Saturday, May 22, 2004

Disturbing picture

In the Herald Sun yesterday was another of those photos from the Abu Graib prison in Iraq. I found this photo the most disturbing so far, because it shows a picture of Sabrina Harman, a quite pretty and feminine looking young woman, smiling and giving a thumbs up over the corpse of an Iraqi prisoner.

My immediate reaction was that the two features of the photo simply don't belong together. Young, beautiful womanhood doesn't go together with such a callous insensitivity.

Is it worse that it's a woman rather than a man behaving this way? I think it is. A woman in normal circumstances will generally be more emotionally sensitive or responsive than a man. It's more likely that she will feel emotional hurt, both for herself and others. So to see an attractive young woman behave with a brutal disregard for human life is particularly disturbing.

It only confirms for me my general opposition to women serving in war zones. (I have previously written the following two articles on why liberals are so keen for women to serve in the military.)

Liberalism as a secular religion

Women in combat

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