men, masculinities and gender politics

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An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

To read an open letter to the U.S. President, regarding his public statement about sexual assault in the United States, see here.

His letter is included at the blog site.

Here is my response:

Dear President Obama,
I am concerned that actions that can lead to a decrease in sexual assault, particularly against populations most vulnerable in our free society, are not being accomplished, and are not even being advocated by the Leader of this land.

As you well note, Native American women are at particular risk for rape, at double the rate of the rape of women across race in the U.S. And as you may know, over 80% of the rapists of Native women are white men. Will you support amnesty for any Native American person living on reservation land, within the boundaries of their own Nation, to use their authority and agency as citizens of their Nations to shoot to kill any white man who trespasses as an illegal alien, as a terrorist, onto Indian land without prior permission and expressed reason to cross onto the land of a community with a specific destination that is not "in order to rape a Native American woman"?

Are you willing to state that rape functions normally and systematically as a form of male supremacist terrorism against female human beings, that rapists are terrorists, so that we can begin to note that inside and outside of police forces, inside and outside of the military, and inside and outside of women's homes and various workplaces and institutions of learning and prayer, white men are the demographic that ought to be stigmatised as terrorists, if any group ought to be. Can you instruct the media to make this clear, so that white U.S. folks more clearly understand that Arab-American Muslim men or women living in the U.S. are no longer mistakenly designated as terrorists against other U.S. citizens? Can you similarly instruct the media to report that the gender, race, and religious identity of "the terrorist on U.S. soil" is usually a white Christian-identified heterosexual husband or boyfriend of a woman, or the father figure of a girl; it is that demographic which statistically and in practice, threatens the lives, the human rights and health, of the women and girls white heterosexual men systematically sexually abuse?

Another particularly vulnerable population to rape and other sexual assault are women and girls who are being pimped, trafficked, and sold into sexual slavery. Are you willing to take leadership to criminalise the acts of U.S. citizens procuring women anywhere in the world for the purposes of obtaining sexual acts in exchange for money? Will you also decriminalise the acts of pimped, trafficked, and enslaved women seeking money from procurers, so that when they are raped they are not deterred from reporting the rape to the police out of fear of being arrested, harassed, and further assaulted?

Another at risk population is what this country terms "immigrants" and "migrants", among other more pejorative terms, like "illegal aliens". Are you willing to make it law that any person currently existing, working, residing, or living within the boundaries of U.S. territories who is raped or otherwise sexually assaulted by a U.S. citizen, is free to report the rape and obtain medical attention and other survival services as needed, and not be charged with trespass or sent back to their country of origin? And that the rapists' and assaulters' rights to reside within the U.S. as a free citizen are revoked?

With regard to children, are you willing to have a one strike policy for child molesters and adult incest perpetrators, so that they may not be allowed to continue to reside in free society; that they will, necessarily, suffer the consequence of loss of freedom should they sexually assault a child? Are you willing to publicly note that it is men within the family who are the most likely people to commit sexual assault, and that it is women and girls within families that nurture and care for predators who are the majority of victims of sexual assault? Are you willing to make it law that no father or grandfather who has committed any act of child molestation or child sexual assault be allowed visitation of any of his biological children or grandchildren, adopted children, step-children, or any other children in his family or the families of those with whom he associates?

With regard to Catholic priests and other ordained clergy: are you willing to devote resources for making sure that those clergy who abuse children are put away behind federal prison bars, not merely transported to another district or church congregation to reoffend? Are you willing to make a public statement of outrage to Pope Benedict and all the cardinals, bishops, and other leaders within the Catholic Church's organisational structure, declaring the criminals who are aiding and abetting terrorists within a terroristic institution that specifically and with structurally approved provisions and policies, regularly places known male sex offenders in proximity of children and women? Are you supportive of preventing known sex offenders from congregating and worshiping with their victims? Will you offer leadership in declaring as moral, good, and right, doing whatever is lawfully necessary to stop religiously-protected perpetrators from serially committing sex crimes against humanity?

What steps are you planning to take to ensure that the sexual harassment and assault of girls by boys, inside and around public school systems, is made an actionable offense resulting in expulsion, so that those victimised are safe to go to school the days following being harassed and assaulted without being further abused, humiliated, and degraded?

Will you publicly promote and advocate for women and children to defend themselves against family members who are serial sexual predators and sexual assault perpetrators, such that it becomes fully legal and not criminal for the victims to employ strategies against their perpetrators, to any degree that is appropriate and necessary to make survivable the process of safely escaping conditions of systematic sexual or gendered terrorism within the family home, including the use of premeditated lethal force by those victims?

Afghan and Iraqi citizens--women, as a matter of common practice if not overt policy, are raped as well as terrorised through other militaristic means by U.S. troops--men. Are you willing to be personally, ethically, and legally responsible for men's rapes and deaths of women and girls? What is your justification for allowing this militarised political predation to continue? If for no other reason that to stop U.S. male soldiers from raping Afghan and Iraqi women and girls, will you please remove our troops from our wars against the Iraqi and Afghan people, as you were instructed to do by those citizens who elected you into the office you now hold?

Finally, will you identify the crimes of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment as male supremacist hate crimes against women, given that these crimes, as you note, are overwhelmingly committed by men against women, and by adolescent and teen boys against girls? Do you support these crimes being legally framed, understood, treated, and prosecuted as such under federal law?

Toward a more just, safe, and humane world in which children and women can live with men in peace, not war.

I look forward to your reply.

Julian Real, a residing citizen of the U.S.A.