Stand Up For Lebanese Women: March Against Unjust Laws Governing Rape

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The occasion of this post is to concretize words, to embody them in a March against the unjust rape laws of Lebanon.

While many marvel at the title of this blog, Non Serviam, and it’s subtitle, The Ominous Sanctity; this post will offer the most direct explanation yet.

Non Serviam [I Will Not Serve] is a shout out against any organizing structure which oppresses in the name of an invented tradition. This ominous sanctity is a threat to the age-old constructions which govern our society. Among these are the biopolitical laws which encroach upon our bodies, our sex, our mind, and our being. Non Serviam is a slogan expressing the necessity of being free; the necessity of being informed; and the necessity of always re-evaluating idea, values, and morals.

It is with such thoughts in mind that I endorse and join the march against Lebanon’s backwards rape laws on January 14 at 12pm from Ministry of Interior in Sanayeh to Parliament in Downtown. 

When the biopolitical structure of patriarchy infringes upon the basic rights of any member of society, the private becomes the political and the political becomes the private. We should no longer consider rape as done by one individual upon another. Rape is a highly regulated practice, seminal to the bulwark of patriarchy. Rape emerges as an institutional practice by which women are kept in fear of men. If the laws which govern acts of rape are lenient and ineffective, then these same laws regulate the way the populace thinks. No person is safe under such laws.

To women, that they may live lives of dignity, equality, respect, and safety.

Below is Nasawiya’s demo,  Here is the link to the Facebook event with all the demands of the demo.

We, the women who reside in Lebanon, excuse ourselves from playing the decorative role that has been imposed on us.

We take to the streets today to say that we are aware and knowledgeable about the methodical war that state and society have waged on our bodies and our safety through their political parties and leaders.

From now on, we will not accept empty promises that are heaped upon us every time we call for our rights.

We will not give in to patience. We will not bite our wounds and postpone the battles of today to tomorrow.

Our voices will be louder than the bickering between your parties and your sporadic yet connected wars.

We call on Parliament to:

1. Pass the draft law for Protection from Domestic Violence as it has been written and with no delay.

2. Intensify punitive measures against rapists and those who attempt rape, amending the respective law.

3. Treat verbal harassment as physical harassment, especially in the work place, making it a crime subject to judicial penalties.

4. Deal with complaints related to sexual violence with rigor and consistency. We call on the Interior Ministry and the Municipalities to also apply those measures. The three bodies should work to make our streets and neighborhoods safe, especially during the night-time, by ensuring proper street-lighting, and permitting us to carry tools of self-defense, like taser guns and pepper spray.

We extend this invitation to all women and girls who have been exposed to rape or attempted rape or harassment in all its forms, to all so-called ‘housewives‘ that have been subjected to beating and verbal abuse, to all those employees, teachers, activists, workers and union leaders who experience sexual abuse time and time again, and to all those who feel the injustice and lack of equality.
We call on you to join us on the streets on the 14th of January 2012.
We begin the march at 12:00 PM from the Interior Ministry near the Sanayeh Garden, and move toward Parliament at Nejmeh Square.

We women no longer possess anything but solidarity with one another. We must stand shoulder to shoulder and unite. What lies before us is the last of our battles: the defense of our rights, bodies and security.

We have nothing to lose but our chains. The time is now.

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