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Entries in rape (13)

Thursday
Dec122013

Just Why Does the Rape Of Women & Children Worldwide Continue? 

What does one say about a question in South Africa’s national school-leavers’ drama exam in which students are asked to direct a rape scene? South Africa’s Education Department defended their action in which they were asked to maximize the raping of a baby, using a broomstick and loaf of bread as props.

“Nowhere is it expected of the candidate to have to literally describe the actual act of raping a nine-month-old baby,” responded the department in a statement, arguing that the exercise was aimed “at assessing the pupils’ concept of using metaphor as a theatrical technique.”

“By the time pupils are in [the final year of high school], they have begun to be faced with the realities of adulthood, often beyond the security of their homes and the school system. They will, through media and cinema, have been exposed to many horrific images and reports,” spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said. He pointed out that high school seniors are well informed about child rape in South Africa. 

South Africa is a world leader in the raping of women and children. Just a day or two after newspaper headlines blazed with the test question, a six-week-old baby girl from Galeshwe township, west of the diamond-mining town of Kimberley, was raped by her 24-year-old uncle.

South African playwright Lara Foot wrote a play ‘Tshepang’ about the 2011 rape of a 9-month-old girl. Pressured for a response to the drama school test question, Foot released a statement saying it was “totally inappropriate and frankly appalling. Given the history and statistics of rape in this country, it is imperative that the matter is dealt with, but dealt with sensitively and responsibly.”

Tracking the rape of women worldwide is a key focus of Anne of Carversville. Charlize Theron joins a list of other prominent women and men, including Angelia Jolie and Eve Ensler, who for years have dedicated themselves to stopping the brutal rapes of women, children and men.

Charlize Theron for Dior

Charlize Theron By Patrick Demarchelier For Dior Magazine #4 AOC Sensual Fashion

The gifted movie star returned to her home country of South Africa with a heavy heart this week as one of the first celebrities to issue a statement about the death of Nelson Mandela. The Monster star said: “My thoughts and love go out to the Mandela family. Rest in Peace Madiba. You will be missed, but your impact on this world will live forever. There will never be words to say what I’m feeling right now. I am saddened to the depths of my soul. Truly.”

Theron and Mandela first met in 2004, with the movie star reduced to tears during the meeting.

The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) was created in 2007 by the actress and UN Messenger of Peace, in collaboration with the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Theron also appeared in a blistering South African TV commercial ‘Real Men Don’t Rape’ campaign.

Dr. Denis Mukwege & Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron Meets Dr. Denis Mukwege @ Congo’s Panzi Hospital for Raped Women AOC World

This 2010 AOC story about the rape of women in Congo featured UN Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron meeting Dr. Denis Mukwege at his Panzi Hospital. Dr. Mukwege, a 2013 Nobel Laureate nominee,  founded his hospital in 1999 and was honored with a prestigious Human Rights First award in October 2013.

In September 2012 Dr. Mukwege made a strong speech condemning mass rape in the Congo. Subsequently, on October 25, 2012 four armed men attached his residence, held his daughters hostage and waited his return. After his short absence, gunfire opened, killing one staff member. After the assassination attempt, Dr. Mukwege went into exile in Europe, causing a “devasting effect” on the daily operations of Panzi Hospital.

Dr. Mukwege returned to Bukavu in January 2013, where the authorities have assured him he will be safe.

“We don’t need the military or Monusco,” said one woman, referring to the United Nations mission in Congo. “We women will protect you.”

Congo’s Dr. Denis Mukwege

In this video below, Dr. Mukwege speaks to the press from Stockholm in November 2012.

Vagina Lady Eve Ensler Opens City of Joy Academy in Congo

New Savage FDLR Rapes of Congo Women Accompany US Reforms

Nicholas Kristof Reports on Women in Congo

Read more AOC Women of Congo articles.

Read more AOC Front Page Salon articles about violence against women.

South African Playwright Lara Foot’s Play About Child Rape ‘Tshepang’

Sunday
Sep292013

The Prevalence Of Male Sexual Entitlement And Misconceptions About Rape

Gone With The Wind is one of my all-time favourite films, but it took me a long time to realize that it contains a very subtle marital rape scene.

I was shocked to read this headline on BBC:  Almost a quarter of men ‘admit to rape in parts of Asia’. One in four men?! Surely that’s a mistake, just sensationalized statistics. I knew that rape is more common than we think, but a thorough scrutiny of the study left me truly disturbed. The percentage of men who admitted to rape ranged from 9.5% to 62% depending on the region, but even the lowest rate— about one in ten men— is still alarmingly high to me.

The UN-led study surveyed 10,000 men from 6 Asian countries, avoiding direct questions about rape and asking them instead questions such as:

  • Have you ever had sex with your partner when you knew she didn’t want to but you thought she should agree because she’s your wife/ partner?
  • Have you ever had sex with a woman or girl when she was too drunk or drugged to say whether she wanted it or not?

These questions reminded me of how rape is widely presumed to be a violent attack by a stranger, which it certainly sometimes is, but it is also often carried out by someone known and trusted, in unexpected situations.

