stand down

Gender equality is very different depending on where you are in the world. One point I want to talk about is how in America we don’t hit girls. Most boys in America are raised to know that it is taboo to hit a girl, which I firmly believe even if it is not gender equality as we talked about in class. This is not the case everywhere. When I was in Baghdad, Iraq I learned that it was perfectly fine to beat your wife or female family member. On foot patrols I saw many times women that had been beaten so badly that their faces had been disfigured. I often wondered why they would feel the need to do that to another human being let alone your wife. Standing orders where that we were not allowed interfere with Iraqi customs (i.e. addressing only males, sex with minors, beating of women and so on). One afternoon we were on a mission and moving threw a poor residential area. There was a pretty girl in front of a house sweeping; she looked up at us smiling at us as we walked by. We all met eyes with her and smiled back wishing we could stop and talk to her. Her father saw this and immediately grabbed her and started to punch her in the face several times. Our officer yelled at us to stand down as me and a comrade went to aid her. We had to stand there and watch her endure pain because of an innocent smile and customs. I hope the day comes that women will no longer be treated with so little regard in these countries.

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