Thursday, December 22, 2005

"The Subject impossible to Rape"

Like JDean at I cite I also thought of Zizek and the "Subject Supposed to Loot and Rape" when I heard this (More Stories Emerge of Rapes in Post-Katrina Chaos) on NPR yesterday.

"Female victims, now displaced from New Orleans, are slowly coming forward with a different story than the official one. Two national crime-victims' groups have reported a spike in the number of reported rapes that happened to storm evacuees. The numbers are not dramatic, but they are significant when seen in light of the official number of post-Katrina rapes and attempted rapes: four. [...]

A Victim's Story

One of the victims is Ms. Lewis, a 46-year-old home health-care worker from New Orleans East, who asked that her first name not be used. She sits on the edge of a bed in a dingy, dimly lit room in a motel in Baton Rouge.

Lewis says she was raped on Monday, Aug. 29, the day of the storm. The account of her rape was verified by a trained forensic nurse at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge, where Lewis sought treatment.

Lewis and others had taken refuge in the Redemption Elderly Apartments, in the Irish Channel section of New Orleans. On that first night after the storm, the city had lost power, and she was sleeping in a dark hallway, trying to catch a breeze. It was there, she says, that an unknown man with a handgun sexually assaulted her. She insists other women were raped in the same apartment building over the next four nights, but her claim could not be checked out.

"Some bad things happened, you know. There was nobody there to protect you," Lewis says.

Recalling her attack, she sobs, "They just left us to die. Nobody cared."

After her rape, Lewis says, there were no clinics open, so she washed herself with bleach. "All I could do was pray, pray for rescue, pray that I didn't have any type of transmitted disease," she says. (more)

So have these subjects violated themselves? Are they, like enslaved women, incapable of being raped?


At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Jodi said...

It would seem so.

I was also struck by the sentence saying that the woman used bleach on herself. It reminded me of racist ads for soap. Yet, it invokes the stain of rape, of trying to get clean afterwards. And, the problems of clean water after Katrina.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Le Colonel Chabert said...

when the perpetrators could be usefully misportrayed for the propaganda purposes, to criminalize a 'type' to be shot on sight and to frighten media from the city and people from their homes, rapes interested the media. Now that women can speak and identify the rapists and their facilitators and the specifics - surely some will be law enforcement and mercenaries; surely some of the women taken to the concentration camps were raped there; surely (very surely) those upwards of a thousand children seperated from their parents deliberately, some too young even to know their surnames, were not protected from sexual abuse - it didn't happen.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger hysterical blackness said...

i was talking to a friend about this. played the democracy now piece for her and she pointed out what i also thought but didn't put into words on this blog or in my comments on your blog. why concentration camp and gestapo in the midst of no's history of slavery. i think i wrote on lcc that she wanted terms he could hear but is it more than that?

what would have happened if she'd insisted on slavery in the hearings? forced spearation of slavery. violence of slavery. trauma of slavery (and then post-slavery). likewise, the "master," overseer, driver, slave seller could always "rape" (not allowed to be rape) the "merchandise."


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