Stranger Danger?

I find myself speaking about a new topic every week and it is due to the “new” information I view day to day about situations we as women face on a day to day basis. I do not want the viewer to feel that women are the only ones who go through these situations. Men do as well, but women are the main target and as a woman myself, subjects surrounding women are important to me. In this scenario, I am speaking on the subject of sexual abuse. We as human beings feel that strangers are the people we should keep our kids away from, hence the term stranger danger. But are strangers the people we should be careful of? In my blog post I will touch on the subject of sexual abuse, trust, and developing as a nation through this issue.

When we look out in to the world, children at an early age are taught to stay away from strangers because they could potentially harm them. In a sense, this is true, but are they the ones we should worry about?

According to an article called Child Sexual Abuse, statistics prove:

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS:

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
  • Over 58,000 children were sexually abused last year.
  • 8.3 % of reported child abuse cases were sexual abuse.
  • 34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members.
  • 12.3% of girls were age 10 or younger at the time of their first
  • rape/victimization, and 30% of girls were between the ages of 11 and 17.
  • 96% of people who sexually abuse children are male, and 76.8% of people who sexually abuse children are adults.
  • The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12 to 14 years old

Brave

These statistics show that children how early children were forced to grow up and be silenced about their sexuality, fearing those around them because they were scarred from an interaction or many interactions involving sexual abuse. These statistics explain why many children cut themselves as a way to get out of their heads for a moment. After having their first encounter with a man be one of abuse and to have that abuse occur at such a young age, many women fear being around men in fear that all they want from her is sex. A woman begins to feel that her body is all men want, leading her into participating in acts of prostitution, etc.

Video of mother who married a man who sexually abused her 15 year old daughter.

A BBC News report called One in 10 girls sexually abused, says UN report states:

Violence against children

  • 120m girls – one in 10 – are raped or sexually attacked by age of 20
  • Boys also report experiences of sexual violence, but to a lesser extent than girls
  • The most common form of sexual violence for both genders is cyber-victimisation
  • 95,000 children and teenagers were murdered in 2012
  • Slightly over one in three students aged 13-15 experience regular bullying in school
  • Six out of 10 children aged between two and 14 are physically punished by carers

Children are main victims of sexual abuse and are easy victims within their families. Instead of playing outside and slowly developing mentally and physically, these children are forced to know what things like sex are before they are even ready to learn to do long multiplication and division. This is a crime.

Sexual Abuse                                                                  I was 6

There is no way for us as a society to develop if we are struggling with issues of sexual abuse towards others, especially towards children. As individuals, the struggle to express that they were or are being sexually abused is difficult to speak about and that in itself makes it difficult to develop as individuals. Base on the lack of development personally, there is a low chance of development as a society. Based on an article called Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Mental Health Issue It states that “Some people feel very scared about reporting abuse. They may feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed. Some people blame themselves or believe that they deserved to be abused. Others report abuse, but they aren’t taken seriously or believed. Sexual abuse is a crime. It can have a large impact on health and well-being.” What keeps abusers going is the thought that their victim will be too afraid to speak about their abuse. That in itself is why sexual abusers still exists. They feed on younger people to fill a disgusting satisfaction of theirs. The amount of trust that comes with being related means nothing when your own blood is your sexual abuser. The victim of this abuse feels that they can no longer trust anyone, not even their family. Along with that, they feel like they have no where to go and so they dwell on their sexual encounter and begin to feel like less of a person, being lowered to feeling that the only way they can get away from the thoughts and feelings of their encounter is by cutting along with other forms of emotional and physical self abuse. Children are being robbed of their childhood and innocence on a daily basis and this in terms of development is a major down fall. The only way to help develop society as a whole is to speak out. It took me a while to speak out. I know what it is like to what to say something, but fear being looked at with disgusted eyes or just simply not being believed. I was afraid. I was molested for 6 years and it ate away at me for years. I was 7 years old when it all started. I blamed myself and hated myself for being a victim and having had gone through what I did. Luckily I did not physically abuse my body although I did emotional abuse myself. The fear took me 6 years before I spoke out. I was 13 when I ran to my father crying because it happened again and I told him. I was so afraid of many things. I was afraid I was pregnant because I had just got my period and I was afraid my daddy would frown at me. He didn’t. He was enraged though. I just continued to cry.

