Cross-posted with permission from patriarchalDISORDER
If you are getting the rush of "heartwarming" and high-fiving and celebration of human spirit, determination and ingenuity pouring out 24/7 on mainstream media around the rescue of the miners in Chile, don’t read this post. You’ve been warned.
There are many important political and economic factors to be discussed regarding this event and they are not within the scope of my expertise, however, I hope that once the public gets past the rescue and the rush of feelings generated by this event, we can get down to some hard thinking. I’ve been watching this mainly because my husband is captivated by it. It’s not that I don’t feel for these men and it’s not that I don’t admire Chile and the dedication of the rescue team. So, please. Don’t get stuck on that. Open up your mind to what I have to say.
Women who must wear burqas or other head-to-toe dark clothing are living without sunlight and underground. First, let’s talk about sunlight. Have you ever been swathed in material every time you go outside? You are not exposed to sunlight. Even in Arizona where people get so much exposure to sun that they’re prematurely wrinkled, crinkled and leathered, supplementation of Vitamin D is necessary. This is because Vitamin D is critical to health and it’s produced from exposure to sunlight. It’s necessary for sunlight to enter the human body via the eyes and the skin. I have suffered from depression my entire life–I know from my own years of dealing with it as well as from psychiatrists urging me: it is imperative for me to get sunlight every day or I will experience worse mental health consequences than are genetically embedded in my brain.
Now, imagine that you are not allowed to leave your house or to go to school, as is the case in many countries where Islamic philosophy is perverted so that women are enslaved sexually, domestically and brutally. That is living underground your whole life. Now imagine being sold into sexual slavery, possibly chained to a bed and powerless to say no to any paying customer who wants to fuck you, all day long or all night long. This is a reality in Thailand, for instance, where sexual tourism is a big industry. Now imagine that your father has imprisoned you in the basement of your childhood home, impregnated you and kept you a prisoner living underground, raising the children of incest and trauma. There are documented cases of this. Now imagine that you are a girl like Jaycee Dugard who was kidnapped and held as a sexual prisoner, never allowed to leave a shack in which she was successfully hidden from neighbors or anyone wondering what the hell was going on there.
Now imagine that you are a street kid who lives in tunnels or subway stations, sniffs glue and begs spare change for food. You getting the idea? I’ve got lots more examples of people living underground in unbearable, unthinkable, horrendous circumstances and I haven’t even dipped into the history of slavery in the U.S. or the exploitation of immigrants who are enslaved or the wrongful life imprisonment of innocent people or the jails full of young black men or political detainees who get locked away for dissenting from oppressive, cruel governments like China, Myanmar and many others.
Here’s my question: when and how do we rescue these people? Or do we just go on letting them be invisible-ized and congratulate ourselves when a good thing happens like the rescue of miners in Chile? When? When already? It almost made me sick to my stomach to hear news anchor after news anchor falling all over themselves about how the miners had endured their imprisonment underground for 69 days as if it were the worst ordeal any people had ever endured. NOT. They had a safe place to gather and they had each other and they had reason to believe that the outside world cared about them. The people I’ve just written about do not.