Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prayer For Hillary, Rape

I've been climbing out of sickness and depression last month, forcing myself to the post editor because I want to say a prayer for Hillary Clinton, may she heal and take a couple of years off to lay around the house and read some books... We are going to need Hillary during the next few years, not only because the presidency will be hers if she wants it, but because we need her for inspiration to get more women involved in politics and creating governmental policy... Of course, her enemies used her hospitalization as an excuse to dump one her, saying she was avoiding appearing before Congress to answer questions about the tragedy in Bengazi, Libya. They wouldn't listen to reason, and it reminded me of a Frank Zappa album cover, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, with Charles Krauthammer as the main weasel... hopefully, the State Dept will streamline their security, more responsive to requests for extra security than the typical beauracratic response of "No."

This kind of automatic denial is created by lawyers. It doesn't matter if the request will save lives or not, if it causes us to spend money, the answer is no... I remember my first experience with this attitude, when the transit district that I was working for hired a lawyer. Maybe she thought we wanted her to take over running the district, but she was making work rules without going through the committee process, and was a mean and vindictive person towards workers she deemed beneath her in the hierarchy of the company. Yes, myself included. Each month there was a list of items in the board packet that the public would ask the district to recompense them for property damaged while riding the bus. Every item was automatically denied by our lawyer. One item just bothered me, a young man who used the bus to attend special needs education classes, was thrown forward into the seat in front of him when the driver slammed on the brakes to avoid an accident. He was requesting $35 to replace his glasses frame, which he had to tape together with masking tape. I felt that granting the request would have created more goodwill, but it was denied. I wrote a critical article in our Union newsletter and was accused by her of sexual harassment in the workplace. So, I have witnessed what can happen when this mindset goes crazily out of control, though in our State Department's case, it resulted in the deaths of good men who were actually helping Libya...

It bothers me that sick conservatives are using Hillary's hospitalization for petty politics. She may never be greeted as a Nubian Princess with a butt you could bounce quarters off of, as Khadafi used to refer to Condoleeza Rice, but she has visited over 112 countries during her tenure, and probably has had more influence on world events than any other politician, helped deflated some rather hairy incidents that easily have escalated into another world war. She's killing herself for this country, and the response is juvenile sarcasm sprinkled with cynical frosting.he blood clot is still there, and they gave her blood thinners to dissolve it. It may or may not work, so she will be closely monitored for the next 6 months. The problem with drugs like this is you are taking them for the rest of your life. My father had to use blood thinners after his stroke, but they also aggravated a hiatal hernia that he had for years. So, he got to balance the risk of forming a blood clot that could affect the blood flow to his brain versus having some blood and fluids gathering in his lung area... Good luck Hillary, I pray you make good choices, this world still needs you.

Life could be worse, if you are a woman living in a Muslim country. Or any other patriarchic, misogynistic culture. Reported rape is on the rise throughout the world, from the campus of the Air Force Academy to the  over 600 rape cases in Delhi, India reported from 2012... According to Sonia Faleiro, writing in the NY Times, it is a culture that "believes that the worst aspect of rape is the defilement of the victim, who will no longer be able to find a man to marry her - and that the solution is to marry the rapist..." Because rape is so prevalent in India, the recent death of a young woman who was raped and beaten so bad that she died from organ failure prompted mass demonstrations by women all over the country.

The number of rapes that result in pregnancy is over 50%, I've read that here in the US it's 80%, but that seems scarily high to me. It's estimated that one in every five women will have been abused during their lifetime, and in places like Pakistan, India, and the Middle East, the incident rate is even higher and more horrific.

Of course, educating males is one option for solving the rape problem, but that doesn't address cultures that condone it, or male rage on a personal level. One of our institutions that has the highest amount of reported rapes are the military academies. We teach our young men to be aggressive and kill, yet we do not teach them how to flip the switch and turn that behavior off, mix it with 18 year old raging hormones, and the old men of the administration are shocked by the resulting behavior, and are left to cover it up for as long as they can, leaving many fine women with destroyed careers because they said yes, I'll go out with you... Personally, I have never understood how one person could rape another, and I've faced plenty of rejection in my life. The behavior seems left over from the time we were cavemen, though even back then it doesn't seem to much value, nothing to do with food, clothing, and shelter...