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    098150

    Rape as a metaphor for modernity.

    Banuri T

    Development. 1994; (1):6-9.

    The "rape of nature" is language out of context that does not serve the interests of the oppressed. The act of oppression can be gauged in terms of successful outcomes. The outcomes can be assessed in a variety of ways. Modernity can be taken as an "attitude that makes fair gain of any vulnerable group." The guiding principles can be confused with the manifestations of modernity. Modernity is taken within population, development, and gender discussions to justify itself. Blame for disfunction is diffused by blaming nonmodernity (for instance, the Nazis or the American slave owners, or the ignorant farmer or landholder, ancient patriarchal customs, male domination, religion, lack of modern knowledge). The solution to problems is modernity. Prior violence and oppression are used to justify continued violence and oppression. Population growth only becomes a problem when man as individual or collective entity loses the sense of the limits of nature. The environment is being destroyed by man's knowledge and the breakdown of barriers between man and nature. Modernity has brought with it political violence, intolerance, genocide, ethnic cleansing, terrorization of whole societies, the epidemic of civil wars, and the persecution of minorities and other unwanted people. Humanity speaks in an impersonal voice; the alternative is to talk about technical things in a personal and embodied way. Rape is an apt description of modernity literally and metaphorically. Feminists demand the spoken language of women. Violence is the silencing of voices. Modernity has seen an increase in the violence towards nature, individuals, bodies, and communities. Knowledge is related to the privilege of an impersonal and objective attitude toward people or nature that predisposes violence. The thought is that superior knowledge will dominate nature. Vulnerable groups everywhere are armed to prevent the "never again" will we be the objects of violence. The use of rape in this context has the danger of potentially becoming an impersonal objectification. The alternative for sustainable development is to accept vulnerability and place ourselves in others' trust, which requires subjectivity, dialogue, and empowerment and local, national, and global governance to obstruct local tyrannies. Reciprocity of interests must prevail.
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