The Indian gang-rape story has to be the ugliest start to a fresh new year, but the sisterhood (and pro-sister brotherhood) that has arisen across the sub-continent and around the globe, tells us that we still have the power to change things, and we must never forget it.
Rape isn’t new. It’s an act of violence in the sexual sphere but it is not sex. It exists wherever there is a power differential and that is practically everywhere. What takes people out to the barricades is not the age-old depravity itself, but the way it is treated in the community and by the authorities.
We need to keep the fires burning until no woman, man or child is fearful about coming forward to report rape or sexual abuse, until no one judges sexual abuse victims and until effective services and therapy are provided to serve the victims like they are for any other trauma.
When rape is spoken about openly, when the perpetrators are punished and shamed, when all children are taught that sex is given and not taken, it will be a safer place for young and old women to be without constant fear of attack. Then we may be able to celebrate our sexuality instead of hiding it.