The Stone City

Words Made to Last

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Use of Weapons

The men get tired of their wives. Or bored. Or maybe the wife objects to her daughter being forced into a marriage she doesn't want. Or maybe she starts wearing western clothes. There can be many reasons. The women are sent for asssessment to a hospital. The GP referring them is Muslim. The psychiatrist assessing them is Muslim and male. I have sat in these assessments where the psychiatrist will not look the woman patient in the eye because she is a woman. Can you imagine! A psychiatrist refusing to look his patient in the eye? The woman speaks little or no English. She is sectioned. She is divorced. There are lots of these women in there, locked up in these hospitals. Why don't you people write about this?
Government is coercion. More precisely, government delegates to its functionaries power over its subjects. This is what power looks like.

[Context here; via Ross Douthat. Cross-posted to Chequer-Board.]