In Miami Herald, Leonard Pitts Jr. writes:
'Woman,'' John Lennon once sang, ''is the Nigger of the world.'' His choice of words was regrettable but the sentiment is unassailable. How can you feel otherwise when you consider the court's sentence in Nigeria?
Or when rape is a weapon of war in Serbia. Or when genital mutilation -- so called ''female circumcision'' -- is common in Mali. Or when girls and women are kidnapped into sex slavery in Russia. Or when a gang's sexual assault of a woman in Swaziland is called justified because the victim was wearing a miniskirt.
There's always an excuse, isn't there? Always a rationalization. The judges in Nigeria employed arguably the most common: God. He wants these women stoned for adultery. He wants the men they laid with to go free.Yes, there is always an excuse of some sort and "religion" or "God" is probably the most common. It's not surprisingly, really, because religion tends to retain some of the oldest traditions and mores of any society — for better or for ill. In these sorts of situations, it's definitely for ill because religions are retaining the social traditions of treating women like second-class citizens. Religions need to outgrow that, and quickly.