Women Strike in Argentina after brutal rape and murder of 16-year-old girl


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Women Strike in Argentina After the Brutal Rape and Murder of a 16-Year-Old Girl

 

Women Strike in Argentina After the Brutal Rape and Murder of a 16-Year-Old Girl

PHOTO OF WOMEN IN MEXICO CITY PROTESTING THE FEMICIDES IN ARGENTINA BY PEDRO PARDO

Argentina has seen 226 femicides in 2016, with 19 in just October alone. Following the news of Lucia Perez’s murder, women gather to protest the ongoing violence against women in the country.

Today, women across Argentina are participating in a national protest against gender-based violence after a 16-year-old girl was drugged, raped, and murdered earlier this month. Prosecutors told media that two drug dealers forced Lucia Perez to consume a large amount of cocaine to incapacitate her, and “impaled her through the anus, causing pain so excruciating that she went into cardiac arrest and died,” The Straits Times reports.

“I know it’s not very professional to say this,” said Maria Isabel Sanchez, lead prosecutor on the case, “but I’m a mother and a woman, and though I’ve seen thousands of cases in my career, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Perez joins a long list of victims of femicide in Argentina. Since her death on October 8, three more women were killed in separate incidents just in Córdoba, Argentina. The naked, strangled body of another woman, 22 years old, was discovered in a box in a vacant lot near Buenos Aires last week.

According to local media, Argentina has seen 226 femicides in 2016 so far, with 19 in the first 17 days of October alone.

In response to these killings, and in particular Perez’s brutal rape and murder, women’s rights organization Ni Una Menos and other groups dubbed today Black Wednesday to mourn those lost, calling for a “women’s strike” to demand an end to the violence and draw attention to the economic disparity between Argentine men and women. According to Economía Feminista, the wage gap between men and women in Argentina is approximately 27 percent; for informal jobs, which one-third of Argentine women have, that figure jumps to 40 percent.

Women were asked to wear black and walk out of their jobs and houses at 1 PM “to be seen, to be heard.” The hashtags #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less),#NosotrasParamos (Women Strike) and #VivasNosQueremos (We Want Ourselves Alive) have united protesters on social media.

In a document addressed to participants, organizers wrote: “Because behind the increase and viciousness of femicide and violence against women, there’s also an enormous economic plot; the lack of women’s autonomy leaves us unprotected when it comes to saying ‘no.’ In consequence, this lack of autonomy turns us into moving targets of trafficking networks or of ‘cheap’ bodies that are used for trafficking and retailing.”

Cassia Roth teaches Latin American history at the University of California-Los Angeles. She says socioeconomic factors influence gender-related violence. “Poverty requires many women to work outside of the home,” she tells Broadly, and when they do, men often feel emasculated because of a long history of “patriarchal gender relations that privilege male power and female submissiveness,” a lot of which has to do with family honor, toxic masculinity and a double sexual standard.

“All of these factors can converge in a patriarchal system that stresses male superiority and which normalizes violence towards women,” she says.

In July, Argentine President Mauricio Macri announced a national plan to lower the rates of violence against women. The plan includes working to change the patriarchal culture by introducing gender violence awareness into school curriculum.

But more needs to be done, Roth says. The protests today reveal a shift away from blaming the victim toward blaming the system, she continues. “This a larger problem and not an individual problem. The onus is not on women; the onus is on changing the way women are viewed in our culture.”

In an interview with Americas Quarterly, Ingrid Beck, one of the founders of Ni Una Menos, calls machismo a global issue. “Well if you look at what’s happening in the US, what [Donald] Trump is saying, to me it speaks to the fact that the problem isn’t just of the countries of Latin America.”

Roth agrees. “This culture is also present in the United States, where victim-blaming for both sexual crimes and domestic violence is still common, and a presidential candidate can be caught on tape talking about sexually assaulting women and pass it off as ‘locker room’ talk.'”

No One Asks to be Raped


Judge Dispels The Myth Of The ‘Perfect’ Rape Victim In Powerful Verdict

“No one asks to be raped.”

 

An illustration from the day in court that Judge Marvin Zuker announced Mustafa Ururyar’s guilty verdict. 

“For much of our history, the ‘good’ rape victim, the ‘credible’ rape victim has been a dead one.”

That’s just one of the many powerful statements Ontario Court Justice Marvin Zuker said in court last week while delivering his verdict in a Canadian university rape case. The judge announced that he found the defendant guilty of sexual assault and proceeded to point out the insidious effects of victim-blaming in his 179-page verdict.

“The myths of rape should be dispelled once and for all,” Judge Zuker read aloud in court last Thursday. “We cannot perpetuate the belief that niceness cannot coexist with violence, evil or deviance, and consequently the nice guy must not be guilty of the alleged offense.”

