Sunday, April 16, 2006

It's Easter. Time to Beat the Women!

In parts of the Czech Republic, people observe an ancient ritual:

On the morning of Easter Monday, men and boys whip women of all ages, around the legs with special whips made out of twisted willow branches.

The women reward the men for this with a painted Easter egg. The symbolism is pretty clear: the whipping, say Czechs, ensures the woman stays fertile and beautiful.

The beating is supposed to be ritualistic: a light tap. But of course, it's different in practice. Men and boys grab things more effective for beating than a willow branch, and inflict real pain. Women of all ages are targeted. It's considered "rude" to overlook an elderly woman. Ah, inclusion.

Is this a harmless holiday practice, or is it reflective of the country's attitude toward women?

Domestic violence is a serious problem in the Czech Republic, says Ms Marksova-Tominova. Under Czech law, beating your marital partner is not a crime unless she (or he) is so badly injured that she cannot work for at least seven days - and parliament has repeatedly rejected proposals to change the law.

Being unable to work for six days is no big deal. But if you're hurt so badly that you can't work for seven days, now that's just wrong.

from: The Angry Arab News Service


neuralgourmet said...

*sigh* Isn't institutionalized misogyny a beautiful thing? Excuse my cultural superiority but Peeps and choco-bunnies are better. At least you get a sugar rush and you're not reinforcing a tradition of domestic violence.

cameo said...

people are stupid. it's painful.

spotted elephant said...

tng-Peeps and choco-bunnies are better, and when I say that, consider how how I feel about Peeps. It's still better.

Cameo-Yeah, people are profoundly stupid.

witchy-woo said...


hexyhex said...

"The symbolism is pretty clear"

Damn straight it is. :(

Kim said...

Ugh-that's horrible, SE.

Seven days???
WHAT is the matter with people?!

Madame DeBarge said...

I can now add the Czech republic as someplace I don't really want to live. Or visit. Ever.

Txfeminist said...

Wow, that's horrifying. I had no idea.