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Rape

InOBU 11 May 02 - 09:44 AM
Alice 11 May 02 - 10:30 AM
InOBU 11 May 02 - 11:03 AM
kendall 11 May 02 - 11:08 AM
Celtic Soul 11 May 02 - 11:17 AM
InOBU 11 May 02 - 11:19 AM
InOBU 11 May 02 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,MAG at work 11 May 02 - 11:39 AM
Genie 11 May 02 - 11:49 AM
Ebbie 11 May 02 - 01:32 PM
katlaughing 11 May 02 - 03:55 PM
InOBU 11 May 02 - 04:28 PM
kendall 11 May 02 - 05:27 PM
Áine 11 May 02 - 07:41 PM
InOBU 11 May 02 - 08:17 PM
CapriUni 11 May 02 - 10:14 PM
InOBU 11 May 02 - 10:35 PM
pict 11 May 02 - 11:11 PM
Troll 11 May 02 - 11:12 PM
Hrothgar 11 May 02 - 11:18 PM
Sorcha 11 May 02 - 11:21 PM
GUEST 12 May 02 - 12:26 AM
Sorcha 12 May 02 - 12:49 AM
Cappuccino 12 May 02 - 03:53 AM
InOBU 12 May 02 - 06:28 AM
alanabit 12 May 02 - 06:52 AM
Peg 12 May 02 - 09:16 AM
53 12 May 02 - 10:36 AM
MAG 12 May 02 - 11:30 AM
CapriUni 12 May 02 - 01:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 May 02 - 03:53 PM
Peg 12 May 02 - 05:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 May 02 - 05:40 PM
InOBU 12 May 02 - 06:39 PM
Genie 12 May 02 - 09:43 PM
InOBU 13 May 02 - 05:36 AM
Peg 13 May 02 - 09:45 AM
InOBU 13 May 02 - 10:07 AM
SharonA 13 May 02 - 10:11 AM
InOBU 13 May 02 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Crazy Eddie 13 May 02 - 11:06 AM
Peg 13 May 02 - 11:29 AM
Alice 13 May 02 - 11:38 AM
Alice 13 May 02 - 11:53 AM
Mrrzy 13 May 02 - 12:35 PM
InOBU 13 May 02 - 12:38 PM
Whistle Stop 13 May 02 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,mg 13 May 02 - 01:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 May 02 - 02:10 PM
InOBU 13 May 02 - 02:30 PM
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Subject: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 02 - 09:44 AM

While working with the Bangaladeshi minority communities thi past several weeks, I was confronted by a photo of a young Hindu girl, gang raped - one of thousands, for whom rape was a weapon of war to drive her from her land. The caption of the photo was "Who will marry me"
This song came to me this morning, and I call it the same,

Who will marry me
Words Lorcan Otway, all rights reserved...

I'm a Bangladeshi Hindu girl, I cannot say my name
I cannot show my face to you, I'm forced to flee in shame
I cannot find the words to tell, what they did to me
When the gangs came to my village and robbed my dignity

I cannot speak the words my fear, and horror to relate
When the women of my village became, the target of your hate
With nothing but my tattered clothes, I have been forced to flee
For after my public shame, who would ever marry me

In the decade before I was born, my land was wracked with pain
Democracy and Freedom, religious rights to gain
All the people of our land, shared the terror of that night
to cast off religious hatred and, emerge into the light

I can't understand why the world, allows hate to divide my land
Is our pain so foreign to your world, that you can't understand
The tears of my nation, a waterwheel could turn
Can they not touch your heart enough, our history to learn

How my story ends I cannot say, what's ahead I cannot see
Fundamentalism's fertile fields, are starved lands of poverty
But in the ruins of my land and life, I can only cry in vain
why must I bear the shame alone, who would ever share my pain

One question more I'll ask of you, before I flee my land
One question more I'll put to you, I'm too young to understand
One question more I must demand, before I turn to go,
for the answer to this question, no young girl may ever know

My sister's bodies have become, the target's of your war
And our mother's and our grandmothers, for countless years before
How can it be our dishonor, why is it our disgrace
Why is it not the rapist, who is forced to hide his face

corrections made per InOBU's notes
-joeclone-


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Alice
Date: 11 May 02 - 10:30 AM

This reminds me of the attack on the girls school dorm in Africa by the male students who later said, "We didn't mean to kill them, we were only going to rape them."

