If only it were too bizarre to be true, but its being talked about everywhere. An Austrian man had his daughter locked in a dungeon for over twenty years and fathered seven children to her. A BBC news report examines the issues.
Politicians by the dozen now issue appeals to the public not to look the other way in the future.
Similar appeals have been made in all the other three cases since 1996 where girls have been found in confinement, in a coffin, in a closet and – in the case of Natascha Kampusch – in a dungeon for eight years.
The public seems to be confused at the moment about where to draw the line between undue interference in somebody else’s affairs and heightened sensibility to possible abuse and crime in the neighbourhood.
The Radical Radish agrees, yes, this horrific case raises important questions about the public / private debate, how much attention do we need to pay to what’s going on behind closed doors, but perhaps there are also larger issues at play here. Are our communities so disconnected and fragmented that these type of crimes can be committed within their midst? In Austria this is the fourth case of this nature in twelve years.
The Radical Radish feels that this case is a vivid illustration of the type of abuse that feminism aims to eradicate. This case is not merely one twisted father behaving in a despicable manner, this case, it could be argued, is a reflection of the belief that women are to be valued as nothing more than readily available sex objects. Radical Radish understands that there are violent women out there also, but there is something about this case that reflects the patriarchal presumptions of power and value that continue to shape our cultural worldview. Men, in general and as a gender, do not have to worry about this sort of thing happening to them. But the sad reality is that the fear of rape is a harsh reality for many women. It has been argued elsewhere that the war on women never ends. It is for this reason that the Radical Radish is an avowed feminist and believes that feminism is both necessary and relevant today.