All throughout history we have seen women as always being used for collateral damage. In every situation where there is a struggle for masculinity or shame resulting from a loss of said masculinity by another male will almost always end up with a woman being sexually harassed, assaulted or raped. It has been used as a weapon of war for may decades and still holds up to that standard to this day. Some called it misogyny, some patriarchy but what it really does is continue to drive the point home that women are inferior, weak and therefore should be made an example of when it comes to a man being humiliated. It is, for all intents and purposes, a coward’s way out. There is nothing manly, strong or honorable about attacking women just to serve your rage at not winning, or coming out on top or even having your pride hurt. Women everywhere have become trophies, property, a commodity to be used, bought, sold and to settle disputes, all with our bodies.
In the early to mid 90’s Bosnian women were subjected to a systematic rape campaign by Serbian forces, and others, to instill fear and cause a genocide. Hundreds of Bosnian women were subjected to this because of the way men in the government felt. They were being forced to accept victim hood, their honor and pride where hurt making them look foolish, or to accept defeat. It is estimated that 12,000-50,000 women were raped during that period all because men were not getting along-basically. It’s also important to note that even at that time there was no UN Charter that accepted rape as a weapon of war during this genocidal rape campaign. It was not until very recently did this resolution get adopted, of course there were dissenting countries that refused to not let women be raped and stigmatized during times of war and conflict.
Of course not all of this behavior is relegated to war, as we can see this happens quite often, even on social media. We are living in a time where it is becoming more and more acceptable to attack women with rape, violence and derogatory names just so they can feel like a man. So really it should be no surprise that domestic violence, human trafficking and rape are more prevalent and they’re not going away anytime soon. There are layers to these types of issues as well. A woman is good enough to hold a good job but not good enough to lead a nation, show here journalistic talent, or even be recognized a breakthrough scientist or a prosecutor that gets justice. As soon as she steps into a male dominated arena she is immediately food for the lions. When we as women speak out against the injustices done to us because of who we are, we are met with more threats of assault, all sexual. Rape victims get re-traumatized on the stand and are basically called a whore for speaking out. What she was wearing, how she was walking and carrying herself takes the focus over what actually happened to her.
This brings me to my last point. Social media plays a huge part in why, how and when women get threatened sexually. With all of the differing opinions and taking of sides during this presidency, especially the impeachment hearing process, going after women is the comfortable norm for most men who like to hide behind their computer screen and spew expletives that they hope are instilling fear in the women their aimed at. Some of these sexual comments aren’t always aimed directly at the woman. Sometimes it’s another man they have the issue with and if they see they can’t get to him, the women close to him become the next target. In this instance they’re probably empty threats designed to anger and humiliate the other male but nevertheless this type of male feels very comfortable in his decision to use the verbage he chose. All sites claim to have mechanisms put in place that will detect this behavior and automatically get rid of it, but that rarely if ever happens. There is no cyber police that stops this kind of harassment the second it starts-not even ten minutes after.
This is a separate war women must fight along with all of the other day to day stereotypes, misconceptions and unattainable lives that come with how society dictates how we should be. But make no mistake, rape is and always will be a weapon of war for men whether it’s actual war, political and even social.
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