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End of the world

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:31 PM
  • 8 Replies

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I am currently in Nahualá in the western highlands of Mayan Guatemala filming a documentary on the region,Unrecorded Spirits: Life in Mayan Guatemala. Since 2005 I have worked on health research and intervention projects focused on alcohol abuse and domestic violence. I am making this film partly due to the inherent lack of context in academic research, which also generally only produces articles that most can't or won't read. I aim to convey an experience that is complex, in a manner that can be accessed by more than a few. An example of dismissed context and simplification comes to mind with the concept of the "end of the world" pertaining to the end of the Mayan calendar. I find the sensationalized subject to demean the experience of the people here, many of whom experience a world that is swarmed by daily threats of an end that is very real.

Recently I asked a nun about the sexual abuse of women. Her eyes lit up, as she was overwhelmed by the amount that existed and had too many stories and not enough breath to tell them. The answer was resounding: It's everywhere, all the time. To dispel with hyperbole, this is not rape happening around every corner. This is a systemic form of violence that poses very real threats, with very little possibility of recourse.

The first example she gave was of a young mother who was abandoned by her husband, a too-common occurrence that can greatly exasperate family welfare needs. This woman ventured to another town in search of work and stayed with an aunt. This aunt kept boarders, and while this young woman spent the night, the aunt sold her niece's rights to one of the boarders and allowed him to rape her. This rape resulted in a pregnancy and a second young child for this single mother.

As for repercussions, the follow-up story is of a teenager, possibly autistic, but with access to health care at such extreme lows that such a diagnosis is a major luxury. This girl was raped in a nearby village by a local man. The father of the girl knew the identity of the man and declined police action.

The nun asked him, in alarm, "What if this was your son who was attacked? Would you proceed then?"

He replied, "Of course!"

She said, "And what about your daughter?"

He replied, "I don't want to cause any trouble."

The women here who are scolded, beaten and raped are not valued the same as men, but far less, and can be seen as things to be used and thrown away. This is disgusting, pathetic and undeserved by any human being. These are but two stories that exist in an ocean of them. I can sadly wager that every single person here knows someone or is someone who has experienced such trauma. Therefore, when I hear talk of the end of the world, I think about rape, murder and sickness -- the real ways that the world ends for Maya women and girls, and not on one single day.

by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:31 PM
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Replies (1-8):
rccmom
by Gold Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:45 PM
That is heartbreaking.
clp0930
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM

I know, i think we often forget how lucky we are here

Quoting rccmom:

That is heartbreaking.
nanaofsix531
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 4:56 PM

It is a shame that it is "the end of the world "for those girls.Unfortunately people are also letting it happen right here in the US.If it is a legitimate rape is just one of the things happening here.

clp0930
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:00 PM


Quoting nanaofsix531:

It is a shame that it is "the end of the world "for those girls.Unfortunately people are also letting it happen right here in the US.If it is a legitimate rape is just one of the things happening here.

I know, i read the other day about a judge who said women can prevent rape. Its horrible.


Oddly I found this article while googling the mayan prophecy for the end of the world (no I don't believe the world is ending, just bored)

nanaofsix531
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:19 PM

My grandson is turning 13 at the end of the month and has been upset ever since he heard about the supposed end of the world.I told him they have been predicting the end since the beginning of time. LOL

Quoting clp0930:


Quoting nanaofsix531:

It is a shame that it is "the end of the world "for those girls.Unfortunately people are also letting it happen right here in the US.If it is a legitimate rape is just one of the things happening here.

I know, i read the other day about a judge who said women can prevent rape. Its horrible.


Oddly I found this article while googling the mayan prophecy for the end of the world (no I don't believe the world is ending, just bored)


SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM
2 moms liked this

Hey - Doomsday believers can always give me their assets, since they think they will not need them - I'm happy to accept. I'll say thanks now, and again on Dec. 22. Nice Christmas present. Will help me buy my Christmas presents.

nanaofsix531
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:42 PM
2 moms liked this

Here.You can have the weather forecast. LOL


Quoting SallyMJ:

Hey - Doomsday believers can always give me their assets, since they think they will not need them - I'm happy to accept. I'll say thanks now, and again on Dec. 22. Nice Christmas present. Will help me buy my Christmas presents.


SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 1:29 AM

Yikes, I'm right now in Arizona, for the only 4 or so good months of the year. Thank you so much, but no thank you. 

But I'm sure someone on CM will gladly accept your kind offer.  :)

Quoting nanaofsix531:

Here.You can have the weather forecast. LOL


Quoting SallyMJ:

Hey - Doomsday believers can always give me their assets, since they think they will not need them - I'm happy to accept. I'll say thanks now, and again on Dec. 22. Nice Christmas present. Will help me buy my Christmas presents.



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