Posted on July 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm
The tragic significance in the synchronicity of this event, related to the issues of women's reproductive health being discussed for the past week @ Austin's Capitol will not be lost upon anyone, I presume?
Also consider the fate of women assaulted during the protests in Egypt in the past few days, for instance:
Raped in Tahrir: The Frightening Reality Women Face at Egypt Protests
Meanwhile, in other underworld related news...
The recently discovered fourth and fifth moons of Pluto now have official names: Kerberos and Styx.
Tragically, the first things that this juxtaposition of events brought to my mind were the myths of Persephone
However, there is another way to address these myths... by reclaiming the stories & reframing them with the victim becoming a hero(ine)...
Persephone was not abducted into the Underworld. She entered of her own free will from Lunar Tunes Astrology: Jeffrey Kishner's cosmic ramblings
Every Woman Is a Storyteller from Goddess in a Teapot: Celebrating Spirituality and Art in Women's Everyday Lives
"Rape, Facebook, and the Feminine Divine: Reclaiming our Feminine Power" by Trista Hendren on Apr 22, 2013 • 6:00 am
Here are some of my own collected resources, related to reclaiming manifestation of the divine feminine in our material world
Something else... I stumbled across this, while researching critics of the Eleusinian Mysteries...
Acknowledging the audience's emotions (about MLK's assassination), Kennedy referred to his own grief at the murder of his brother, President John F. Kennedy and, quoting a passage from the play Agamemnon, said: "My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: 'Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.' What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black... Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world."
i recognize that violence is always an option for the predator hominids that dominate this planet, but i will always champion the alternative solutions, whenever possible...
In the meanwhile, until we manage to create a more peaceful world (don't hold your breath too long, but it can be healthy exercise ;-)... I recommend that everyone train thoroughly in as many aspects of self-defense as possible:
Modern self defense techniques for women... and men!
Perhaps we just need Gulabi Gangs around the world!
These ladies kick ass!
Official website of Sampat Pal Devi, who founded The Gulabi Gang during 2006, in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India.
Gulabi Gang - Archive
Pink Saris - HBO Documentary about the Gulabi Gang
Pink Saris (Gulabi Gang) - FB Group
Here are some techniques, other than &/or in addition to violence, that also have proven success for assisting former victims in reclaiming their heroic power
Reclaiming Your Sexuality After Rape & Sexual Abuse
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic technique developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, in 1987. EMDR mainly works on the principle that traumatic memories that are not processed properly cause blockages, leading to disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS).
Reclaiming Your Life After Rape: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Client Workbook (Treatments That Work) by Barbara Olasov Rothbaum & Edna B. Foa
MDMA/PTSD U.S. Study (Veterans of War)
PTSD Treatment For Tibetan Monks (Who Survived as Chinese POWs)
To help traumatized Tibetan monks, doctors in Boston turn to cross-cultural medicine
Somatic Experiencing is a form of therapy aimed at relieving and resolving the symptoms of PTSD and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems by focusing on the client’s perceived body sensations (or somatic experiences). It was introduced in Dr. Peter Levine's 1997 book Waking the Tiger. In it, he discusses at length his observations of animals in the wild, and how they deal with and recover from life-threatening situations.
In analyzing correlations between specific itemized beliefs listed in the "Just World Scale" and the "Rape Myths Acceptance Scale," certain obvious patterns emerge...
I do think that this is rather crucial information for people to bear in mind when dealing with the beliefs &
perceptions regarding rape:
*"Why people blame the rape victim"
Rape is the only crime in which the victim must prove his or her innocence.
There is an age old question: Whose fault is it when someone is raped?
The answer: Rape is always the fault of the rapist.
"In real life, however, rape victims are brutalized, ignored and harassed by the system that is designed to help them. They are traumatized stigmatized or shamed for life if they are not killed
during the attack." p. 262 The Encyclopedia of Rape
*What is victim blame?
"Victim blaming is holding the victim responsible for what has happened to her/him. One way in which victim blaming is perpetuated is through rape myths. Rape myths allow us to blame the victim and are
often common false beliefs." Safe Campus Project
And here's a fairly focused, but extensive bibliography:
Andre, C. & Velasquez, M. (1990). The just world theory. Issues in Ethics, Vol. 3, No. 2, Spring 1990. http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/i
Burt, M. (1980). Cultural myths and supports for rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, No. 2, 217-230. http://www.excellenceforchildandyouth.ca/s
Caputi, P. (1994). Factor structure of the Just World Scale among Australian undergraduates. The Journal of Social Psychology, August 1994, Vol. 134(4), 457.
Castello, J., Coomer, C., Stillwell, J., & Leach, K.L. (2006). The attribution of responsibility in acquaintance rape involving ecstasy. North American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 3, 411-420. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_68
Crozier, S., & Joseph, S. (1997). Religiosity and sphere-specific just world beliefs in 16- to 18-year olds. The Journal of Social Psychology, August 1997, Vol. 137(4), 510. http://www.springerlink.com/content/k5wk
Furnham, A. (1993). Just world beliefs in twelve societies. The Journal of Social Psychology, June 1993, Vol. 133(3), 317.
