Self mutilation and the art of protesting…

“Tell me, Mr. Anderson… what good is a phone call… if you’re unable to speak?”

You probably already know where that line is from. If not, i’ll tell you at the end of this post. But there is a point to it’s being here. It is the first thing that popped into my head when I read the article below. There seems to be a trend developing. The practice of sewn-mouth protests.

In a recent post, I talked about a Colombian man who had sewn his mouth shut, and donned an iron mask in protest, asking for the government to help him and his family start a business. It seems that he is not the only one who thought that sewing his mouth shut was an effective protest strategy:

Prostitutes in the Bolivian city of El Alto sewed their lips together Wednesday as part of a hunger strike to demand that the mayor reopen brothels and bars ordered closed after violent protests by residents last week.

Ah. I see. I kinda see their point. But sewing your mouth shut seems counterproductive.

“Tomorrow we will bury ourselves alive if we are not immediately heard. The mayor will have his conscience to answer to if there are any grave consequences, such as the death of my comrades,” she said, surrounded by about 10 prostitutes who had sewn their lips together with thread. – [Yahoo/Reuters]

Ok, now your just bordering on the ridiculous. You cant exactly blame anyone but yourself, if you die after deciding to bury yourself alive in protest. And more importantly, when you are dead, I’d think it would be just a tad difficult to mount any further effective protests. Don’t you think?

Now don’t get me wrong. I think these folks actually have a good reason to be protesting. I don’t see why anyones business should be closed because a group of self righteous moral zealots decided to throw a temper tantrum.

But burying yourself alive? Sewing your mouth shut? Isn’t that like cutting off your nose to spite your face? Especially if you happen to be a prostitute who’s job relies, in part, on your physical appearance? I’m no expert in the field, but it seems to me that it would be just a bit anathema to your work…

At the end of the day however this particular practice just puzzles me. I really don’t see why these folks decided to go with self mutilation as a means of protest. There have to be a gazillion different means of protesting, and they choose to sew their mouths shut…

Prostitutes sew lips together in protest – [Yahoo/Reuters]

P.S. The opening line of this post is from “The Matrix”. If you already knew, give yourself a pat on the back. Have a drink. Smoke a cigar. You deserve it.


5 Responses to “Self mutilation and the art of protesting…”

  1. 1 oakies
    October 26, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    dear subjective objectivism,

    i served as an outreach volunteer among el alto’s women in prostitution, and what i saw and experienced deeply challenged ideas about the efficacy of legalization. if you’re interested, please take a look at my recent post about el alto, prostitution, and the riots/protests.




  2. October 27, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Ok, now this is just crazy. I read last week about how some woman lit herself on fire because she was upset about something too. There were even pictures of her on fire. These people have balls, I’ll give them that, but sewing your mouth shut?? Crazy. And I agree, if you’re a prostitute, you don’t want to be sewing that up.

  3. October 28, 2007 at 1:08 am

    LOL yeah, it kinda seems pointless. I dunno. I think it takes greater cohones to properly deal with difficult situations than to go out (literally or figuratively) in blaze of glory.

    And in any case I don’t see what’s so remarkable to light oneself on fire for any particular reason. My skin is aflame all the time. Must be a human thing…

    I’m totally expecting to come across a story about how a talented surgeon cuts off her hands in order to convince the U.N. to fund her global medical chain. Or something…

    People make no sense…

  4. October 30, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Phyreblade – You might want to get some cream for that.

  5. November 4, 2007 at 5:26 am

    Doubt there is a cream in existence that could fix it. I’m not too worried tho. It’s a family trait. Actually, I think it looks kinda cool… 🙂

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