¡ LIVE NOW @ live.novaramedia.com !
antifascism pop culture west bank rpi student politics ge2012 occupy UKIP privacy womens liberation bias greek election ttip trolling cable rusell brand arab spring green party nus sexism fascism gypsies nationalism ireland suicide newham housing he sisi krugman putin libdems privatization automation david cameron sussex jobs production lawrence and wishart reappropriation airstrikes Craig McVegas manifesto israel university owen jones ubi met IndyRef andrew dolan balls tabitha bast estate unions mark duggan health isis loans hollaback orientalism willetts syriza ello europe zero hours poverty bjp Claudia Jones cpi george osborne ACAB depression trans jesus mob social reproduction benefits deep state social cleansing rent syria france james meadway christianity ncafc asn value boko haram psychiatry homelessness native rob ford netanyahu employment footwear communities dale farm Scottish Independence journalism labour gender al qaeda queer books demands productivity chuka umunna government internet charlie lahr post-fordism golden dawn utopia ulu Dawkins projects birmingham protest uprising growth crime property rights ecb mark carney cantona people's assembly subversion social networks England legitimacy libertarianism catalunya vaga de totes cameron bonuses social housing olympics pluralism women asia Aaron Bastani imf crimea cooperatives inflation marxism yes scotand riots china 15m ukraine media tax evasion rent strike strike security Elections left Centre Left young people living wage care localism irish water catalan independence higher education kerry morality technology property bennett miliband precariousness atheism martin lewis start up socialist austerity marketing state feminism bouchart silicon valley arran james anarchism tsipras new democracy tax pharmaceuticals public sector ge2015 care work budget2014 uffc YesVote nurses refusal direct action brazil pay future portugal eu interest pasok bingo middle east kobane ethics treasury anxiety eire tuc kurds james butler finance eric pickles orange order Economy cuts hague protests consumption radical housing network capitalism solidarity mark regev help to buy magna carta work masons comedians nhs isil rmt podemos no borders christmas religion sport fees open democracy jeremy hunt pfi workplace reappropriation precarious europe neoliberalism thatcher results new york angela mcrobie colonialism antiziganism aboriginal welfare state unemployment asylum is intervention politics landlords politicians chris grayling inequality yes scotland revolution obama radical lives memes mcgettigan Tom Abree romani ultras digital media housing crisis germany prison racism pasokification uber general election islamophobia romanichal architecture synthetic hedge uk mark zuckerberg university of london northern ireland eleanor penny housing action cost of living strikes rape culture edl tactics history student debt kurdistan interviews police violence videos scotland salmond tuition fees greens conchita millbank travellers cities pay gap catalonia electoral fraud idf post-capitalism intersectionality law geography class struggle sturgeon business right to buy funerals lse workers Adam Ramsay canada alia al ghussain paul nuttall legal aid international cup secret employee sexual violence russia refusal of work tax reform rojava police brutality mike brown psoe television #copsoffcampus ipr spending social movements precarity stealing student movement justice apps tories world cup free speech conservatives gary barlow maps plaid cymru morsi nypd evictions hamas rbi star trek demographics eurovision data culture trident holocaust modi maria miller dan whittall Police ual education obr columnism basic income bnp workfare BBC literature Race 22o class focus e15 david willetts privatisation political economy india gaza glasgow wages m18 natalie bennett charlie hebdo red wedge nato Media bias autonomism malcolm x spain pablo iglesias reproductive rights economics fe rotherham sussex five egypt troika london money roma mubarak universal basic income migrants nef ferguson publishing desire Tuzla david harvey whiteness populism space privatisaton strategy of refusal immigration iraq coalition engels blockupy adam stoneman financialisation anti-capitalism theft greece debt britain first music clegg marx national liberation midwives warwick madness andy burnham lgbt miners strike Gentrification accessibility mental health usa calais review organising occupation trade unions facebook buy-to-let Secular Crisis uaf bell hooks sophie lewis james meek free education carpenters Labour Party snp leaders debate novara wire omar aziz crisis uk uncut Niki Seth-Smith clr james hydra conference season palestine Policing big pharma safety football eurozone rape student loans comedy

4 Rape Revenge Plots Unfolding Worldwide

submit to reddit

From the spectacle of injustice that was The Central Park Five to the realities flagged by Angelina Jolie’s vague ‘campaign’ at Srebrenica, the disciplinary functions of rape — within and without the home, with and without classed and racialized dynamics — are the air we breathe, the backing vocals on our news feeds. Even in the rare instances when they’re not making the news, individual or collective rapes — and the threat of them — continue to structure and pervade life in capitalist society across the globe. By way of counter-power, four closely interlinked manifestations of movement are illustrated below: demonstration, litigation, self-defence, and armed collective reprisal. Despite the tragic contemporary frequency of rape victims’ self-immolation, suicide has not been included here.