There are many babies and young girls with AIDS now in Africa after being raped in the belief that sex with a virgin cures AIDS, and the younger the virgin, the stronger the cure.

Aside from never being married, some women are killed by their own families for having been raped.
For an article on "honor killings" of women CLICK HERE "Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have occurred in Bangladesh, Great Britain, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda."


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:03 AM

Alice:
Thanks for the link... I have not yet heard of "honor killings" among Bangaladeshi Hindus in the aftermath of "political" rape - but if you find sites spesific to that - please do send them to me. The report on the web page you link speaks in general of Bangladesh, and as the perpitrator community, at the moment is fundimentalist Moslem, the reference may be to "honor killing" among that group. I will put the question to the folks I am working with in the Hindu - Budhist and Christian community as well. There is a question I rase in the song... one that I leave up to the listener to answer, which is why cannot the community also take care enough of the victem, but, for a community who has gone through such horrible abuse, murder and uprooting with has caused the Hindu population to go from 40 to 9 per cent of the Bangladeshi population ... I put the emphasis on the perpatrator community, but the last verse really does ask the quesiton, why is the shame only the victems...
Thanks again,
Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: kendall
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:08 AM

There wAS a time in Italy when a suitor would rape the girl of his choice knowing that no other man would want her.

Man. God's most noble creation, BOLLOX!


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:17 AM

Until women are viewed as something other than a prize or chattel, this sort of thing will continue to occur.

It is more pervasive and insidious than many think. There are plenty of examples of such even in the "modern world".

Thanks for caring, InOBU, and thanks for putting it to music. Music is a powerful tool.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:19 AM

Correction and a typo.... please drop people, for the scan of the verse, The tears of my nations, a waterwheel could turn... also last verse second to last line, "how can it BE our dishonor..." Thanks for the kind comments, Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:20 AM

Damn... I did it again, tears of my nation - singlular... Have a bad head cold, makes my usual illiteracy even worse! Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: GUEST,MAG at work
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:39 AM

Susan Brownmiller's book, *Against Our Will,* will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about political rape. It will work as a tool to destroy communities as long as communities abandon the victim-survivors.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Genie
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:49 AM

Which atrocity against women is worse--rape or the societal attitude that a raped woman is thereby worthless?

Genie

P.S., Good song, InOBU.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 May 02 - 01:32 PM

I grew up in a very fundamentalistic, male-superior {read "more valuable"}family. The mindset behind the 'honor killings', the notion that women are secondary beings kept me in a rage for 20 years.

The appalling stupidity of humankind...

Thanks, InObu.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 May 02 - 03:55 PM

May your gods bless you, Lorcan, for being so aware, writing about it, and bringing it to the attention of others. An important and meaningful song. Thank you.

Thanks, Alice, for the link.

kat


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 02 - 04:28 PM

Thanks Kat... and Joe, it is always good of you to correct our errors, thanks again mate, Cheers Larry
PS.... Please call your congressfolks and ask them to link forign aid to human rights oversite in Bangladesh. ...


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: kendall
Date: 11 May 02 - 05:27 PM

I just had an interesting talk with a Muslim. Basically, we agreed that the nuts are spread all over the world, and we both resent being told what God wants us to do, especially being told to "kill infidels"


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Áine
Date: 11 May 02 - 07:41 PM

A shem, what a beautiful song to describe such horrific events. I wish we could have had more time the other night for you to tell me more about your dealings with the Bangladesh community. I'll call again soon, when you let me know what a convenient time would be for you.

I do hope that the next Sorcha Dorcha CD (or perhaps a solo CD by yourself) will contain this song. You honor me by giving me your friendship and being my brother.

Le grá, Áine


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 02 - 08:17 PM

Áine! As I was just saying to Lonsome EJ - my mudcat pals keep me going in this fustrating world. I hope to be starting work on a new CD soon, I am working to get one of our past band members Mary Shannon to record with a couple of folks, all of whom are good and have not recorded yet... I'm not in great voice tonight, have a raging sore throat... but call in a few days and I will sing the song for ya... Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: (new song) Rape
From: CapriUni
Date: 11 May 02 - 10:14 PM

Great song, Lorcan! It's a horror that boggles the mind. I think the statistic is that something like 52% of the world's population is female (often because the males get into killing each other), and yet, we're still treated like a "minority".

So how do we break the cycle?