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Ururyar found guilty of sexually assaulting York U student Mandi Gray. ” Rape it was” @CityNews

The case, which began in February, involved Mustafa Ururyar and Mandi Gray, two doctoral students at Toronto’s York University. According to The Guardian, the two had been casually dating when Gray went to Ururyar’s apartment one night in January 2015.

As the two made their way back to Ururyar’s apartment, Gray said he became angry and started calling her “a slut” and “needy.” Gray testified that Ururyar forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her later that night.

Ururyar had pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, claiming that he and Gray had engaged in consensual sex on the night in question. According to Judge Zuker’s verdict, Ururyar’s defense repeatedly attacked Gray’s character and attempted to discredit her story throughout the trial.

Judge Zuker was not accepting Ururyar’s “twisted logic,” as he said in his verdict. The judge denounced Ururyar’s defense, calling it all a “fabrication” that is “credible, never,” adding, “I must and do reject his evidence.”

Judge Marvin Zuker

The judge described how traumatizing the defense’s character assassination must have been for Gray and condemned a culture that is so quick to victim-blame:

The court was constantly reminded, told, as if to traumatize the helplessness, the only one we can believe is Mr. Ururyar, because she, she Ms. Gray, cannot remember. What a job and a real bad one, trying to shape the evening. We must not create a culture that suggest we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error.

How can you prove it? You don’t remember. He knows you don’t remember. He is going to write the script and he did. Testimony incomplete, memory loss, etc. etc. And, of course, typically, no dialogue in the story. One full sentence by Ms. Gray? What is it? No power, no voice, defenceless. To listen to Mr. Ururyar paint Ms. Gray as the seductive party animal is nothing short of incomprehensible. He went or tried to go to any length to discredit Ms. Gray, if not invalidate her. Such twisted logic.

… There is no demographic profile that typifies a rapist. There is a danger of stereotyping rapists. When the accused is a friend of the victim and uses that relationship to gain, and then betray the complainant’s trust; there may be a need to be informed in order to recognize and understand the accused’s predatory behaviour. No other crime is looked upon with the degree of blameworthiness, suspicion, and doubt as a rape victim. Victim blaming is unfortunately common and is one of the most significant barriers to justice and offender accountability.

…The responsibility and blame lie with the perpetrator who takes advantage of a vulnerable victim or violates the victim’s trust to commit the crime of sexual assault. Rape is an act of violence and aggression in which the perpetrator uses sex as a weapon to gain power and control over the victim. It is too common to redefine rape as sex and try to capitalize on the mistaken believe that rape is an act of passion that is primarily sexually motivated, It is important to draw the legal and common sense distinction between rape and sex… There is no situation in which an individual cannot control his/her sexual urges.

Towards the end of his statement, Judge Zuker clarified  what consent really means and why a survivor’s actions before the assault should never be used to excuse rape.

“Without consent, ‘no’ means ‘no,’ no matter what the situation or circumstances,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if the victim was drinking, out at night alone, sexually exploited, on a date with the perpetrator, or how the victim was dressed. No one asks to be raped.”

In his verdict, the judge actually underlined that last sentence (on page 172 in the embedded statement below).

The same day Judge Zuker read his verdict, Gray released a public statement in response to Zuker’s powerful words. “I am tired of people talking to me like I won some sort of rape lottery because the legal system did what it is supposed to do,” Gray wrote.

In a conversation with reporters after the hearing, Gray called the verdict a “huge victory,” but added that Zuker’s statements can’t undo the trauma she’s endured.

“I think it’s massive, these statements,” Gray said. “But, I mean, these statements don’t un-rape me, first of all, and nor does it erase the process that I’ve had to go through.”

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I decided to publish another blog today because this Canadian judge has the courage and the strength to what three American judges have not done. He has not punished the victim for her own rape. He has stated for the record that No means No. Our judges slapped the hands of the convicted rapist and let them off without jail time.

 

American men, there is no reason for you to violate a woman. No does mean no. Rape has to do with power and control and not really sex. What kind of man can’t control himself? Once again, we see here in America that there is no respect for women, no consideration for their feelings…It is a War on Women.

 

Congratulations to our Northern neighbors. Hats off to the judge who is man enough to follow the law and do what is right.

 

Namaste

Barbara

Convicted Rapist receives no time


 Convicted Rapist Austin Wilkerson Receives No Prison Time — Even Less Than Stanford Rapist

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If you are a regular reader, you will notice that this is the second rapist who has been found guilty yet has not been required to do any prison time. Speaking as a woman, community service and/or probation is not justice for having someone putting himself inside your body and using you and discarding you as if you were yesterday’s newspaper. Rape is a horrible crime of power and control. There should be a long prison sentence for the perpetrator. I hope we don’t see more of this trend.

