I’m having an issue. There’s so much rape in the news lately. It’s a heavy subject, and a painful one, and a scary one, and one that no woman ever wants to think about. We don’t want to think about it, but inevitably, we’re drawn into the conversation or consideration. And then we’re stuck with it rolling through our heads. It’s rolling through my head today for two reasons.
First, the news about the Japanese and Korean negotiations and absolutions about the Korean “comfort women” kidnapped and made to serve Japanese soldiers in military-ran brothels during World War II. The news itself was good, in that the Japanese government has finally taken responsibility for the atrocities committed against those women. What messed with me was the article about the women’s experiences, in their own words, and how horribly they were treated. It was disturbing, to say the very, very least.
Second, a friend of mine posted an article to Facebook about the ISIS “rape handbook,” essentially, and commented on how upsetting it was. Indeed, it must have been upsetting to read. I did not read it. I don’t need to know how a terrorist organization is terrorizing women under their umbrella. One woman commented on the link by saying that she couldn’t even bring herself to read it. I say, candidly, that I don’t know what kind of “news” he thought he was sharing by linking to the article. I feel safe in saying that probably no women did want to read that article. In my opinion, he propagated the horror by sharing the link. I know, for a fact, that his intention was not to do that, but probably to begin conversation. But here’s the thing, women don’t really want to talk about rape. We do because we shouldn’t have to be afraid, because we need to strengthen each other, and because we need to be educated. Not because it’s a news piece sent out by a terrorist group designed to do nothing but strike fear in the hearts of women around the world. They’re all, “Look what we can do. You better hope we don’t find you, too!” It’s disgusting.
And with these two bits of rape “news” in mind, I’m having a hard time focusing on being a strong woman. My heart is hurting for all those women and girls for what they went through, and what they continue to endure. All I want in this world is for women to be treated fairly, and kindly. Men who wage war by raping women are among the worst of mankind. And that weighs heavy on me today.