The Never Ending War Against Females
By N Oji Mzilikazi
Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 23, Number 03 February 7, 2013
Reportage of the December 2012 gang rape of 23-year-old Damini on a Delhi bus, and her subsequent death, morphed into a demonization of India, and with an implied sense of western self-righteousness and western cultural superiority in in regards to the treatment of women.
Without a doubt, a culture of female abuse, sexual violence, sexual assault and rape exist in India. A June 2012 poll of 370 international gender specialists voted India the worst place in all G20 countries to be a woman. Saudi Arabia was second.
The brazenness of Damini’s rape in a public space without protestations and intervention from passengers points to ingrained misogyny, affirmation of men believing women have no rights a man must respect, males having no fear of the law thus free to rape with impunity, and people cowed into resignation on account of police and judicial apathy.
Hopefully, the public uproar will bring changes, force the police to enforce laws already in the books, spur the legislature to act, draft new laws for the protection of women if need be, and/or stiffen the penalties for crimes against females by males, and see to it that judiciary is compliant.
Even so, the issue of abuse, violence, sexual violence against women, and rape as a tool of terrorism, to break and humiliate a community is global – not limited to “those” countries.
In September 2012, 14 men went on trial in France over the gang-rapes of two girls in the rundown estates in Fontenay-sous-Bois. The almost daily rapes went on for months. One of the victims said there would be at least 25 youths present during attacks. One witness described 50 boys queuing to rape.
West Palm Beach, Florida was rocked in 2007 with the Dunbar Village gang rape. 10 masked teens raped and sodomized a 35-year-old Haitian-American female, took cell phone pictures of their dastardly act, forced the woman to perform oral sex on her 12-year-old son, and then poured cleaning solution on their skin and eyes.
The circulation of a cellphone video in 2010 led police in Cleveland, Texas, to charge 18 males including teenage boys in February 2011, with the gang-rape of an 11-year-old girl.
Bear in mind that modestly-dressed females, bedridden females as well as females who are senior citizens have been raped, and are raped, in January 2011, at a safety forum in Toronto’s York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School; Constable Michael Sanguinetti told the room that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
That in this day and age, a police officer could uphold the antiquated belief that dressing sexy or provocatively invites come-ons and/or sexual assault, shows how far behind we as a society are in respect to believing that women are entitled to be secure in their person.
Sanguinetti’s comments led to “Slut-Walk” marches of protest, which eventually spread to other parts of Canada, then the United States and the U.K.
Regardless as to reasons, an overwhelmingly large number of homes are headed, run by single females. Statistics reveal that homes headed by the single female are poorer than those headed by males.
Besides hordes of women being trapped in low-paying and dead-end jobs, wage discrimination against women is real. Women are frequently paid less than their male counterparts for the same job. Wage discrimination against females is one of the fronts in the war against women.
When female tennis players were making their case for equal prize money at Grand Slam tournaments, objections came from many quarters, including those running the tournaments.
Male players like Andy Murray and Tim Henman defended the status quo on the grounds that women do not play as long as the men. Women play the best of 3 sets, males the best of five.
Such a view ignores the fact that the hormone testosterone which gives males their “maleness” and by extension strength and endurance is absent in females. Thus two female players battling in a three-setter could be just as exhausting as two males in a five.
For a long while now, men have been acting as if female solidarity is an evil, and there exists a “female” trump card which when invoked gives the gender benefits.
Angela Merkel is Germany’s two-time chancellor. Peer Steinbrueck of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), is her main challenger in the forthcoming elections. Last December he told a German newspaper that Merkel has an advantage over him because she is a woman.
Much longer, men been complaining that they’re being displaced by females, women are being hired at the expense of males, and female empowerment is undermining masculinity. The perceived loss of male entitlement has ramped up huge anti-female sentiment.
What short memory!
From time immemorial, patriarchy ruled all political, economic, educational, military, and social institutions in every society. Women were perceived and considered inferior in mind, intellect, body and spirit. Subsequently, relegated to subservient and property status, to serve men – fathers, husbands and sons.
Men also owned the rights to women and their bodies. A woman’s life was theirs to command and do whatsoever they want with it.
That ingrained sense of male ownership once accounted for police refraining from intervening into domestic abuse by males upon females, and the law believing that marital rape did not exist.
Its manifestation today can be seen in opposition to women having abortion, even in cases of rape – denying women the right to control their own bodies. And a spate of idiocy – concepts of “legitimate rape” and its ilk by the supposed educated to its upholding.
Just recently, California Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson declared from the bench that if someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down.
Lest we believe that Christianity eschew females as property and their ownership by males, they are Biblically sanctioned.
Deuteronomy 22: 28-29 makes clear that if a female is the victim of rape, depending on her marital status, either her father or her husband would be the one to be financially compensated.
Imagine a woman suffering the indignity of rape, and another person is to be compensated for her pain, injuries, and trauma. Clearly, it’s on account of the nothingness of the female, damage done to property.
Since marital status is taken into account, marriage has to be seen in the light of transference of female ownership from father to husband.
When religious scripture and/or religious ideology position women as property, it becomes a license for males to exploit, abuse, oppress and violate women. Thus, cultures where child marriages and female clitoral mutilation are upheld, and wives were expected to throw themselves into their husband funeral pyre.
Thus, cultures where ultrasound makes gendercide, sex-selection, the abortion of female foetus a much easier process – so men can have their sons.
In Judaism there is a prayer for males to say upon rising, thanking God for not making them a woman.
The patriarchal grip of the world is loosening, and like a drowning man holding on to a straw for dear life, huge numbers of males, and many wearing cloaks of religiosity are putting forth all manner of arguments, pseudo-science, resistance, and gravitating to extremism to maintain power.
Thus, the attempted murder of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan for her activism in regards to girls getting an education.
Why should women be educated when barefoot, pregnant, and serving men are their true calling?
To be continued
Damini, Delhi bus rape, Judge
Derek Johnson, Constable Michael Sanguinetti, Dunbar Village gang rape,