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When Does the Violation of Women's Bodies Become a "Red Line"?


When Does the Violation of Women's Bodies Become a "Red Line"?

Lauren Wolfe

Two years ago I was on vacation in Maine when I started getting really, really mad. I’d been working to track sexualized violence in the Syrian war for a long time and had gotten very little response from policy makers despite many meetings with those in our government and the UK’s and at the UN. Cases piled up, and response remained nil. And now suddenly President Obama was responding—but not to cases of rape, or torture, but to the possible use of chemical weapons. It was his so-called “red line”—the thing that would make him do something.


Added to this, when those Children and Women trying to flee the rape and violence that occurs in their Countries ( much of which is orchestrated by foreign powers seeking to control natural resources) and make it to what should be sanctuary in what are called first nation countries , many are then impressed into the sexual slavery industry which the media avoids discussing like the plague.

This is then called "freedom" by the champions of "the market" as the women are no longer "FORCED" into sex but can "freely" choose to sell their body in return for a livelihood.


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Unfortunately, to too many policymakers in the West, human rights and dignity are not considerations when it comes to foreign policy. For example, when the Pakistani military was brutalizing the mostly unarmed civilians of East Bengal (now called Bangladesh) in 1971, where, by one estimate, 200,000 women and girls were raped, the US government sent its 7th Fleet to help the Pakistani brutes. That adventure failed because the Indian smart lady, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, signed a friendship treaty with the USSR, to stop the barbarians and help the people of East Bengal.

Think about how women are oppressed via religions doctrines in the world. And how do the Western secular and humanist politicians and intellectuals respond to that? They mostly show respect for the so-called religions, cultures and traditions! Is't the world really a jungle?


Great post. Makes sense clearly and simply.


There very few conflicts on this Globe since the end of WW2 that do not have the dirty machinations of the US Government working to ensure there ever more strife and conflict. Any true champions of human rights that rise in these regions are seen as a threat by the US Government to Corporate power and the rule of the 1 percent .

The only moral and logical conclusion any champion of Human rights can make is that in order to have those rights , equality and Justice , the 1 percent must be removed from power. As the champion of the 1 percent , notwithstanding the high and mighty words coming from the lying mouths of its Politicians , is the United States Government and its client states.


I also think that the Western powers, including the USA, have been keeping the conflicts alive and fanning conflicts in many parts of the world. I also agree with you that removing "the 1%" from power would likely help.

But the other side of the story is probably more powerful than "the 1%." Think about some of the following:

1) The Western powers certainly took advantage of the Hindu caste system and of the Hindu-Muslim hatred in the Indian subcontinent. But did they create the Hindu caste system or the Hindu-Muslim hatred?

2) Did the Western powers create the Sunni-Shia divide/hatred among the Muslims? And how long is the Sunni-Shia hatred going on? Can you imagine how preposterous it is, for example, that people bloody their minor children or allow the children to do that to themselves, to remember the suffering of the founders of the Shia sect that took place some 1400 years back?

3) Did the Western powers create the ludicrous idea of a 'promised land' for the Jews? Isn't it absurd that Israel finds friends in the Western powers while the latter did not provide prime real estate in Europe for settling the Holocaust victims?

4) Did the Western powers create the idea of women being men's properties, sexual objects, maids and baby-making machines?

So, isn't the world way overdue on humans using their common sense and giving up the nonsense, injustice, hatred, and barbaric behaviors that come from what they think is their religion, which they really never got a chance to choose objectively? I am most frustrated with how the victims of the injustice and hatred of religions/cultures/traditions remain willing victims.


I'm glad someone has finally mentioned the First (caused by the Rwanda Genocide) and Second Congo Wars. The bloodiest since World War II but totally ignored. Rape is used as a weapon..definitely. First, and primarily against the women, second, against the male family members of these women...saying, in effect, " We own them and there is nothing you can do about it.. " Sad.


"If women are at the negotiating table, the men think of them as the tablecloth." Seems to me we'd make great strides in reducing warfare and atrocities if we made a rule, good for the next generation or so: at national levels of government, whether negotiating with foreigners or running a country, one is ineligible to serve if he has a Y chromosome. The women at the negotiating tables would not be the tablecloth if they were the only ones sitting around that table. In the long run, barring men from positions of power might not be a good idea, but surely it would help if we did this for awhile--is it not obvious that in our current cultural state, women tend to be more responsible, more focused on the well-being of children, less centered on their own egos? Hell, we've had millennia of (virtually) exclusive male rule--why don't we try it and see if it helps?


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What has this to do with women being raped?

I am going to suggest to you that 99.9999 percent of those rapists and 99.9999 percent of those that are chopping off heads are men.


Yes, as I have indicated elsewhere the patriarchy and dividing people up by some sort of arbitrary system where a "value" assigned them extends through many countries and cultures.