Oh, and at first, I thought this was a trollbait thread, so I almost didn't open it -- hence the addition to the thread title.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 02 - 10:35 PM

Well, I don't know how... instance by instance, I think we must ask our governments to link their aid to Bangladesh to human rights, and increase aid where there are minorities included in the projects. Cheers and thanks, Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: pict
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:11 PM

It's a horrendous crime and as a father of 4 daughters one that I worry about I think that the sentencing for rape is in general far too lenient when you consider the damage that it causes chemical castration on top of stiff custodial sentences suddenly becomes a very attractive option.

As for the subject of honour killings it really does raise the question of whether or not we should require as a prerequisite of immigration into western countries that immigrants from places that have these cultural practices renounce their previous culture and have compulsory education in the culture,language and history of the country they wish to live in,in other words compulsory integration.It sounds harsh and intolerant but how else can we stamp these practices out or show our rejection of such practices should we place sanctions on the countries that tolerate these practices?

Here in Denmark there have been gang rapes of Danish women by Muslim men(last year the Danish police statistics say that 65% of all rapes in Denmark were committed by Muslim immigrants)plus honour killings and declitorisation and defibulation these practices have to be eradicated.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Troll
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:12 PM

Larry, good thread. Better song. I'm glad that you can write such songs. It's up to the rest of us to sing them so please include a midi or the tune if you can.

troll


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Hrothgar
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:18 PM

Are women who are "dishonoured" killed by their menfolk because it's easier and safer than going after the bloke who did it? The bloke has, of course, already indicated that he is inclined towards violence.

Or am I being too cynical again?


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Sorcha
Date: 11 May 02 - 11:21 PM

It is appalling to me that this shit still happens------everywhere. Not just in "other" countries, but in yours too. Whatever country you live in. Rape has never been about SEX, it has always been about POWER.

Unfortunately, castration or chemical castration won't stop it---if the animal doesn't have a penis to rape with he will find something else---lots worse.

Whatever it takes to stop it------maybe just this one is worth that. Several years ago I read a book (Not Without My Daughter/s?) that detailed the trials and troubles of an American woman who married an Iranian man. Horrible stuff. Honor killings for speaking to American men, major clitorectomies............

Thank you for the song, Larry. Sing it as often as possible.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 02 - 12:26 AM

How many - of the exact same people posting above have implied in previous threads?????Let us return to the pagan rituals of the primitives for they understood the truth and were closer to the true purity of mother-nature than modern man!

BULL- SSSHHHH!!!!


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 May 02 - 12:49 AM

O for pity's sake. Just shut up, GUEST. You have no idea what you are talking about. Idiots, everywhere you go, idiots. Paganism has not a damned thing to do with rape.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Cappuccino
Date: 12 May 02 - 03:53 AM

Quite right, Sorcha. In both of your posts. Permit me to ally myself with your opinions.

- ian B


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 12 May 02 - 06:28 AM

The subject of "honor killings" has come into the discussion, which is good, one reason I leave open quesitons in most of my songs about human rights, is to get people thinking, for example about the obligation of the Bangladeshi minority community to embrase the female victems of the crimes directed at both men and women in their nation. I must say, however, I have been asking other lawyers, and have not yet heard that the Bangladeshi Hindus have committed honor killings in response to rape by Moslem gangs, rather honor killing in Bangladesh apears, to my initial inquiries (among non-Bangladeshis) to be done by the same fundamentalist communities committing the crimes of rape. I will keep you all posted...

As to our guest... I have a wee song to the tune of Dowey Dens of Yarrow, dedicated to all the anonymous trolls on Mudcat...

While posting on the mudcat site,
so many a tune did borrow,
my songs inflamed, many a fascist clan
and one wee guest named Yarrow

This Yarrow she did post with spite
and many a phrase so callow
Invective she hurled with all her might
did this one wee guest named Yarrow

But words bereft of mighty wit
where met with naught but sorrow
for one who posts with no real point
this one wee guest named Yarrow

So poets all, raise up yer glass
We'll toast and sing till it be morrow
And when the words flow fast and free
We'll have a dram for Yarrow

Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: alanabit
Date: 12 May 02 - 06:52 AM

Damned right that paganism has nothing to do with rape. Some of the Celtic cultures gave equal rights to women and spurned capital punishment. Backward eh? Pagan cultures have also embraced pacifism. The humanitarianism or otherwise of a society has nothing to do with its age. Larry is asking an important question here though. Why is there this hideous attitude that the victim is shamed by the crime? We know that Bille Holliday was sent to reform school for being a rape victim. In the Shakespeare play, Titus Andronicus kills his daughter Lavinia because he feels she has been dishonoured by rape.(Don't we really feel for his hurt pride...) The attitude has emerged in cultures old and new.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Peg
Date: 12 May 02 - 09:16 AM

I don't agree that rape is only about power and not about sex. If that were true, why would forcible sexual intercourse or other sexual acts be a part of it? Why would not the attackers merely beat up the woman instead of abuse her sexually, if it were only about "power?"

