No means no

No means no

Monday, 7 January 2013

Waiting a lifetime

When something traumatic happens to you, your body and mind make decisions about how to handle it based on the survival instinct.  In so many countries and cultures around the world rape is such a commonplace thing that women simply package the event in their mind and lock it away - they don't have the resources to fight.

While the women's rights movement has been front and center of the fight against sexism and abuse of women for more than a century, it seems to be only recently that it is coming together on a world-wide scale.  Forty years after my own trauma, for the first time in my adult life, I am seeing a world wide rising of anger over the atrocities committed against women on a daily basis, not just in countries with a male dominant culture but also in so-called "civilised" western countries.  The catalyst for this was Jyoti Singh Pandey, a 23 year old medical student in New Delhi, India, brutally raped and sexually assaulted.  She died from her injuries and the world is angry.

We're angry that a young woman can't even walk at night with her boyfriend without being targeted for such an horrific assault.

We're angry that a football-mad town can defend their football team for subjecting a young woman to rape and assault. 

We're angry that rape culture continues to remain hidden but very alive in such a large democracy as the USA.

We're angry that women in the Congo are the worst affected and least cared about in that country's war financed by conflict mineral mining

We're angry that huge international corporations continue to operate in areas such as Angola and the Congo when their profits do little or nothing to help the local women and children and a third of the population relies on subsistence agriculture.

We're angry that rape culture is pervasive around the world.

We're angry that women are still blamed for "getting themselves raped".

There is no justification for a rape culture, yet there is no justice for so many women because rape culture is such a pervasive sub-culture in so much of the world.  Now, for the first time in the 40 years I have watched and waited, there may, finally, be some hint of sunlight on the horizon.  The world is standing up and saying "Enough"!  

Misogyny is being identified as unacceptable.  

Gender bias is being addressed even at pre-school level.

Sexist and misogynist marketing is being targeted.

Ridiculous people and their ridiculous comments are being exposed for what they are.

Women and those who love women the world over are being encouraged to make a stand

Jyoti, you should never have had to suffer as you did to make the world aware, and yet you are now the sunlight on my horizon - I've been waiting a lifetime for you.  May your death never have been in vain.

I am angry for you!

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