Women have been the stronghold of the communities and have always been involved in the various activities in the village. The role of women has continued to become more significant with the high levels of globalization in the world and they have expressed their prolific performance in the society. However, the way the women are viewed in the society and the kind of treatment they get from men does not correspond to the type of handling they are required to be given. Tracing back to history, women always faced challenges in a society where men saw them as objects of beauty and never saw their true value. Such perspectives have resulted in women being underutilized in the community yet they can contribute greatly to the development of the society with their unique abilities of resilience and capacity. Adrienne Rich is a feminist in 1972, explains how rape culture in the community betrays women forcing them to be guilty of the crimes of the people who committed the crime.
Adrienne Rich wrote her poem, Rape in 1972 she sets a scene of a young woman reporting her case to a cop sitting before her (Rich np). The girl shares the horrific occurrence to the policeman who was close to her family as he had grown up with her brothers and they stay in the same block. The first stanza indicates that the narrator has little knowledge of the criminal who had raped her, so the incident is clearly narrated in the first stanza whereby she gives all the details about the incident to the cop; despite it being painful and uncomfortable. She sees the policeman as a father figure and a prowler who was supposed to be an ally and against crime. However, the middle stanza brings about confusion when she starts having suspicions about the police officer and in the fourth stanza she completely turns her suspicions to the cop as she seems to address the policeman, “He has access to the machinery that could get you to put away”. In addition, more complications in the poem appear whereby she narrates about the rapist as him being “like a portrait of your own confessor” she is again not sure of who violated her despite the previous over suspicions of the cop.
Furthermore, the climax of the poem occurs when the girl gets suspicious of the cop and starts addressing him (Rich np). The narrator makes the readers believe that the policeman is the rapist, and the verse n the third stanza “the hysteria in your voice pleases him best” shows that the rapist was someone who would enjoy such an act. Additionally, the resolution in the poem is not evident since the girl is afraid of being convicted for a crime she had not committed as illustrated, “you have to confess to him, you are guilty of the crime of having been forced.” Further, she is not sure of what step to take, whether to stay silent, deny or lie to the people. Moreover, the point of view in the poem is the second person where the poem is narrated using “you”. For example, “You hardly know him but you have to get to know him.” It is consistent throughout the poem and it becomes more significant in the fourth stanza where she narrates how awful the situation was when she was being raped. In addition, if the point of view was changed in the third stanza to the third person then the main character would change from being the narrator who was raped by a man to a someone else.
Rape, by Adrienne Rich, exposes the socio-cultural oppression that the male-dominated subject society women (Rich np). In the contemporary society, the woman was viewed as a sex object without any right to defend herself. Through the social vices such as rape, the male has acquired power and superiority over the woman. The continuous silent from the victim; results in progressive discrimination, marginalization, and prejudice against the female gender. Adrienne depicts the plea and guilt that most rape victims feel and how such guilt conspires against them. Moreover, it portrays the society as resilient and patient with the sexual harassment and assault against the women. For instance, despite the technological advancement, the women in the films continue to attain the inferior roles playing victims to the male. The normalization of the social evils such as rape, violence and even murder of the female gender within the storylines has significantly contributed to the progressive harassment, inequality, and reinforcement of the patriarchal structure where men rape, control, humiliate and overpowers women.
The poem reveals how the male-dominated community views rape as a sigh of power. Through humiliating and disrespecting women, the men express their dominance over the female gender (Delvecchio, np). Claiming that women asked for sex because of how they dress, talk, walk and conduct themselves within the society portrays the women as objects within the society that can be dictated to suit the men doctrines to asserts their physical prowess and reign over the woman. Additionally, Adrienne depicts that the culture of rape continues due to the power imbalance between men and women. The community dictated that women be subordinate and more reliant to the men, which the men are expected to be aggressive and more powerful than the women, such perception and imbalance inculcated by the predetermined socio-cultural acquaintance continue to encourage victimization of the vulnerable female gender. Therefore, to eradicate the preconceived notion of male dominance and female victimization, the culture of silent and guilt must be demolished through advocating for education and awareness to transform individuals into a community that respects and values every person irrespective of their gender.
In summary, the theme of women in the community is important in the society today as it advocates for equality of gender. If both women and men are treated equally the community will develop and there would be peace in the society. Moreover, women have the same abilities as men hence they should be respected and given a chance to contribute to the development of the society today. Therefore, women in the community should be viewed as people with the capacity and who deserve respect from men.
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