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Charlotte Hilton Andersen

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Period Panties Protest

Posted: 06/09/08 07:07 PM ET

2008-05-31-images-supermanundies.jpg

I always knew my undies were powerful. In college someone went to the trouble of breaking into my apartment to steal them. (Side story: the perp was caught later that night -- wearing my polka dot Victoria Secrets with my roommate's plaid Ralph Lauren top. Silly man, never mix patterns!) But I pridefully assumed their power lay in their association with me. Now however my undies are on a mission all their own.

Political protests of the Burmese government's heinous military tactics have gone underground. Well, under clothing at least. In a country whose problems with women's underwear trend toward the lack thereof (see Lohan, Lindsay) or upskirting, it may be strange for westerners to understand the power the period panty holds over superstitious Myanmar juntas.

According to Panties for Peace, an activist group based out of Thailand, Burmese men believe that any contact with a woman's undergarments - particularly soiled ones - will rob them of their strength. To the joy of frat boys everywhere, the group is calling for women's undergarments of all kinds to be mailed to Burmese embassies around the globe.

The gesture is particularly poignant as the many of the junta's crimes are crimes against women. Women are kidnapped and used as sex slaves or porters (or both) in the army. Others are pillaged as their villages are, leaving injured and destitute women as the only caretakers of the hundreds of fatherless children. And even when the women are fortunate enough to make it out of the country, they and their children are the most vulnerable refugee group. Even now, in the aftermath of the cyclone devastation, the Burmese junta are impeding the international effort of aid by demanding more money and then appropriating it for military purposes causing even more death and suffering. This small act allows women the world over to share the one thing we all have in common and show our support for the victims of one of the most heinous crimes against humanity.

To be honest, I'm not sure exactly how much good the Panty Brigade will do but I like this method a whole lot better than Sharon Stone's misguided karmic attack on China.

 
 
 

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