Yesterday, Jeff posted about the appalling ordeal of Jamie Leigh Jones, an employee of Halliburton/KBR based in Baghdad who alleges she was gang-raped by male coworkers and then held against her will by her employer, until, by the grace of a sympathetic guard, she was able to phone her father, who involved their congressman, who, in turn, got the State Department involved.
The story is getting a lot of attention around the blogosphere: Marcella Chester, Pandagon, Pam's House Blend, Digby, Majikthise, Larisa Alexandrovna, Jane Hamsher, Atrios, C&L, Cernig, Michael Stickings, The Carpetbagger Report, Matt Yglesias, Jesus' General, Michael Hussey, Comments from Left Field, Group News Blog, The Democratic Daily, Daily Kos, All Spin Zone, Think Progress, John Cole, The Agonist, Open Left, Oliver Willis, Bastard.Logic, Cliff Schecter…etc. I know there are more bloggers writing about it, and my apologies to those whom I missed.
I'm glad to see so many people blogging about an alleged sexual assault. That is an unqualified statement. I am glad to see my peers blogging about this story.
I'm sad to see how few gave it the compassionate treatment Jeff did, framing it in the long view of an ongoing human rights issue, especially on Human Rights Day, instead of just another opportunity to take a whack at Bush, and Halliburton, and the war generally—not that they doesn't deserve it.
All I can think about, you see, is Shark-fu's post Black and Missing, and how everyone is rightfully concerned for and outraged on behalf of the blond, pretty, white, American Jamie Leigh Jones, for whom I have profound compassion as a sister in the crappy survivors' club which no one wants to join and seeks no new members, and how that spotlighted concern only serves to highlight how much work those of us doing consciousness-raising on the global issue of sexual violence against women still have to do—because about 5,000 cases of rape have been reported (suggesting the number of actual rapes is much higher) in just one eastern province of Congo this year alone, prompting the UN's top humanitarian official to describe the prevalence and intensity of sexual violence against women in Congo as "almost unimaginable," and in Darfur, Sudan, the Janjaweed has turned rape into a systematic weapon of ethnic cleansing, and in the war zone in northern Uganda, rape is endemic and justice elusive, and in Brazil, rape is a problem, and in Saudi Arabia, rape is a problem, and in Australia, rape is a problem, and all over the world, rape is a problem, just like it's a problem all over America every bloody day, but none of that ever gets as many posts as Jamie Leigh Jones has, which breaks my heart in a dozen different ways, especially when I know someone, somewhere, who skims past this line will think I mean that Jamie Leigh Jones should get less attention, when really what I mean is couldn't everyone else have more, since maybe we don't really need another story about that lighter Britney stole.
Somebody hand me my teaspoon.