It is not recognized how rape is such an epidemic worldwide and in the US. I will confine myself here to the US. Rape is of catastrophic proportions in areas of conflict with armed militias and civil war where in many cases it is used to intimidate and humiliate and weaken the enemy as wars go on over territory and precious metals which are sold to the worlds corporations. I will also confine myself here to the rape of women as this is by far and away the most prevalent form of rape. As my companion said to me how many men go out on a date wondering if their date will try to rape them. In spite of the rape of young boys by people like the full time organizers in the Catholic church and by sports coaches it is women who are the main victims of sexual assault and rape.
The sick backward right wing Christian Todd Akin has brought this issue to the surface in the US by talking of "legitimate rape" and then "forcible Rape." He and his buddy vice Presidential candidate Ryan were trying to separate out different forms of rape to try and deny abortion rights to more and more women.
The New York Times today August 24th, has an article by Ethan Bronner looking at rape and how it has been looked at and how the US FBI and other authorities have been trying to change the wording surrounding this crime and trying to classify it in a different way. The FBI changed its classification this year after 8 decades.
According to the FBI there were "85,000 forcible rapes" (their term) in 2010." But this number included only rapes that were reported and those that involved vaginal penetration by a man through the use of force. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by contrast estimate that the number of men on women rapes in 2010 was 1.3 million, that is 15 times higher than the FBI total.
Rape and Abortion are amongst the issues least discussed openly by women and by society. This has to change.
Also on the special oppression of women. Half of the factory workers in the world today are women. They are overwhelmingly in sweat shops in countries such as Bangle Desh , China etc. At present we have the killings of the miners in South Africa. At the same time we have the vicious attacks on the women garment workers in Bangla Desh. Male cops are attacking them as they seek better wages through strike action. The women workers are daily being beaten with sticks and shot at with rubber bullets. The women earn $50 a month, less than the price of one sweater that they knit and which is shipped to European stores. The women were enraged at a cut in their wages and their anger was directed against the Chinese and Hong Kong bosses of the factories.
A change in the whole way that male female relations is looked at is necessary. A change in the situation where women are low paid labor is necessary. As one women said to me recently I have my own job now with a decent wage i do not have to take any s.... from any man. A well paid guaranteed job for all with equal pay for equal week, an end to the brutalization of personal sexual relations, this is what is necessary. The second is dependent on the first in the last analysis. Real equality and an end to the special oppression and violence against women demands a change in the economic system in which we live. The word rape first developed on the basis of women being seen as property, it developed around the idea of the property of the father being stolen. This was in England as capitalist relations became dominant. An end to rape and the special oppression of women demands a change in property relations today.
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