"Hold Her Legs Tightly"

The Guardian has posted a grueling video of a young girl being flogged in public by the Taliban in Pakistan. I found it very hard to watch, and I have a strong stomach. The description is rough enough:

Two men hold her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned fighter with a flowing beard, whips her repeatedly. "Please stop it," she begs, alternately whimpering or screaming in pain with each blow to the backside. "Either kill me or stop it now." A crowd of men stands by, watching silently. Off camera a voice issues instructions.

"Hold her legs tightly," he says as she squirms and yelps. After 34 lashes the punishment stops and the wailing woman is led into a stone building, trailed by a Kalashnikov-carrying militant. Reached by phone, Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan claimed responsibility for the flogging. "She came out of her house with another guy who was not her husband, so we must punish her. There are boundaries you cannot cross," he said.

It is rare to see the essence of violent Islamist patriarchy in a single clip.