From Delhi to Ohio & everywhere else: If You’re Not Fighting Rape, You Are Condoning It!
By Sunsara Taylor
On Dec. 16, 2012 a 23-year-old medical student was kidnapped, repeatedly gang-raped and tortured on a bus in Delhi, India which had been taken over by six men. She was raped repeatedly, beaten viciously, and penetrated by a rusty iron rod which ruptured her internal organs. By the time her rapists dumped her naked body under an overpass, along with her male companion who had sustained broken bones and a severe beating, 95% of her intestines had been pulled out of her body. Her rapists attempted to run her over with the bus, but her companion managed to pull her out of the way. Still, her ordeal was not over. For nearly two hours, as blood poured from her body, medical treatment was delayed – first as passersby refused to stop and then as police delayed and debated over whose jurisdiction and responsibility she was. On December 29th, after 13 days of emergency surgeries and medical attention, she died.
On August 11, 2012, a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio passed out at a party. While she was unconscious, the stars of the local football team stripped her naked, raped her, and goaded party-goers into urinating on her while crowds looked on. They dragged the unconscious girl to three different parties, violating her throughout the night. In cellphone footage taken that night, one of the rapists can be seen laughing and joking about what he and others did to the girl. Referring to the fact that she was unresponsive as this assault went on, he jokes,“Is it really rape, cuz you don’t know if she wanted it or not. She might have wanted it. That might have been her final wish.” While this girl did not, in fact, die, a group of guys can be heard laughing as one of them goes on for a full twelve minutes saying things like, “She is deader than OJ Simpson’s wife,” and, “She is deader than Trayvon Martin.”
How different are these two stories, really?
The cold truth is that today there is not a single place on the planet where it is safe to be female.
There is no place – on the street or in one’s home, in a rural Third World country-side or in the major cities of the imperialist citadels, from Delhi to Congo to Ohio and everywhere else – where women and girls are not in danger of being raped. Where women and very young girls are not then blamed and devalued for being raped. Where women and girls are not told to “get over it” when they are raped. Where women are not reduced to breeders of children – shamed, coerced or forced into bearing children against their will. Where abortion and even birth control is not either illegal or seriously under attack. Where women and very young girls are not oppressed, beaten, imprisoned, insulted, molested, abused, harassed, exploited, murdered, spat upon, thrown acid at, groped, shamed or otherwise systematically diminished.
But this violence and degradation, all this cruelty and viciousness, is not just the depraved behavior of a handful of men. Nor is this just “human nature.”
This is the nature of many men as they are shaped by the system we now live under, the global system of imperialism which has patriarchy – the domination of women by men – woven into its foundation, its traditions, its “morals,” and its culture. This violence is a direct and inevitable outgrowth of a system that feasts off of and requires the subjugated and degraded position of women in both its feudal/ medieval forms and in its so-called “modern” forms.
And this violence and hatred of women is fostered and CELEBRATED in one of the most mainstream cultural cornerstones of U.S. society today and one of the biggest industries in the world: pornography and the sex industry.
It is no coincidence that pornography has become more and more violent, degrading and cruel even as it has become more and more mainstream. It is not a coincidence that one of the most popular forms of pornography today is rape porn – and gang-rape in particular!
These rapes be separated from the larger relations in the world where millions of women and young girls every year are kidnapped, tricked, sold by starving families and beaten into the global web of sex slavery and where millions of men have been conditioned to see women as nothing more than flesh to be consumed, defiled, brutalized, and discarded.
If there were nothing else wrong with this system, this alone would be reason enough to rise up and make revolution to sweep this system – with its celebration of woman-hating and horrific suffering it causes – off the face of the earth! And anyone who dreams of a better world, must take up this fight.
As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party has put it:
“You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution.”
It is URGENT that this fury come forth – and it is a tremendous, and tremendously important, thing that this has begun to erupt throughout India!
For weeks, thousands of women as well as a significant number of men have been rising up against in furious revolt against this recent gang-rape and death and the whole culture of misogyny it concentrates. For weeks, women’s fury has poured out. Fury at having to live in fear every day of being attacked and raped. Fury at the way so many men treat public spaces like free-for-all zones for groping and harassing women. Fury at the way women are shamed and blamed if they are the victims of rape and other assault. Fury at the way law enforcement ignores rape and protects rapists – where often it is the law enforcement, military and political officials themselves who are the rapists! Fury at the fact that in every realm of society women are degraded and demeaned, devalued and brutalized, shamed and judged, treated like property and exploited and oppressed.
One of the most common things women are saying is, “This girl could have been me, it could have been any of my friends and no-one would have taken us seriously.”
Through their fierce struggle, through their rage and defiance, these women and men are finally being taken seriously! They have faced down police wielding batons, water-cannons and pepper-spray. They have fought off sexual assault by reactionary men who went into the crowds to try to stop them. In fact, all this only made them more angry and made their protests more powerful!
Just, three weeks ago, almost none of these women themselves had any idea how furious they were. Three weeks ago, almost noone had any idea of the potential for growing numbers of men to stand up together with them. Make no mistake: the same depth of fury among women and potential among men exists within women and men the world over, but it will never come to the surface if we do not fight for it.
It is urgent that people everywhere stand with the women rising up in India. Their struggle is our struggle – the women there are our sisters!
It is urgent that we bring to people who are rising up an understanding of the genuine communist revolution as BA has re-envisioned it that is needed – and possible! – to get rid of the scourge of rape throughout the world. A good place to start is by digging into and spreading the Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of Humanity.
Finally, it is urgent that we take a lead and inspiration from their unleashed anger to bring the same to the surface here in this country and everywhere else on this planet. We must take the responsibility to unleash this fury as a mighty force for the most radical and liberating revolution in human history – fighting today to put an end to the constant abuse and degradation of women, the whole culture of rape and pornography that stalks and endangers women, the whole vicious assault on women’s right to birth control and abortion – as we build up the strength to put an end to this madness, here and all over the world, once and for all through communist revolution at the soonest possible time!
From Delhi to Ohio to Everywhere Else – If You Are Not Fighting Rape, You Are Condoning It!
Stop Watching Porn – Start Fighting Patriarchy!
Unleash the Fury of Women As A Mighty Force for Revolution!