The rape of the Earth, as in this Hellish operation in North Dakota, or as depicted in this map of fracking accidents, are just two examples of an enormous global problem.
|source: EarthJustice.org "Because the earth needs a good lawyer."|
|photo source: AP Photo/Holmes Family|
White European culture is all about patriarchal control. That's why it must fund vicious misogyny in the Middle East, to make itself look benign by comparison (and create the chaos that enables resource grabbing, of course).
Top down management has resulted in governments that are the best corporate lobbyists can buy, corporations that destroy the very ground they live upon in order to generate short term profits.
Another of its results: rape culture.
I blogged earlier this week about the Oscar-nominated film The Invisible War, which is about decades of rape culture in all branches of the U.S. military. It's a pattern of abuse.
Arundhati Roy speaks eloquently of the class and gender politics in India that result in New Delhi being known as the rape capital of the world even prior to the gruesome rape and murder of a female medical student kidnapped along with her escort by a van posing as a bus.
Now comes the hacktivist collective Anonymous with a full release of the Steubenville rape video which constitutes part of the online evidence of gang rape of a drugged 16 year old girl by members of a high school football team. Others, most notably blogger Alexandria Goddard, have offered the rest of the evidence including a photo of the girl being carried as if she were a slain deer. Carried from party to party to be raped repeatedly.
DemocracyNow! reporting on it, or view the full 12 minute video of braggart here.
Many who have viewed the video warned that is is revolting, best viewed in small doses. I found it disturbing but less than shocking. For one thing, there are protests off camera from more than one young man objecting to the de-humanizing statements being made, urging the braggart to develop his empathy.
I've been around adolescent males much of my life, so his attitude is not too surprising. What struck me is that it could be used as a textbook study of bullying and what fuels it: the show-off who thinks he is hilarious, enabled by the sycophant (in this case the boy behind the camera) who laughs at everything whether funny or not, and eggs the bully on when he starts to wind down, and fuels the whole performance with his adulation.
From working in schools I know that current thinking on bullying is that, while bullies must experience consequences, don't make the mistake of thinking that will stop bullying. Sadistic behavior is its own reward, and is often addictive (a point made tellingly in The Invisible War). It is the bystanders who hold the key to disrupting the dynamic; the victim often does not have the resources to stop it -- unless he goes home and gets his older brother's shotgun, as happened in the latest school shooting, at Taft High School in California.
So here's the connection to patriarchal culture: the prevalence of hyper-masculine violence as entertainment and glorification of our way of life is the very air the current crop of jocks and soldiers have breathed from infancy. All human beings have both violent and compassionate impulses. Which ones does a culture support and develop? Winner take all, eat or be eaten, dog eat dog, alpha males intimidating their so-called inferiors -- women, children, and "weaker" males by definition -- are the signature style of the sick culture of the U.S. Empire and its outposts.
Commandeering the airwaves to drown out other voices is just one aspect of the problem, albeit a very powerful one.
Seeing the women who sell out to become mouthpieces of such a system is just sad. Check out The Invisible War segments of Susan Collins or Chellie Pingree or DOD spokeswomen to see what I mean.
Seeing the men who are the refuseniks -- Bradley Manning, the husbands and fathers in The Invisible War, or the hacktivist "X" who leaked the Steubenville brag video confirms what we all know -- there is much goodness in men as individuals. It is the sick system allowing sadistic alpha males to control our common resources that is the underlying and very real, very urgent problem.
It is time for patriarchy to step down before this planet is no longer habitable. It is time for all who hold feminist values to withdraw our cooperation from this system.
If you are in Maine or nearby, consider joining a Feminist Values GA-style discussion in Augusta on Saturday, January 26 at the Pine Tree State Arboretum. Small groups of diverse people will discuss how to free ourselves collectively from the death grip of patriarchy. This is 19th in a series of Changing Maine Gatherings. More details are here.
Revised 5:10pm EST - Could not resist including this bit of evidence from the ongoing disaster of NATO/US occupation in Afghanistan where soldiers have murdered, raped, desecrated and pissed on corpses -- among other crimes: