As a woman in this world, there are a lot of reasons to be angry. In the United States, despite how far we’ve come in the past century, women are still not treated with equality in so many walks of life.
But I can honestly say that as a woman, as a feminist, and simply as a human being, I have rarely been so disturbed as I was by the story of the gang rape and later death of the young Indian woman in New Delhi last month.
That’s not to say this sort of occurrence is unique—quite the contrary, in fact. Statistics show that in India, a woman is raped approximately every twenty minutes, and horrible acts of violence are committed against women every day all around the globe, including in the United States—we’re just not used to hearing about it.
What makes this story seem so appalling, so inconceivable, is that the facts of it are staring us in the face. Something terrible happened to this young woman and, for once, the world is paying attention.
None of us would hesitate to say that we condemn rape and sexual violence unequivocally. But what about the millions of rapes that go unnoticed, unreported, unopposed?
The one good thing that can be said about this horrible tragedy is that, unlike so many before it, it has gotten a response. The international community has taken notice, and India has been forced to reexamine the kind of culture that could have led to this horrible act, as well as all the ones that came before it but never made it into the public eye.
India has a lot that needs to be addressed in terms of its treatment of women, but it’s hardly alone in that. This tragedy should serve as a reminder of all that still needs to be done. As women, as human beings—we have a lot to keep fighting for.