Ohio Gang Rape, New Delhi Rape Murder & VAWA Asks Us All One Question

Do we value women? That’s it. That’s the question Steubenville Ohio and New Delhi India asks us all to answer.

When a woman is gang raped and murdered in New Delhi India and a Ohio teenage girl is gang raped, allegedly, by a group of high school football players while many others stood by and did nothing except to video, take pics and tweet about it, the answer is no. We don’t value women.

When our US “leaders” repeatedly fail to reauthorize VAWA, the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, the law that unequivocally reduced the incidents and increased the prosecutions and funding of domestic violence prevention programs, the answer is again no. We don’t value women.

When US politicians propose laws that use terms like “forcible” rape, as if any rape or qualification of rape is ok, or imply that a women can’t get pregnant when she is raped, the answer is still no. We don’t value women.

When women are denied access to health care including breast exams, pap smears and even, a legal abortion due to a “religious” objection, the answer is still no. We don’t value women.

When women are forced to terminate a female fetus, forced to submit to a vaginal probe before they can have a lawful abortion, forced to endure genital mutilation, denied an education, denied equal pay, fired because they are “too attractive”, blamed for going to a bar where they were attacked, blamed for “staying” in a domestic violence relationship or face potential violence in the workplace, on the streets, on a date or at the hands of their partner, the answer is still no. We don’t value women.

When our men, our husbands, partners, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, and male co-workers stand by and do nothing when the women they love are being devalued, the answer is still no. We don’t value women.

When parents and communities stand by and do nothing when their sons and daughters devalue each other through social media or fail to stop the violence and/or take any action to hold the offenders accountable, the answer is still no. We don’t value women.

And, when women stand by and do nothing when another women is being devalued, the answer is still no. We don’t value women.

Yet, until women have equality, freedom over their bodies, safety in their homes, workplaces and on any street, and the offenders are held accountable, violence against women and girls will continue.

This isn’t about hatred or anger. It’s about love and healing. But, we can’t get there until we look at the truth, however, painful. Ask yourself, is this the world you want to live in?

May India and Ohio find healing in the pain and lead us all forward.

Simply my opinion, what say you?

(Update 2/25/2013: On 2/14/2013 Reeva Steenkamp, a South African law grad & model was killed by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, a paraOlympic and Olympic athlete. Pistorius is charged with the premeditated murder and his defense claims an accidental killing as Oscar thought he was shooting an intruder in the bathroom. Ms. Steenkamp had been in a prior domestic violence relationship and had begun to speak out about the violence against women. Ms. Steenkamp was killed just days after the brutal rape of a 17 year old South African woman which resulted in public outrage. On 2/22/2013, Pistorius was given bail after a 4 day hearing and 2 hour decision by Magistrate Nair. Next Court date June 4.)

(Update 2/5/2013: Trial began today in the New Delhi Rape & Murder trial. The first of 86 witnesses testified on direct with cross exam expected Wednesday. Court ruled limited reporting of testimony by media as reported on cnn.com.)

(Update 1/13/2012: Another gang rape in New Delhi India (Gurdaspur) this past friday night. This time it happened to a married 29 year old women who boarded a bus and was taken to a residence where the bus driver and his assistant were joined by 5 others who proceeded to gang rape the women and do “wrong things” to her throughout the night. 6 of the 7 men in custody. Why is this happening? Read article )

(Update 1/10/2013: You tell me did ESPN Sportscaster Brent Musburger’s comments, during last Monday’s Alabama v. Notre Dame televised championship Football game, about the QB’s girlfriend Miss Alambama’s Katherine Webb, place a value on women? Objectify women?:
“…you see that lovely lady there? She does go to Auburn, I’ll admit that, but she’s also Miss Alabama, and that’s A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend. Wow, I’m telling ya, you quarterbacks, you get all the good-looking women. What a beautiful woman! Whoa! So if you’re a youngster in Alabama, start getting the football out and throw it around the backyard with pops.”

Even CNN contributor, Dean Obeidallah, who consciously dismissed Musburger’s comments as “playful” and questioned the “instant outrage”, clearly made the connection, “The only criticism that’s arguably fair is Musburger’s implication that if you are great quarterback, you will have earned a beautiful woman — a reward, more than a human being. If that had been Musburger’s intention, that, of course, would have been wrong.”

Problem is, he like Musburger and others don’t see that placing a “value” on women or objectifying them actually devalues women and so does using language like “get” and “earned” in reference to women. Or, telling young men to play football so they can get a beautiful women.Are women possessions? Read full article here http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/09/opinion/obeidallah-musburger-comments/index.html