• Posted: May 05, 2008 02:13:10
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If you get a chance, check out Marcus Bleasedale's story Rape of a Nation on MediaStorm. The link is: http://mediastorm.org/0022.htm. About half way through the story there is a clip of a young woman describing her ordeal of being abducted and forced into sexual slavery to a band of armed men for months, long enough to become pregnant, bring to term, and deliver an infant that was then hacked to pieces by her captives.
There was also a story by the Associated Press this week about a female student from Mali seeking asylum in the U.S., fearing forced marriage and enslavement should she return when her visa expires to the parents who mutilated her genitalia in the belief they were purifying her. Her appeal has so far been denied.
Also reported this week was the freeing of a woman in Austria held captive and sexually abused by her own father for 24 years, having born 7 offspring from the incestuous union.
Undoubtedly these stories represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the uncountable ways women have been bullied, coerced, exploited, and abused this week around the world. And yet, the rather remarkable woman in the picture above is likely not only still enjoying freedom from abuse but probably quite thoroughly continuing to take pleasure in the sensation she stirs wherever she goes. The contrast is profound and frighteningly unexplainable.
Is the difference merely a matter of culture? In other words, if parenting practices, public education, and societal values were different would the picture of abuse for women be different? Perhaps, but highly unlikely. Human behavior is not solely ideational. It is also structural and cued by chemistry. There is clearly something structural hardwired into the male perceptual apparatus. Female curves almost universally attract and excite. And chemistry provides the basis for the hair-trigger reactiveness of males to females. Different brain chemistry, different level of excitability. Genetics, nutrition, age, as well as cultural ideation all play a role in moderating the excitability of males confronting females.
Interestingly, studies of bonobos, who have a matriarchal society, suggest that female behavior can go a long way toward moderating the aggressive reactiveness of males. Testimony from many enduring human couples tends to concur with that assessment. Mutual attentiveness and mutual accommodation would seem to be the key to an enduring non-abusive relationship. The ancient Kama Sutra suggests the same. In other words, be nice to her and she might be nice to you.
Well and good, but how is all that a cure for the continuing worldwide brutalization of women as recounted in the stories above? It isn't. And that is what's so frightening.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
88.8 mm 421 mm