Hey there, everyone!
The Cleveland murders of 11 black women who were buried in the back yard of a previously convicted sex offender chill me to the bone. How could 23 women be murdered, almost completely unnoticed by the local community, media or the police. My gut feeling is that is was racism and sexism, even class that came into play, as some of the victims family members have accused the local police of ignoring their missing person reports. Whatever the reason the lack of media coverage is disturbing.
Also the throwing aside of reproductive rights to get the health care bill passed has really ticked me off. The Hyde Amendment, one in which has to be passed every year, was used as a reason for why women under the health reform bill will be unable to use any government funds to get a insurance plan that covers abortion. Not to appease just Republicans, but so called Pro-Life Democrats, even though the platform of the party still claims to be Pro-Choice. Yet despite this not every Democrat voted for the bill and only one Republican did.
In 1977 Roman Polanski gave a thirteen year old girl a sedative and alcohol and raped her. After admitting to statutory rape and after spending a little over a month in a mental institution Polanski fled to Europe to avoid a prison sentence. He has finally been arrested.
Hollywood isn't happy. They have created a petition signed by everyone from Harrison Ford to Woody Allen (no surprise there). Whoopi Goldberg used her spot on the View to defend Polanski, "I know it wasn't 'rape' rape. I think it was something else, but I don't believe it was 'rape' rape". Right. Because statutory rape isn't rape?
When I usually think about sexism I put it in terms of human rights. The rights we have lost or gained. The amount of respect we receive. I however rarely think about the toll that sexism puts on our physical bodies. Or the way in which men use our bodies to get out their frustrations.
Whether it is a woman being raped by her husband or by a soldier in a conflict zone or a woman who is being hit by her husband who lost his job or the woman is denied prenatal care during her pregnancy, our bodies are the first victims of sexism.
I see how my own body has been the victim of sexism. Short, thin, bruised, burned, scared. Starved, stressed, beaten, forced, burdened.
Makes me feel completely ill. How can that be justice?? He raped little girl's, but oh he is a model prisoner so off he goes?? Our justice system sucks. I can't wait to get out of here.
I work part time in a bar, and I have worked there on and off for years now. This is mostly due to convenience but also because I really like the people who I work with (most of the time) and it fits into my school schedule as I can be at school in the day and work at night. Most of the time I just kinda turn up, do the job, listen to drunk people talk to me all night about how I am wasting my time at school and should just take the general managerâ€™s job they keep offering me at work (I would rather be run over by a bus, I think), but sometimes I hate the place more than anywhere on earth.
It's funny how a perfectly normal day can suddenly become a nightmare, but even more strange is that it wasn't even my nightmare. Although I felt it should be, it usually is, but this time it wasn't me.
Friday was a normal day, I dragged myself up in the morning, to the gym, to work, to my next work, and then to the next one. Just the usual, painful working three jobs in 24 hours kinda crappy weekday. Untill late friday evening when I was just starting to wind down and relax at work. As people were starting to leave, and I was thinking about closing up shop, when in about 10 seconds everything changed. A young Woman walked in and rang the bell at reception, as soon as I walked through the door I stopped in my tracks recognising the (oh so painfully familiar) shaking, confused, and pretty much terrified look about her. She started trying to tell me something, but couldn't get the words out, she was shaking uncontrollably and eventually she managed to tell me that she was raped by one of the other guest's. A friend of a gal she works with, who she offered to give a lift out to our hostel as he was a bit lost in our city.
A couple of weeks ago, a young woman was sexually assaulted and killed while walking home from a bar at four in the morning. This happened in Milan, only a few feet away from my old high school. She was chatted up by a man she'd seen collecting bottles at the bar she'd been to, and she assumed that he worked there and was thus 'safe'. He wasn't.
That was the second such attack within a short period of time, and sparked renewed discussion on women's safety. One of those discussions took place in the 'opinion' section of Milan's Metro newspaper, where a female reader shared her experience of sexual abuse and whose letter had been entitled "Men are Monsters" (and while I can't swear to this, I am fairly certain it's the paper who titles the letters, not the readers). This prompted several replies by enraged men who felt misjudged and misunderstood. One particularly appalling letter was from a man who felt that women use the word 'abuse' to easily and that, at least within marriage, it is a woman's duty to pleasure her man. Another writer complained that women are too ungrateful and do not know how good they have it. This exchange took place over the course of a week, and every time I read the letters, I had to remind myself that this is indeed the 21st century.
â€œActually, Buju Banton* used to be a rapist, I believeâ€
The hippy said to us, pouring the mixture through the strainer.
Good reggae vibrations floated toward me as I pondered,
â€œWhat does it mean to have once been a rapist?
Is it something you can shed like a torn coat, or a snake skin, a piece of baggage you can just set down?
