The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Richard Day's picture


    There seems to be some issue concerning rape in many corners of the world.

    Before I get into this mess, I would begin with a discussion concerning global warming.

    To me, there is no issue concerning global warming.

    Remember when some repubs (per FOX of course) were claiming that there really was no such thing as global warming because it was getting colder in Antarctica; or ice was piling up in Antarctica or it happened to be extremely cold on January 15th, 2012 in Cleveland?

    Well the truth is that Antarctica is in real trouble.

    Oh, and instead of a North Pole, we now have an Arctic Sea ( for a significant portion of the year) that is saving the shipping industry billions and billions of dollars annually.

    Now, in my mind, there are issues surrounding global warming.

    Can we really do something about it or have we crossed some theoretical line so that it is too damn late to undo the harm 'we' have done to Gaia over the last century and a half?

    To finish up with this thought I would proffer that we must at least try to remedy the situation through a carbon tax, through international treaties, through investment in alternative energy sources. If nothing else this strategy will help to purify our air and water and good sources.

    But there is no issue concerning the fact that the earth is getting warmer; at least in my mind.

    Around the world the specter of rape and violence against women has always, always, always been present.

    Many people of Irish or Scottish heritage have red hair and all my readings inform me that the gene for red hair came from the Vikings who loved to pillage but who evidently just loved to rape foreign women!

    And if this problem cannot be properly confronted, how in the hell might issues concerning misogyny or equal rights be properly addressed?

    Recent events in India have brought this issue to the fore; as if violence against women is not a daily and world wide phenomena.

    It is like all the talk we now have concerning weapons of mass destruction stemmed from the shooting of Kindergartners! Kids are killed every goddamn day in this country for chrissakes! And guns play a MAJOR part in these killings.


    One of the most painful and lingering cases is that of the Mumbai nurse Aruna Shanbaug.

    Sodomised by a cleaner in the hospital where she worked, the 25-year-old was strangled with metal chains and left to die by her attacker, Sohanlal Bharta Walmiki, on 27 November 1973.

    (Good discussion here.)

    This is a difficult subject because the violence is so goddamn extreme.

    Forget issues surrounding the definition of rape for a moment. That is a discussion for another day.

    There are issues surrounding date rape and there are issues surrounding statutory rape (the kid is 19 and she is 16) and there are issues surrounding 'game theory' and issues surrounding status and power.

    How can you even get to those issues if you do not address straight-out violent and/or life threatening acts of rape?

    We are often confronted with 'cultural' issues and their effect on the status of women in a society.

    And it sure seems to me that there are parts of the Muslim World where women are put in such an inferior status that females fare about as well as domesticated animals.

    Recall the Taliban fellows caning their women in Iraq and the Bush Administration began its propaganda using these videos to get us into that war?


    But is rape really just a Muslim problem?

    In a discussion of the role of women in the military, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta expressed an opinion about new rules from the Pentagon that would permit women to serve closer to the front lines. Trotta’s take on this centered on the problems faced by servicewomen who are sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers whom she regards as whiners because they won’t shut up and accept the fact that if they work closely with men they should expect to be assaulted. And if that weren’t bad enough, Trotta went on to complain about the expensive military bureaucracy set up to “support women in the military who are now being raped too much.” I would really like to know precisely how much rape is acceptable before it crosses Trotta’s line. Is there any context in which she might have meant that that isn’t unfathomably repulsive?

    And what about Akin and Murdoch?

    I have a daughter and a grand daughter and I am sure Akin and Murdoch have daughters and grand daughters.

    And how are we ever going to do something about rape when morons with real political backing wish to speak about 'legitimate rape' or 'God's plan' or fantastic theories concerning female biological functions or ignorant discussions concerning whether or not the woman 'asked for it'?

    I understand how 'the right' came to have have these abusive discussions.

    Remember when McCain put quotes around the words 'the health of the mother'?

    Murdoch and Akin were positing their 'theories' in opposition to abortion rights.

    They would put quotes around the word 'rape' in the same manner that McCain put quotes around 'the health' of the mother.

    According to McCain and Murdoch and Akin; sinister and pregnant women will take advantage of current law and receive abortions based upon this wrong headed thinking:

    Oh I really just wish to kill a fetus so I will claim that I am sick, sore and disabled or that I have been raped in order to get my abortion.

    The arguments made by FOX regarding desegregation of the sexes in our military are far more sinister when you think about it!

    And why the women employed by FOX are not up in arms about this subject is confusing to me, to say the least. God has nothing to do with this military misogyny.

    McCain and Murdoch and Akin most probably believe in a God and God's intervention into the business of humankind and that God has a hand in the creation of a soul.


