I was reading The Times last Saturday when a question posed in an article caught my irritation. I have very little interest in the goings on of Prince Charles’s second wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, but the question posed in the article irked me beyond words. Briefly the article was about The Duchess’s involvement in various projects, hurrah, hurrah, and all that, but what provoked a rage like response in me was this question.
To quote directly from the article:
“ Her engagement with women’s issues, most notably rape and sexual abuse, has raised the intriguing question: is the Duchess a feminist?”
I was seriously at a loss for words. I don’t understand this thought process. Are we making a colossal mistake to think that rape and sexual abuse is solely a feminist issue? Why does the Duchess, or any woman have to be a ” feminist ” to care about this horrific trait found in our species? It boggles the mind. Although the numbers prove more women are raped and sexually abused than men, doesn’t making it a feminist issue negate men? The lovers, the husbands, the sons, do they not care about these crimes? Do they not suffer when their loved ones are raped, killed, or scarred from their ordeal? Does it not ease the blame on a male perpetrator by saying this is a woman’s issue and not a man’s? Does a mother only care if her daughter is abused and not her son? Does a father not weep in the still of the night? I think it a great mistake to label the Duchess, or any woman, a feminist for caring about these issues. It is serious work trying to rid our species of such violence and those who tirelessly work so hard to end it do not deserve a tidy label.
Rape violates not only the victim, the family, the loved ones, but it also violates our society. When someone is raped, woman, man or child, it is not just a “feminist” issue, it is a human issue that concerns every one of us and to question someone as to their feminist leaning because they are working towards the end of this horrific human behaviour is beyond my comprehension.