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La Stampa - Italy | Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lucia Annunziata on the symbolic dimension of rape

Lucia Annunziata describes in the liberal daily La Stampa the symbolic significance that rape can take on at a political level when it is committed by foreigners. "If the rape spawns anger only because it was committed by a foreigner we enter a new terrain in which it becomes a symbol for the lack of security, the neglect of the social environment and for the battle for control over a territory. Rape provokes outrage when it is compounded by a further dimension of the battle that goes far beyond the defence of women; a battle in which women are paradoxically reduced to objects once more by becoming the collective property of one group as opposed to another. A version of the global struggle that reverts to the tribal level. Let those who have short memories recall that in the former Yugoslavia in a war that was the expression of a conflict over identity, rape was used as a means for one ethnic group to debase the other."

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