Current Size: 100%
Guest blogger Manuela Popovici is a teacher, writer at ontheroadtonow.blogspot.com, and editor - www.manuelapopovici.com. If you see her around WW2011 taking pictures with her little camera, stop and say Hi!
As I listen to the panel speakers on the War Rape in Eastern Congo: Silent Agendas and Structural Causes, I feel somewhat paralyzed in the space between struggling to take in the atrocities perpetrated against the women, feeling overwhelmed by the scale of the violence, and not wanting to fold under my counterproductive white Canadian woman’s guilt.
What am I doing, what can I do, and what can I say? And there it is, the last panel speaker spelling it out, as she says, for the feminists out there and in here.
Beth Main Ahlberg asks feminists to remember what is happening in parallel to the violence, and who is benefiting. Yes, she says, militias dig and sell what they dug and buy arms. But there are also very large corporations digging for minerals, and where are they based? Where are the minerals in our phones and laptops coming from? There are large pension funds being invested, do we know where? There are UN peacekeepers who create demand for prostitution. Do we know which countries voted yes for their mission, and who pays their salaries?
These are the questions that point the way for small groups of determined feminists. Much better than guilt.