1. Demonstration.

In India, following high-profile Mumbai and Delhi gang rape incidences, a bellicose and sustained anti-rape movement has compelled thousands to the streets and onto buses in protest. While ‘traditional’ religious, patriarchal, and even fascist elements are participating in the rush to affirm women’s ‘value’, the majoritarian feminist contingent is, Kavita Krishnan argues, evolving a radical state- and family-critical analysis that seeks to revolutionize urban and rural caste-inflected sex relations alike.

sophie lewis 4rrp 1

In South Korea, incensed by Tokyo’s retraction of its WWII-related apology, rallies that have taken place every week since 1991 are now vindicating afresh the former ‘comfort women’ of Japanese and U.S. officers. The ramifications of this solidarity with trafficked sex slaves potentially run very deep for South Korean feminists’ struggles. These are demonstrations worth keeping an eye on.

sophie lewis 4rrp 2

2. Litigation.

The question of whether Twitter-storms can manipulate rape-apologist judges (as at Maryville, a year after Steubenville, USA) remains moot. But with massive grassroots support, eight UK women who became the unconsenting long-term sexual partners of undercover Metropolitan Police officers deployed to spy on political activist networks — some having children by them — are courageously conducting lengthy legal action to expose, redress, and hopefully impossibilize future repetitions of the experience they define as “being raped by the state”.

On a brighter note, since a rule barring prostitutes as claimants was removed in 2012, fourteen sex workers in California who suffered rape (though not by police) have been granted compensation. Since the 1970s when the designation ‘sex work’ was invented, sex workers have been organizing all over the world (usually out of court) against the (seemingly all-too-routine) rapes perpetrated by police. Refer to the discussion on consent, and the final chapter, ‘Movement’, in Melissa Gira Grant’s new book Playing the Whore.

3. Self-defence.

It was memorable when Rihanna shot her rapist down in 2010: celebrations of the individual vigilante abound, but very, very few aren’t male. Here are a few recent, real, live, departures from the script.

sophie lewis 4rrp 3

On 7 March 2014, Thomson Reuters  reported the jailing of a woman, Fatima, who axed her habitual rapist to death in the city of Fès and proclaimed: “He killed me a thousand times before I ever came to kill him too”.

In Ciudad Juárez, the assassin self-identified via email to the authorities as Diana “Cazadora de Choferes” (Hunter of Bus Drivers) caused an international stir by becoming, she said, an instrument for avenging rapes perpetrated by drivers with impunity. Reports in 2013 suggest “Diana” enjoyed considerable community solidarity in Mexico, and has not been apprehended to date.

It is as yet unclear what will become of Hong Kong resident and mother Yeung Ki during her eleven-day trial. Ki was the victim of her boyfriend’s rape, long-term abuse, and concomitant attempts to blackmail her with threats of revenge pornography. This year she drugged him and used scissors to remove his penis (which she flushed down the toilet) prior to beating him to death.

There is fear, too, in the minds of the many activists dedicated to freeing Yakiri Rubí Rubio Aupart, who was until recently imprisoned in Mexico City. Yaki still faces a terrible battle in court. Though cleared of capital murder charges, she has been bailed at a sum ten times higher than could be expected, for “excess of legitimate defence”. Meanwhile, the existence of her girlfriend, Rosa, is denied — lending a “corrective” flavour to the narrative, which many South Africans would find familiar. That she once had a lover with the same first name as one of the strangers who raped and slashed her, is apparently evidence enough for the judge that what happened could not have been rape. The dead kidnapper’s brother, the accomplice, still walks free.

Late in 2012, Nevin Yildirim calmly handed herself into the police in Yalvaç, Turkey, having avenged herself on her rapist by shooting him and cutting his head off, dropping it in the town square. “Don’t play with my honour!” she is reported to have proclaimed, as the head of her repeat abuser, her aunt’s husband, rolled towards a café.

4. Armed collective reprisal.

To those seeking freedom, ‘justice’ would not be enough even if we could attain it. But the justice that revenge represents is often what we desire. The ‘accountability processes’ for rapists that (primarily) women have come up with in many milieus do include forms of anti-violent violence.

Urban feminist tribes, from San Francisco’s surviving ‘girl armies‘ to Berlin’s antifascist Tuntenhaus veterans, are no strangers to the tactic of group rape vigilante fightback or ‘bashback’. Worldwide, simple rape-defence training courses for men and women are also becoming more and more common.

Indien Frauenbewegung Gulabi Gang

A rural counterpart to look out for comes from Uttar Pradesh. Here, a militant group of women who are combating, hands-on, their community’s scourge of domestic violence and rape by husbands, police, and others, goes by the name ‘Gulabi Gang’—and has recently acquired a documentary and a website.

Whether those Western commentators delighted by reports of a stick-wielding sisterhood in pink saris would respond similarly to a ‘bashback’ approach to Woody Allens, Julian Assanges and Jimmy Saviles remains to be demonstrated.