To be raped is to die within the confines of internal agony and to express our identities within the midst of complete and utter turmoil. At its core rape is the manifestation of the darkest evil maintained within the grips of the betrayed. Rape is generational torture passed down by the greed for power while denying the very essence and beauty of humanity. Rape is stuck in the grips of systematic injustice, as woman cry out for salvation. Rape is living daily within a world stratified by systematic torture while the invisible rape of woman lays dormant, woman become prisoners of sexual servitude.
All of the woman closest to me have been violently raped. My sister among them was violently ganged raped just blocks from the French Quarter in New Orleans. A wrong turn led her into the clutches of centuries worth of systematic injustice that has normalized the raping of woman. Anger fueled from an oppressive socio-economic platform, young black men leaning against the gun of poverty and exclusion exercised an age-old tradition of using woman’s bodies as battlefield in an attempt to avenge the wrong that had been done to them and their ancestors.
In consideration of Susan Thistlethwaite’s book, “Woman’s bodies as battlefield”, the war on woman has waged. Statistics alone cannot fully express the desperate state of affairs in regards to woman’s bodies as battlefields. When 1 in 5 women are raped in the U.S., it’s time to counter our problematic depiction of woman instead of ranking them as second class citizens and placing them systematically within the realms of inferiority. Woman’s bodies from the onset of civilization have been used as tools of warfare, for the exchange of goods and to negotiate relations.
Therefore, woman’s bodies have been predominantly perceived as sex symbols and not as people with personal agency. Therefore, it is no surprise that African woman in the 18th and 19th century during American slavery were often used as sexual commodities for their masters. This atrocity has been grossly understated even though rape meets the definition of torture, representational of physiological, psychological and socio-economical connotations. Yet, the rape of woman has been normalized insomuch that woman’s bodies as battlefields have been continually been overlooked.
Therefore, in order to rectify the normalization of rape it is imperative to bring forth the stories of rape victims into the light. Our mother, our sisters, our daughters are at risk. If the normalization of rape continues, the torture of woman will continue unabated. Thistlethwaite states, “to “queer” a subject is to make its very normative problematic……the injuring woman’s bodies, even to the point of death, can be seen as beyond the confines of “normal”. “Seeing” then becomes not the performance of customary but of identifying the criminal” (Thistlethwaite 33). It’s fine time we heeded to the cries of the rape victims and let their voices be heard.