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rape- in life and film


January 2013
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“rape is about violence,” gloria steinem says, “proving ‘masculine’ superiority; often inserting guns and other objects into women’s bodies; playing out hostility to other men by invading the bodies of ‘their’ females, including old women and babies; occupying wombs with sperm of a conquering group; owning female bodies as the means of reproduction; and raping men and boys to make them as inferior as females.”

arundhati roy has spoken about how the army uses rape as a weapon in kashmir and manipur. as do the police and the upper caste.

rape is not about sex then.  it is about power.  torture. brutality.

and sadly, about being shamed into silence in some corners of the world like delhi where on dec 16th, the girl was gang raped on a bus. or on 21 dec 2012 where a two-year-old girl was raped to death in Gujarat, or on 2nd jan 2013 where another victim who was gang raped committed suicide. faced with her choices, to drop the charges or marry one of her attackers, she buried her shame in ingesting poison.

in the film whistleblower [2011] directed by larysa kondracki, we see clearly what steinem and roy are saying about masculinity and rape as a weapon.

whistleblower is rated R for disturbing violent content including a brutal sexual assault, graphic nudity and langauge. the events in the film are real and based on the experiences of kathryn bolkovac, a nebraska cop who served as a peacekeeper in post-war bosnia and outed the U.N. for covering up a sex scandal. rachel weisz  first read the script in 2005 when she was pregnant, but the utter horror of such inhumanity against ‘the fairer sex” during pregnancy undoubtedly stopped her. but when she realized the film never took off, she accepted the role and the film entered into production.  when autopsies were performed on women raped, gang raped then killed and thrown in the woods most often by the military and other men in power, all sorts of foreign objects of varying sizes and shapes were found inside the women’s bodies.

this film doesn’t tell such a different from the delhi rape or untouchables [please don’t take the meaning of this word literally! untouchables are touched, groped, raped and killed] for whom rape is an everyday occurrence. where there are no toilets, women are raped in the woods.

if sonia faleiro in []  reports how difficult it was for her, an upper or middle class woman to constantly ward off men and she had escape routes, what of the women who have no escape routes? or those who don’t have such means of escape, like those in bosnia or central europe or any where women are regarded as objects to be played with,  poked, penetrated, discarded, killed, and if they survive,  they must bow their heads in shame and ‘deal’ with it?

films like whistleblower or bawandar are only two films which tell of some of the truth behind the brutality and rape women face. they have been filmed, with many censors. but where there is no censor, what of those cases which never reach the public’s ear and eye? if in new delhi reported rape cases have surged more than tenfold over the past 40 years — from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011, according to official figures, what should that say about rape?


1 Comment

  1. today, i happened upon a video which provides much food for thought on sex. i wonder why the gray matter is NOT used in matters of ‘gray areas!’ however, that gray matter we possess will have to be used! with the era of sexual harassment and laws, we can no longer flirt/ogle/harass/comment innocently on women’s bodies or body parts or on men’s anymore.
    read at

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