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Why is there no mention of white U.S. men trafficking women and girls in the U.S.? Why aren't connections made between women and girls trafficked in the U.S. and women and girls trafficked internationally? Rape is a weapon men use against women. It is not a product of other conflicts. It is the defining feature of THE conflict of men's war against women. Why no mention of that war in those terms? When I say "THE conflict" I don't mean there's only one. I mean the one that the U.S. media refuses to name, is the war that men wage, as men, against women and girls because they are women and girls.
Around the world, in many places, but not all places, women and girls are sexxxualised, harassed, incested, molested, pimped, procured, beaten, raped, and enslaved. Around the world in many places, U.S. white het men travel to have unlawful sex with nine, eight, and seven year old girls and will not ever face one day in prison for doing so. In the U.S., white het men will rape one in four women, nationally, but one in three women among American Indians. At least 80% of the rapists of American Indian women are white men who do so knowing they will face no days in jail for committing such racist-misogynist atrocities.
Across the U.S., and elsewhere, men rape their daughters, step-daughters, the daughters of their girlfriends or wives, the daughters of neighbors, and the female friends of their daughters. Why is this not understood as part of the problem of men's war against girls and women? A percentage--who knows what percent--of those girls who are raped at home will run away, and on the streets waiting for them will be pimps and procurers, eager to season them to be prostitutes. This happens in many countries internationally.
Among that population of girls raped at home who are runaways, who are pimped and procured, a percentage--I don't know what percent--will show up in pornography videos and still images with their legs spread for het male viewers to consume as if her open legs didn't tell a story of rape that is on-going. Are men--all the many millions of normal het men who consume pornography, really so callous and inhumane as to not notice an atrocity when it is staring them in the face?
Among that population of girls and women in prostitution and pornography, some will be trafficked, bought and sold into slavery and sexual servitude. This happens to First, Second, Third, and Fourth World women.
What women also face is the patriarchal nature of capitalism and white supremacy, militarism and law, religious teachings and medical invasions. Across the globe, women who are good parents will lose their children to men who are batterers and rapists because the courtrooms where a percent of these women get to testify are told by their attorneys not to mention the violence they experienced by the childrens' fathers. And the judges and juries don't want to know either. They want, instead, to believe the men who beat and otherwise terrorise women and children domestically. And they do. And so women lose their children to rapists, batterers, and incest perpetrators. It happens often. We can leap around from the U.S. to the UK to Australia and see it happening. And in many other countries too.
Women of color, globally, face additional problems created by white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism: poverty, loss of life during childbirth, forced sterilisation, assault by U.S. and NATO military weapons and by U.S. male soldiers--who also systematically rape U.S. women soldiers. When will The Nation make the connections explicit among those systems and the above practices of gross violence, exploitation, and subordination of girls and women, by men?
Mr. Rothberg, the women of RAWA are not fighting for "gender rights". They have been fighting, militantly, since the 1970s, to end patriarchal atrocities: men's violent assaults against women and girls. There's quite a difference there in language and meaning, don't you think? Please start talking about patriarchal harms that men do to women, domestically, nationally, and internationally, in those terms. And don't forget to mention the region of origin, race, sexuality, and gender of the predators and perpetrators--particularly when they are U.S. white heterosexual men. Because that group of men, unlike all men of color and all gay men, are not stigmatised as dangerous predators.
The problem isn't "gender violence", Mr. Rothberg. It's MEN'S violence against human beings who are female, of all ages. It is not until the next to last paragraph that you mention the perpetrators' gender at all. Why do you keep hidden the fact that all of the atrocities you name are men's? White men's. Heterosexual men's.
You mention fashion parades as something women do to celebrate. But women also take up arms against men, Peter. And more women probably should. Because unless and until men start fearing being held immediately and directly accountable for the violence that men--including rich, white, heterosexual men--do to girls and women, unless men are terrified, collectively, of being shot to death, point blank, by any woman who attempts to rape, beat, pimp, or sell her, we likely won't see much change in the condition of women globally. And you can bet that any woman who kills more than one male predator will see the inside of a jail cell. But men rape hundreds and girls and see little to no time. Why do you think that is? And what is The Nation going to do about it?
Will your magazine support laws that make it not a crime for women to shoot to kill any man who is raping, beating, pimping, or selling her? Would you see such a law being more inhumane that all the rapes, beatings, pimpings, and murders of women men commit with impunity? If you would not support making women's self-defence when attacked or enslaved by a man not a crime, what solutions to patriarchal men's against women and girls, right here in this nation, do you propose?
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100 Years of International Women's DayMarch 8, 2011
The world has been celebrating International Women’s Day since 1911 when it was established thanks to the efforts of activist Clara Zetkin. The idea was to create a global forum for celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women and provide a forum for women's issues to be raised, discussed and addressed. This video offers a nice capsule history of the occasion.