Namaste,

Barbara

U.S. Military Accused of Punishing Sexual Assault Victims in New Human Rights Report


First women couldn’t be in the military because it was too “tempting” to have women on military bases.  Next, we could have women in the military, but they could only do non-combat duty.  Now, women in the military can be in combat.

As a pacifist, I don’t want any of this; I’ve always been a pacifist and I’m sure I will die a pacifist.  As a feminist, however, I support a woman’s right to choose what do with her life, and that includes military service.

What disturbs me about women in the military isn’t that they want to go and serve their country, or that they want to be able to fight for their country; it is the fact that sex, once again, is being used as an excuse for harassment, molestation and rape.

For thousands of years, males — i.e. Adam and all non-feminist men after — have used the excuse “she made me do it”.  There is not a legitimate reason, ever, to sexual molest, rape, attack or violate a woman.  In actuality, these things have to do with power and control, not with sex.

The military is the American bastion of male power and control.  The good old boys are going to have to suck it up and get a grip on themselves; they need to realize that the only thing they have legitimate power and control over is themselves, and begin to act accordingly.

 US Military Accused of Punishing Sexual Assault Victims in New Human Rights Watch Report

Healing Humanity


There is nothing really for me to say. We are all made of star dust and we are all children of the Universe. The richness of life is the beauty of our differences.

May our differences bring joy, not fear,

May our differences make us stronger,

May we all turn from the need of power and control, from greed and jealousies.

May we all raise our voices  in love to The One.

May we remember how to be compassionate and forgiving.

—By Barbara Mattio

Greatness is what you give.

Greatness is what you give.

Headlines


I am writing today because of the news headlines. A specific headline that has me silently screaming with frustration, Here in American a member of our Congress gave an interview that legitimate rape does not result in pregnancy.
He further stated that the woman’s body would rid itself of the pregnancy. He commented that medical people had told him this information.

First of all, I must state that there is no such thing as legitimate rape. Absolutely none. If a man doesn’t understand the meaning of NO, it is rape and he is responsible for his actions. Without premeditation, poor Eve made a choice in the Garden of Eden to eat of the apple (or pomegranate) to gain knowledge. So it tasted good and she wandered over and offered Adam a bite. He could have said no, I won’t break the rule, forget it. What he chose was to reach out and take the apple and he took a bite. He was responsible for that choice. Eve was only responsible for her own choice.

Since this event in the garden, men have been blaming women for their bad choices. Scapegoating to avoid the responsibility and consequences of their decisions. So who gets blamed? The women.

She got raped because she had too much make-up on, or her skirt was too short, she had bedroom eyes, she gave a ‘come on ‘ smile. The list goes on ad nauseum.

Then there is the fact that rape has absolutely nothing to do with sex. It is an act not driven by desire, lust or passion. It is driven by the need for power and control. The man needs to show that woman how strong and in control he is.
This is why 86 year old women get raped. They didn’t drive this guy out of his mind with passion. But he did control her and used his power to do anything he wanted to her and her body.

Despite the thinking of many people, women can and do become pregnant as a result of rape. So in your mind, picture your mom, sister, cousin, grandmother being raped. Think about what that act of violence and control would do to their minds as well as their bodies.

This entire subject is indicative of the War on Women. It is a battle in the war. I call upon all who read my blog to talk to your friends and family about what is happening in our country to women. Inch by inch they are attempting to push us back into the submissive roles that we finally broke free of. Don’t give up your freedom or the freedom of women you know. Demand more from Congress than the unpardonable lack of bipartisan work to help the constituents who elected them.

A man who can make a statement, white, educated, misogynistic man, who has the temerity to call any rape legitimate is a self-righteous pig. Next they are going to be trying to tell us that if you aren’t legitimately raped the rapist does not have to go to court and hopefully jail.

This brings me back to our esteemed Congressman and his wisdom that he felt he needed to share with the world. Well, he did. Your answer to him should be to vote him out of office as quickly as possible. I bet that if a man were raped, which can happen, no one would be talking about it being legitimate or not.

So, a man of quality treats a woman as an equal partner. He does not belittle her, force her into having sex, slap her around, or make her feel stupid and invisible. There are many men of quality out in the world. So no woman ever needs settle for any other kind of man. We are strong, we are intelligent, we are logical and rational human beings. We can and must stand straight and with head held high, tell the misogynistic people, whether male or female, to get out of our lives and out of our bodies.

Here in America, our Presidential election is coming up. Register and get out there and vote. There is power in your vote. How you vote is private but voting is a responsibility for every citizen. When sexist people won’t listen, the way to make them hear you, is to vote them out of power. This is the only life you will have, don’t let them rob you of your rights.

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