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Is anyone else excited for this? It's adapted from a novel loosely based on a real life case you might remember - a Mennonite community where men raped more than 130 women and little girls between 2005-2009 by anesthetizing them with a sedative. When they would wake up bloody and in pain, they would be told Satan had done it or they were hallucinating. It was obviously an enormous effort for these women to gather, exchange stories, and advocate for themselves in a fundamentalist community.

I think the timing is fantastic. A film dealing honestly with rape is always welcome if it's well done, but this offers 3 messages I think are especially needed right now:

1 - The same men we know, love, and see every day are capable of placing male privilege over our comfort. These guys told their own wives and daughters it was all their imagination, even when they were physically injured, had STIs or became pregnant, rather than go against men in their community.

2 - Religious men are not "protectors." I think this is critical to remember in our current genderized climate, when so many women think, "Well, at least the Right knows what a women is." Fundamentalist men aren't old-fashioned protectors offering women a life of comfort and shelter if she's willing to trade some freedoms. Rape, abuse, financial control, infidelity, are every bit as in play as with gender bros.

3 - Feminism saves the day. The heart of feminism is women talking to each other, telling the truth, and supporting each other. That's where everything starts. These women started meeting in haylofts. They were illiterate, had no maps or knowledge of the outside world, and most spoke only a German dialect used by Mennonites. And they were able to rise against their elders and imprison 8 rapists.

It's directed by Sarah Polley and stars Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, and some other names. It comes out in Oscar season (late Nov/early Dec), so it should get some good press.

I'm hoping this inspires women to feel they can fight back by organizing together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD0mFhMqDCE

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/18/miriam-toews-interview-women-talking-mennonite

Is anyone else excited for this? It's adapted from a novel loosely based on a real life case you might remember - a Mennonite community where men raped more than 130 women and little girls between 2005-2009 by anesthetizing them with a sedative. When they would wake up bloody and in pain, they would be told Satan had done it or they were hallucinating. It was obviously an enormous effort for these women to gather, exchange stories, and advocate for themselves in a fundamentalist community. I think the timing is fantastic. A film dealing honestly with rape is always welcome if it's well done, but this offers 3 messages I think are especially needed right now: 1 - The same men we know, love, and see every day are capable of placing male privilege over our comfort. These guys told their own wives and daughters it was all their imagination, even when they were physically injured, had STIs or became pregnant, rather than go against men in their community. 2 - Religious men are not "protectors." I think this is critical to remember in our current genderized climate, when so many women think, "Well, at least the Right knows what a women is." Fundamentalist men aren't old-fashioned protectors offering women a life of comfort and shelter if she's willing to trade some freedoms. Rape, abuse, financial control, infidelity, are every bit as in play as with gender bros. 3 - Feminism saves the day. The heart of feminism is women talking to each other, telling the truth, and supporting each other. That's where everything starts. These women started meeting in haylofts. They were illiterate, had no maps or knowledge of the outside world, and most spoke only a German dialect used by Mennonites. And they were able to rise against their elders and imprison 8 rapists. It's directed by Sarah Polley and stars Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, and some other names. It comes out in Oscar season (late Nov/early Dec), so it should get some good press. I'm hoping this inspires women to feel they can fight back by organizing together. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD0mFhMqDCE https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/18/miriam-toews-interview-women-talking-mennonite

21 comments

re: #2, I've been screaming this until nearly hoarse. I was raised in a fundamentalist cult. The right is sick, perverse, and degenerate in its own way. Their men will rape and impregnate a teen girl and then force her to stand in front of a congregation and beg their forgiveness. They allow generational abuse of women and girls, covering up molestation, rape, and maybe even murder. They beat women, children, and even babies. They coordinate massive political efforts even though they shouldn't be engaged in politics at all.

I'm no fan of what the left has become, but the right sends a blast of icy fear right through my veins.

Only women can help one another.

[–] DoomedSibyl 8 points Edited

We women are on our own. The sooner we can awaken more women to this tragic fact and start acting accordingly the better off we will be. When it comes to women men if the left and right are misogynists; the only difference is in how they express their misogyny. As has been often said:”Right-wing men want women to be private property; left wing men want women to be public property.” The unifying concept is that women are property.

I’m going to check out the movie and book. Thank you for posting this.

It's all the right. The people identifying as "left" and pushing all this pro-penis crap are just right-wingers who don't go to church.

It's a political position more than a party. Parties can and do change political positions.

Disagree, men across all political spectrums and beliefs are the consistent problem- and the left is absolutely NO EXCEPTION. Men do not stop thinking of women as a class to be exploited just because they project "leftist values" on their OWN sex. In all scenarios in their manifestos, in all of their dreams- they are still the ruling class, they are still dominant, they are still abusing and exploiting their wives and Mothers and daughters and all other women... Leftist men are absolutely no exception, and the "leftist parties" and philosophies are just as based in misogyny and exploitation as any other- just a different veneer...

[–] PaulaAlquist 14 points Edited

Point 2 needs to be copied and pasted every time a woman here tells another woman that the conservatives have her best interest at heart.

Point 3 is what keeps me going in this current hellscape. What a powerful example of Sister Solidarity.

