Mike sent me a comment on the blog I posted recently—Eve Ensler’s powerful Huffington Post article about what’s being done to women in Eastern Congo. He wanted to knowhow men could do such things. I decided to make my answer to him a blog for all my readers:
Thanks for asking this question, Mike, it’s a central one and complex. The men who are raping and mutilating the women and girls (and babies!!!) in eastern Congo have been turned into crazed, maniacal killers by the genocidal war in Rwanda. Maybe you saw “Hotel Rwanda” which was about that war. This is not to excuse what they have become and there are other factors as well. Do remember that in some parts of the world, girls can be purchased for less than a cow. Women and girls, in the most extreme patriarchal cultures, have no power, no respect and are seen as sub human. A documentary about this situation said that some of these men believe if they rape women their families will be protected; if they rub certain oils on themselves bullets cannot hurt them. They are crazed and sick and beyond redemption and there MUST be consequences. Right now there are none, as Eve’s Huffington Post so powerfully exposed. Eve just wrote me that those who want to do something to help should go onto the V-DAY website and hit the registry for “City of Joy.” She will have a piece coming out monday that will have specifics about what to do. City of Joy, by the way, is a “city” that V-Day, in partnership with UNICEF, is building. The women there are doing the construction and Eve says they sing and dance with joy because they know someone is paying attention, someone is trying to help, not just showing up, handing out cards, making promises and never being heard from again. The “city” was designed by a Chicago architect where 100 women can come when they leave the hospital (to make room for the hundreds more that continue to pour in.) There, they can be cleaned, can heal their bodies, can receive emotional therapy, can earn job skills and can move from victimhood to being warriors for non-violence—as Eve likes to say. And I’ve seen it happen. It CAN happen. Thanks for your concern and for trying to help.
Thanks to any and all of you who want to help. It’s what gives life meaning—to know you are making a difference.
See you next time.