Earth to Mars Mercantile: What Does Halloween Have to Do with Rape?

5 thoughts on “Earth to Mars Mercantile: What Does Halloween Have to Do with Rape?”

  1. As if a reminder were needed to bring the reality of concerns about violence against women closer to home, consider the horror of the recent gang rape at Richmond High School, in which dozens of onlookers gawked or cheered as a 15-year-old girl was assaulted by her classmates. As one 911 caller reported, “They think it’s cool. They weren’t raised to respect girls.” This lack of respect is no insignificant matter.

  2. There is not one person who walks down Telegraph Ave. who doesn’t know a woman affected by violence and sexual abuse. Most of it doesn’t make the headlines, however, and is continually endorsed in society submerged in images objectifying women. Each time we silently accept these messages, we say it’s “okay.” Thanks so much for speaking up.

  3. Conversation I had with a male friend who lives in Berkley about this display:
    Him: Its not offensive to me because that’s not the way real violence against women looks.
    Me: Sometimes it is.
    Him: Well, its not usually what its like. Its more hardcore.
    Me: So being more violent than “usual” sexual violence against women is OK?
    Him: Its so extreme its a mockery. Its Halloween. Its fun. Lighten up.

    I may not have been dismembered, decapitated or hung, but during my time as a sexual prisoner (in a household in American suburbia) I suffered enough damage to require facial reconstruction surgery, lost the hearing in my right ear, had a total of 18 stitches, lost hair and fingernails due to starvation and given scars from tearing the skin off my wrists while struggling against various forms of bondage, among countless other physical, sexual and emotional abuses.
    Would pictures of me in the hospital at sixteen make good Halloween decorations?
    The last thing that people need to do is “lighten up” against torture and sexual abuse. We need to get serious. Thank you for speaking up and spreading the word. Doing so offers much needed respect to me and people who have similarly suffered.

  4. Or the recent case of 10 female bodies discovered in a Cleveland home.

    I am notoriously observant and didn’t notice the Mars display, despite walking down that street multiple times quite recently. Initially, reading about the display caught me by surprise because I didn’t expect such a flagrant, misogynistic-celebrating showcase to be so tacitly-accepted by passerbyers and customers. However, I suppose I also didn’t expect it to be so gallingly-placed in the window display for purposes of Halloween festivities (and hence to turn a profit). Who would dare without a hint of shame and/or wrongdoing?

    Now I realize my naivete. And it brings me back to the question (if anyone wants to venture an answer), how did our culture become as such, endorsing of what is “torture porn” and sexual violence in media? Why is what is clearly morally-wrong and perverted accepted by a society in which we’ve already seen the dire consequences of gendered violence?

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