Thursday, November 1, 2007

Panties of Protest for Peace in Myanmar?

In the face of an atrocity, what can an average citizen do to protest, and to make their protest heard? Horrified by the recent campaign of violence against Buddhist monks and defenseless citizens in Burma, some activists have sought to take advantage of a sexist superstition prevalent among Burmese junta members. As The Guardian explains:
Activists exasperated at the failure of diplomacy to apply pressure on Burma's military regime are resorting to a new means of protest against the regime's recent crackdown: sending female underwear to Burmese embassies...

The manoeuvre is a calculated insult to the junta and its leader, General Than Shwe. Superstitious junta members believe that any contact with female undergarments - clean or dirty - will sap them of their power, said Jackie Pollack, a member of the Lanna Action for Burma Committee...

The campaign was a serious attempt to allow ordinary women to express their outrage at the regime's response to democracy demonstrations led by Buddhist monks, Ms Pollack said...

"The junta is famous for its abuse of women: it is well documented that they use rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities. This is a way for women around the world to express their outrage."
Via Feminist Law Professors, who give us the address of the Burmese Embassy in Washington, D.C.: 2300 S Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008.

3 comments:

Casmall said...

I don't know if this sort of thing could help. I think that people that kill Buddhist monks have no shame. So, how are you going to shame them?

Agincourt said...

I just have visions of Monty Python and... Feche le vache! (sp?). If they can catapult dead cows in war, why not a barrage of panties?

Okay, seriously. If it was good enough for the Greeks (Lysistrata), why not for the Myanmar? Roots of democracy aside and other contributions, the Greeks set no great value on women...
If they did, well perhaps Greek Love might have...well, another connotation, no?

So what say you, 'shield mates'?
Boy shorts, Jockeys and Victoria's Secrets for a good cause? Who is with me?

La Pobre Habladora said...

I'm all for underpants for peace. Yet, I do wonder if symbolic protests are ever useful.

Lysistrata - were underpants invented back in her day?