I sat in the darkness as the sounds of screaming voices crept through my window. Those
voices belonged to the tortured, raped and dismembered bodies of poor working class women
trying to get home from the maquiladoras.
The North American Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1992 and with that American
oligarchies began to build hundreds of factories along the Mexican-U.S. border city of Juarez.
Elena Aviles, an organizer for the UCLA conference on the murders, describes the situation
that women are confronted with in the work place on a daily basis: “Exploited, overworked and
overly oppressed women are employed in these factories. A method taken by the factory
owners to control the natural reproduction of women is enforced birth control use, or
obligatory displays of used feminine hygiene napkins during her menstrual cycle as tangible
evidence that she is not pregnant. The rigid control over the female body and non-existent right
to privacy of each worker reaches its maximum state when one takes into account the
ritualistic way the serial killer re-conquers or obliterates the female body.”
The degradation of women is a result not only of capitalist exploitation in the labor force, but
the patriarchal attitude that women do not deserve to be treated with dignity or respect equal
to that of men. It is further extended to the indifference by the authoritarian, male-dominated
system that cannot find those guilty of committing the serial murders of these working class
In an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service, Jane Caputi, PhD. talked about her latest
book, The Age of Sex Crime. “The Age of Sex Crime is my first book in which I analyze the
phenomena of how serial sex killers have become hero figures in this culture, which goes
back to my argument that these are not deviants, these are not monsters from nowhere,
they're actually performing a cultural function in enforcing misogyny in showing that women
are prey, etc. and acting out masculinity in totally dominating the feminine.”
Women know that each and every day young girls must be weary of the perversion of men in
the street. There are rich, famous and powerful mafia and government officials that grope
women without fear of penalty.
But yet, this remains a tale, a story, urban and rural legend, almost folklore because men in
power want to ignore it. Ask a man, “What is so glorious about rapping her, killing her, taking
her organs?” It is this display of vulgar oppression and domination of women in the world
society that should make us all shutter with unbelievable disgust and shame.
My death could easily come soon after writing these words. And even though I learned to love
the women in my life - my mother, sister, wife, and daughters - and speak out against the
hideous crimes against women, I know that my death will not be as painful as theirs. I will not
be raped or tortured because I am a man.