Women Defying Barriers

I found this video when looking up 5 Broken Cameras.  Guy Davidi is one of the producers of the documentary–it is a poignant look at Palestinian and Israeli women trying to get past their prejudices and fear towards peace.  But the video says sooo much more.

It’s very hard to break away from prejudice.  You’ll be thought of as a traitor by family, friends, and community, as both the Israeli and Palestinian women discovered–being called sluts and collaborators.  But they want to coexist badly enough that they stuck their necks out to try to move towards it by educating one another.

This video also features the rape crisis centers, where women can find support from other women.

In this rape culture, women who are raped are likely to be blamed for that rape by not only men, but by women, as well.  They are likely to downplay the rape– especially if it is date rape or spousal rape.

They degrade other women right along with the men.  Indeed, in the university I was at, I remember a terrible practice by one of the sororities.  The girls were talking about an initiation where the initiate was made to stand either naked or in her bra and panties while the other women took magic markers and drew circles around her “fat”.

My thoughts to the blog of a few days ago about infiltration of rape crisis centers popped in my head…

For some women, this will be the first time that they have experienced support from other women.  They have sought help and perhaps found the barriers are down.  It is a safe place in a society that has erected so many barriers to validation of women’s pain and camaraderie that is absent, but only in the most superficial ways.

So my instincts are telling me that my hunch is correct:  for those that degrade women and view them as beneath them, a rape crisis or domestic violence center is a threat.  It is a place where, if it is run well, women will begin to see that they are not responsible for another’s actions.  They will begin to see that not all women will betray them.  They will begin the long journey of healing their spiritual wounds.

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