    And do not forget that Paul Ryan, the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate holds these same views.

    Basically Ryan's take on things seems to be:

    Even if rape was the cause of this pregnancy, the fault lies not in the fetus.

    But will someone please tell me the difference between this 'Christian' view of things and the 'Muslim' view of things?

    In both world views, that cow is going to full term with regard to that calf; no matter what because that is God's Law and if the cow dies during its calving, well we shall just cut her up and eat her!

    And women are secondary citizens because only they can bear children and therefore we must treat women as second class citizens who should only have partial control over their own bodies otherwise men will not have control over the births of their children!

    And therefore women must be more careful in their comportment; otherwise they are simply ASKING FOR IT! (At least according to FOX News.)

    Now don't get me wrong. I am not speaking of ALL Christians or ALL Muslims.

    But there are sects within both of these religions that certainly come to these conclusions.


    There are sinister forces on this planet that must be addressed.

    Put aside considerations relating to pure hypocrisy like the hypocrisy of Republican Representative Scott DesJarlais.

    There is a world wide sex slave industry; today, today in the 21st century.

    Twenty-seven million slaves exist in the world today, more than at any time in human history. Globalization, poverty, violence, and greed facilitate the growth of slavery, not only in the Third World, but in the most developed countries as well. Behind the façade in any major town or city in the world today, one is likely to find a thriving commerce in human beings.

    Did you even know that there was a slave trade blooming in the good ole US of A?

    Oh and how about Tom Delay and the Northern Mariana Islands? Tom Delay supposedly voted 100% of the time against abortion during his tenure and there were forced abortions for teenagers working in his sweat shops!

    Slavery in one form or another has always been with us.

    There was a wonderful homage to the Emancipation Proclamation at Dagblog; 150 years since that great document was signed by Abraham Lincoln.

    But the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the United States of America.

    And neither did the addition of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    Slavery is alive and doing well in the United States of America.

    Rape concerns not only women but little boys.

    We just hear less about little boys in political arenas because abortion is not involved as an issue.

    Combating rape and violence against women has to be one of our national priorities.

    The House of Representatives has recently blocked the Violence Against Women Act!

    I know.

    I get so goddamn mad at repubs I could just burst.

    That a Republican House of Representatives could veto a 21st Century version of the Emancipation Proclamation is beyond me.



    This is probably an aside but do you recall when Uther Pendragon had Merlin disguise him as Gorlois so that Uther might enter the sacred gates of Arthur's mother?




    I hit your link, read the article and got sick to my stomach.

        You're right; the origin of the fetus has nothing to do with the old problem of whether or not it is a human being.  Whether God intends for rape-induced pregnancy to happen is something He hasn't told me, but it wouldn't seem to fit with the notion that God is benevolent.

    I think some of these religious zealots are confronted with this issue concerning a benevolent God and then lapse into this habit of blaming the victim.

    Just quickly:


    The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Among 34 cases of rape-related pregnancy, the majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator. Only 11.7% of these victims received immediate medical attention after the assault, and 47.1% received no medical attention related to the rape. A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion.

    32,000 pregnancies related to rape in this country every damn year!

    As Michael Moore notes:

    4. Who amongst you big enthusiastic "supporters of the troops" can tell me the approximate number of service women who have been raped while in the military? Answer: 19,000 (mostly) female troops are estimated to be raped or sexually assaulted every year by fellow American troops. What have you or I done to bring these criminals to justice? What's that, you say -- out of sight, out of mind? These women have suffered, and I've done nothing. So don't ever let me get away with telling you I "support the troops" because, sadly, I don't. And neither do you.

    Well Mike's got it right.

    And from the squib concerning the slave trade world wide and nation wide and from the research squib in one of my replies noting hundreds of thousands of rapes committed in this country; I don't think we are doing much by way of supporting half of our population!

    Thanks for this post.  When the GOP let this bill 'die' again, I was furious - at them and at all the women who just shrug and do nothing.  The government we deserve, hey ladies!?!

    Thankfully, this bill will be reintroduced according to reports very soon by some female house members who are appropriately outraged.

    Oh I hope so and I would pray so if I were a believer.

    I am so sickened by the evidence that cannot be disputed!

    I know I have read similar stats that are included in the blog and in my comments; but my God!

    MSNBC is important to me; it has given me a voice since Keith O 8 years ago.

    But damn; we need more publication of this issue and as you already know there are many many issues.

    But how many Americans really believe that the victim of a rape deserves it or that the victim of a rape asked for it or that a victim of a rape should be forced to bear the son or daughter of Satan or that women should be held in slavery or that ....


    Latest Comments