Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Patriarchy Strikes Back


Disturbing news has been coming from all directions (and countries).  Last week a presidential task force came out with the shocking statistic that 1 in 5 (some stats show 1 in 4) female college students has been raped.  And as we digest that, the news from Nigeria arrives.  More than 230 girls were kidnapped from a school (educating women, are we?) in Borno.  And now, more young girls from Warabe have been kidnapped.  Boko Harem whose name means “Western education is forbidden” is responsible.  One story reports that Boko Harem means to sell the girls for a low bride price.  These young girls are being subjected to slavery and so far, no one is stopping it.  How did this happen and how is it possible are the two questions that come to mind.

Closer to home, in Teaneck, New Jersey, 62 boys broke into the local high school, urinated on the floor, tied hot dogs to lockers, and turned over desks.  Obviously, there is the symbolism of the hot dogs and the aggression of urinating. Are the boys showing dominance in the way any animal might by marking its territory? My question is how is this called a prank.

In the last few years, articles like “The Death of Men” by Hanna Rosin pointed out women have become the majority of the workforce and more are now managers.  More women have gotten college degrees than men.  Are these the struggles women are going through to get to this point?  I grew up in the feminist era and my friends always had my back.  Part of my college days were spent in an endless party but I never heard of anyone raped or abused.  Perhaps I was innocent or just lucky. 

Is there a backlash to the recent gains women have made or is there a raising of consciousness where finally we know what rape means?  I suspect it’s both. 

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