[A-List] Fwd: [R-G] Naomi Wolf gets it right...
Suzanne de Kuyper
suzannedk at gmail.com
Thu Dec 16 23:12:18 MST 2010
Add this to the the deliberate theft of any 14 trillion dollars I was just
sent news of, meaning fiscal probity the United States will never have
again, using two and two is four reasoning, one begins to see how much and
why the U.S. federal government in the form of expression Homeland Security
gives it, loves the use of sexual humiliation on any and all targets. Loves
it so much it will use almost any pretext to exploit sexual war fare...They
are using the Wikileaks to show the world how those men who continue frredom
of information will be raped publicly by the world PR system. And, using
the UK and Sweden to show the octopus arms of world power are part and
parcel of the sexual war power of the U.S.. The repositioning of the
Goldstone Report is mandatory. I assume this will either make no sense or,
be considered too awful to even make an arguement about.
But one begins to see why the ongoing genocide of Gaza
is of interest to the US to actively support! In the unveiling of
the levers of power.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Macdonald Stainsby <mstainsby at resist.ca>
Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 11:22 PM
Subject: [R-G] Naomi Wolf gets it right...
To: Suzanne de Kuyper <suzannedk at gmail.com>
Naomi Wolf's piece from a few days back was gross and offensive to many
people. This, I take, as evidence that those of you who said as much stung
her enough to get things right. I also would call this a very valuable
rant. Perhaps a mea culpa, if you will.
J'Accuse: Sweden, Britain, and Interpol Insult Rape Victims Worldwide
Posted: December 13, 2010 12:40 PM
How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden's treatment of Julian
Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape
accusations against men that don't involve the embarrassing of powerful
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in solitary confinement in Wandsworth
prison in advance of questioning on state charges of sexual molestation.
Lots of people have opinions about the charges. But I increasingly believe
that only those of us who have spent years working with rape and sexual
assault survivors worldwide, and know the standard legal response to sex
crime accusations, fully understand what a travesty this situation is
against those who have to live through how sex crime charges are
ordinarily handled -- and what a deep, even nauseating insult this
situation is to survivors of rape and sexual assault worldwide.
Here is what I mean: men are pretty much never treated the way Assange is
being treated in the face of sex crime charges.
I started working as a counselor in a UK center for victims of sexual
assault in my mid-twenties. I also worked as a counselor in a battered
women's shelter in the US, where sexual violence was often part of the
pattern of abuse. I have since spent two decades traveling the world
reporting on and interviewing survivors of sexual assault, and their
advocates, in countries as diverse as Sierra Leone and Morocco, Norway and
Holland, Israel and Jordan and the Occupied Territories, Bosnia and
Croatia, Britain, Ireland and the united States.
I tell you this as a recorder of firsthand accounts. Tens of thousand of
teenage girls were kidnapped at gunpoint and held as sex slaves in Sierra
Leone during that country's civil war. They were tied to trees and to
stakes in the ground and raped by dozens of soldiers at a time. Many of
them were as young as twelve or thirteen. Their rapists are free.
I met a fifteen-year-old girl who risked her life to escape from her
captor in the middle of the night, taking the baby that resulted from her
rape by hundreds of men. She walked from Liberia to a refugee camp in
Sierra Leone, barefoot and bleeding, living on roots in the bush. Her
rapist, whose name she knows, is free.
Generals at every level instigated this country-wide sexual assault of a
generation of girls. Their names are known. They are free. In Sierra Leone
and Congo, rapists often used blunt or sharp objects to penetrate the
vagina. Vaginal tears and injuries, called vaginal fistulas, are rampant,
as any health worker in that region can attest, but medical care is often
unavailable. So women who have been raped in this way often suffer from
foul-smelling constant discharges from infections that could be treated
with a low-cost antibiotic -- were one available. Because of their
injuries, they are shunned by their communities and rejected by their
husbands. Their rapists are free.
Women -- and girls -- are drugged, kidnapped and trafficked by the tens of
thousands for the sex industry in Thailand and across Eastern Europe. They
are held as virtual prisoners by pimps. If you interview the women who
spend their lives trying to rescue and rehabilitate them, they attest to
the fact that these women's kidnappers and rapists are well known to local
and even national authorities -- but these men never face charges. These
rapists are free.
