Sunday, May 11, 2014

The case of rape during the second half of the 19th century in France

13 Histoires Vraies- by Guy de Maupassant
Story Number 2: Madame Baptiste

I was reading a book about children, women and war during the second half of the 19th century in France. In one of the short stories, an 11 year-old girl gets raped, and what happens next? Society puts the blame on her. They give her the looks every time she passes by. They humiliate her. "Oh look! There's the girl who got raped when she was little!" Then, some guy feels sorry for her and marries her. One day, they attend an event. They mock her. They point their fingers at her. She feels mortified. All she could do at that point is put an end to her miserable life. Then, the church refuses to give her a decent religious burial.

I know. I sound like I'm describing how women who get raped in the Arab world are treated like. 
About one and a half centuries later, in France, women are no longer afraid of going to the Police Department or her friends and family and saying "I got raped." They will not judge her. They will not put the blame on her. They will provide her with all types of emotional support to help her get over the incident. She will not get married because some man feels sorry for her. She will not commit suicide because her entourage mocks her.
Dear Arab World, don't you worry. It's true that you're one and a half centuries behind, but there is still hope for you to reach that level of conscience, humanity and civilization.