Monday, May 16, 2011

Rapes of Peace Corps Volunteers

I find it quite disturbing that the Peace Corps would have a climate of cover up in regards to rapings of idealistic & young female volunteers. The Peace Corps stands behind their statement that they do not put their volunteers in unsafe environments, but let's be honest, if the Peace Corps is there, it is an unsafe country. I fully support the legislation of Congress members Poe (R) and Tsongas (D), who are trying to make the Peace Corps (PC) responsive to attacked females. Side note: everything bad about COngress is on display int he last few paragraphs as some Democrats are hesitant to undermine PC as it might hurt the legacy program of a Democrat president. Jeee-sus. I think the spirit of PC is awesome, but we should face facts that these people are volunteering in tough locations, not a Swiss ski resort. At the core of this problem though is why would the PC cover this up? Let's consider the program, its volunteers, its target audience and all of that fun stuff.

1. Locations: you go to shitholes that need volunteers from America to provide basic things we Americans take for granted. Look at that map. You little volunteer are not staying at the Ritz and seeing the Great Wall of China. No, you're going to the interior with the industrial pollution and malnourished kids.
2. People: You the volunteer are probably some doe eyed college graduate who thinks America is evil and unsafe, and that the 3rd world is full of happy natives just waiting for you to help and enlighten. You might have had it so easy, that you don't have to get a job right out of college and can fuck off for a year or two. The people you are helping, and probably thought were oppressed 3rd worlders, are probably living on less than $3 a day, have lots of problems, have a culture that doesn't think highly of women, and might have anger management issues.
3. The Peace Corps: They are a government program of liberals who will cover up any bad behavior by any person who is poor in order to rope more volunteers and more funding. It is a lot harder to persuade people that a program is good when the volunteers who are trying to HELP the oppressed people come back raped & scarred for life. Sorry, Suzy, you're just going to have to take one for the liberal team. Think parents would support their kids joining the PC if they had that in the back of their minds.
4. Moral Snobbery: Volunteer for the PC and you get to hang that over every other person who claims to care for the poor. "Yeah, I helped some kids in Tanzania plant a tree... it was the first tree they ever planted.... they laughed & danced in a circle... I cried watching them from a few yards away". That is the type of story the moral snobs will throw in your face about their PC experience. That is gone when someone gets raped. Think they are going to tell you about the kids they helped or the water project that worked. F*ck no, they won't even let out one peep about that time as rape at knifepoint in a 3rd world country is pretty horrible and can scar a person for life.

It has to be sad to want to help the world, and in that process of helping, have the darker side of the world reveal itself. We take for granted the freedom of fear we have in many communities in America. I know a healthy dose of college education in the humanities pounds it into people's heads that Western Civ is bad, the 3rd world is no worse (moral relativism), and peopel are at their base 'good' (society makes them evil). Sorry, the real world is grey. The real world is pretty scary. Yeah a "Take Back the Night" event does make sense in big American cities, but for the 3rd world, it's "Don't go Out at Night". I spent time in developed European countries, and I sometimes felt that below the surface danger. I can't imagine what goes through these young women's heads when they are giving their time, energy and emotion into a volunteer project, and they are violently attacked. The Peace Corps owes it to them to treat them with dignity and the improve protection.. maybe even provide some social justice.

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