Sushi, Without the Extras

How do you think he got the ideas for the Prince? From his cat, of course.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Just another...Thursday

So, my mother informed me over the internet today that her house had been broken into last night via the magical internet, and it unsettled me. My father, who lives with his wife about two blocks up has also been robbed in the past year, meaning that it's likely that someone else on my sleepy little street in an even sleepier little town is turning into a center for crime. What's even more disturbing is that while the perpetrator took comparatively little, he did take my mother's revolver and did grab a kitchen knife to drag with him around the house. He would have used that on my mom, had she been home. I do not like this idea.

My mother doesn't feel victimized; she feels angry that the robber made a mess of her home. She's not upset about the loss of stuff, because that's all the roberry was about; rather, she's glad that she didn't come home to startle the robber with disastrous consequences. If anything, I'm more concerned about it than she is.

What's interesting about the situation is that it brought to mind a conversation I recently had with Patterson School graduates on the subject of the recent Take Back the Night march in Kentucky. One of the individuals was entirely perplexed as to why anyone would even bother to march for such a cause as clearly everyone knows that rape is bad. She wanted to know why there weren't marches about burglaries. Those can end in death as well, she argued, but what really struck me was that she wondered why rape was considered so much worse than burglary that we have to have marches about it.

I was completely taken aback that anyone could possibly make such a comment. Rape is about power. Theft is about stuff. On some level, theft and burglary are understandable: I'm willing to break into your home to take something whose sale will result in a profit for me. Fine and dandy. With rape, it's more vicious. The rapist receives nothing but the pleasure from his or her subjugation of another human being. How could this fundamental difference not be evident?

I was further shocked by the discussion about the inefficacy of marching. Why march when we all know rape is bad? It's not going to stop anything. Marching isn't about deterrence so much as empowerment. It's about bringing some peace to the victims and offering help to those who might not otherwise seek it. Of course we know that rape is bad, but there are still so many rapes that go unreported. If me marching down main street and chanting something stupid shows one other woman that it's okay for her to face what happened to her, then it's well worth the 20 minutes out of my life that's required.

The situation on Duke's campus just brings to light just how necessary such public intervention really is. No woman should have to suffer through what that poor girl did, even if she was a stripper. Fortunately, she was able to come forward, but there are so many women who don't, even in this day and age.

Take Back the Night.