In local newsfeed, WDBJ 7 to be specific called a Victim of child sexual abuse tells her story Javonda, who was a victim of sexual abuse states “Rage is the one word that I explain to people. I was very angry at everything, everybody,” Javonda explained. “When you’re carrying around that much locked inside it makes you sick.” There is a video of what she went through along with her story and I highly recommend that the viewer of this post watch it. Family can crush the way children see the world. A male relative can mold the way a woman views men as she matures and grows older. She won’t have a chance to think for herself because she has already been forced into thinking a certain way; a horrible way. I don’t know how I did it, but I was able to find myself through this scary and difficult time and no that is not the reason why I am gay. I am gay because that is how I am. Many people asked me that growing up. “Are you gay because you were sexually abused as a child?” Yes, I was sexually abused, but that doesn’t make me gay. That is not the reason why I am this way. I’m happy this way and that is all that matters.

Photo

In major newsfeed in the New York Times called New York State Judge Rejects Kesha’s Claims in Dr. Luke Case, “Kesha, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, initially filed a civil suit in Los Angeles, in October 2014, in which she said that Dr. Luke had emotionally and sexually abused her, and in at least one instance raped her, in the years after he signed her in 2005.” Kesha is not a child, but she is a woman who is being taken advantage of and feels trapped because she is stuck with the man who initially sexually and emotionally abused her. To have to experience something like that is scary and she is not alone because myself along with many other girls have been through this and it is scary and all you feel you can do in these moments is cry and cry until you begin to feel something. For some that feeling comes quickly, but for others like me it can take up to 13 years or more before you can begin to feel anything again, let alone begin to trust again.

What about a child attracts a grown man or woman? This is one thing that is stunting the growth of this nation and world around us. This is a crime that not many people are paying much attention to and for that many people are in the wrong. People may say, I would never let that happen to my child or my child would tell me anything that goes on with them, but shutting off from your child and not believing anything they say, just builds a whole between you and them and inside them. I only write about subjects I feel strongly about and this just so happens to be one of them. We need to come together because that is the only way we can begin to seek the change we so desperately cry for. That is when we will begin to develop as one. Once we band together, nothing can break us, but that is a change so far from sight that I can only pray and hope things will at least show a sense of hope that things will get better.

White Savior

I will be taking a slight turn on my usual topic of interest about violence against women, to speak on the issue of the white savior complex that is eating away at many third world countries. The white savior complex is an ongoing topic that describes the white man coming to “save” those of color from their “tragic” and “hopeless” lives, which we people of color know is not the case. There is no need for the white man to push his nose into every situation that takes place throughout the world, and without any cry for help from any of these countries, they simply happen to waltz on in and “fix” things without asking what these people need help with.

tc mar20 p.jpg

If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement.

In the article, The White-Savior Industrial Complex, people of the white complexion feel as though it is their duty to “save” those who do not live a life that is as privileged as theirs. With that thought in mind, these white men feel that it is their soul purpose in life to “fix” the living status of those in third world countries, so they move in and start working. The only problem with this is that is these white people never ask the people that live in these areas what they need. They just move in and adjust things in ways they see fit. Two tweets made within this article state:

Teju Cole

  ‎@tejucole

2- The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.

Teju Cole

  ‎@tejucole

5- The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.

