‘Half the Sky’ a vital film on women’s oppression

It’s your fault.

It’s your fault if you’re raped.

It’s your fault if you’re sexually trafficked.

If you are a woman, are raped, are abused, or sold, trafficked and forced to be a sex slave, it is your fault.

Somehow, you hold such an important position in society as a woman, that society chooses to shun you if you are abused, tarnished, or damaged. Because they feel damaged. They feel responsible, somehow. They feel that they failed you and do not want to confront it. They don’t want to look into your eyes, little girl, woman, because they failed.

This is the conclusion I reach.

#Halfthesky is a documentary and a movement to help girls and women in different places of this planet, who have been wronged, abused, raped, sold, enslaved.

Watching part 1 of this documentary Monday night on PBS, I am shocked by the recurring theme.

Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Vietnam: there are girls who are raped by a relative, or kidnapped by a man or a woman claiming to be a helping relative or friend and then cruelly sold and enslaved to give their body night after night, day after day, to clients, as they call them.

When some of these girls, and later women, escape, what is astonishing is the relatives’ and immediate community’s reaction or lack of welcome. They want nothing to do with them.

A young girl in Sierra Leone who was attacked in her own home and raped by an uncle, chose to report him to the police and press charges. This uncle, also a pastor in the community, was arrested as a result. Instead of this being a triumph, the girl’s father kicks her and her mother out of the family home—they are the two women of that household. The father claims they shame him in the community. We see the mother and the resilient daughter out on the street at night, nowhere to go. Kicked out because the daughter was raped.

Somehow, she is the holder of the curse. The evil deed is in her hands, her womb, her body. She is not pregnant with a fetus, but rather pregnant with the bad deed, the memory of what rocked that community. They want to have nothing to do with her so as to not remember, not see that bad things can happen, even in their community.

The man, on the other hand, the creator of the deed, is free. He can roam and is not shunned. It’s business as usual for him, and he may even re-offend.

Curious, how we are.

Instead of being welcomed into open arms for the ordeal, a girl, a woman, is shunned.

But, as this vital film shows, women are much stronger than their abusers believe. Watch this film to find out more.

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