Sunday, June 23, 2013
I am reading about war again. Two very good books: "We Band Of Angels: The Untold Story of American Nurses Trapped on Bataan by the Japanese" by Elizabeth Norman; and "Quiet Hero; Secrets From My Father's Past" by Rita Cosby. Cosby's father fought with the Polish resistance in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. These books are not about rape, but rape is always part of the story. Rape is always part of war. Rape is never given as a reason that we are moved to intervene in other countries' affairs. We declare a national interest in geo-political stability, protecting strategic oil supplies, or protecting citizens from chemical weapons or ethnic genocide. Rape should be reason enough. What do we expect of the outcome of rape? Do we think about the social instability of a woman raising the child of rape? What does she say to her child? How does she explain? How are her values reflected in her loyalty to her child, her country, her conquerors or what we antiseptically call "civil society"? First the violation of the act. Then the life long consequence. Can she overcome her outrage and mother her babe? Who will she trust again?