On gender-based violence and the rape culture

A few days ago, I blogged about the “One Billion Rising in SL” campaign, and so did other excellent SL bloggers, such as Honour McMillan. It’s a commendable initiative, because patriarchal societies everywhere are given, more or less, to the rape culture: the disgraceful “culture” that trains men to believe women are, by definition and because of their genetic makeup, inferior to them, that they should submit to their whims and wishes, that it’s OK to rape a woman and that it’s OK to beat her up or otherwise exercise violence against her. By using the term women, I also mean trans women – no discriminations against them are acceptable (please read this insightful article by Deborah Orr).

You see, for millennia, women have been placed in an inferior position to that of men: we have been confined to the kitchen, with most (if not all) of our rights stripped away, we have been spoils of war; bounty – we have been sold as slaves (including sex slaves); there are worldwide human trafficking networks all over the planet operating under the nose of the (male-dominated) authorities, luring and/or kidnapping women (often underage) and pushing them to sexual exploitation – or worse. And the authorities usually don’t do much, not least due to the fact that, among the clients of these disgusting networkone can find people of authority and power – more often than not, these are men who have been trained by their close societal and social circle (and that also includes their mothers that spoilt them rotten and taught them that everyone should wait on them hand and foot) that they are somehow genetically superior only because they were born with a penis and significant content of male hormones in their system.

Advancing (or retreating) armies in war-torn countries commit rapes and gang rapes en masse; rape is part of martial and military culture everywhere (the nationalist “songs” that soldiers of various countries’ armies sing while training often speak of raping the women of the enemy), and the armies of countries that style themselves as (self-appointed) “protectors of peace and freedom” are no exception. Of course, when a servicewoman reports such an incident, she is immediately labeled by her colleagues and superiors, “crazy”, “hysterical” or – even worse – a “nympho that’s asking for it.” It’s often the same in work environments: sexual harassment is the “normal” modus operandi for many executives who basically blackmail their female employees by saying “if you want to have hopes of staying in this company, you’ll have to be my concubine, otherwise you’re fired.” Even in the academia, I have personally known professors who were (and are) hitting on their female students, sometimes with the promise of better grades or participation in a research programme or an internship.

In Italian courts, rape victims were often ridiculed by male judges who said they were “asking to be raped” because they were wearing tight denim trousers or mini skirts – and these judges proceeded to acquit the rapists. As for the “women are only for cooking, childbirth/child rearing and going to church” mentality, it’s exactly the “Kinder, Küche, Kirche“, a German slogan (the equivalent of the English “Barefoot and Pregnant“) that lies at the very core of nazi and neo-nazi ideology (and speaking of neo-nazism in Europe is sadly extremely relevant nowadays, as the EU, which has focused on ensuring that stock exchange gamblers and extortionists will not lose a single penny from their failed and idiotic gambles, willingly and knowingly turns a blind eye to the rise of neo-fascism and neo-nazism in the countries that fell victim to the banksters’ penchant for pillaging taxpayers’ public and private property and infrastructure.)

In every three women, one is sexually assaulted some time in her life. At least once. And rape is the only crime (shamefully, some “men” claim it is only a crime if it is illegal within the jurisdiction in which it was perpetrated and even dismiss the notion that rape is a problem by calling it “fictitious drama” brought up by “hysterical women”) where the victim is the one that has to live with guilt and shame, instead of the criminal.

To make matters even worse for women, societies made female sexuality and sensuality deplorable; some even went as far as to criminalize it. For centuries, and even now, for a woman to have romantic and sexual desires, wants, fantasies and needs and express them and actively pursue their fulfillment, has been considered the greatest sin of all; a woman was (and is) only allowed to exist within the framework of  a world created and formulated by the males and for the males alone, with zero regard for women as human beings. And – yes, you guessed it – a woman who wears mini skirts, dresses sexily, perhaps (oh, the horror!) goes topless or wears a thong swimsuit on the beach, “is a slut and asks/deserves to be raped.”

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