Holy fuck. Learning about this is so upsetting because sometimes last year I was actually trying to find information on this, because I had some vague, far-off memory of misogyny being an issue in the Amish community. I was searching all over youtube for stories about Mennonite women, and only ever found the same video of the same woman who was abused by her brothers as a girl. You'd think a massive wide-scale Mennonite rape conspiracy would have pinged on the radar during that time, but no, I didn't see a single word about it.

This reminds me of two things. There's a hip hop artist from the band Die Antwoord who was exposed for raping a young girl in a very similar sort of situation. He had her do a "ritual" with him and then he pretended to be posessed by the devil, and raped her. Afterwards he then proceeded to "pass out," "wake up," and pretended to not know what had happened.
It's a whole thing. The girl's name is Zheani and she's also a hip hop artist, and identifies as a witch. Basically he contacted her and fed her a bunch of occult stuff about how she had "summoned" him and was now required to have sex with him. It all culminated in the rape.
You can hear her discuss the whole thing here and there's more info around the internet for anyone who wants to verify it.

It also reminds me of Isobel Gowdie, a Scottish woman who was accused of witchcraft. She gave an incredibly detailed account of meeting with "the devil," having sex with him and engaging in various "magical" dealings. It's been speculated that what she actually was experienced was a local man tricking, drugging and manipulating her via the use of substances, disguises and props.

I've often wondered if the "witch trials" weren't in part motivated by the fact that certain men were in the habit of attacking women, even drugging them as in the case you mentioned happening in the Mennonite community, and then possibly revealing a prop such as a goat foot or goat mask as "proof" that the attacker had actually been "the devil" (or if hallucinogenic drugs were involved, the simple suggestion that "I am the devil" might have been enough of a prompt to produce such visions from the victim.)

After the initial attack, the whole "you're a witch now, you must do as I say" thing would have provided an ongoing means of controlling the women and manipulating them into doing whatever the sociopath wanted.

I mean it sounds batshit insane, I know. But apparently this whole "raping women and blaming the devil" thing is something men are really into.

Anyway, this looks like a brilliant movie and I can't wait to watch it. In general, religion is so often used as a tool of abuse against women are girls. Anything we can do to strengthen ourselves against the mental bondage placed on us by men is so important. And it's not just in Christian communities, either. Any religion, and even the lack thereof, can and will be weaponized against us by men. From Christian men insisting "it's God's will for you to serve me sexually," to atheist men claiming "if you were really free of your religious programming, you'd stop being repressed and sleep with me," to pagan men saying "BDSM is a tool of spiritual enlightenment, I can give you 'ego death' by tying you up and beating you, and if you say 'no' it means you're spiritually unenlightened," we can never let our guard down with a man just because he appears to have the same beliefs as we do.

A point: All Amish people are Mennonite, but most Mennonite people are not Amish.

It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things if there are Amish men getting up to this sort of behavior too and yes, there's definitely misogyny in the community. But I live in Ohio which, along with Pennsylvania, is pretty much the heart of Amish country so I run into both groups now and again.

Fair enough, I mean I suspected as much but my point is just that I was searching for both terms and found nothing about this massive attack on Mennonite women. But yeah, thanks for specifying.

[–] notapatsy 3 points Edited

I am definitely excited about this! The novel was fantastic. I read a library copy and loved it so much I bought a copy. Miriam Toews has become one of my favorite writers.

Like Louise Erdrich's "The Round House," the story draws from real life, which makes it more powerful.

I've never even heard of this! The religious right is part of the reason why feminism is still relevant.

I'm really excited about it too. I have all Miriam's books (Swing Low is really marvelous - a daring take on how to write her father's story). She and Sarah Polley will be brilliant. I LOVE that it's coming out now -- we need it!

[–] cicadasounds 2 points Edited

Sooooo I loved this book. So subtle and understated but truly SUBVERSIVE. But i loved it so much that… I’m almost not sure if I want to see the movie??

Like. The book has very little direct action—most of it is literally just women talking—and that’s a good thing. I hope the movie doesn’t treat it like a sensationalized true crime story (while based on a real event, the story itself is fiction), and make us watch a bunch of shock-value rape scenes.

The book is great because it avoids providing a bunch of graphic details. But it still FORCES the reader to grapple with the unimaginably horrific actions of men by just bluntly inserting them in the middle of ordinary scenes. It’s like, “so yeah, this one woman went into a rage and tried to kill a man…. here are a bunch of anecdotes about a horse…. oh, btw, I guess it was probably because she found out HE DRUGGED AND RAPED HER THREE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, WHO NOW ISN’T ALLOWED TO GET TREATMENT FOR HER RESULTING STD, ALSO THIS HAPPENED TO EVERY SINGLE WOMAN AND GIRL IN THE WHOLE COMMUNITY…. blah blah blah now let’s have a 10-page discussion about the souls of animals…” (It’s brilliant. I promise.)

Anyway. I hope the movie does it justice!

I didn't read the book... but now I'm thinking about it.

[–] cicadasounds 1 points Edited

Warning, its kind of surreal and…plotless? I couldn’t put it down and still think about it constantly, but everyone else in my book group found it boring and weird.😂

I’m excited insomuch that you can be for a film about rape- but the story sounds very interesting and drew my attention at the time. It seems like there’s quite a lot of female activism growing in the Amish community which is similar to my experience of a (totally different) religious community.

The book concerns a Mennonite community. Toews was herself raised a Mennonite, and most of her novels are set in the community. All of them are feminist.