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Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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27 Responses

  1. Sylvs
    Sylvs March 21, 2007 at 7:45 pm |

    WHA’? The f***? In Sharia you need 4 witnesses for an accusation against a woman and two against a man. What the F***?!?!?!

    :: head exploding ::

  2. Miller
    Miller March 21, 2007 at 9:32 pm |

    She should totally move here! At least we have the decency to condemn her attire or drinking habits as justification for a man raping or killing her. Hell, such righteous violence (“hate crime” sounds so undignified) is damn entertainment to us, including women and girls themselves! I know you must be thinking, “Young women dancing to songs glamorizing ultra-violent hate targeting women and girls? Get out!” I swear, it’s true! We just love it! Why? Who cares, as long as society tells me it’s cool, I won’t be bothered with thinking. Thinking is for bitches! Ha, I said, bitches as an insult! I’m so awesome!
    (Seriously, can anyone think of any media where the staple does not consist of women and girls being dehumanized, degraded, raped, tortured, or killed? Overwhelming us with such a strong message and images, at the very least, normalizes such brutality.)

  3. Djiril
    Djiril March 22, 2007 at 2:07 am |

    Iranian feminists managed to stop something similar a while back. Does Sudan have any kind of women’s movement?

  4. Kaitlyn
    Kaitlyn March 22, 2007 at 3:02 am |

    Stone the woman?

    She committed adultery by masturbating?

    Oh, reread your few sentences. Not enough evidence to convict him, but enough to convict her. I bet the reason they didn’t have enough witnesses for him, was because she was the main witness, and a woman’s word is useless. While he can testify against her and get hit with pebbles. (Law and Order: Sharia Law coming to an NBC station near you.)

    I didn’t click on the link, I never do, because I have shitty, shitty dial-up that crashes when it wants to, and news sites piss it off very much.

    Here in America, the woman my dad slept with for at least a year or two before my mom kicked him out is *rumored* to be gettting stoned thanks to a Dr. Feelgood in town. But she’s got a bad rep as a home wrecker – our home was wrecked before she came along, she was the excuse – and now, so does my dad.

    “Oh, *that’s* your dad.” You can see the revulsion. “I’m so sorry, he’s an asshole.”

    (They got married as soon as the divorce was final, and they’re now divorcing.)

    My dad’s a Catholic – can I throw rocks at him for some reason*, or would that violate the honor your father order?

    *not to make light of stoning, god, it pissed me off when I read stories about it in the bible, now knowing it continues..


  5. Kaitlyn
    Kaitlyn March 22, 2007 at 3:04 am |

    I’m sorry, I am so tired, it’s past my bedtime, my brain is asleep already.

    And I took 2 benadryl a couple hours ago, holy hell it’s 3AM!

  6. Kaitlyn
    Kaitlyn March 22, 2007 at 3:05 am |

    Miller, I’m half-asleep and drugged out of my gourd (legally – endometriosis is a bitch, as are allergies), and you don’t make any sense to me.

    Are you being sarcastic?

    Are you a troll that likes to go to feminist blogs and say stupid things?

    All right, all right, I’m going to bed.

  7. Jeffrey
    Jeffrey March 22, 2007 at 4:43 am |

    Kind of makes me want to invade Sudan. And I’m a Pacifist with a capital “P.”

    However, just to preempt Islamophobia, let me state that Islamic law (correctly read) does not permit treating women and men differently, nor does the Qur’an (again, read by someone who doesn’t have an act to grind) permit execution for adultery, nor is Islam any more misogynistic than Judaism, Islam, or Hinduism. This is a direct descendant of tribal “law” that Islam was grafted onto. In general, the adoption of Sharia has improved women’s lives in many patriarchal tribal societies.

    And, to preempt charges of bias, I am not Muslim, nor Arab or Persian. I am an pantheist who has studied all the major religions and have determined that they’re all crap (as far as mythology goes).

  8. Miller
    Miller March 22, 2007 at 6:15 am |

    Yes, I was being sarcastic. I thought I made it absurd enough. Oh, well.
    I was just using that extreme example–stoning–to highlight how fucked up our society is (The whole, “Misogyny is so cool!” era from which there’s no escape.).

  9. Noli Irritare Leones  » Blog Archive   » Peace Africa

    […] wrongdoings in the management of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).” Two Sudanese women have been sentenced to be stoned for ad […]

  10. raging red
    raging red March 22, 2007 at 9:45 am |

    Okay, this pisses me off. Obviously, what happened to these women pisses me off, but I’m pissed off at the Washington Post. Well, really Reuters, I guess, since that’s where the WaPo picked up the story. Nowhere in the article do they actually spell out the unequal treatment that the women received in their cases. They discuss the unfairness of the trial generally (no lawyer, no interpreter) and the extremity of the punishment, but they don’t make clear the difference in the way women and men are treated in these kinds of cases (as Jill did). There’s only this hint:

    The male accused in Fadul’s case was let off because there was not enough evidence against him. Witnesses are usually required to gain a conviction and forensic tests are not normally used in such cases.