In the Bosnian conflict, rape was a weapon of war. Women were imprisoned
in barracks utilized for this purpose, and raped, again at gunpoint, for
weeks at a time. They could not escape. Minimalist hearings after the
conflict resulted in slap-on-the-wrist sentences for a handful of
perpetrators. The vast majority of rapists, whose names are known, did not
face charges. The military who condoned these assaults, whose names are
known, are free.
Women who testify to having been raped in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Morocco
face imprisonment and beatings, and being abandoned by their families.
Their rapists almost never face charges and are free. Women who testify to
rape in India and Pakistan have been subjected to honor killings and acid
attacks. Their rapists almost never face charges, are almost never
convicted. They are free. A well-known case of a high-born playboy in
India who was accused of violently raping a waitress -- who was willing to
testify against him -- resulted in a cover-up at the highest levels of the
police inquiry. He is free.
What about more typical cases closer to home? In the Western countries
such as Britain and Sweden, who are uniting to hold Assange without bail,
if you actually interviewed women working in rape crisis centers, you will
hear this: it is desperately hard to get a conviction for a sex crime, or
even a serious hearing. Workers in rape crisis centers in the UK and
Sweden will tell you that they have deep backlogs of women raped for years
by fathers or stepfathers -- who can't get justice. Women raped by groups
of young men who have been drinking, and thrown out of the backs of cars,
or abandoned after a gang-rape in an alley -- who can't get justice. Women
raped by acquaintances who can't get a serious hearing.
In the US I have heard from dozens of young women who have been drugged
and raped in college campuses across the nation. There is almost
inevitably a cover-up by the university -- guaranteed if their assailants
are prominent athletes on campus, or affluent -- and their rapists are
free. If it gets to police inquiry, it seldom gets very far. Date rape?
Forget it. If a woman has been drinking, or has previously had consensual
sex with her attacker, or if there is any ambiguity about the issue of
consent, she almost never gets a serious hearing or real investigation.
If the rare middle-class woman who charges rape against a stranger -- for
those inevitably are the few and rare cases that the state bothers to hear
-- actually gets treated seriously by the legal system, she will
nonetheless find inevitable hurdles to any kind of real hearing let alone
real conviction: either a 'lack of witnesses' or problems with evidence,
or else a discourse that even a clear assault is racked with ambiguity.
If, even more rare, a man is actually convicted -- it will almost
inevitably be a minimal sentence, insulting in its triviality, because no
one wants to 'ruin the life' of a man, often a young man, who has 'made a
mistake'. (The few exceptions tend to regard a predictable disparity of
races -- black men do get convicted for assault on higher-status white
women whom they do not know.)
In other words: Never in twenty-three years of reporting on and supporting
victims of sexual assault around the world have I ever heard of a case of
a man sought by two nations, and held in solitary confinement without bail
in advance of being questioned -- for any alleged rape, even the most
brutal or easily proven. In terms of a case involving the kinds of
ambiguities and complexities of the alleged victims' complaints -- sex
that began consensually that allegedly became non-consensual when dispute
arose around a condom -- please find me, anywhere in the world, another
man in prison today without bail on charges of anything comparable.
Of course 'No means No', even after consent has been given, whether you
are male or female; and of course condoms should always be used if agreed
upon. As my fifteen-year-old would say: Duh.
But for all the tens of thousands of women who have been kidnapped and
raped, raped at gunpoint, gang-raped, raped with sharp objects, beaten and
raped, raped as children, raped by acquaintances -- who are still awaiting
the least whisper of justice -- the highly unusual reaction of Sweden and
Britain to this situation is a slap in the face. It seems to send the
message to women in the UK and Sweden that if you ever want anyone to take
sex crime against you seriously, you had better be sure the man you accuse
of wrongdoing has also happened to embarrass the most powerful government
Keep Assange in prison without bail until he is questioned, by all means,
if we are suddenly in a real feminist worldwide epiphany about the
seriousness of the issue of sex crime: but Interpol, Britain and Sweden
must, if they are not to be guilty of hateful manipulation of a serious
women's issue for cynical political purposes, imprison as well -- at once
-- the hundreds of thousands of men in Britain, Sweden and around the
world world who are accused in far less ambiguous terms of far graver
forms of assault.
Anyone who works in supporting women who have been raped knows from this
grossly disproportionate response that Britain and Sweden, surely under
pressure from the US, are cynically using the serious issue of rape as a
fig leaf to cover the shameful issue of mafioso-like global collusion in
silencing dissent. That is not the State embracing feminism. That is the
State pimping feminism.
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