Rapes Make Victims of Us All

A scream escapes the next room.

Again.

And again.

You trace it back to a crowd surrounding a pinball machine. They are riveted, cheering. Your eyes follow theirs and as they settle, even you’re transfixed. A girl is pinned down to the machine, and three guys are taking turns raping her. Everyone is at a standstill.

Until Oct. 24, that scenario was fictional, a scene from the Jodie Foster-movie, “The Accused.”

Then, a 15-year-old girl was gang raped for more than two hours at Richmond High School while as many as 20 people stood by. No one called 911. So far, six arrests have been made, according to a USA Today article.

“Are you making a statement about rape leading to dehumanization and depersonalization for everyone, not just the actual victim?”

It is unclear if the bystanders will be prosecuted. A California law makes it illegal to witness a crime and not report it, but that only applies to victims who are 14 years old or younger.

That law needs to be revisited and the bystanders should be prosecuted. Some onlookers allegedly cheered and recorded the rape on their cell phones. In that case, they could be charged as accomplices to the crime, according to a Christian Science Monitor article.

dollhouse
Seated: A doll, Sierra (Dichen Lachman), gets a new persona in a scene from FOX's show, "Dollhouse." Photo: TV Week website

Dollhouse,” a show on FOX, poses questions about sex trafficking and rape. It’s about an organization which enlists people (aka dolls) to do whatever the clients want.

The dollhouse wipes the memories of the dolls and imprints them with new personalities each time. These imprints can range from negotiators to mothers, but most of the time, the clients want romantic engagements, to put it mildly.

In the episode, “Belonging,” we find out how Sierra, a doll, ended up at the agency. As it turns out, a man who was obsessed with her had her committed and repeatedly requested her for “romantic engagements.” In a move so clearly disguised as rape, even the heads of the dollhouse are disgusted.

Meanwhile, the “Epitaph One” episode fast-forwarded to an apocalyptic future, when everyone is in danger of having their personalities erased. Blogger Charlie Jane Anders interviewed Maurissa Tancharoen, the co-writer of both episodes.

One of Anders’ questions: “Are you making a statement about rape leading to dehumanization and depersonalization for everyone, not just the actual victim?”

Tancharoen’s answer? Yes.

Rape claims more lives than just the sexually assaulted. The organized criminals on “Dollhouse” lent out people for sex, which led to powerful consequences. Everyone in the world was at risk of losing their personalities and by default, themselves, their essence, their souls.

The United Nations dubbed the Democratic Republic of Congo “the rape capital of the world,” according to a New York Times article.

“The dehumanizing nature of sexual violence doesn’t just harm a single individual or a single family or even a single village or a single group, it shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Dollhouse” is a fictional show, but that doesn’t make it any less a reflection of current events. In addition to the gang rape in Richmond, Calif., rape is used as a weapon of war in countries such as Rwanda, according to a Reuters article.

The United Nations dubbed the Democratic Republic of Congo “the rape capital of the world,” according to a New York Times article. In Guinea, the murder and rape of protesters on Sept. 28 was allegedly “premeditated,” according to a BBC News article.

“In too many places and too many ways, the oppression of women stands as a stark reminder of how difficult it is to realize people’s full human potential,” Clinton said.

Furthermore, rapes and acts of terrorism may be connected.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo: Fanpix website

“If you look at where we are fighting terrorism, there is a connection to groups that are making a stand against modernity, and that is most evident in their treatment of women. …

“It’s a projection of the insecurity and the disorientation that a lot of these terrorists and their sympathizers feel about a fast-changing world, where they turn on television sets and see programs with women behaving in ways they can’t even imagine.

“The idea that young women in their own societies would pursue an independent future is deeply threatening to their cultural values,” Clinton said.

It’s easy to categorize rape as a women’s issue, but men are raped, too. Even if only one gender could be raped, everyone would still be affected. In certain cases, rape stems from gender inequality and fuels wars and terrorism. We are all victims here, but we don’t have to be.

A scream escapes the next room.

Again.

And again.

You trace it back to a crowd surrounding a pinball machine. They are riveted, cheering. Your eyes follow theirs and as they settle, even you’re transfixed. A girl is pinned down to the machine, and three guys are taking turns raping her.

You call 911.

It all ends.

It all begins.

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2 thoughts on “Rapes Make Victims of Us All

  1. No, you are wrong, until Oct. 24 it was not fiction. WAKE UP. It happened many times over and over before and it has to stop. BUT, even now you hear more people asking for policing instead of educating, personal responsibility and family values. AND . . . this other think, the DA charging the minors as adults . . . well that is whole othe crock of shit, the ones under age are underage and if any over 18 the law has to consider age.

    Please also do not forget the responsibility the City of Richmond officials have, the elected politicians, law enforcement, school administrators, e.t.c. I am yet to see someone to resign yet and admit how they have been screwing up and getting paid for it by taxpayers’ money.

    I have also yet to see any of the offenders’ family members issuing an apology.

    And . . . is anyone talking about racially motivated hate crimes in Richmond including this one?

    Time for everyone to take personal responsibility, ask for accountability and start talking about what ever ended up being on the taboo list.

    Richmond residents, elected and not elected officials, administrations and politicians get your act together . . . .

  2. Let’s not get confused, or blur fiction with reality.

    A gang of Hispanic youths made a victim of a teenaged white girl. The crime has elements of ethnic violence (as did the rapes in the Balkans during the conflict there) and race and we must not be blinded to that fact because it is politically inconvenient.

    We can choose to avoid becoming victims of ethnically-motivated sexual violence, by working hard to eliminate gang culture. This requires early interventions to deter young men from becoming involved in gang culture, but also tough law enforcement against criminal gangs. The final step of course is self-defense, which is justified by almost all moral traditions. Now, it is obvious that a fifteen year old girl cannot defend herself against a gang of men. She will be beaten (as the victim was in this case) into submission. But a community can defend itself with many means.

    The voices missing in this debate are those of Hispanic organization leaders. They should be decrying this violence, as it is a stain on their community. Where are there voices? Through their silence, they join the onlookers who watched, and did nothing, as the victim was raped again and again for hours….

    I mean La Raza, I mean LULAC, I mean every elected Hispanic official. Where are your voices? Or do you find something acceptable, some element of ethnic vengeance, in this attack?

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