Four sisters were recently raped by alleged pro-government troops in Syria. Normally these women would be senselessly killed by their OWN families in a twisted sense of honor. But for once, something is changing. REAL men are stepping forward.
A group of 15 Syrian men in Khirbet al-Jous -- recognizing that these women are "victims of the revolution" -- have vowed to protect them by offering to marry these women, who would otherwise be seen as unsuitable for marriage and killed.The field of suitors has been whittled to four.
While I am not sure marrying men they've never met is the right answer for these women, it's certainly a massive step in the right direction.
The Washington Post reports one rebel declared:
We sat and discussed that we want to change this. We don’t want to change just the regime in Syria, but also this kind of stuff. So we will marry them in front of everyone.
The rebels also said:
Rapes and other assaults on women signify an escalation of violence by the government and its allies, which have sought to discredit the opposition movement.
Quite a difference from the government's forcible virginity checks in neighboring Egypt.
This is what just utterly flabbergasts me as a woman. How can cultures and governments see their wives, daughters, and their mothers as such pawns and collateral damage? It has frustrated me for years, from reports of "honor" acid attacks, women stoned, and women beaten without protection.
So it is a bizarre sense of relief I feel that these women will marry men they have never met, after having been raped by other men, rather than being buried up to their neck and stoned by their own families. It is at least one baby step in the right direction, is it not?
Photos via Marc Veraart/ Flickr