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maandag 22 oktober 2007

Panties for Peace

The Panties for Peace campaign, which started at October 16, is aimed at the leaders of Myanmar (the English-speaking world still calls it Burma although the name changed in 1989). Women throughout the world are sending packages containing their panties to Burmese embassies. Burma’s superstitious generals, particularly junta chief Than Shwe, believe that contact with any item of women’s wear deprives them of their power.

To widespread international condemnation, the military in Myanmar crushed mass anti-regime demonstrations recently and continues to hunt down and imprison those who took part. Women in Thailand, Australia, Singapore, England and other European countries have started sending or delivering their underwear to Myanmar missions following informal coordination among activist organizations and individuals. "You can post, deliver or fling your panties at the closest Burmese Embassy any day from today. Send early, send often! This is your chance to use your Panty Power to take away the power from the SPDC and support the people of Burma" the Lanna Action for Burma Web site urges.

So, girls, if you want to chip in, here is a list with the adresses of Burmese embassies. Or in the words of the blogger who compiled the list: "Ladies, the least you could do to help Burma is to just .. Take 'em off, Pack 'em up and send 'em in. Them undies. ... Ladies and grannies, take 'em off and send 'em in ... [ don't bother washing 'em ] !!!"

3 opmerkingen:

Awzar Thi zei

The protest is innovative, but ironically it depends upon the willingness of women to reinforce a belief of the innate superiority of men over women that is held not only by Burma's generals but also by most men in the country. Men are potent; women are weak. Thus women's genitalia--especially if menstruating--are dangerous to men's potency.

Day-to-day this means, among other things, that men in Burma actively avoid having contact with women's lower garments, and that special restrictions are placed on the hanging of women's washing that do not apply to men's articles. Perhaps the organisers of the protest should have considered these features of the "culturally insulting gesture" before going ahead with it. Who is really being insulted?

Calypso zei

mmm, you've got a point there, but still: isn't it great to turn their stupidity back at them and A) show them how ridiculous we find their fear of womens delicates and B) show them how we feel about what's happening in their country?
I for one, am seriously considering mailing them a pair of Calypsos Originals!!

Wartaalman zei

Very true Awzar, a lot of men still think that being born male should give them special rights (instead of becoming mature and outgrowing that macho bull). But, gender is not really the issue here. In order to emancipate women, basic political freedom should be ensured before action can be undertaken. What this campaign does do, is draw attention to the problem at hand. Now let's hope that more countries will exert pressure on the government of Myanmar.