It’s amazing, isn’t it? Women are now speaking up when they are raped. And yet rape seems to be increasing. And worldwide, it appears to be a weapon of war, a weapon of humiliation, a tool for men to use against all women.
To me, it’s all about the rise of women and our refusing to stay in concubinage, in submission. Men, instead of realizing this social change is freeing them from ancient rules and responsibilities, believe we are taking something away from them, and are essentially punishing us for what they are losing.
Instead of taking care of themselves, seeing to their own educations, making themselves into fit partners for this powerful generation of smart and capable women, men are attempting to take our power and push us back into our old positions.
A story appeared in the New York Times today about women enlistees in the Air Force being raped and abused. And the system calls for them to report to their superiors – who very often are their rapists. This Air Force problem has been reported for at least 10 years, and yet in this story, it sounds like the Air Force has just discovered there’s a problem.
Institutions here and in other places were evidently assuming that this problem would just go away. And, like the Catholic Church, they just didn’t see the victims – they saw only a threat to their institutions.
They didn’t see perpetrators, they saw fellow officers who had made a minor mistake, and maybe not even that.
Men have not yet felt women’s pain on this issue, as for centuries they did not feel the pain of the slave, or any one who is ‘other’. One solution would be to find a way to turn their empathy button to the on position.
Before we can fix a problem, we need to name it correctly. One small step toward a solution, that I use – when folk talk about people being violent – I point out that it is not ‘people’. It is men. The amount of violence committed by women is less than 1/10th of one percent of that committed by men.
Just so we’re clear about what’s really going on.