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Chaldean Scholar Publishes Study on Rape, Women and International Law
By Rita Abro :: Saturday, September 22, 2007 :: 83135 Views :: Health & Fitness, Career & Education, Government & Society

Michigan, USA - The increasing disgust and hyper-sexualization in the media has one Chaldean scholar seeking answers.  Phyllis Easter Jeden is a first-generation Chaldean-American born and raised in metro-Detroit.  The pre-law student at Central Michigan University is perusing studies in International, Minority, and Human Rights Law.   

Jeden, like most Chaldeans and Americans has grown increasingly concerned over television advertising portraying women as nothing more than sex objects. “I am appalled by some of the things that the media culture tries to mainstream and celebrate.  This has hurt America and has undermined our ability to speak to the world about values.  Just look at the amount of cleavage you see worn by younger and younger women (and girls) in the supermarket, on the bus, in church?” 

Rather than sit idly by and adopt a hopeless attitude Jeden decide to act.  In her recently published study Jeden tackles the impact of sexualization of women in media and how such efforts harm women.  The study Rape, Women and International Law began as a response to such everyday irritants.  However, the study quickly began revealing much more about the insidious sexualization of women in media and other mainstream venues in societies across the world.

Advertising and media images that encourage girls to focus on looks and sexuality are harmful to their emotional and physical health, the American Psychological Association (APA) concluded in their own study.

The APA analyzed some 300 studies over the past 18 months. It included a variety of media, from television and movies to song lyrics, and looked at advertising showing body-baring doll clothes for pre-schoolers, tweens posing in suggestive ways in magazines and the sexual antics of young celebrity role models.  The researchers found such images may make girls think of and treat their own bodies as sexual objects.  Individual studies have found problems related to eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression.
“I am concerned about the loss of core feminine values,’ those that center on nurturing, peace and vulnerability.  In this masculine world the only way to gain power is through force, but the pursuit for power seems to always stray very far from the search for truth and wisdom.  Truth and wisdom are patient, peaceful, nurturing, and very vulnerable.  The balance between both values needs to be sought, for harmony.  Considering our world is saturated with machismo, we need plenty of respectful, non-forceful, non-aggressive femininity to take root in society,” says Jeden.  

Jeden’s study reveals that sexualization of women in the pornography and mainstream media reinforces the subconscious or fully-conscious view that women are sex objects and meant to be used.  This makes it easier to see women as something less than human, which takes a damaging toll on the psyche of the female population.  More alarming, the report reveals other studies that show that the dehumanization of women perpetuates sexual violence against women and young girls in societies throughout the world.  “Rape Pornography” and other forms of sexually explicit media even outright encourage it. 

The Chaldean scholar’s study also addresses the lack of seriousness or focus by the world to address the root causes of violent sex crimes.  “International law does not address the issue of pornography or other social ills that work to dehumanize women.  In fact, most international governing bodies and treaties only minimally address human trafficking, prostitution, rape or other forms of violence against women and girls,” Jeden says.

The Jeden study acknowledges and details the failures of the international community and the leadership in feminine movement.  A movement that continues to undermine and harm women when they fail to act against any effort to objectify women.    “The dehumanization of and violence against women ultimately leads to the devaluation of so-called “feminine values.”  The irony is the belief that women have been given more freedom when in reality women have become free to be preyed upon,” says Jeden.
The Jeden study offers a solution.  Remove the dehumanization of women if the world hopes to a generally peaceful, equitable, safe and just world.   To download and read the Jeden study in its entirety please visit the E-Books and Guides of the Download section.  Only registered users are able to download the file.

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.