Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Teenage girl promotes peace and is bombarded with obscenities

Ava Lowrey is an extraordinary 15-year-old girl who lives in Alabama. For the past year, she has been producing animations on her website that support peace. Ava has produced about seventy pieces, all of them in opposition to the war in Iraq.

As you may imagine, Ava has been repeatedly verbally attacked for her work. She has been told she is a traitor and should be executed for treason, and she has been invited to leave the country. She has also been asked if she is a terrorist.

And--no surprise to those who have followed the trashing of Cindy Sheehan and Margaret Cho--Ava has been assaulted with various sexual insults and threats, such as "It's people like you who need to fucking die and get raped while your corpse rots in the sun."

There is always that extra dimension present in insulting women and girls--references to their bodies and a call to violate their bodies. And it isn't a habit confined to right-wing nutcases; look at any "liberal" message board and see the invectives directed at right-wing (or perceived right-wing) women. Granted, they are not as harsh or as obscene as those found on conservative message boards, but they are nevertheless sexually based.

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