How can a person move in and place things however they see fit unless they felt privileged enough to do so. There is no development when people within a country do not want what someone else feels they need. The development process for those in third world countries plummets due to the fact that their land and way of life is different from those of the white man, so when the white man comes to “save” them from their “poor” and “underdeveloped” lives, the people within that country are enraged and no longer want them their. The process of trying to “fix” other countries destroys so much land and kills many people as shown in a video called Good Fortune, which is about people from Kenya who had been treated as animals instead of humans when the white man came in and worked to change their lives for the “better” so that they could develop along with all other countries.  While white saviors feel as though they are fixing things and making the lives better for those who live in world countries better, that is not the case for those who live there. These people do not want the white man their. Have white people ever thought that  people are different and with that difference comes culture? Have white saviors ever thought that these people love their lives and are happy with their way of life? Have white saviors ever thought that not every place is like the United States and does not want to be like the United States? I don’t believe these white saviors are putting much thought in to their actions and if they are, they are thinking the wrong thoughts. Katie Warner, who wrote a report called White Savior Industrial Complex? To Volunteer or Not  states:

“In hindsight and with full transparency I am forced to admit that much of the work and the service provided in those weeks would have to be thoroughly rationalized in order for me to justify the “help” that was really provided to those we “served.”…Now I realize that those are all I-statements, Me-focused concepts. What is the point of a “Volunteer” experience if the only person I am truly aiding is myself? Well there in lies the trap of voluntourism, which I will (somewhat begrudgingly) agree is becoming a disturbing trend promoted through the propagation of social media which despairingly for some results in a narcisstic, self-centered form of service in which people with time and money take it upon themselves to “give” simply for the potential of a new profile picture and a pat on the back.” This is clearly a problem that NEEDS to be solved. The white man lives to be the hero of those who do not look like him because he thinks and “feels” it is his duty to make sure that every country is developing in the same manner as their and that is a problem in itself.

Op-Ed: Why Won’t White Savior Complex Go Away?

In a major western newspaper called Op-Ed: Why Won’t White Savior Complex Go Away?, The issue revolving around the white savior complex explains that these white folks are “helping” those who are of a lower status than them to feel better about themselves and not be seen as horrible people because they are using their privilege for good. (This states makes me laugh because it is just more white people trying to make everything “better”. Come save me white man because that is what you think I need). As stated within this newspaper, ” Most damning is the idea that these activists are driven not by the compulsion to effect change per se, but primarily by a desire to feel good about themselves.”

In a local newspaper called the Huffington Post, the issue of the white savior complex is confronted in a post called White Saviour Complex, when a few people commented on what they think about this whole white people saving those of color process. Two people stated:

Mario Machado Mario Machado“While I applaud the intentions of the voluntourists of the world, I think it is important for them to remain grounded in reality. They need to be constantly cognizant of their privileged positions to be doing development work in the first place and the limitations of both their time commitments and outsider status.”

The White Feminist Savior Complex

Anne Theriault Anne Theriault

“My intentions are good and my heart is, as they say, in the right place. All of our hearts are in the right places. All of our intentions are good. But intent isn’t magic, and sometimes the ways that we carry out our intentions cause more harm than they do good.”

The white savior complex is a truly disturbing and degrading concept that white people have developed to cover up all of the horrible things they have done in the past, but it only make them look worse. I am one of those people the white man felt he needed to “save”. I am from an island called Barbados and within that country I have noticed a drastic change in my community and culture as there are places like Burger Kings and Payless shoes store built through my own island and I am not ok with it at all. We were never asked what we wanted. They was just placed there without consent and now things are slowly chancing on my island and it saddens me to see it all. We are not here for you to “save” us white man. We are happy and content with how we live and we don’t need your thoughts and opinions on our way of life. Thank you.

