See the original blog post, "PLP Defends Rapists" for the announcement and call to action regarding PLP's defense of admitted rapist Seth Miller.

***TRIGGER WARNING*** Everything in this blog is a frank discussion of sexual violence and rape.

Friday, January 11, 2013

From Delhi to Los Angeles to Steubenville…Smash Rape Culture Everywhere!

The case about the young woman who was brutally gang-raped in Delhi and died from the injuries has made international news. The broadcasted images of mass protests are quite inspiring because it appears that a new generation of youth are radicalizing and confronting patriarchal culture across South Asia. In early December—in the so-called feminist paradise of Sweden—teenage girls rioted in Gothenburg after being called sluts on Instagram. How about in the “land of the free”? Where are our riots against patriarchal culture? Because the truth is—we have lots to riot about.

In the U.S., like most patriarchal societies, people are taught to be concerned about protecting the life of the perpetrator and oppressor, rather that the life of the person that has been forever traumatized. U.S. society is also taught to rely on a racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic judicial and prison system to solve systemic problems. For those individuals who are interested in pre-figurative politics and transformative justice—how we confront oppression also reflects that type of society we want to create. But the struggle to confront patriarchy and rape culture will not be transformed through
meaningful conversation, because it is a war. The battles we wage each day to create cultures of consent and empowerment are part of a wider struggle for total liberation. The more that we discuss patriarchy and call people out for sexist, homophobic, and transphobic statements or “jokes,” the more likely it is that we can make our social and activist spaces safer. Such safe spaces and support networks allow us to do more than just confront personal situations, but to create societal changes. While the personal is political, we need a collective of folks for emotional and political support to confront oppressive bullshit. The physical and mental safety of our comrades is of paramount

This blog seeks to force the rapist Seth Miller and his party, the PLP, to be accountable. However, rape and the socialization of rape culture is not an anomaly, but the specter of it is always present. Just this week protests mounted in Steubenville, Ohio after Anonymous helped publicize a case in which a teenager was gang-raped by football players. In another case a few months ago, a teenager in Kentucky made her sexual assault case public after a gag order was placed on her to not discuss her case and protect her violators. The teenage victim told the Louisville Courier-Journal: “For months, I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t go out in public places. You just sit there and wonder,
who saw (the pictures), who knows?” Just as this case proves, the courts and those who support patriarchal culture are deeply concerned with protecting sexual assaulters and rapists who are given a slap on the hand and license to do it again. An individual’s trauma or the possibility of future victims is rarely put into account. As Silvia Federici argues in her book Caliban and the Witch, rape culture is deeply embedded in our societies after centuries of oppression and trauma. Since it was internalized through socially accepted violence, it will be not be defeated without public discussions and direct action. We must confront impunity, rape culture, and dynamics of patriarchal domination, which feeds the oppression of our bodies and the exclusion of our self-empowerment.

No comments:

Post a Comment