It seems to me that rape is, indeed, about sex. Which makes it even more horrible if you ask me.

I find the song's lyrics a bit unsubtle and manipulative for my tastes (just my personal taste in songs, doesn't mean it's a bad song), but certainly the topic is an important one to be communicated.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: 53
Date: 12 May 02 - 10:36 AM

Very good poem.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: MAG
Date: 12 May 02 - 11:30 AM

Rape attitudes -- and laws -- blame the victim because they are based on property laws. The husband or father has damaged property. Yes, it's dreck, but there it is. Rooting out these attitudes and bringing women into full equality is the first step.

I'm afraid that rape really is about power and control; this is a particular psychopathy where these ones get off on causing terror. .they feed their own interior black holes by creating them in others. The link to male aggression is pretty clear. The better we understand our species with all our wrinkles, our hard-wiring, the better we can address this shite.

Thanks for the song, Larry.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: CapriUni
Date: 12 May 02 - 01:26 PM

To be fair to GUEST, I think some may have misread her/his post. I don't think s/he was saying that Paganism has any particularly strong link to rape.

. . . . .

But s/he is accusing other posters here of saying that Christianity, Islam, and Judiasm of having a stronger link to rape than Paganism... and by her/his HTML language (the cyber version of body language), I'd say that the post above was meant as flamebait.

Let me charge up my fire extinguisher and try to give a balanced response to the issue, and not the post (kinda hard to do when the subject combines the three topics to avoid if you do not want a fight: Sex, religion, and politics -- but I'll give it my best shot).

1) No doubt, the ancient Pagans did commit rape, especially during wartime. But the ancient Pagans are no more.

2) No doubt, there are individual Neo-Pagans out there who are rapists, especially those who were drawn to the religion(s) for their general attitude of "sex is okay". But as many Neo-Pagan religions consider the feminine principle as at least equally divine as the male, the subjagation of women is not religiously sanctioned.

3) It is true that not all Jews, Christians, and Muslims consider the subjagation of women to be religiously sanctioned. But many of the self-proclaimed "Fundamentalists" do.* And many Islamic nations are theocracies, where the Fundalmentalist clerics are in charge of crafting and enforcing the laws that affect the fate of their women citizens.

*4) I suspect that all "Fundamentalist" rerligions, of whatever stripe, are vulnerable to pigeon-holing people into rigid gender and life roles because of their emphasis on keeping to ancient traditions and rules at all cost. This may happen with some Neo-Pagan religions in the future, but as we've only been around for about 2 generations, this movement hasn't yet developed.

In short, religion is only one factor among many that contributes to a person's and culture's attitude toward rape. And without taking all the factors into account, is a non sequitor.

There!

Was that pretty much balanced?


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 May 02 - 03:53 PM

"unsubtle and manipulative" - I'd say you've got to be pretty subtle to be effectvely manipulative.

There's always a dilemma being two ways of telling a story. One is just presenting the facts, and leaving it to the listener/reader to make up their own minds, and the other is making a direct statement and implicitly challenging the listener to agree.

I think putting the last verse at the end instead at the start might be worth trying with this song, so that it sums up the situation after we've been taken through it.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Peg
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:04 PM

McGrath; I think that is what I mean by manipulative; because the lyrics are so emotionally straightforward as you say, it does seem to be saying one must agree with this sentiment, and since it is such a tragic story, how can one refute it? But I tend to prefer songs that make me think a bit more, and cause me to be more reflective...also that say things perhaps more poetically or abstractly. Again, just a personal preference.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 May 02 - 05:40 PM

So the challenging approach really belongs in situations where the listener might be expected to be a bit undecided, or even inclined to be on the other side?


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 12 May 02 - 06:39 PM

Peg:
Thousands of women from the age of 8 to 80 are being raped in Bangladesh. Respectfuly... is this a time to be any more subtle than I have been? In the face of this obsenity I think we should be crying bloody murder to the world that is ignoring this crime.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Genie
Date: 12 May 02 - 09:43 PM

InOBU,
Try 2 to at least 90 [unfortunately].