Idisis, Y., Ben-David, S., & Ben-Nachum, E. (2007). Attribution of blame to rape victims among therapists and non-therapists. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 25, 103–120. doi:10.1002/bsl.721 http://ariel.academia.edu/SarahBenDavid/P
Muram, D., Hellman, R., & Cassinello, B. (1995). Prevalence of negative attitudes among police officers toward rape victims. Adolescent and Pediatric Gyneacology, Vol. 8, No. 2, 89-91. Abstract retrieved from CAT.INIST http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=3592259
Page, A. D. (2008). Gateway to reform? policy implications of police officers’ attitudes toward rape [Abstract]. American Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 33, No. 1. doi:10.1007/s12103-007-9024-9
Rawls, J. (1971). A theory of justice. Abstract. http://cneo.net/study/RawlsTJ.pdf
Rubin, Z. & Peplau, L. A. (1975). Who believes in a just world? Journal of Social Issues, 31, 65-69.
Sampson, R. (2002). The problem of acquaintance rape of college students. Acquaintance Rape of College Students. Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, Guide No. 17. Retrieved December 4, 2008,
And for some radically alternate, but still extremely informative, if extremely polemical perspectives...
evolutionary psychologists Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer comment that, "(Prof. Camille Paglia) ...urges women to be skeptical toward the feminist 'party line' on the subject, to become better informed about risk factors, and to use the information to lower their risk of rape."
also q.v. pp.37-38 for their analysis of the root causes of rape in human behaviour (from the perspective of evolutionary biology)
In the notorious essay, “It’s a Jungle Out There,” which first appeared in New York Newsday in 1991, Camille Paglia argues that feminism misleads women by offering them a fantasy of sexual empowerment instead of warning them of the inevitability of male sexual aggression.
Further comments about rape from Prof. Paglia can be found here
If you would like to read more about Prof. Paglia (& find copious links to more info about her extremely rich & expansive narrative), here're my lj entries about my own personal encounter with her (the first entry is quite short & simple, yet still rather deep; & the second is medium in length, but much wider in content & quite a bit more complex)
another of Prof. Paglia's colleagues, Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers, wrote this essay around the same time as when the hysteria about college date rape began... not that people shouldn't have been made aware of the dangers, but some of the facts were taken out of context, while others were kept in the shadows:
Researching the "Rape Culture" of America: An Investigation of Feminist Claims about Rape
And for a perhaps slightly more proactive and preventative perspective on these issues... here are my notes from the meeting we called @ the warehouse to inform the community about how we deal with serial rapists who seem to frequent the festival circuit
Another synchronicity occurred today, that triggered the extensive nature of this post... a friend posted this on FB & tagged me:
The Merry Pranksters Who Hacked the Afghan War
...which reminded me of Caleb Shaber's work there...
Here's my posthumous tribute to him:
I have a shelved project to address the culturally approved rape of boys in the middle & far east, as well as in catholicism, prisons & the military, etc... analyzing Afganistan is about as far as I got before I had to put it down.
I cannot reference Afganistan without making reference to Robert McNamara's about-face concerning his bungled Vietnam strategy & the obvious correlation to Afganistan!
Although for most Afghans, there is no love lost for the Taliban, they aren't all happy that the Taliban has been removed from power. There are many reasons for this, but as I listened to an NPR story the other
day, one statement has been playing in a tape loop in my head...
Stealing Money, Selling Heroin and Raping Boys -- The Very Dark Side of the Afghan Occupation
"One reason Afghan villagers prefer dealing with the Taliban than govt. security forces is that the latter (Karzai's police) have a habit of seizing their sons at checkpoints and sodomizing them."
The often oblivious Fox news ran an article last week, "Afghan Men Struggle With Sexual Identity, Study Finds"
Although this sort of denial may remind some of the behaviour parodied in Mr. Show's skit "Show Me Your Weenis"... it is certainly nothing new for Afganistan, or indeed, many third-world nations.
Bizarrely enough, according to this Rueters article, the Taliban's rise to power was due in part to their official intolerance of rape: "During Afghanistan's civil war of the early 1990s, rape and sexual violence towards women was widespread and Islamist Taliban militants gained strength at first because of their tough stance against the crime." That's not to say that it didn't happen, but that there were harsher penalties for people who were brought to trial (for both the aggressor AND the victim, sadly). This 2002 New Yorker article is more explicit:
"Afghans from other regions joke about the high incidence of pederasty among Kandahari men. They say that when crows fly over Kandahar they clamp one wing over their bottoms, just in case. One of the first
things the Taliban did—a popular move—was to punish mujahideen commanders who were accused of rape or pederasty. Homosexuals who were sentenced to death faced a particularly grisly end. Tanks or bulldozers crushed them and buried them under mud walls. Pederasty was evidently a continuing source of concern to Mullah Omar, who decreed that Taliban commanders couldn’t have beardless boys in their ranks."
In a more recent international controversy, the recently proposed Afghan law was rewritten so that it will not legalize rape, rape has been a consistent problem in Afganistan, throughout it's history
This 2002 article from the Boston Globe says, "In a country where women have long lived in the shadows, rape is an especially potent political weapon. ... The ouster of the Taliban by the US-backed Northern Alliance did not stop the use of rape as a way to demoralize and dominate."
Further details of how psychological warfare has been conducted in Afghanistan can be found here: Behind the Terror/Redefining Terms in Psychological Warfare
Here's a disturbing video segment about suicides and suicide attempts by Afghan women after they were sexually abused or raped.
Rape a "huge problem" in Afghanistan, U.N. says
And even Time magazine has recognized Afghanistan's Epidemic of Child Rape
Unfortunately, it's all too common for societies to be derogatory towards the victims, rather than brining the aggressors to justice:
Just look at the correlations between the acceptance of rape myths & belief in a "just world."
If you have made it this far, please take a moment to peruse the information I posted, yesterday morning...