This AWTWNS news packet for the week of 13 June 2016 contains two articles. They may be reproduced or used in any way, in whole or in part, as long as they are credited.
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– USA: Rape at Stanford University and the rest of the world
– Rape is as English as steak and kidney pie
USA: Rape at Stanford University and the rest of the world
13 June 2016. A World to Win News Service. A star athlete at Stanford University – one of the world’s most prestigious universities, often associated with the most advanced technology (the Silicon Valley) in the most “socially advanced” state (California) in a country that considers itself the world’s most advanced and “exceptional” nation – has been given a paltry penalty for rape, probably three months actual jail time. Rape and the threat of rape is universal to the condition of women as a subordinated sex on this planet, but what made this case unusual was not the location.
For once, there were witnesses, and they had difficult-to-disregard credibility. Brock Turner was caught in the act by two male students, who stopped him as he was thrusting his pelvis on a half-naked motionless body in the shadows outside a fraternity party. Secondly, the woman survived, had strong family and other support, even within the court system, and persisted in demanding justice. When her attacker refused to apologize, she went through with the trial knowing that she would be revictimised publicly in the courtroom, with the most intimate details of her life paraded before the media that labelled her an “unconscious intoxicated woman”, derided by the perpetrator’s lawyer and much of public opinion as the real guilty party for drinking while having a vagina. Thirdly, for once, her attacker was convicted of three felonies, carrying a potential 14-year sentence.
The victim’s searing account, read in court on the day of the sentencing, has since gone viral with 16 million hits on Buzzfeed alone (See Buzzfeed.com for the full statement). It ends with an appeal to women who have been through the same trauma to stand strong and fight against the debasement that rape does to women. Acknowledging the worldwide support she has received, she says, “I remain anonymous, yes to protect my identity. But it is also as a statement, that all of these people are fighting for someone they don’t know. That’s the beauty of it. I don’t need labels, categories, to prove I am worthy of respect, to prove that I should be listened to. I am coming out to you as a woman wanting to be heard. Yes there is plenty more I’d like to tell you about me. For now, I am everywoman.”
This is far from the world’s first case where privileged males have demanded impunity (and been largely granted it) for acting out what they and official society see as their entitlement toward women. The “Los Porkeys” case in Vera Cruz, Mexico, where four young men abducted and raped a former schoolmate, has become notorious for the authorities’ reluctance to press charges despite a video confession by these sons of wealthy and politically powerful fathers. But what makes the Stanford case particularly shocking is that despite the conviction, the judge still decided, and argued blatantly in his public decision, that the perpetrator should not be given a punishment that would have “a severe impact” on his life. The impact on the woman’s life didn’t even enter into the equation.
The forms of the oppression of women may differ from country to country, but how different is the Stanford rape case, in essence, from the 2012 gang rape and fatal beating of a young student on a New Delhi bus, or the kidnapping of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria?
How different is the attitude of the rapist, who still insists that being drunk excuses his act? How different are the values upheld by his father, who in a letter to the court belittled the rape as “20 minutes of action” that should not lead to spoiling a son’s promising future for the sake of “political correctness” toward women? He must have fully expected that much of his society from top to bottom would find this argument convincing. How different is the action taken by the judge? Worst of all, he probably thought his decision would be uncontroversial.
What the US justice system did in this case was simply to restate official approval for men’s sense of entitlement to subordinate and humiliate women physically and mentally that is part of the oppressive patriarchal culture rampant everywhere in a world dominated by an imperialist economic, political and social system and the values and culture that go along with the oppressive relations it is founded upon.
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Rape is as English as steak and kidney pie
13 June 2016. A World to Win News Service. “We all need to calm down here,” UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage lectured a young woman student who called him out for his claim that Britain is threatened with rape on a massive scale if immigration is not cut off.
Repeatedly before this Buzzfeed/Facebook Live debate, he called the New Year’s Eve assaults on women at the main Cologne train station a “nuclear bomb” that would engulf the UK if its government did not leave the European Union and abandon policies that allow any EU citizen to travel freely within the union, including people born outside of Europe. “Frankly if we are prepared to accept, or if Germany and Sweden are prepared to accept, unlimited numbers of young males, from countries and cultures where women are at best second-class citizens then frankly, what do you expect?”
The student, an audience member, knocked Farage back, for a moment. She calmly but very firmly told him, “You say that like England isn’t already in the top five for rape statistics in the world without those migrants coming in. You can’t blame it on the migrants when people get sexually harassed every single day in the streets. If you ask every single woman here she could tell you about a hundred incidents.”
The truth of her argument is backed up by statistics gathered by the UK government itself. Most (90 percent) of sexual assaults and rapes are committed by men the woman has known, “often by someone the survivor has trusted or even loved… friends, colleagues, clients, neighbours, family members, partners or exes.” (rapecrisis.org, figures for England and Wales)
When women in England and Wales responded to a survey conducted for the Home Office in 2013, 85,000 women said they had been raped and more than 400,000 reported being “victims of a sexual offence” on average every year for the previous three years. One in five women from the ages of 16 to 59 reported having experienced such crimes during her lifetime.
Farage claims rape is due to “some very big cultural issues”, and that is largely true, although it is not due to other people’s culture. Clearly rape is part of British culture, and increasingly so. (See The Independent, 10 June 2016 – “22 signs we live in a rape culture”.) UK Home Office statistics show that rape and other violent sexual assaults rose sharply since the previous survey. But the authorities do not play a neutral role in relation to this culture. The survey concludes that the percentage of reported sexual offences the police referred for prosecution was lower than any time since the government first began collecting such figures. And of the reduced number of reported cases, only 6 percent of these resulted in convictions.
In fact, as any real analysis reveals, immigrant girls, women and boys are the most likely to be victims of men of all ethnic backgrounds, while the police and other authorities routinely ignore these crimes against them and the poor in general, when not actively covering them up, persecuting victims for reporting them or committing rape and abuse themselves.
It should be pointed out that the UKIP’s rival “mainstream” parties, the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron and the Labour Party now headed by Jeremy Corbyn, have not only governed over this situation but were deeply involved in covering up rape, child abuse and other horrendous acts by white gangs, Asian gangs, police officers, Catholic priests and other religious figures, top BBC entertainers and other powerful celebrities, Members of Parliament and cabinet ministers. (See AWTWNS150316) More and more women have been getting raped and the British state has been an enforcer of this situation no matter which party has been elected. Why would future elections produce different results?
The British ruling class may have divisions about whether or not the UK should leave the European Union, but its leading political representatives are much more united about escaping the exposure of horrors deeply embedded in the society and its most important institutions – such as the systematic degradation of women at the core of British life and culture – and instead counterattacking around one of its favourite issues, the promotion of British chauvinism.
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