Peg, SOME rapes [e.g., date rape] may be partially sexually motivated, but in many cases (e.g., the rape of the frail elderly or the rape of the enemy male's women [read: property] in wartime, and rape via objects [the toilet plunger that cops used on Abner Luima], etc.), it's hard to see how sex is a major motive, if it is a motive at all. Seems to me we've got a vicious cycle. The more a society regards females as chattel with chastity their cardinal value (hence goods to be rendered worthless if they are sexually violated), the more motive there is for a male to violate his enemy's women sexually--in addition to or instead of just maiming or killing them--to really 'stick it' to that male enemy.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 13 May 02 - 05:36 AM

Hi Genie:
I have to agree with you about violence. I had occation to pose a question to Judge Posner, the founder of the Chicago School, Ecconomic Theory of Law, when he proposed, in a rather idiodic book, that rape was a crime of sexual market place... that his reflection that the instance of rape in Japan proves we who feel rape is a crime of violence are wrong.
He stated that Japan has a mesogenist culture and a low instance of rape, proving that it is a crime of sexual market place, as he called it. I pointed out that there are cultural differences which create a different kind of alianation in Japan, so violent crime in general was less common than in other industrial societies, yet one can find a corelation between the instance of violent crime and rape, and in the communities which had more violent crime in Japan, you have more rape.
This is not to be arguementative about the issue, and not to desexualize the crime, I understand Peg to mean that the sexual objectification aspect adds an aspect of harm to the crime which goes beyond the harm of other assaults, in that it robs a part of sexual identity and replaces it with a sexualized objectified identity.
As to the range of ages of those harmed in Bangladesh, I am not surprised, the more I work on this issue, the worse it turns out to be, the more I don't understand how the State Department can say this is not an instance of genocide, but sporatic and unpolitically connected as they clame in the country reports. Please demand of your governments involvement in helping the people of Bandladesh. They are far away, but they are humans like you.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Peg
Date: 13 May 02 - 09:45 AM

I certainly do not dispute the facts here and obviously political activism is meant to help spread awareness of atrocities. My comments were not in any way denying the tragedy of this situation (in fact I mentioned it myself). But I have never thought song-writing should be a platform for propaganda of any kind (I am not calling this song propaganda!), and similarly I think that real obvious, heavy-handed lyrics are not artful, but hard to listen to. I think songs can portray anger, outrage and horror; but there is a way to do it so that listeners don't feel lectured to. Political song lyrics that are most effective, in my opinion, function in terms of imagery and metaphor and narrative...the minute I hear the word "fundamentalism" in a song (unless it is meant humorously) I am very turned off.

I admire your aim in writing this song; I just find it unsubtle, as I said. Plenty of people in this thread love your song, though...my opinion is in the minority, at least of those who chose to post their opinions publicly.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 13 May 02 - 10:07 AM

The fact is that a fundimentalist coup overthrough the socialist government of Bangladesh and has been allowing attrosities to be caried out in a genocidal program. As to not feeling that propaganda or politics belongs in music, than, perhaps folk music is not your cup of tea. Folk music has been about the people's concerns for ever, that is what it is... what more can I say? Leave politics to the news services, and guess whose point of view will be put forward, certainly not the marginalised the unempowered, the folk. Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: SharonA
Date: 13 May 02 - 10:11 AM

Peg sez, "I don't agree that rape is only about power and not about sex." My impression is that rape is more about power than sex because it's sex by force – sex against the will of one of the participants.

But I agree with Peg that rape isn't only about power. It's also about the sexual gratification of the one(s) doing the overpowering. As Larry says, "the sexual objectification aspect adds an aspect of harm to the crime which goes beyond the harm of other assaults, in that it robs a part of [human] sexual identity and replaces it with a sexualized objectified identity."

I'm curious: in those cultures where "honor killing" is practiced, are raped (sodomized) boys also killed? I would suspect not, if the aim of "honor killing" is to subjugate women, not victims of rape.

