are women human?

Text by Catharine MacKinnon. Images by

Fifty years ago the Universal Declaration of Human Rights defined what a human being is.
It told the world what a person, as a person, is entitled to.

are women human yet?

If women were human, would we be a cash crop shipped from Thailand in containers into New York's brothels?

Would we have our genitals sliced out to purify us (of what?) and to bid and define our cultures?

Would we be used as breeders, made to work without pay our whole lives,
burned when our dowry money wasn't enough or when men tired of us...

...starved as widows when our husbands died if we survived his funeral pyre, forced to
sell ourselves sexually because men won't value us for anything else?

Would we be sold into marriage to priests to atone for our family's sins or to
improve our family's earthly prospects?

Would be we sexually and reproductively enslaved?

Would we, when allowed to work for pay, be made to work at the most menial jobs
and exploited at barely starvation level?

Would we be trafficked for sexual use and entertainment worldwide in whatever
form current technology makes possible?

Would we be kept from learning to read and write?

If women were human, would we have little to no voice in public deliberations and in government?

Would we be hidden behind veils and imprisoned in houses and stoned and shot for refusing?

Would we be beaten nearly to death, and to death, by men with whom we are close?

Would we be sexually molested in our families?

Would we be raped in genocide to terrorize and destroy our ethnic communities, and raped again
in that undeclared war that goes on every day in every country in the world in what is called peacetime?

If women were human, would our violation be enjoyed by our violators?

And, if we were human, when these things happened, would virtually nothing be done about it?

when will women be human? when?