The TomDispatch article, “A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year” by Rebecca Solnit addresses the innumerable acts of violence that are committed against women on a global level.
One of the most telling points of the article is the note at the bottom of the last page, “Solnit has written a version of this essay three times so far,” once in the 1980s, once in 2000, and again in 2013. Solnit has written various incarnations of this same piece across several decades, yet violence against women remains pervasive, horrifying, and inexcusable. She notes at the end of the piece that she hopes this topic will one day be irrelevant, and that she would love to never have to write about it again. I think that sentiment is one that everyone involved in the movement to end sexual violence can relate to.
While discussing a recent case in San Francisco where a man stabbed a woman who refused his sexual advances, Solnit addresses a key motivating factor for those who commit acts of gender-based violence:
“The man, in other words, framed the situation as one in which his chosen victim had no rights and liberties, while he had the right to control and punish her. This should remind us that violence is first of all authoritarian. It begins with this premise: I have the right to control you.”
The vast number of stories Solnit includes in the span of a few pages is jarring to read: an 11-year-old in Texas, a 16-year-old in Oakland, a 73-year-old in Central Park. Most victims’ stories were described in only a few words each, just enough to provide the reader with a context of who, what, and where—which only serves to underscore and emphasize the ubiquity of sexual violence.
What are your thoughts on this article?
Photo originally found here