To answer the question Larry posed at the end of his song, the rapist in the Bangladeshi Hindu culture does not hide his face because his culture tells him he doesn't have to. I'm not sure how one convinces people from other cultures that human rights as we interpret them are universal rights (without being viewed by those other cultures as infidels). Certainly it will take time... after all, it has taken several centuries for us to acknowledge that women have rights (and that people of all races have rights), and even now we meet resistance to those concepts within our own culture. We just have to be resolved to fighting that battle forever, and we have to keep speaking out and singing out until we're heard.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 13 May 02 - 10:38 AM

Hi Sharon: As far as I know from my work, the rapists in Bangladesh are Moslem, and there is not a practice among the Hindhu populaiton there of "honor killing". The open question posed though, is where are the men of the Hindu community who would bring honor to this by loving the victem enough to share the pain in the aftermath of rape. That is the question posed in the song, after the clear condemnation of 1. the fundimentalist government which condones rape of minorities as a tool of forced migration, 2. condemnation of the rapist being tolerated among his people (moslems) 3. condemnaiton of the world which expresses the notion, don't tell me about this, I don't want to deel with it - it is too far away for me to care.
Thanks for the caring comments, Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: GUEST,Crazy Eddie
Date: 13 May 02 - 11:06 AM

Larry
"Don't talk to me about the meaning of life,
Don't sing your songs, that cut like a knife,
I don't want to hear, I don't want to hear it at all"
Eric Bogle

Unfortunately it is a common reaction, and maybe a natural one.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Peg
Date: 13 May 02 - 11:29 AM

well I typed out a response but it got erased!

Larry, you need to read my post more carefully, as you are twisting my words. I never said politics have no place in music. And just because I find the particular style of these lyrics ineffective, doesn't mean I disapprove of the message. (In fact I have said the opposite). It certainly doesn't mean I need a lecture on the atrocities of the world, or on folk music. To assume I must not know or care enough about the rape of Bangldeshi girls simply because I don't praise these lyrics is a bit essentialist.

I like folk music fine. I don't mind songs about political issues and in fact like them a lot. The lyrics of Bob Dylan, Peggy Seeger, Geoff Bartley, Billy Bragg, Michelle Shocked, John Gorka, just to name a few, to me are artful and thoughtful and subtle. This is the type of lyric I prefer. Some people seem to like lyrics that are more heavy-handed. It's just a matter of personal preference. But I find songs more moving and affecting when I have to engage my own brain and heart to interpret the message, rather than have it spelled out blatantly.

If your aim is to spread awareness about this issue, then my personal opinion about the form or style of these lyrics shouldn't really matter, should it?


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Alice
Date: 13 May 02 - 11:38 AM

Larry, I understand your concern about Bangladesh, but all over the world there are women and children (and some men) raped every minute that goes by. Whether it is political or some other reason, my outrage is for the entire problem on a global scale, for all reasons that rape, murder, coercion, and violence is committed.

You are correct in that the Moslem population rather than the Hindu has a greater prevalence of honor killings. The entire subject of rape, murder and abuse of women just because they are female is a larger issue than political Moslem on Hindu rape, although I understand that you are currently focussed on that. Your question regarding the lack of support of rape victims, though, can be answered by saying that females and the lower castes need better human rights in the Hindu population, too. Hindu culture's treatment of women. quote "... members of the higher castes, and Brahmans in particular, regard it as their God-given right to rape low-born women, particularly Untouchables. The old sacred books containing the laws of Brahmanism, indeed, provide explicit rituals with which upper-caste men can purify themselves after sexual contact with Untouchables." end quote

A link from the UN with more information, on the Muslim topic, On the order of clerics, an 18-year-old woman was flogged to death in Batsail, Bangladesh, for "immoral" behaviour, according to the report. In Egypt, a father paraded his daughter's severed head through the streets shouting, "I avenged my honour."

The report says that "honour" killings tend to be more prevalent in, but are not limited to, countries with a majority Muslim population. It adds, however, that Islamic leaders have condemned the practice and say it has no religious basis.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Alice
Date: 13 May 02 - 11:53 AM

A bit more on the de-valueing of females in Hindu culture, from the link in my previous message.

Countless newborn daughters are still killed immediately after birth, especially in the states of Rajasthan, Bihar and Tamil Nadu. In the villages of Bihar, a midwife is paid 10 rupees for delivering a boy, five for a daughter - and 100 rupees if she immediately kills the female infant at the family's orders. Since it has become possible to determine the sex of a fetus in utero, tens of thousands of female fetuses are aborted every year. The laws forbidding this are likewise neither obeyed nor enforced.
...