    So, is that second sentence a non sequitur, or are they implying that there wasn’t a witness against the man (which, of course, is impossible given that the crime, by definition, involves more than one person)? Why don’t they expand on this point? I mean, jesus, can’t they at least throw a sentence in there about why the woman he had sex with can’t be a witness against him or how there have to be four witnesses or whatever the actual rule is?

    Three cheers for the media too.

  11. Katie
    Katie March 22, 2007 at 9:49 am |




    What the f***?

    Who the heck witnessed her having sex yet couldn’t say who she was having sex with?

  12. Sudanese women to be stoned for adultery « Aeternus

    […] ionship with one of the women got off because there wasn’t enough evidence against him. Blog Link / Original Article Entry Filed under: blo […]

  13. Laurie
    Laurie March 22, 2007 at 10:06 am |

    Is there anything we can DO for these women? Stoning is an absolutely *barbaric* way to die — protracted and incredibly painful. That they were allowed neither legal representation NOR an interpreter is insufferable. So — to whom do we apply pressure?

  14. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 22, 2007 at 11:00 am |

    So — to whom do we apply pressure?

    This was sudan, home to the rape camps from a few years back.

    Oh come on, you remember, there was a big debate in congress over whether or not a majority ethnic group rounding up another minority ethnic group into one big camp and then raping and killing them was actually genocide rather than mere mass murder and mass rape.

    However, Amnesty seems to be trying to do something, so I’d personally see what they want.

    The text is, as you say, no more misogynist than traditional Jewish or Christian texts.

    Less so actually, as far as I’m aware shariah never allowed husbands to put a leash on their wives and drag them around town for nagging them too much (ah, puritans, gotta hate them) but one of the things taht probably occurred in this case was that by some readings of shariah, two female witnesses is worth exactly one male witness – hence there being witnesses enough for her stoning, but not enough for his.

    HOWEVER, more importantly in this case, it should be remembered that, by the way they were tried in arabic yet couldn’t speak it, it’s highly likely that the women were black sudanese, and men were arab sudanese – no matter what shariah could be made to say, those women would have been tried unfairly, not just because they were women, but because they were black as well.

  15. sophonisba
    sophonisba March 22, 2007 at 11:20 am |

    nor is Islam any more misogynistic than Judaism, Islam, or Hinduism.

    …which are hardly misogynistic at all! Oh wait.

    Not that you don’t know that, anyway, but “They do it too!” is a distraction, not a defense.

    Furthermore, the three religions you mention (I assume it was a slip of the fingers and you meant Christianity for the second “Islam”) do in fact vary widely in their misogyny, both in degree and in kind, both in theory and in actual practice — which are hardly equivalent. Religions are not all the same, and neither are misogynies. And it damn well does make a difference what sort you’re dealing with. The effect of, not merely comparing, but equating sexualized contempt and state-sanctioned murder — the effect of equating all misogyny — is to devalue women’s lives. Yes, they are related, yes, they are on a continuum, yes, we could all to easily get there from here; no, it is not all equally bad.

    And acknowledging this in no way needs to involve talking like Islam is the worst religion in the world or home to all the worst misogynists. Surely we all know that it isn’t, and in any case, drawing false and –yes– misogynist comparisons between things that make women oppressed and things that make them dead is not an effective way to combat religious bigotry, which I trust we all oppose.

  16. R. Mildred
    R. Mildred March 22, 2007 at 12:17 pm |

    Not that you don’t know that, anyway, but “They do it too!” is a distraction, not a defense.

    it’s also beside the point really, because islam is more varied then any of the other three religions what with it being spread out over all major landmasses, and New Jersey, and has thus been parsed through most pre-exhisting religions, and picked up their bigotries as it went because it’s the newest of the four and adapted to their traditions while imposing its own as well.

    In the case of teh sudan, you have ancient and fucked up tribal and ethnic problems, some of them exacerbated by the history of black slavery that islam and christianity both have (so that when the western colonialists came over and invaded the region, they maintained the arab-dominant social norms that resulted from arab colonisation), so that the issue of shariah is a complete redherring really, if the arab courts used secular law, they’d just have a jim crowe or nuremburg type “seperate but” equality built into it, which as has been shown, wasn’t too hard to fit into such frameworks before, and certainly wasn’t harder to implement within societies that had huge pre-existing bigotries already there but which used non-theocratic laws.

    In fact, the only reason any one mentions shariah is because while of course the woman stoned was a muslim as well, she’s granted the honor of being considered a member of the homo sapiens species when she’s to be killed by other muslims, and a member of the woggus cuntus species when she’s not, but a story about muslims being killed due to pre-existing racism and prolonged international indifference intersperced by active harm from that smae international community (arms sales largely) isn’t as juicey as a story about passive women being killed and abused by demonic muslim men.

  17. prairielily
    prairielily March 22, 2007 at 12:28 pm |

    However, there are some instances wherein Islamic texts do treat women differently from men, the primary examples being inheritance and divorce. Women have less of an inheritance right than men do; there’s really no disputing that the text makes that clear. Men also have an automatic right to divorce, whereas women have to write it into the marriage contract.

