As an observer of other cultures, one can easily draw conclusions regarding practices and distinguish what they consider to be ‘natural’ and acquired behavior.
But truth can only be known if one is part of that culture or community. A close examination of the book elicits reactions on how women have been abused. The author discusses about stereotypical conducts against women who are not white.
It is painful to see some cases where women are considered as objects that can be raped which is a behavior that cannot be condoned. Issues concerning the way men perceive gender issues and violence towards women who are non whites is scrutinized by the author. How we analyze issues regarding sexual violence differ. Sexual violence was used as a tool of colonization and discrimination on the basis of race. The biggest victims of sexual violence in this case, are communities who are not white. The author himself argues that, “colonial relationships were gendered and sexualized.” Though sexual violence affects both native and foreign women, the magnitude with which they are addressed is different.
In this case, when Indian men and women are abused, the manner in which the act is perceived is different from when a native woman is abused. In the event that a native woman is sexually abused, it is considered an attack on her as a woman and as a native woman. This is a clear indication that issues to do with colonization, racism and gender segregation cannot be separated because they all interrelate in some ways. A ruling by the court in a case among the Aboriginal people of Australia demonstrates the justification of injustices of sexual violence towards women.
In this case, a fifty year old Aboriginal man had raped a fifteen year old girl. The ruling by the judge was lenient on the offender due to his statement that the rape case was not a serious crime but an act of ‘traditional culture.’ Among the basis of his ruling is the fact that the girl knew what to do and that protection was unnecessary because she was aware that the man who raped her had also killed his former wife. According to the testimony of the anthropologist, “rape was a traditional act and morally correct.” In my opinion, this is misleading and is likely to escalate activities of sexual violence against women. It is disgusting to observe the expert say that this act is a ‘cultural behavior’ and that it is ‘morally correct.
’ The author does a good analysis by relating the origin of sexual violence and genocide to racist discrimination and colonization to women in a broad context. Colonialist used sexual violence as a means of getting rid of native people while slave masters used it to bore children who were intended for labor use. Immigrant women have not been spared by discrimination. They have also experienced sexual harassment and widespread bias in employment policies which sideline them. A good example is the Chinese women.
As a result, these women are forced to engage in immoral behaviors in order to earn a living, that is prostitution. Nothing beneficial can come from this perception of women. If the practice continues, while authorities continue accepting it as a ‘cultural behavior’ then people are going to take it as a common practice hence, they will continue practicing it.
Women need to be empowered and given equal opportunities in life.