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Their Pain is Kept Silent

Chiwengo’s article on how “pain remains untranslatable”, with an emphasis on Congolese women who have experienced rape, greatly relates to this blog page as a whole (92). The human rights discourse fails to protect the values of everyone due to the fact that its ideas are a direct reflection to power relations and dominance. Many worldwide conflicts and narratives go unheard of. The international community fails to hear memorial narratives and violence goes unnoticed only until moral and political involvement takes place. To objectify the pain of the victims, the film Hotel Rwanda was produced in order to “ensure that Western spectators would identify with the victims” (85). By recreating the images of the Rwanda genocide, attention was brought to the international community “which desires to offer assistance” (91).

One passage from the article that stood out to me was how “sexuality is intertwined with power and militarized masculinity” (90). Sexualized power should be brought to the attention of many. Economic and political structures are at the root of why women, like the Congolese, were raped in high numbers. The essence of rape is about power, not sexual desire. I encountered a blog that provided statistics on rape in Africa alone. The blog’s first sentence reads: It is estimated that a woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read. This sentence speaks a lot for itself. I hope that through media, more attention is brought to countries suffering from poverty and despair since “human rights are given more attention in developing countries than in some developed countries” (79).

The following clip provides account of personal stories and information about sexual violence in Haiti. Perhaps by taking a look at more images and listening to more stories, the international community will more likely try to put a stop to the harms people suffer from.


2 responses to “Their Pain is Kept Silent

  1. dinasharif ⋅

    I was just reading another classmates article that focused on rape in the congo, and how many issues of rape are ignored globally. I really like when you quoted this part of the article “sexuality is intertwined with power and militarized masculinity” because not many are aware how bodies and sex can be vehicles to inflict pain and violence. To think of a precious body as an object that is utilized by militant masculinity gives me goosebumps. Maybe it is because i, myself am a female and I know how it feels to be objectified. This reminds me of the events that took place during Hurricane Katrina when people were pushed into the football stadium for shelter and to receive medical care and food. Many rapes took place a midst all the chaos and its so sad that people who were already hurting could have more pain inflicted upon them.

  2. dsaifan

    Your quote from the Rape Statistics article, “It is estimated that a woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read” was incredibly shocking, yet sadly understandable at the same time due to the normalization of rape and the suffering of African women.
    Another statistic, also from the article you posted, about young schoolboys’ views on rape was extremely disturbing: “A survey conducted among 1,500 schoolchildren in the Soweto township, a quarter of all the boys interviewed said that ‘jackrolling’, a term for gang rape, was fun.” We can see that rape has become a norm in their society, just another aspect to joke about and a way for men to uphold their “masculinity” and power.
    Because this widespread rape is not often viewed as relatable to us here in America (and in the West in general), the issue is too often ignored. As you said, those who know about the extremity of sexual violence must spread awareness and mobilize people to demand human rights for these victims.

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