As long as the global society continues to degrade and objectify women, there will always be a crime that women are afraid to report and a notion that they somehow caused the attack against them.
At the core of this problem is the inability to even respect life itself.
1) Abortion- “violence against the unborn” is legal and seen as a viable solution to ending an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy.
Global poverty drives this reality for so many. The culture does not exist to encourage life as a viable choice. As long as there is disproportionate distribution of wealth and services, the poor will continue to be faced with death as a choice so that the quality of “life” is assured.
Those of us who are pro-life continuously ignore the human variables that bring about the need for birth control and abortion itself… -1) Poverty 2) sins of the flesh and 3) the need for greater Education, Motivation and Empowerment. We become part of the problem when we judge and condemn instead of working toward reasoned solutions.
2) Violence, killing of others is seen as a viable solution to conflict resolution. War is ok. If our ideologies, religious beliefs, economic and government policies are in conflict with one another, then we choose to just blow each other up. The country with the most power, resources, money and military might will be the victor.
We want our own guns and bombs so that we can protect ourselves from each other! We think this even in a “civil,” progressive society. Anything that smacks of peaceful resolution is seen as “out of touch” and “stupidity.” We do not value peace. It is seen as weak. We are no better than the gorilla in the wild, who postures himself and flops genitalia at one another in displays of male dominance. We just use guns and weapons that destroy infrastructure, industry, dwellings and lives instead.
3) The Dignity of the Human Person- An extension of this “culture of death” is the woman – the symbol of fertility and the mothers of human life. Globally, women are valued for sex, sex, domestic service, sex, sex, nurturing the young, sex, sex and serving the male dominated world around them. Women are seen as objects and possessions in servitude to a male dominated hierarchy. Even in progressive countries like America, women are still not valued….at least by republicans in congress and in state and local governments.
The stark devaluation of the woman is fully seen in this year’s congressional debates and actions. The violence against women act was allowed to expire, and women are called whores and prostitutes if they want to control and manage their own personal reproduction through the use of birth control. The woman who has a choice is somehow a harlot. Men who have sex with these women also do not want to have a child from every encounter, but it is not their freedom and their bodies that is under attack. They care more about their stupid guns than they do the individual freedoms of a woman.
Women are still only seen as objects of sexual gratification and a means to an end in business and government.
Unbelievably, it is the Catholic Church who sees women as worthy of dignity and respect, even while pushing to limit their reproductive choices, particularly the practice of abortion to meet their reproductive goals. It is the Catholic Church who promotes the dignity of all human persons, regardless of socioeconomics, race or gender.
It is incredibly ironic that one of the most male dominated religions in the world, respects the dignity of a woman and denounces all violent acts against the woman, any woman. Even though the church does not see the role of women as clergy, they do not seek to restrict the female role in society as a whole. Women are not considered for priesthood because of the belief by Catholics in Apostolic Succession, http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_cti_1973_successione-apostolica_en.html).
A primary focus of the Catholic Church is the dignity of the human person. In this case the human person happens to be female. It is also believed to be God’s plan that man and woman be one with God through the sacrament of marriage and that the union be open to life even if life is not the result of the conjugal act. Woman and man share equally in this union with God himself through the sacrament of marriage. http://www.totustuus.com/TheologyOfTheBodyAnOverview.pdf
The woman represents a “vessel for life,” within the sacrament of marriage and is to be protected, admired, loved….not objectified. Her dignity is important to every boy, every man. Our respect for the woman begins with Jesus’ own mother, the “Blessed Mother Mary.” She is a role model for each and every woman who is Catholic. She is a model for each young man who is seeking a sacramental partner. I know too that many other religions around the world see women in this manner too.
I’m not saying that every person must be Catholic to respect women. I’m saying that without the core belief that “Life” itself is sacred, something to be protected, the woman, by extension, will not be respected and will remain an object of sinful manipulation….a pawn in the game of power, sex and money.
As long as we do not respect life itself, we will continue to promote the use of violence to resolve conflicts. We will continue to see violent acts perpetrated against the innocent….the unborn, the woman, the poor, the homeless, the prisoner, the sick, the very old. The human experience must include an active respect for and pursuit of dignity for all human persons.