    Islamic law was progressive at the time because in the old days, women weren’t allowed to own ANYTHING in a lot of places. As a Muslim, I understand this, but as a feminist, I can’t accept anything less than complete equality.


    Obviously all religions and cultures contain some misogyny, albeit varying levels. However, in common discourse Islam is treated by the mainstream as a religion that is far more backwards and misogynistic than, say, Christianity. Since people like me are used to hearing it framed like that, the disclaimer is important to me. It shows that the person isn’t pointing an accusing finger without also being introspective.

    R. Mildred,

    I always enjoy your comments. I was going to mention the racism, but you beat me to it.

  18. Sudanese women to be stoned for adultery « I am Rainbow

    […] cause it’s a blog about the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes*! […]

  19. Sylvs
    Sylvs March 22, 2007 at 1:19 pm |

    but one of the things taht probably occurred in this case was that by some readings of shariah, two female witnesses is worth exactly one male witness – hence there being witnesses enough for her stoning, but not enough for his.

    I think you’re confusing issues. It is true that 2 female witnesses equal 1 male witness, however, that does not explain how he got off and she was found guilty. The way it’s *supposed* to work is if a woman is to be convicted of adultery, then there must be 4 male witness of “good” character who must swear on the Quran that they saw her in the PHYSICAL act of bonafide penetration (not just being naked, or kissing, or what have you.) The witnesses could also be 3 male and 2 female, 2 male and 4 female, etc.

    For a man to be convicted, they only need 2 male witnesses (or combination of male/female to the same ration).

    I’ll admit math is not my strongpoint, but I can’t fathom how 4 witnesses (or more) were enough to convict her, and yet, they couldn’t find enough witnesses to convict him- considering they were having sex with one another? Was he in the shadows? Did he have a mask? Maybe he wore a niqab?

    Good God… This makes me so sick….

    :: head exploding again ::

  20. Sylvs
    Sylvs March 22, 2007 at 1:21 pm |

    *ratio (not ration)…

    :: sigh ::

  21. Jeffrey
    Jeffrey March 22, 2007 at 2:43 pm |

    Not that you don’t know that, anyway, but “They do it too!” is a distraction, not a defense.

    Of course I know that, but you’d be surprised at some of the stuff I’ve heard from “Christian progressives” (and sometimes even secular progressives). Those who live in glass condominiums and all that. Plus, we often here arguments like “well, we ought to invade and save these women from these theocracies.” Invasions always make women’s lives worse, and especially when Muslim theocracies are torn down, because most are tribal societies, where, when Sharia is removed, women are literally property, have no right to divorce, don’t even get a trial if they’re accused of adultery, etc. For example, Afghanistan.

    Also, for what you can do, I would suggest going to Ali Eteraz’s site and dropping him an e-mail. He’s a very progressive Muslim-American, and he’s had some success at getting death sentences reversed in Iran through letter writing campaigns. I don’t know if it will work as well in the Sudan, since it’s far more chaotic, but it’s our best bet. The only other thing I can thing of is to try to put pressure on China.

  22. Stephanie
    Stephanie March 22, 2007 at 4:26 pm |

    These kinds of cases are just horrifying. Such a complete lack of more than a pretense of a fair trial.

  23. ali eteraz
    ali eteraz March 22, 2007 at 8:36 pm |

    i have a call of action set up for this, it’ll be up in 3 hours.

  24. ali eteraz
    ali eteraz March 22, 2007 at 10:31 pm |

    Here is my activism:

    Back ground post:

    Call To Action for Westerners:

  25. arvan
    arvan March 23, 2007 at 10:46 am |

    Let’s just call this exactly what it is: another example of men with the IQ of a grapefruit exercising some b.s. reason (insert religion/government/cultural tradition/property law/bizarre belief here) to justify brutality over women to make themselves feel superior. Period. End of story.

    The poorest man in the world can rest easy at night knowing that even though there are much wealthier and smarter men in the world than he – at least he can beat the living daylights out of “his” ( because he claims to own her) woman and children to the applause of his men friends. At least he has got a better life than a woman.

    And so, the cycle of ignorance and poverty continues, because the very women being beaten, tortured, sodomized, killed, raped, starved, cut, spit on, shot at, mutilated, degraded, imprisoned and hated – are the mothers of the next generation of hate-filled imbicile brutes that will shout god’s name as they kill women.

    It is so obvious to me, in situations just like this that we are direct descendants of brutal, unthinking animals. I just regret the insult that is – to animals.

  26. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne March 23, 2007 at 12:49 pm |

    The poorest man in the world can rest easy at night knowing that even though there are much wealthier and smarter men in the world than he – at least he can beat the living daylights out of “his” ( because he claims to own her) woman and children to the applause of his men friends. At least he has got a better life than a woman.

    And this is, of course, why maintaining racism is so helpful to the oligarchy here in the US — as long as the working-class white guy is told that he’s “better” than the blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc., he’s not going to stop and think about all of the ways that the oligarchy is holding him back.

    Quite literally, it’s the oldest trick in the book. I’m sure they were using it in Babylonia.

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