Thank you, Oriana, for this thoughtful exploration of one of the most shameful failings of humanity in modern times.
There is something deeply unhealthy in what our culture teaches us about what it means to be male and female. (And even more pathological in what it teaches us about other-gendered ways of being.)
I don't know how it's gone so wrong, but I'm pretty sure some of the core issues are:
- the imbalance of economic and political power in favor of men.
- the taboo against public nudity and consequent fetishizing of hidden body parts.
- the glorification of violence in the media.
- the rise of anonymity and freedom from accountability. This is most obvious on the internet, but it goes back to the time when small towns and neighborhoods were exchanged for a transient lifestyle wherein local reputation ceased to matter.
Some would put loss of religious faith on this list. I do not. Few institutions have contributed more to the subjugation of women than organized religion.
I'm sure there are important factors I have overlooked, but these suffice to show how daunting the problem is, and how much we will need to challenge to reclaim our human dignity and create a world in which we all are safe from sexual violence.