The Supreme Court has repeatedly admonished lower courts to consider, in cases of rape, that in India's strongly patriarchal society, which places a high value on a woman's chastity and ostracizes raped women, a woman or girl would not bring such charges lightly and thereby risk her reputation and her chances of marriage." end quote

The strong Hindu patriarchy as described above applies to Hindu culture anywhere in the world, including Bangladesh. The plight of women and untouchables is degrading.

From the age of 10 to 18 I sponsored a young girl in southern India who would not have had an education without my monthly donation for her welfare. Her family was living at the lowest level because of their status in the culture, her father a TB patient and unable to work. She was educated, sent me letters and pictures, growing into a young woman who was literate and skilled as a seamstress. Without the education provided by a US organization called Compassion International, her fate would have been bleak.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 May 02 - 12:35 PM

And think about the women who are sewn shut to prevent this... is that cure worse than the disease?


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 13 May 02 - 12:38 PM

Thanks Alice:
Indeed, my concerns are universal as well, the song, however, comes out of my work with the population of Bangladesh. As a writer of historical ballads, I generally (vertually always) write from personal involvement in events, where I know the community, rather than from, say news accounts. But, I am glad that the song has sparked interest and discussion of the wider issue.
All the best
Larry


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 13 May 02 - 12:44 PM

I have to agree with Peg on this, and I admire her for expressing herself as well as she has in the face of some (deliberate?) twisting of her words. It is to Larry's credit that he wrote this song, and I certainly agree with the sentiment behind it; the way that rape is institutionalized, condoned, and in fact celebrated in so many cultures around the world is horrifying and heart-breaking. But Peg's point was not about the message; it was about the way the message was conveyed. And I think she is right that a more artfully constructed, nuanced song might have a greater impact. It involves the audience's intellect and emotions in the communication process to a greater degree than a song which simply seeks to convey a black-and-white message.

I also agree that rape is about both violence and sex; I don't understand why people feel that this has to be an either/or question. At one time it was useful to remind people that rape was a violent crime, but I would hope that most of us recognize that at this stage, and can also acknowledge the sexual aspect. As Peg said, the sexual element makes it a more horrific crime.

I sometimes think it would be nice if people weren't quite so quick to jump on a soap box every time someone expresses an opinion that goes beyond the orthodoxy. In my view, Peg's comments on this thread contributed more to the discussion than a simple cheerleading-type response would have.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 May 02 - 01:32 PM

Speaking only about the singability of the song (I think it is obviously a very crucial topic) I would be inclined to take the first 2 verses, the last 2 verses, and modify the verse about the fundamentalism. I would take that line out, and put something else in, perhaps a version of the waterwheel line. Then I think you have a very singable and very powerful song. I think as is it is a bit long and there are some verses that aren't as strong..All this is my personal opinion for how I would be inclined to take it and run with it. It is certainly a tragic circumstance. mg


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 May 02 - 02:10 PM

An odd thread. Mostly threads are either discussion threads, or about music/or songs and technique - but this one involves an argument about the issues involved and about the technique, and whether it is appropriate to the issues.

It seems to me that there are really two intertwined narratives here. One is the account by the raped girl of her situation, addressed both to the community of the rapist which is implicated in the act and protects the rapists, and to her own community which deplores the act, but sees her as shamed by it, and is willing to exclude her; and the other is a challenge to outsiders to become aware of this terrible injustice, and to respond to it, rather than shrugging it off as just one of those things.

That's a very complicated set of narratives to get across. The meaning of the rape to each of those three imagined audiences is different. There are several layers of oppression involved. There the rape as genocide, there's the rape in itself as sexual oppression, there's the consequence of teh rape as sexual oppression.

I think it's quite possible in a song to directly address a subject and directly argue a case, passionately and effectively. But I'm not sure it's possible to do it in that way at the same time to more than one imagined audience.

Presenting a story without comment is one way of trying to deal with that difficulty. "Here is what happened - now you've got to decide what to do about it." But at the same time this whole business of untangling the different meanings of rape is somnething that needs exploring. As the arguments in this thread have indicated. And I'm not aware of many songs that have tried to explore them.


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Subject: RE: Rape
From: InOBU
Date: 13 May 02 - 02:30 PM

Hey... it is a true story... history, if the Fundimentalists don't want their name associated with rape, stop condoning it. I just am called to remember Utah Phillips saying, "Look this isn't poetic, it aint how many seas does a white dove sail, it is DUMP THE BOSSES OFF YOUR BACK!" Look folks, there is a time to be poetic and a time to be blunt. CHeers Larry


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