Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Culture of Rape

Reflections on the rape of disabled girl recorded on a cellphone video - in South Africa.

The culture of rape, which is alive and well here in the US, too - wherever women are denied their rights because of gender. Just watch what's happening in the GOP right now, the systematic reduction of women's rights. 

Yet some of the comments seem less interested in understand the cultural role of rape and more interested in expression racist junk.

But all that aside, the culture of rape is rooted deeply in much of Africa, too - some of it rooted in Christian missions aligned with the brutality of the Colonial era, where whites regularly rapped African women who "worked" for them. Christian mission repeatedly stressed the "sinful" nature of the woman and her secondary status as God's punishment for Eve's "original sin."

Islam, as well, has generally considered women secondary human beings.

Rape is always a function of power, and the Colonial powers repeatedly demonstrated their superiority with rape as well as the machine gun. The plight of South Africa today is the culmination of Apartheid, the Boer Wars and Britain's systematic denial of human rights. Unemployment is rampant, and as SA sorts itself out, all of sorts of tragedies and social dislocation are occurring.

Rape is also rooted in the deep structures of the world itself - men have always tried to prove themselves superior with sexual dominance.

Just some thoughts - racial stereotyping doesn't help, nor does wishing violence on the perpetrators - we can, and we must, find ways to make a better world. And men everywhere need to think deeply on their attitudes toward women.

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