Pornography And Violence Against Women

To continue the topic of violence on women as a development issue, I will be talking about the abuse of women in pornography. Women are seen as sex object that want and need to be taken advantage of because they “like” being treated in these harsh ways. Pornography has grow to cause men to feel that sexually degrading women is a powerful and masculine thing to do and women who “enjoy” being taken advantage of in these ways are whores, sluts, etc. The body of a woman is not made for the pleasure of man, it is a temple that makes her one with the earth and men make her into an inferior by dehumanizing her.
In the article, A Humanist Argument Against Pornography “The role violence plays in pornography trivializes rape, sexual aggression, and other forms of abuse. When we encourage males to include dehumanizing acts in sex and teach women to accept various forms of violence against them as a “natural” part of sexual activity, we are condoning violence against women.” Porn teaches women that it is ok to be taken advantage of by saying that it is natural because it is portrayed in this way in the porn industry. Well it’s not natural, as a matter of fact, it is disgusting and seeing men slap women around, throwing her body across the bed, pulling her by the neck like a wild animal is a disturbing sight. Women are not sex objects, women do not want to be treated with disrespect, but the media has made them feel that they do. We can not develop as a nation if the people who give birth to new life are made to feel less important than they really are.
 Anti-pornography campaigner Gail Dines
Anti-pornography campaigner Gail Dines Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
In a report called The Truth About The Porn Industry, Gail Dines, the author of an explosive new book about the sex industry, on why pornography has never been a greater threat to our relationships, states: “The more porn images filter into mainstream culture, the more girls and women are stripped of full human status and reduced to sex objects. This has a terrible effect on girls’ sexual identity because it robs them of their own sexual desire.” Porn detatches women from their own bodies leaving them with a sense of emptiness. Women are emotional creatures, therefore going through situations that involve their bodies being used, changing, etc., with cause them to have emotional reaction. Women are fully developed creature compared to that of men. Women bleed without dying. Women are one with nature, but in the same sense that man treats women with disrespect, man treats mother nature with the same disrespect, so it is a universal and social problem.
In a major newsfeed called Is Porn Desensitizing Men To Violence Against Women? , “According to Dines, even though gonzo porn stopped telling stories, porn itself still tells a story: some women are whores by nature, always ready for sex and eager to do whatever men want, no matter how painful or degrading. They prefer to be treated with contempt, and they have no sexual imagination of their own.” Speaking in a moral sense, treated women in violence ways is completely and utterly immoral. Having a vagina does not mean dehumanize me, it means worship me because I am a queen and should be treated as such. The media has shattered the thought of women being royalty because of the sense of masculinity that surrounds us all.
In a local newsfeed called What We Learned From Ted Bundy, “Out of a test group of 18 rapists studied who used ‘consenting pornography’ to instigate a sexual offence, seven of them said that it provided a cue to elicit fantasies of forced sex.” Some men watch pornography and are fueled by a fantasy that takes over their being and in order to feel pleasure, they must keep that fantasy going. That fantasy is what tells them that it is ok for them to do whatever they want to women. It is sad to say that this is the reality we live in and development in this aspect will not occur without the understanding that women are people too and deserve to be treated as such.
Mother nature and women gave life to the rest of the world and this strength is shattered by man, who comes from women. That in itself is utterly disrespectful and shows that women are a threat to man and man must show masculinity in order to feel superior to women at all times. It is mind blowing that our society functions in this way, but this is where we are. I would like to say that the only direction we can go from here is up, but things have been slowly descending. So now I ask you, the reader, which direction would you like to go? The direction where women are seen as queens and are treated with equity or the direction where man is worth more than the vagina they come out of?

Global Abuse of Women

I am a student interested in the treatment of women as a whole. I want to express that violence against women is a global matter. Women are mistreated in both “developed” and “developing” countries. I want to give the reader an insight as to what women across the globe face on a daily basis.

In the article ” Violence Against Women: An Exploration of the Physical and Mental Health Trends among Immigrant and Refugee Women in Canada” the author states: “Violence against women is a global phenomenon and involves a spectrum of physical, sexual, and psychological acts of control, threat, aggression, abuse, and assault. Violence against women takes many forms, such as female infanticide, (girl) child abuse, incest, rape, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence (IPV), and abuse and neglect of older women…more than one in three women globally have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lifetime.” Women are made as targets to the male eye and these targets are viewed as inferior, giving men the thought that they can treat women as they please. Women are used as “rag dolls” for a lack of a better term, as a way for men to “cope” or “control” their anger as a way to feel better about themselves. This without a doubt causes women to have a lack of self confidence.

