Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Indictment of my Gender

If all these forms of abuse are added together, the percentage of women I interviewed who have been literally or more figuratively raped by men comes alarmingly close to 100 percent. I had not expected such a thorough indictment of my gender

--Mark Baker, Women

You read about it every day in the newspapers or watch it on the evening news or on CNN or the Nancy Grace Show. The victimization, abuse, and exploitation of women and young girls remain a relentless (like tooth decay) scourge upon human society.

The recent news about a police raid on a vast polygamist compound in Texas and the discovery of countless young teenage young ladies (many of whom just entering puberty) being forcibly married and impregnated by older men; being subjected to an emotional and spiritual milieu that reeks of subjugation, humiliation, and exploitation; stand as the latest item in the symbolic indictment of man’s inhumanity to women.

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell once wrote a song in the mid-1980s called The Three Great Stimulants and in the song she lists them as being: artifice, brutality, and innocence.

When you contemplate the Texas polygamist case you see all three stimulants in action. You see the artifice of luring or imprisoning young, vulnerable women and girls in a so-called faith that glorifies pedophilia and rape. You see the brutality of these young women and girls being forced to become adults when they should be at school studying algebra or playing soccer or going to the shopping mall with their friends. You see the innocence that is violated and corrupted and, eventually, gets tossed aside when the victimizer grows tired and bored with his victim.

Law enforcement with varying success tries to put a stop to this but the disease remains.

You see it on Dateline with Chris Hansen when he confronts those guys who drive 300 miles to forcibly rape under-age teens. It never ends. The compulsion never ends: the dehumanization where young girls and women are converted into blank screens upon which molesters can project their inner decay and depravity.

It is madness and it seems to be getting worse or else our willingness to expose this disease has improved. But what remains are the scars and they never go away.

And that the most savage indictment of all upon my gender.

1 comment:

Erin Voorheis said...

Tough subject. You handled it nicely.