Posts tagged rape
Posts tagged rape
A video has emerged that shows four Uruguayan troops from the UN’s mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) drunkenly laughing as they rape an 18 year old Haitian boy.
MINUSTAH, by the way, is in Haiti to “restore a secure and stable environment, as well as to promote and to protect human rights.”
In his excellent commentary, The Guardian’s Mark Weisbrot questioned, “is this MINUSTAH’s Abu Ghraib moment?” It may be, but will anything change?
Already, a Uruguayan navy lieutenant has confirmed the authenticity of the video, but allegedly called the abuse “a game” and said it was not sexual in nature. “It’s a young guy who is normally around here, like these people,” he said, pointing to a Haitian family sitting outside their home twenty yards away. He said the soldiers engaged in “some kind of bullying, but nothing more.”
The Independent’s Joan Smith argues, “the hunt for the ideal rape victim is never-ending but fruitless, for the simple reason that it requires unimpeachable conduct on the part of the victim in every area of her life, past and present. Women who have been drinking, who know their alleged attacker or who’ve ever told a lie to a public official, even in an unrelated matter, are not victims prosecutors want to put before juries.”
The video for Rihanna’s single Man Down has been released and, in what appears to be a huge afterthought, it is now framed as the story of a woman who regretfully avenges her rape, or as the lyrics actually describe it, her “simple altercation.”
The obvious (and hypocritical) criticisms have been raised, as Code Red notes: “some viewers are concerned about the nativizing images of Jamaica, representations of sexual and gun violence and stereotypical representations of black working-class masculinity.” Indeed, several Jamaicans on Twitter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) have expressed outrage at the perpetuation of Jamaican and Jamaican-male stereotypes in the video by the Barbadian singer, notwithstanding their own dancehall artistes’ fascination with the same.
But that’s not my grouse. My issue is Rihanna over-reaching for relevance and hailing this as a progressive step in “female empowerment”. In its defence, @adriancharles notes, “empowerment is about personal choice: making it freely, and owning it. Nothing to do with optimal function.” Thus, a woman was raped, murdered her attacker and feared the prospect of spending the rest of her life in prison, but at least, she made an empowered choice.
Adrian, with whom I had a lengthy tweet-back with on this matter, went on to say “I do not understand this urge for all artistic representations to be of idealised wish-fulfilment.” I considered that the same argument could be used against us criticising Vybz Kartel for extolling the virtues of skin bleaching to impressionable black boys and girls. And, before you say Rihanna’s lyrics express regret at crime, let’s not forget her beatification of her gun, “Peggy Sue”…
“It’s a 22
I call her Peggy Sue
When she fits right down in my shoes
Whatchu expect me to do?
If you’re playing me for a fool
I will lose my cool
And reach for my fire arm.”
Yes, I agree that there are tons of other mainstream pop fixtures that deserve equal criticism, but when Man Down tries to self identify as poignant and progressive, and some have even gone as far as to say it should be required viewing, it mandates a critical response.
In brief, Man Down is the usual vapid pop. Its meaning is contrived, while its true message is glaringly elementary, and dangerously ambiguous. There’s nothing to see here, folks.
‘When New York police officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were acquitted of rape Thursday — despite what seemed like a slam-dunk case — it brought back memories of a friend’s devastating experience.’
Jesse Ellison comments on the NY “rape cop” case.
Following the acquittal of rape-accused NYPD officers Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno (first and second from right), the NY Times commented that the jury’s decision “underscored the difficulty of obtaining favourable results for women who say they were sexually assaulted, and who often are subjected to scrutiny and skepticism that keep many of them from speaking out.”
Moreno alleges that he only snuggled with and sang Bon Jovi songs to the drunk, naked woman while his partner stood guard. He would later tell the accuser, in a taped phone call, that he wore a condom to hump her while she was semi-conscious, but later said this was really nothing more than a comforting lie to pacify the delusional woman.
Any idea why half of New York doesn’t agree with the verdict?
(Source: The New York Times)