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‘A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year’: Rebecca Solnit on Violence Against Women

There are a lot of people who still don’t understand the basics of living female in a male dominated world. One very real piece of that reality is about a “pattern of violence” which Rebecca Solnit’s article considers. Snippets from that essay follow. Read the entire thing at Tom Dispatch, A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year. (emphasis added throughout)

There is … a pattern of violence against women that’s broad and deep and horrific and incessantly overlooked. Occasionally, a case involving a celebrity or lurid details in a particular case get a lot of attention in the media, but such cases are treated as anomalies, while the abundance of incidental news items about violence against women in this country, in other countries, on every continent including Antarctica, constitute a kind of background wallpaper for the news.

The essay is broken into several sections, including “What We Don’t Talk About When We Don’t Talk About Gender,” “The Party for the Protection of the Rights of Rapists, and “All the Things That Aren’t to Blame.”

There are other things I’d rather write about, but this affects everything else. The lives of half of humanity are still dogged by, drained by, and sometimes ended by this pervasive variety of violence.

The article concludes:

Rebecca Solnit has written a version of this essay three times so far, once in the 1980s for the punk magazine Maximum Rock’n’Roll, once as the chapter on women and walking in her 2000 book Wanderlust: A History of Walking, and here. She would love the topic to become out of date and irrelevant and never to have write it again.

It’s been a lot of years since I’ve been a student in, or taught, feminist theory / theology / psychology classes, but Solnit’s essay makes it very clear that while progress has been made, there’s a great deal of learning still to be done. For some, that includes learning they have something to learn.

(Rebecca Solnit via

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2 Responses to ‘A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year’: Rebecca Solnit on Violence Against Women

  1. jjamele January 24, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Well, at least we know one group of men who would never, ever commit the crime of rape- America’s Overseas Military.

    At least, that’s what Sean Hannity told me today in the two minutes I accidentally found myself listening to him. He was denouncing John Kerry for accusing some of his Vietnam comrades of committing rape and otherwise terrorizing Vietnamese women and children. The idea of Our Soldiers doing anything like that is, of course, absolutely Unbelievable

    Ok, snark off. Sean Hannity has to be the only person on the planet who would ever attempt to paste wings and a halo on American troops, or to suggest that no American soldier has ever brutalized women and children. I’m sure the listeners on Armed Forces Radio appreciate that Sean has his head so firmly wedged up their backsides, but they must think it’s awfully stupid and naive of him, too.

    • Joyce Arnold January 24, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      The ability to deny is powerful. And scary.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong