It's a Man's World
It is a man’s world; women just happen to live in it. As a condition of being allowed to live in their world, women are being diminished, degraded and dehumanized as walking targets. The statistics are alarming, and there aren’t any signs of improvement for the minority that makes up over half of the population.
Women walk around with these targets on our backs in countries that are subject to an array of prejudice and generalization. The one thing that almost every nation has in common is the way they treat or allow women to be treated. Despite the fact that rape and sexual assault by any other name is a crime against humanity, its universal prevalence is an international common ground. Instead of bickering over who is going to annihilate whom, let’s sing Kumbaya, because humanity is failing an entire gender, together. In the Half the sky video documentary series, the struggles of women fighting for physical safety worldwide are articulated. By use of the comparison and contrast method in a documentation pertaining to sexual violence, two points are able to be made: In Liberia, only one percent of rapists are ever charged, and in America, forty percent are reported with an astounding three percent conviction rate.
The other comparison made was the way these atrocities are handled. The innocent victim, sometimes only a child, is blamed for seducing the perpetrator in Liberia. This style of blaming the victim on trial is similar here in the States. It seems like a victim is on trial for her sex life, not justice. At least in America there are generally attitudes of sympathy towards a rape victim; in Liberia she will be shunned by her family, possibly forced out of school and even abandoned.
She has lost all her honor and is of no value to her husband or father, so she loses her life as she has known it. She faces HIV and unplanned pregnancy. That is why rape is more than just the act itself: it is murder to the victim’s old life and perceptions of herself. Without saying it directly, Half The Sky informed the audience that the American methodology for handling rape isn’t much better. Does two plus two equal three or five? Neither America nor Liberia handles sexual violence in a serious or effective manner. Another method used to vividly express the shear horrors of rape in Liberia, as well as other developing nations, is narrative.
Gwen is a teenage Liberian girl who was brutally molested by her uncle and is being disowned by her father. Sadly, this narrative is a representation of the norm. Her story of despair and hope for a better future is truly heart-wrenching. Statistics are wonderful, but people don’t feel in numbers. It is much easier to empathize with a cause if there is a true and tragic example. The unapologetic honesty of the film forced viewers to be grateful for what they have and lit a fire within them.
The world will never be a completely happy go-lucky safe place, but it doesn’t have to be this bad. The powerful message delivered by Half The Sky is that things can always change. The project is doing an incredible job of informing and is delivering a necessary wake up call. The Dark History of EI, the Latest Frat to be Accused of Rapey Emails sheds light on the underbelly of post-secondary education by first-hand and quantitative evidence. It is no secret that fraternities are known for obnoxious partying and drunken foolishness, but this rape statistic may be a bit more alarming. One in five women will experience attempted or completed sexual assault during her college experience.
That means at least thirty girls in our junior class will meet this fate. Isn’t education swell? Enter school with hopes for a degree; come out with PTSD, every girl’s goal. Included in the article, were explicit (nearly pornographic) emails between frat members from Yale, which is supposed to be one of the most prestigious universities, in which women were literally referred to as “targets.” Apparently the fiscally fortunate members of the Yale chapter of Epsilon Iota aren’t an exception to any unfortunate college riff-raffery. With an incredibly blunt tone, it is expressed that the current boys-will-be-boys attitude is no longer acceptable; universities must stop covering for rapists, and the fact that she drank at a frat party does not belittle the fact that she was raped.
The author Soraya Chamaly of 50 Facts About Rape gives a brief introduction with and intermittent list of fifty appalling pieces of information followed by a few closing statements. The plethora of knowledge speaks for itself, but the author’s touch of irony successfully delivers the message. Too many republican politicians have made remarks about rape, pregnancy and abortion. A direct quote from Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock, “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that..
. is something God intended to happen,” Later Chamayl counterattacked the remark with her snarky satire, “Maybe information is a part of God’s divine plan.” Hopefully people will start catching onto that one. People are dangerously misinformed on the gravity of the rape situation in America. The world as a whole, since it seems to not discriminate, needs to unite and support a zero-tolerance towards rape.
It is inexcusable. 32,000 women are forcefully impregnated each year; 25,000 child brides are forced to marry every day; 37% of Alaskan women will be raped, and somewhere between 300 thousand and 1.3 women are raped each year in the US. (The exact amount is unknown due to lack of reporting.) Women are not weak: we have power in numbers.
These unfortunate numbers do not have to represent the future, but serious attitude adjustments and cultural reevaluations must commence internationally in order for women to have a place in humanity. Works Cited: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/04/the-dark-history-of-ei-the-latest-rape-email-frat/361056/ The Atlantic The Dark History of EI the Latest Frat Accused of Rapey Emails Atlantic Media Company April 22, 2014 Olga Khazan http://www.itvs.org/educators/collections/half-the-sky/lesson_plans/gender-based-violence Half The Sky Community Classroom 2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/50-facts-rape_b_2019338.html The Huffington Post 50 Actual Facts About Rape The Huffington Post.com October 26, 2012 Soraya Chamaly