happy medium is needed? Are they not vetting properly in the UK and France and such? I hate when people say vilifying muslims can cause young men to be radicalized. If these men go that way because of that, then it’s weird, because I’d think they’d want to do anything other than prove people right about muslims.

        If a man is angry about how muslims are vilified but then joins ISIS then he proved people right instead of people wrong about some perceptions of muslims. I don’t think that about muslims, but I am aware of problems from the koran just like teachings of the old testament from Christianity. It sounds like victim blaming. Like if we tell men they are violent and such, some will turn rogue and beat up their gfs. If a man is that unhinged that criticism even if vilifying muslims, causes him to go that route. i don’t thin it makes much a difference because anything could cause him to go rogue. Seriously, a boss fires him, and just people in everyday life who might piss him off. He would probably end up going postal and shooting somebody, joining a gang or kill somebody, so it seems a young man like that is bound for violence regardless of what people say or think.

      • Yes, a sense of powerlessness and a feeling that people don’t respect you “enough” seems to be what motivates all of these types of violent crimes. These men feel like they are superior because they are men, and because they have the best religion (All fundamentalists — muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist etc.) think they have the best religion), but are angry that not everyone recognizes that.

        Plus, there is a lot of prejudice against them and their religion which adds fuel to the fire. ISIL tries to tell them this, and demonizing Muslims plays into their hands.

        So they feel put down. And then they put others down to raise themselves up.

        And vetting isn’t quite enough to solve the problem because this guy was a homegrown terrorist, born in Britain.

        A feeling of prejudice against them is largely what is radicalizing and causing this sort of problem. In Europe there is higher levels of discrimination against Muslims compared to other groups, higher levels of unemployment, which means more of them are in poverty or in jail. This creates discontent and anger.

        The best solution is to accept and stop discriminating and share that the values of equality, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, are important and should be shared by all.

  11. I don’t feel like a #dangerouswoman, but I would have been a target in most societies because I express my opinions and knowledge. I used to be a Mormon, and that showed me what my fate could have been at another time in history (here in Norway). I expect that time will come again (here in Norway) within my life-time.

    • The war on women is getting scarier.

      I’ve just done a series on the Handmaids Tale, which was a successful war on women. When I first read the book and saw the original movie years ago I didn’t find myself as fearful as I feel today.

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