11 December 2007

A bad week to be female

This week brings to my attention two horrific stories about brutal gang rape. Have a barf-bag ready.

First up, a judge in Australia has ruled that a 10-year-old aboriginal girl "probably agreed" to have sex with the nine men who brutally gang raped her. No punishment for the rapists. And she's standing by her decision. You know, just to show everyone that women can be misogynists, too! Honestly, I don't see how anyone with a shred of intelligence and/or empathy could possibly come to the conclusion that a 10-year-old could possibly know what was going on in a situation like group sex. This was not group sex, this was a gang rape. Men don't "have sex" with little girls; they rape them. I'm sure some relativists would argue that Australian aboriginal culture is vastly different from Western culture and that we have no business going in and telling them how to live life. And for the most part, I agree. Until people start getting hurt, such as the case with female genital mutilation. There are absolutes in this world, people. And little girls should not be getting raped just because their culture condones it. It still isn't right.

Next, Jamie Leigh Jones was working for KBR in Iraq when she was drugged, then gang raped and assaulted by her coworkers. If that weren't brutal enough, KBR (yup, that KBR) locked her up in a shipping crate, denied her medical care, and told her that if she said anything that she would lose her job. She finally convinced a guard to lend his cell phone so she could call her father back in Texas, who set in motion the rescue of Jones by the US Embassy. What really gets me is that the prosecutor (I know, I know, he's the good guy, but still) in this case claims that KBR had fostered a "boys will be boys" atmosphere that allowed the rape to happen. My problem is, why do we still chuckle and shrug our shoulders whenever someone uses the phrase "boys will be boys" in these situations? How about "boys will be sociopaths" or "boys will be criminals", which is much closer to the truth? But clearly, KBR had created an atmosphere of lawlessness and misogyny, which, when mixed in with the violence of war and occupation, created a perfect storm to allow this to happen.

Just goes to show you that womens' bodies are still acceptable cannon fodder in the war for dominance.

I weep for these two.

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