An old Nazi uniform you can just take off, â€œhe used to gas Jews but heâ€™s cool now.â€
Bathed in the blood of Jesus or the word of Jah,
How convenient for you, to move through these rigid identities.
I too used to be.
I used to be a victim but I finally managed to shrug off that heavy bloodstained dress, though no white man washed me clean.
Now I wear a survivor badge, heavy like iron over my heart.
I used to be
I used to be free
You took that away from me.
Marine runs away to Mexico
Maria condemned, unbelieved, gets a shallow grave.
She was 20, like me.
I open my mouth to ask the guys
What does it mean to â€œused to be a Rapistâ€?
And why donâ€™t the raped get that luxury?
of used to be
But they are already talking about something else
I keep meaning to write an article about the election and my opinion on Sen. Clinton. I will get around to it, too. In the meantime, there's this:
The North Carolina police found what they believe to be the body of a female marine that had gone missing in Deccember - shortly after reporting that she had been raped by a fellow Marine. Who is now, to the surprise of no one, the prime suspect for her murder.
What I found even more disgusting (and what, curiously, isn't discussed in the article) is that, after reporting the rape, Marines scratched up her car, called her names, and one even punched her in the face. Got that from the CNN news on TV just now.
No single news item has dominated the German media landscape over the past few months like the case of Marco W. The 17-year-old was detained in Turkey in April on the charge of statuatory rape. The charges had been brought force by the mother of the 13-year-old Britisn girl, Charlotte, who had apparently spent a night with Marco.
The story didn't make the news until around June, but then it hit with a vengeance. Though Marco was at that point charged with statuatory rape, it didn't come across that way on the news and in the papers. The reason for that is the relative ignorance of Germans regarding the concept of Age of Consent. Though we do have them, legally, few if any teens are aware of them and they are rarely enforced. Consequently, it soon became public opinion that Marco was charged with sexual abuse and attempted rape.
Ugh. I'm tired of Dr.Phil as it is. His show has turned from being about helping people, to having guest argue on the show about their pointless, often petty disputes. However, I got my period today (after months of not having it because I was breastfeeding my daughter 24-7, I guess taking a break away from her a few nights ago made it come back) so I am tired and don't feel like doing more then watching TV. So I was watching Dr.Phil...
Yesterday and today a show has been on about a man who "slept" with the nanny. The premise of the show is that a firefighter husband cheated on his wife who had a three month old daughter with a nanny they hired. Well on yesterday's show it came to light that the nanny in question said his guy gave her painkillers and then forced himself on her in a bedroom. The wife even watched him place painkillers in the girl's mouth. She was only 18. Then on today's show Dr. Phil says three other nannies complained about being sexually harrassed (although it's never phrased that way), once according to Dr.Phil and this nanny, he corned a woman in a pantry and told her if she wanted her paycheck she had to give him a oral sex and that he wanted to perform oral sex on her as well.
So, I've been researching various diseases. Some for school, others for my writing. (I like inflicting mental illnesses on them.) I noticed something about all the ones I was likely to use, and the ones I researched:
Most of the people who got them were female. Some of the stats were only in the fifties or sixties, but a couple went as high as 87% or so. These statistics are depressing in and of themselves-and half of them are connected to depression.
Let's follow the ropes here. So, here goes: first, we deal with depression. This disease can be deadly (suicide) if it isn't treated. It could be called 'chronic sadness', but I suspect that everyone who has ever been through it knows that it's more. It's a deep gnawing at your sould; like eternal torment. There are many reasons for depression. Most of them have to do with not being able to talk about something, with losing someone or something, or being hurt in other ways.
Burglary. Kidnapping. Embezzlement. Arson. These and other crimes. What do they all have in common?
When people come forward to report them, those reports are believed until evidence suggests otherwise.
So why is it that rape or sexual assault and charges related to domestic abuse are so suspected regardless of the geographic area where they are reported? What is it that they have in common?
Women are by far the victims and reporters of these crimes. The distrust of women, the malevolence of the female, the demonization of femininity are motifs through out the world and through out history. Are these the traditions that cause women around the globe to be undervalued and untrusted? Is it the fear of the status quo (read: old men in their respective cultures) that these allegations will lead to their hierarchical unseating?
[The article I am going to write about contains heart-wrenching accounts of rape and is fairly triggering. I was crying the first time I read it. So proceed with caution.]
In its current issue, the German magazine Stern tells the stories of women who were raped during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It started in the night of April 6th, 1994 and lasted for 100 days, during which Hutu militias killed members of the Tutsi tribe and raped tens of thousdands of girls and women. Many of them contracted HIV and became pregnant. Stern journalistn Jonathan Torgovnik interviweved 10 of those women.