Sunday, May 10, 2009

What happens to women in a patriarchal society?

I saw this article in this week's The Week, and thought it ought to cause us all pause as we consider the kinds of social goals men like Doug Phillips are urging upon us.

Phillips notes that it is men's responsibility to protect women. And he rails against what he claims to be the mass feminization of society and, most particularly, of the Christian homeschool movement.

Supposing he were correct, imagine what women might expect if they had less influence than they do today . . . when this is what we find in the world today . . . despite the great strides women are supposed to have made:
Whenever a woman is sexually assaulted in TV shows like Law & Order, she gets an immediate rape test and quick results. But in the real world, said Nicholas Kristof, the criminal justice system doesn’t take rape seriously.

It’s hard to believe, but when women report a rape and undergo a medical exam, the rape kits often “sit around for months or years, unopened and untested.” Human Rights Watch recently found that in Los Angeles County alone, there were 12,669 rape kits gathering dust in police storage rooms. “More than 450 of these kits had sat around for more than 10 years; in many cases, the statute of limitations had expired.”

Why is this valuable criminal evidence allowed to languish? Partly, it’s because it costs up to $1,500 to test rape results. The real problem, though, is that many district attorneys just don’t like to try rape cases. They view them as “murky, ambiguous, and difficult to prosecute,” especially when the victim knows her attacker. Such gross indifference to justice is “what we might expect in Afghanistan—not in the United States.”
May I suggest it may be because women don't have enough influence in the political and legal spheres?

. . . For some reason, this reminds me of something I once heard about democracies: that in truly democratic societies--i.e., those where the people are able to "speak for themselves"--you don't hear of people starving to death.

Somehow, I think, in a truly open, free society, in which women were able to speak for themselves, you wouldn't find rape kits sitting around untested. The women--the victims of rape--wouldn't permit such gross miscarriages of justice.

But in a society where men hold primary sway, such egregious violations of women's persons just don't cause as much concern and, therefore, don't get addressed so aggressively. . . .

--Sorry, Doug! I think I disagree with you in your push to keep women quiet!
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