From Corporations to the Street: How Political Rhetoric on Rape Fuels Sexual Violence on The Street

LaPrincipessa's picture

CBS News with the disturbing report: 15 year old girl gang raped by up to 20 people after homecoming dance.

Let that sink in for a moment. Gang Raped by 20 People.

Earlier this year, Senator Al Franken from Minnesota introduced an amendment, that prohibits companies to contract with the US government if they barr their employees from obtaining legal justice in the event they are raped.   The amendment passed, however  30 Republican men decided this wasn't a government issues, and voted no.  From this bitter sweet development, came a deluge of commentary from inside the beltway that used some of the most explicit and hurtful rhetoric, often times blaming the victim of rape and attempting to remove blame from the Senators who voted no by rationalizing some sort of corporate structure which allows rape, because the government should stay out of the personal lives of said corporation's employees.

How does this relate to the disgusting rape and brutal assault of the young lady in California?   As one report states: "somehow, over the past 30 years we've managed to create an entire social movement dedicated to treating and ending violence against women that rarely addresses the root cause".  That same source goes on to describe how a male dominated society,  social structure (patriarchy ) and modern media all contribute to the root cause of rape.

It is the nature of how men view and perceive women and their roles in society that will ultimately determine how they treat or mistreat women.  With our society's government and justice system being male dominated, women are socially and culturally perceived as "the other", mostly as irrational, unpredictable, unreliable, and feeble minded by men (Hodgson, J. & Kelly, D., 2004, p. 102).  Our very institutions are patriarchal, ruled and governed by rules that are familiar to men and conducive to "defining, controlling, and regulating women" and these institutions are so infused with male domination that sexual violence can be defended, perpetuated, and condoned (Hodgson, J. & Kelly D., 2004, p. 102).  "Our culture exerts such a powerful force on defining what a man is and how he behaves...  We have to change the entire society" in order to end sexual violence (Anderson, 2004).

Women, because they lack such power and dominance in society, seldom challenge the fact that rape is a part of their existence; women just modify their behavior in order to minimize the chances of being raped.  They take self defense classes, they make sure that they do not wear clothing that seems too enticing, and they refrain from going certain places at night.  Women live in constant fear, knowing that a man has the capacity to perform the most severe violation.  Seldom, however, are men, and their aggressive and dominating personalities and perceptions, held accountable for the perpetuation of rape.

The most important part of this quote is: “women just modify their behavior in order to minimize the chances of being raped".  When the media broadcasts Senators stating women should just be more careful when working for these companies (the government), the message to women is exactly as the report states: modify your behavior, we'll stay the same.  I wonder what the young lady, leaving her homecoming dance, could have done differently when accosted by 20 or more men?  

Another source states that the United States patriarchal structure is to blame for rape in war time. Women are perceived, at the end of the day (war) to be property. Less valuable property if they are not citizens of the US- but property none-the-less.

Why does the international community, and the United States, fail to intervene in cases of mass rape and genocide? The answer to both questions, we suggest, is the intersection of patriarchy and the notion of “otherness.” In a patriarchal society, women are seen as objects of ownership. They are the "property" of the males. At the same time, the male's masculine image creates a sense of duty to protect his female; an "ethic of protection." It is the patriarchal notion of the ownership of women and the ethic of protection that drive mass rape in warfare.

This structure certainly pertains to the States. When our social structure encourages women to protect themselves while simultaneously creating laws that prohibit women from fully taking responsibility of their own person (yeah that's a pro life dig), women are only further victimized; subject to a male dominated system, designed not to provide equal protection under the law, but to relegate "women's issues" to families, which are of course, male dominated.

Rape is not a family issue. It is a social crisis. A social crisis because the political and national rhetoric support the patriarchal system which instituted and supports, to this day, the 20 people who gang raped a 15 year old woman.

-Sophia

(Posted at Women Undefined)

0
Your rating: None
Syndicate content
Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system