Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hide and rape

What’s the Difference?

Hide and rape
Give and take
Fact and fiction
West and east
Men and 12-year-old girls
What’s the difference?


“Why it’s too pretty a day to be so unhappy.”

The inviting voice belonged to a man in his early forties, the unhappiness to a girl the age of twelve. The location is Japan of the 1930s. His words mark the point of intersection in the lives of two total strangers and the collision of two vastly different worlds. As a mother, I feel a kind of chill in my bones when I read the account, for this is exactly the kind of scenario we try to prepare our children to flee. Little Sayuri would have been wise to flee too. Only she had no place to go. Trapped in a culture that rendered her helpless, she is drawn to the kindness of the man who has taken notice of her.

Arthur Golden’s best-selling novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, chronicles the life of a young Japanese girl sold into slavery by her desperately poor parents—an appalling transaction in human flesh repeated in real life thousands upon thousands of times throughout the world’s sordid history and still happening today in shocking numbers. Sayuri is trafficked into the world of the geisha—the upper-class counterpart of the common prostitute. She is destined to become a “butterfly in the night.” Her youthful beauty, artistic accomplishments, and virginity will go to the highest bidder from among a coterie of Japanese businessmen. The Chairman—the elegant man approaching her now—is one of them.

Their first meeting seems innocuous enough. He wipes her tears with his handkerchief and sends her skipping on her way with a coin to buy a shaved ice treat, never to forget his kindness. Like a radiant full moon against the blackened sky, it is a snapshot of contrasts—two human beings dwelling in the same universe, simultaneously inhabiting separate worlds. She is female. Powerless, dependent, vulnerable, voiceless, and (except for the coin he just pressed into her small hand) penniless too. He lives in the privileged world of men and is possessed of power, self-determination, education, and wealth. The disparity between them will never go away and stirs up subliminal questions. What will he do with his advantages? Will he exploit her too? Or is he her ticket to freedom?

--Carolyn Custis James, “When Women Initiate and Men Respond,” The Gospel of Ruth (pages 173-174)


(03-24) 15:57 PDT OAKLAND -- Lovelle Mixon was linked by DNA to the February rape of a 12-year-old girl who was dragged off the street at gunpoint in the East Oakland neighborhood where Mixon's sister lived, police said Tuesday.

Mixon, 26, a fugitive parolee who shot four Oakland police officers to death Saturday before he was killed as he hid inside his sister's apartment, might have committed as many as five other rapes in the same neighborhood in recent months, investigators said.

All the victims of those rapes were attacked in the early-morning hours, as was the girl who was raped Feb. 5, and the assailant's behavior was similar in all the assaults, police said.

--Jaxon Van Derbeken, “Cop-killer suspected of raping 12-year-old,” the San Francisco Chronicle (page A – 1)


Jay Seidler said...

From strange...

Numbers 31:17-18 And now kill every male among the infants; you shall kill every woman having known a man by lying with a male.
And you shall keep alive for yourselves all the female children who have not known a man by lying with a male.

...to worse.

Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 62:
Volume 7, Book 62, Number 64:
Narrated 'Aisha:
that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death).

J. K. Gayle said...

Very tough, very very sad stuff, Jay. Thank you for your important comments!