In a report about Prevention of Violence Against Girls, As of 2012, it was estimated that approximately 60 million girls are sexually assaulted on their way to or at school every year. In some countries, this translates to a higher probability for a girl to experience sexual violence than to become literate.” Women have a higher chance of being sexually assaulted than becoming literate in third world countries and the article goes on to state that “Within the United States, a report for the National Institute of Justice revealed that approximately 14% of female students (aged 18-25) had experienced sexual violence during her time at university. Violence against women and girls at school is a pandemic issue that must be resolved globally in order to avoid and alleviate the detrimental effects of violence on individuals and communities.” Women are seen as creatures who’s only purpose in this world is to pleasure men. An education is not necessary if women are put on earth for the sake of men. A girls innocence is looked at as sexual in the eyes of some men and therefore results in sexual mistreatment of women. In the end, the blame is put on the girls who were raped, molested, or sexually assaulted in any way shape or form.

In a global news feed called, Violence Against Women Newsfeed, “A more recent analysis of WHO with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Medical Research Council, based on existing data from over 80 countries, found that globally 35% of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Most of this violence is intimate partner violence.” Women are seen as vulnerable and taking out anger on them is seen as the easiest way to lash out. That being said why would a person treat a woman they love with such disrespect and disgust?

In the local news feed, “Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a global platform for advocacy and action by individuals, governments, civil society and UN partners which initiates, supports and demonstrates local and national advocacy efforts towards ending violence against women and girls. Through an interactive and social media friendly website, Say NO – UNiTE engages people from all walks of life and links local actions to an expanding global network.” NO! means NO! and many men and young boys take this word as, “If I keep going, she will like it. She just needs to adjust to it”. That is not the case and this site speaks of the act of saying NO! and the importance of expressing comfort empowering women as a whole.

Violence towards women is violence towards the world as a whole. Women are the life of earth and give live to the earth. That being said, women are more connected to the earth than man. Whether “developed” or “developing” every country has women who go through sexual violence and all countries need to be viewed in the same light. Women are women and they are all important.
Abuse

 

 

Sri Lankan Women Mistreatment

What got me into the topic of discussing women in Sri Lanka was a packet I read for class called Export Processing Zones (EPZs), globalization, feminised labour markets and working conditions: A study of Sri Lankan EPZ worker. This article spoke of the struggles of which women go through in society and when working in factories. One example as stated in the article is “A lack of accommodation to issues such as long hours, child care, pregnancy and maternit leave; wage discrimination, poor working conditions, violence and sexual harassment”(Hancock 5). Women have a difficult time making it in a male oriented society. Males use their masculinity as a way to strike fear into the mind and bodies of women. Women in this matter are afraid to speak out in fear of losing their job and or gaining a poor reputation. The way women are treated in third world countries such as Sri Lanka strike a nerve in me to want to dig a bit deeper into the aspects of why they go through this type of abuse and how long this activity has been taking place. The sense of what they call equality in Sri Lanka is quite misleading. “Sri Lankan women (in theory) have equal rights under civil and criminal law. However, when matters reach the courts, they are adjudicated upon based on presumptions of culture, ethnicity and tradition. This commonly results in the discrimination of women”(Hancock 9). Women are treated with the thought that they would be treated equally until matters become serious. Along with that thought, women are held at a lower standard than men, therefore the sense of equity being a matter to be shared throughout all genders and ages is irrelevant. During war periods, women are special targets to men. “A report recently published by the London-based Minority Rights Group (MRG) said rape and sexual harassment of women in former war zones in the north and east are continuing even after the end of a 26-year civil war in 2009″ (Abuse, marginalization of war-affected women in Sri Lanka’s north). I want to inform the reader that women are not objects to be toyed with for the pleasure of men. Women are the ones that build a society and having breast and a vagina does not make a woman any less than a man. In fact having breast and a vagina makes a woman more powerful in society and that scares men into reacting in discusting ways towards women as a way to obtain that masculinity. I want to pin point the devaluedness of women in society and attack it head on throughout my future posts.

Hancock, Peter, Dr. “Exprot Processing (EPZs), Globalization, Feminised Labour Markets and Working Conditions: A Study of Sri Lankan EPZ workers.” Export Processing Zones (EPZs), globalization, feminised labour markets and working conditions: A study of Sri Lankan EPZ worker: 5-9. Print.

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/country-chapters/sri-lanka