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Women Tortured for Men's Desires

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The unspeakable tortures women suffer around the globe to get a guy.


Each of us suffers a little for beauty and fashion. Whether it's getting a bikini wax or wearing beyond painful five-inch heels, suffering and beauty often go hand in hand. But when we got an email with disturbing photos this week--it really made us examine the price women through the ages have paid to catch a man.

Who knew that high-fashion footwear--not unlike shoes Carrie Bradshaw would wear--was actually a debilitating practice of many Chinese women--they suffered "foot binding" to make their feet smaller just so they could marry rich. 

Although foot binding was outlawed in China in 1911, it was a custom practiced on young girls and women for over 1,000 years. In order to marry wealthy men, women had to have tiny, "lotus"-like feet. Men were sexually aroused by these tiny feet, and also liked the fact that a woman with bound feet had limited mobility and increased dependence, which meant she would be more devoted to her husband. 

Girls' feet were bound as early as 4 years old. Their toes were broken over and over, oftentimes by their mothers or grandmothers. Many girls suffered deadly infections as a result of foot-binding.

Women have suffered (or continue to suffer) other rituals around the world in order to be more attractive to men. The first to come to mind is corseting or tightlacing. In the 1600s, women's organs were often deformed by tight lacing, or making the corset too tight in order to achieve a smaller waistline. Womens' livers and stomachs were often forced downward, and the lungs stopped functioning properly, making it harder for them to breathe. Some women even fractured ribs as a result of tightlacing. Yet the practice continued for hundreds of years, because a small waist made a woman "marriage material."

In Africa, many women and girls still wear lip plates. In some regions, lip plates symbolize social maturity by indicating a girl's eligibility to be a wife. Larger discs (usually circular, and made from clay or wood) are inserted into a pierced hole in the lower lip, thereby stretching it.

In Burma, women wear neck rings in order to stretch their necks and appear more beautiful. Neck rings push the collarbone and ribs down and stretch the neck muscles several inches. The stretching of the muscles takes several years to occur, and the weight of the rings twists the collarbone and eventually the upper ribs to create the illusion of an elongated neck.

The tortures women have suffered and continue to suffer to land a man both shock and sicken us. We might live on different sides of the world, but women everywhere feel the pain of feeling the need to change ourselves just to "get a guy."

Click on an image to view the "Women Tortured For Men" gallery.

next: Celebrity Crib Notes
9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous June 10, 2008, 9:12 PM

I don’t really think it’s “shocking and sickening”—it’s another culture. If you can’t be bothered to understand it, you have no right to call it such things.

Anonymous June 11, 2008, 4:07 PM

I think it is shocking and sickening personally that so many women have to go through this just to get a man, but in many of these countries (like China) especially back then women couldn’t work, so their only means of survival was to get married. How sad they had to literally break their feet to do so. It’s always the WOMEN who are victimized, never the men. I do think that’s sick no matter how “cultural” it is. Just because it’s okay to do genital mutilation in some countries doesn’t mean it’s not SICK and INHUMANE.

Lorraine July 4, 2008, 11:56 PM

If you don’t have a problem with this sick perverted disfiguring to be a sexually site source of male demented satisfaction, then submit yourself to it! No one should have the right to disfigure someone else for theor own perverse selfish desires.

adrian Stewart September 9, 2008, 10:08 PM

It sick to me in a way, but it’s a culture clash. We can’t be judgmental, we must first understand it. I seen a doc, on those women of Thai. They don’t have a problem with it, and they are willing. I know us Americans like to believe that our way of living is better, but it is not. There is no right or wrong, just people doing their thing.

lily thomas September 24, 2008, 11:50 PM

I am just curious to know what the women who find this practice so disturbing wear. A push up bra possibly. Maybe tight jeans? Do you shave your legs? Do you wear makeup? What about high heals? I am sure that if you do these things for yourself and not for your husband/boyfriend. It is interesting people are so judgemental. If you find this practice horrifying then surely you must be horrified by the way our media exploits women. How many images of surgically “enhanced” women have our daughters seen. In that sense I suppose our culture here in america is just as primitive.

Adriene Post September 24, 2008, 11:53 PM

Do you know what I find sickening? Male circumcision!!! Removing a peice of a newborns genitals within a day or so after being born for asthetic reasons. Yes, thank god we aren’t as barbaric as those people in other countries.

Alice December 2, 2008, 11:23 PM

Americans, it is good that you don’t find yourself barbaric—of course killing is good, starting wars is fine, and pointing fingers but doing nought except growing fat is most civilised.

Right your own country before looking at others and judging them, World Superpower.

You’re the ones with the guns, depression, obesity, and you’re the ones generating enough unhappiness and anger for terrorists to exist.

Fix yourselves.

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