Home Columns Books Papers Biography Contact

Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

February 16, 2013

Here Are the Annual Darwin Awards

My annual Darwin Awards are granted to people so stupid that they should not contribute to the human gene pool. There are many candidates this year.

• Somalia. Being at the top of the list for failed states, it is deadly for journalists----and women. In February, one journalist was jailed, as was the woman who had complained to him about being raped by Somali soldiers. They are both accused of “Insulting the Government.” Such a government should have no future.

• India. India continues to get horrible world press for their vile traditional culture. First, traditional hatred of women has resulted in so many female babies aborted that in the poorest regions, the ratio is now 85 girls to every 100 boys. One would think that the stupidity of this practice would bring its own punishment: that the population would plummet, or that the scarcity of girls would so increase their value that gender bias would be reversed. Instead, hateful young men run in rape gangs, attacking females as young as five.

Although the intelligentsia of India has banned the caste system, our Darwinian candidates still believe in it. Higher caste thugs rape lower caste woman with impunity. They do it because they can, and know that the local authorities will back them up.

Human Rights Watch (February 8) has reported that in India, sexual abuse of children is disturbingly common: by relatives at home, by people in their neighborhoods, at school, and in residential facilities for orphans and the handicapped. Reporting such rapes to the authorities usually gets either dismissal or further rapes by the police themselves. Police check the veracity of a rape complaint (loss of virginity) with their fingers. No rape kits there.

However, after a horrific gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus, public anger was so high that the perpetrators have been sentenced to death. They will not live to procreate, a perfect Darwin Award.

• Saudi Arabia. A Saudi cleric (February 3) admitted to raping, torturing, and murdering his five-year-old daughter on the grounds that she had not retained her virginity. Saudi Sharia judges fined him $50,000 and no jail time. Had his victim been his son, the fine would have been doubled. Furthermore, under Sharia law, a man may not be given the death penalty for murdering either wives or children. Darwin wishes him only sons.

• South Africa. The Associated Press reported (February 8) that “in a country where 1 in 4 women is raped and where months-old babies and 94-year-old grandmothers are sexually assaulted, citizens are demanding action after a teenager was gang raped, had her stomach sliced open, and was left for dead on a construction site last week.”

The Darwinian odds are not good here. In a study conducted by professor Rachel Jewkes in 2009, 62 percent of surveyed boys over the age of 11 said they believed that forcing someone to have sex was not an act of violence. One-third said girls enjoyed being raped. What else would they think when they have the example of President Jacob Zuma, who was himself accused of rape by the HIV-positive lesbian daughter of a close friend in 2005. Zuma had said that the rape was “consensual” and that he had a shower afterward to cut the risk of acquiring AIDS. My Darwin Award goes to the folks who elected him.

• New Guinea. Vigilantes in Papua lynched a 20-year-old mother for “sorcery.” As hundreds of enthusiasts watched, she was tortured, doused in gasoline, and set fire on a pile of garbage. Police were blocked from intervening. Violence against those accused of sorcery is endemic there. These folks are two generations removed from headhunting and cannibalism; for women, they are not removed far enough.

• US. We also have American candidates for the Darwin Award, people who lower the collective IQ: former Congressman Todd Akin, whose obvious failure in Biology class led to his pronouncements on “genuine rape” and New Mexico’s representative Cathryn Brown, who proposed that raped women who abort the pregnancy be jailed for “destroying the evidence.” Their fellow Americans are not amused.

683 words

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of Ten Inventions that Changed Everything. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.