Protests seem to be sweeping our planet, and they range from issues from democracy, to gas prices, to social and economic inequality.
A powerful feminist movement showed up on the streets of Chile recently in order to highlight the issue of sexual violence, and scores of women gathered to rally outside of the Ministry for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality to protest the force police uses that has taken place during the country’s ongoing protests of extreme inequality. An article from Common Dreams reads that the Chilean Special Forces, the National Police, and the military have reportedly taken 26 lives, detained over 15,000, and caused thousands of injuries. They have also been accused of more than 1,100 cases of inhuman treatment. There have also been countless allegations by women of rape, taking advantage of them, and threats of rape.
A psychologist from Santiago has reported that arrested women have had their clothes taken off in front of men and touched in their private parts. Many of them have had a rifle used in their private parts, and the psychologist reported that “they’re going to be raped then killed”.
Reading such comments make the chant that was sung by a blindfolded woman at the rally even more powerful, as it calls out the police and the people in power as perpetrators of violence instead of the protectors they’re supposed to be.
This is how the chant is loosely translated, according to one commenter:
The patriarchy is a judge
who tries us for being born
and our punishment
is the violence you now see.
It’s femicide, impunity for my murderer,
it’s disappearance, it’s rape.
And it wasn’t my fault,
nor where I was,
nor how I was dressed (x4).
You were the rapist, you are the rapist.
It’s the police, the judges,
the state, the president.
The oppressive state is a macho rapist (x2).
The rapist was you. The rapist is you.
Sleep calmly, innocent girl,
without worrying about the criminal
because your policeman lover
is watching over your sweet and smiling dreams.
You are the rapist (x4).
The World Health Organization reports that one in three women will endure a physical or intimate assault in her lifetime, and it’s nearly a universal fact that rape victims rarely see justice served.
We will continue to see women uniting in the streets to make our voices heard until we feel safe and protected by those charged with our protection.