Late Night Thoughts and ReactionsPosted: February 15, 2011
This thread is one which, being discussed and thought over, is something that must be posted. Let’s just say that it is a very personal thing to write about, especially for a survivor and victim of one of the worst crimes to be committed, on anyone. On Tuesday, CBS reported that one of their female journalist was attacked, beaten and brutally gang raped by a mob of men in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, the night Mubarak “stepped down.” I will refuse to write the victim’s name, even though it’s been publicized all over the internet, including an image of the victim moments before the attack occurred. (I will not even begin to discuss what I think about that, which I am sure will help feed the reaction and commentaries that have already begun to question her appearance and “attractiveness” in relation to the attack. )
I will post a few links to articles of discussion, but first I wanted to get some thoughts down about this in general. Rape is a crime that not only hurts the victim physically, it is an emotional attack as well. I does not matter if the violator was a stranger, a friend, a family member. It could be committed by someone known and trusted, on a date…or an unknown group, mob or gang. A person, and that is not just women by the way, men get raped too…does not deserve to be raped, they do not ask to be raped, they do not need others to justify the rape because of the way they look, or act, or dress. Rape is not a side effect of walking through a park at dusk alone, or being in the middle of a huge crowd during an uprising and revolt. In other words, rape is not an accepted crime because the person put themselves in a bad situation. Rape is not something that is limited to a class of people, or a “type” of victim, it affects everyone.
Most people are not even aware of close friends/girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands/sisters/brothers that have been a victim of a molestation in one form or another. People keep quiet about it, and who can blame them. The reaction when someone is raped is pretty much standard, as anyone can see from the public comments on any of these articles being written about this particular rape.
So just a word to the wise, this is a very sensitive issue…and I will not have any comments that go over the top, or reflect the sort of dialogue that is taking place in the comment section of all sorts of articles and blog post. To even write this little warning shows the kind of attitude towards crimes of sexual assault, which is pathetic. However, I know that there are some who will take this opportunity to write some anonymous drivel, “they should have expected it,” ” got what they wanted,” oh…you get my drift. (Note: this is being said because I feel so strongly about it. And yes god-dammit, it is personal.)
So, I have said what I wanted to. Now I will post a few links about this. One in particular on pandagon.net written by Amanda Marcotte, (h/t bostonboomer) which is straight to the point and very good. pandagon.net – it’s the eye of the panda, it’s the thrill of the bite
Why rape happens, a reminder
Rape is a political act, in the purest sense that second wave feminists meant when they said “the personal is political”. What they meant by that was not that one isn’t allowed to make choices to survive in a patriarchy, and that we should therefore turn feminism into a purity contest. What they meant was that many things women had been encouraged to see as merely personal matters, including violence against them, were better understood in a political lens. Men rape not because they’re animals and you tempted them and that’s that. The feminist view is rape is political, an act of dominance, a reassertion of the patriarchy.
That’s why I’m not surprised anymore when gang rapes happen. There is no more “pure” rape than men getting together and encouraging each other to prove this perverse, patriarchal definition of manhood by hurting and dominating a woman. And that’s why rapes escalate in times of conflict, because in the frenzy of men trying to get power over each other, women are objects to act out those power games.
…It says nothing about Egypt but that they’re a patriarchy that this happened. It says nothing about the claims of the protesters otherwise, and it may not say anything about the future of women. It definitely says nothing about whether or not this people or that people can self-govern. It simply says that when we raise men from the cradle to think of women as the gender that serves and is dominated, rape will become an expression of power and dominance. Gang rapes happen here. They happen pretty much everywhere, because patriarchy is a worldwide injustice. Rapes are about this oldest injustice, and this ugly spot on the stain of all humanity. Crowds of men, struggles over power, women as objects. It’s a formula that leads to this. The leg to kick out from under that to prevent this is not struggles for government control, which are part and parcel of being human. Or people hitting the streets, demanding their rights. The leg to kick out is the worldwide belief that women are second class. Then and only then will rape stop.
What did I tell you, to the point and spot on. Thank you Amanda for writing something so compassionate and understanding.
The other links below are some that I picked out of many that are being written about it. The National Review one has screenshots of some offensive Tweets that have since been deleted by the journalist that wrote them. Disgust is all I have for this sort of 140 characters of hate. Anyway, to all who have an aversion to the likes of National Review, just pass it on by.
Now, I wanted to post a link to another gang rape that was committed last week. This one involved a 13 year old girl, being attacked by three fellow schoolmates, 13 year old boys that attend her middle school. As I said up top, violators can be strangers or friends…this girl was attacked while walking home through a park. She was raped on a playground set, a true loss of innocence…the irony is not wasted on me.
One of the three 13-year-old boys who admitted raping a 13-year-old girl in Banning said he was promised use of an iPod if he participated in the attack against his classmate, police said Friday.
Alright, so this late night drift is a tough one. I look forward to reading your comments.