From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/syrian-rape-and-chemical-_b_2370638.html
Warning: This post contains graphic depictions of sexualized violence.
The same small part of me that still wants to believe in faeries wanted to think that I could avoid thinking or writing about rape for at least a few weeks. But, it’s impossible. Not with laws in California that say single women can’t, in effect, be raped and when the night-long gang-rape of a 16-year-old unconscious girl “divides” a community dedicated to its football team. Definitely not when ongoing details about the death of a 23-year-old in Delhi, whose rape to the point of disembowelment and multiple organ failure, are spurring protests all over the world.
No matter where you are in the world, the result of rape — “date rape,” “gang-rape,” “easy rape,” “emergency rape,” “war rape” — is the same: oppression. Women are not free to live without the constant threat of assault and violence or without being treated like objects and property. When I last checked there were at least four “rape capitals” of the world. You know what that makes the rest of us? “Rape Suburbs.” Girls and women aren’t idiots. On the contrary, we understand perfectly: we’re supposed to “be careful.” Don’t do something we might “regret.” “Stay home.” “So what if it happens, anyway?” We can’t feel any security that our bodily integrity will be respected. Or that our consent matters. We cannot enjoy the confident access and ownership of public space that men do. Our attempts to pursue equality and opportunity are inhibited, not only by actual rape, but by people’s malevolent tolerance for it. Rape is useful, even the rape of boys and men: it sustains a system that rewards physical dominance and sustains male hegemony.
When precisely doesn’t a girl or woman think “she could have been me?” What teenage girl in the United States won’t think a little harder about going to parties? Or even to sleep? When it’s too scary to consider the facts or when it’s easier to align oneself with the dominant and powerful, blame the victim, in the hope of “protection.” Today, more girls, no matter how briefly, will consider being drugged and raped by a self-anointed “Rape Crew” like the one in Steubenville, Ohio. If you missed this past week’s revelations, this rape continues to elicit shock and repugnance. If it weren’t for the doggedness of blogger Alexandra Goddard and the outrage of Anonymous (yes, that Anonymous) this night-long assault of an unconscious girl, literally dragged and periodically violated, urinated on and photographed would have faded into nothingness. All of this happened while up to 50 other girls and boys were present — each deriving specific but different messages about what was happening. And, THAT’s the point isn’t it? A warning to girls or the boys who would help them. It’s not just that this happened, and variations of it happen every day, but it’s the idea that it could happen. All over the planet.
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/syrian-rape-and-chemical-_b_2370638.html