Monday, May 16, 2011

This Crime Often Goes Unpunished

This isn't about me. My experiences don't matter and I'm not going to discuss them.

When I hear about a high official getting away with rape, it makes me angry. When I hear that the victim's own mother asked her to keep quiet about it, I can't stay quiet. If we women won't talk about this problem as if it is a big problem no one will believe us. It is a problem, a huge problem and it's happening quietly, unreported all over the world every day.

Why am I talking about it?

It's a human rights issue for all women. If men don't believe it is happening because they don't hear about it, then that is an excuse or a philosophical outlook. They may not hear a tree fall because they aren't there, but it does happen...flying squirrels fly, too, whether anyone believes me. I've seen them...

And rape happens whether or not it gets discussed, talked about, punished, reported on, and so on. It happens. 

I have not ever heard of a woman (with the exception of the one-in-twenty-million oddball  at Duke University) who would say they have been physically invaded unless they actually have been. Why?

Maybe people cannot understand rape if they have not experienced anything like it. Mainly that's because rape is an embarrassing experience. It's shameful, dirty, and humiliating. Victims loathed the experience by definition, and want to put it into the past and move on to a better future.

Men get raped, too, and I'm not trying to minimize that, either. Perhaps more should be made of that, and then it will help women get relief, too. 

People who have been raped need to be believed, and that is the number one reason they do not discuss it. Better to keep it quiet and forget about it  (like a bad dream) than tell someone one who refuses to believe it ever happened, and doesn't care, either.  It happens even by the powerful and the mighty, and that's how a crime goes unpunished. Enough said, for now.

UPDATE: Hilary Clinton is truly a saint for flying the Libyan law student who agitated about her mistreatment. Anyone who doesn't believe her wouldn't believe his own sister if it happened to her.  I also believe it would be the lowest of the low not to believe her story.

UPDATE: On the DSK case, I think the police did the right thing. Unfortunately, the maid has hurt others in her position (if she was not raped and has indeed fabricated the story). Now lawyers will automatically seek injunctions if any wealthy person is accused of rape, according to Alan Dershowitz, and that hurts all women. Ouch. 7.4.11

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