Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

“Rape Nation.”

Let me ask you something: is it something in the water? In the last few days, we’ve seen more shocks than an electric eel. Women are popping up like dandelions after a summer rain, recounting deeply submerged memories of attacks, indecencies, and assaults, many from decades ago. Why now?

I think many, many women awoke during the massive unprecedented women’s march against Trump during the spring. It was, according to my research, the biggest demo and protest in American history. I think the demo gave many women a sense of their potential power, a sense of their feminine strength. That awakening led to a sense of how women could command social space, social power, especially in the era of social interaction. That which once led to social silence now leads to social outrage and perhaps, perhaps social change.

In this supposed democracy, women are rarely ever a political majority. Why aren’t they the majority of Congress of mayors, of judges, or DAs? Why don’t they control the councils, boards of education, businesses, churches? Perhaps this isn’t a democracy after all, for it would be insane to beat, assault, disparage, or rape that segment of the population that constituted its very majority, right?

Unless, unless this population has been socially and psychologically intimidated, quietly accepting their subordinate status. Unless they were conditioned from their earliest days as girls to play nice with their very abusers and assailants. Unless they were trained to see themselves as less than their brothers, fathers, and men generally. Unless they were mistaught so that when they are raped, abused, diminished, it is their fault, for they were now somehow unclean.

Until day breaks and on a sunlit morning in January, millions of women take to the streets and see for once their power. Movements such as these do far more than change minds. They can change nations.

From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.