How many women do you know have been raped at knifepoint in a dark alley? On the other hand, how many women do you know— including yourself— have had sex with someone when she didn’t really want it. How many people have had sex while too drunk to make an informed decision about consenting? The word “rape” has automatic connotations of brutal violence, but the act can occur in many different ways, not all brutally violent, but still harmful.

The complexity of the issue deepens when both partners are equally drunk. Is a drunken man responsible for raping an equally drunk woman, when she wakes up in the morning in a strange bed with deep regrets?

Brian Earp at the Practical Ethics blog has a very lucid explanation of this in “Legitimate rape,” moral consistency, and degrees of sexual harm:

It should be that whenever sex occurs, both parties want it. On the far end of missing this goal is a violent attack at gunpoint. Somewhere in the middle might be a nonviolent, alcohol-fueled encounter between people who are newly dating and whose consent-signals are muddy or honestly misunderstood. And on the near end might be a partner who consents to sex even though he’s not particularly in the mood. Harmful sex—definitions of rape to the side—can take many forms, and the degree of harm is not the same across the board… we have to remember that sexual harm goes way beyond those “alleyway” cases, takes many forms, and can be traumatizing in ways those cases don’t capture. Broken trust. A friendship violated. Consent not respected—by a spouse, or a lover you made yourself vulnerable to.

Dave Bledsoe’s captures a slutwalk in Union Square New York.The notion of consensual sex is supposed to be simple, but due to the long history of male dominance in human culture, it remains difficult today to shake off notions of male entitlement. The BBC article reported that “nearly three quarters of those who committed rape said they did so for reasons of ‘sexual entitlement’,” and that the second most popular motivation was “to rape as a form of entertainment, so for fun or because they were bored.” How awful that a human being would so degrade another human being just for fun. Then again, a man with this attitude does not think of himself as a human being relating to another human being, but as a superior being with the right to use an object. In the dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, this process of objectification explains how someone can do a terrible thing:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug292013

Obama Equals Clinton in Executive Women Appointments | Perot Foundation Gives $1 Million To Planned Parenthood Texas

1. The NYTimes this week took a look at high-level female executive appointments in the Obama Administration, concluding that the Obama Administration has named no more women than the Clinton administration did nearly two decades ago.

Women hold about 35% of Cabinet-level posts, compared with 41% for Clinton and 24% for George W. Bush at parallel points in their presidencies, writes the Times.

The topic of Obama and female appointments is on the front burner as discussions percolate that President Obama might make Janet L. Yellen the first female leader of the Federal Reserve. The Obama Administration has put a record number of women in judicial appointments, with about 42 percent of confirmed judges being female, compared with 22 percent appointed by George W. Bush and 29 percent by Bill Clinton.

2. The Perot Foundation donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood Texas this week, saying:

“For nearly 100 years Planned Parenthood has helped to educate men and women regarding family planning and general family health,” Margot Perot said in a written statement through Planned Parenthood. “Our family has supported this nonprofit for many years because we are impressed with the work they do — providing birth control, scientifically-based education, breast health exams, and basic life-saving healthcare for women who cannot afford services otherwise.”

The state-funded Texas Women’s Health Program, designed to preclude Texas women from receiving any health services from Planned Parenthood, has as of June 1, served just 71% — based on total claims posted for the six months — of women as in 2012.

3. Activists will protest Judge G. Todd Baugh, 71, for his suspension of all but 31 days sentence of former high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold, who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old student who subsequently killed herself. The judge said that after reviewing all the girl’s statements, it was clear she was troubled. Baugh continued, saying that the girls was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher was.

Under Montana law, minors under age 16 cannot consent to sex, a minor detail irrelevant to the wise Judge Baugh.

“This is really the kind of stuff that’s been propagating rape cultures for a long time,” said Sheena Rice, who is organizing today’s Thursday protest, to be held at a park adjacent to the courthouse. The demonstration will include a moment of silence for the victim.

4. On Wednesday, Aug. 28, a man named Aniruddha Sherbow was arrested in Mexico over allegations that he vowed to cut off the head of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi), a freshman congresswoman.

Sherbow detailed in a series of emails with the Hawaii Reporter that Gabbard is a ‘Prima Donna’ who caused him to feel ‘insignificant’ when he offered to volunteer for her as a member of the Honolulu City Council.

In March 2011, a district court issued a three-year injunction against Sherbow, barring him from contacting or threatening Gabbard. According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Gabbard said Sherbow contacted her more than 35 times over a less-than-three-week period, including communications that were “extremely inappropriate, profane, vulgar and sexual in nature.” Gabbard said Sherbow first contacted her asking to rent office space from her.

5. Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC is said to be quietly positioning itself to become “the main independent group funding a media campaign for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 presidential race”, writes The Washington Post.

Priorities USA would not duplicate the mission of Ready for Hillary, a grass-roots group of ardent Hillary supporters.

Started by Sean Sweeney with former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton, Priorities has strong ties to both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Sweeney worked as a legislative assistant for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and is considered a ‘trusted loyalist’.