A scream escapes the next room.
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,” 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.
“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.
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.