In class on October 24, we watched the documentary Rape in the Fields. We watched this documentary because it connects with the article we read in the book Introducing the New Sexuality Studies. The article that could connect with this documentary would be “Mexican Immigrants, Heterosexual Sex and Loving Relationships in the United States” an Interview w/Gloria Gonzales-Lopez (NSS pages 538-546). Sexuality is not strictly an identity for these women, but the idea of it has become a means of capital gain for other individuals (there bosses) through the sex trade, prostitution, and undocumented work. For those of you who haven’t watched the video there is a shorter clip right below.
Sexuality is used as a source of capital especially for women on a global scale. Sexuality was bought, sold, and exchanged through different ways. I want to really focus my time on undocumented laborers and immigrants. Sexuality as a source of capital is used throughout both undocumented labors and immigrants. We discussed this somewhat in class through the documentary Rape in the Field. Something that makes this difficult for these women is that they don’t have much of a choice but to see their sexuality being used as a source of income.
Women’s sexuality has been used for capital gain for centuries. Hopefully one day these women around the world and the undocumented laborers/immigrants will be able to work and not have their sexuality bought, sold, and/or exchanged. A very important thing to consider is what needs to happen to make this change or what does society need to do to make this a possibility.
For this to happen I believe that first we need to allow these women to feel comfortable enough to reach out to law enforcement. I understand that this is going to be very difficult because they are undocumented which means normally if they were to reach out they would be deported back to their country. I know this point may not make people happy in the United States but we need to come up with a rule or understanding that if one of these undocumented laborers/immigrants come forth about their sexuality being bought, sold, or exchanged they cannot/shouldn’t be deported.
The second thing to do would be make the trial process go by more quickly. This is important because the trial is a constant reminder of a horrible memory/event that these women had to go through. This reminds me of the rape case that happened here my sophomore summer. The young woman was having to deal with this traumatic event about 18 months later and trial hasn’t even started yet. I feel like this is very important and will allow more women in general not just undocumented labors to come forward. I believe many women don’t come forward because one they are scared and two they don’t want to endure the pain of remembering the sexual assault/rape constantly throughout pretrial and trial which in the case above has been around 18 months.
The third and final thing I feel we should do to make this change is to make sure people are aware that people are sexually assaulted or raped by some one they may know. It is important we let people know this because it is good to keep them informed on the newest information and so that they can keep it in their mind while out drinking or a night on the town. In the case of the documentary Rape in the Fields these women are getting sexually assaulted/raped by men who are their bosses and coworkers. I am going to once again talk about the rape that happened here about 18 months ago. So this fact is something important for people especially women to keep this in mind especially when living their daily lives, out on the town during night time, and when drinking.
Something that may go along with undocumented laborers and immigrants would be Capital Feminino. “As capital feminine, virginity became a form of social endowment these women could exchange for marriage opportunities and a stable financial future. As part of this process, women and men may construct specific ideologies that may associate a desirable moral integrity with lack of premarital sexual activity in a woman, and women who do not comply with these moral expectations may become stigmatized and rejected” (NSS 543). This concept address the ways in which virginity may acquire a higher or lower “value” depending on very specific socioeconomic context and circumstances shaping the economic opportunities for women. We watched that documentary called Rape in the Fields where these undocumented laborers and immigrants are getting raped and sexually assaulted. But these women had no other choice because they are to scared to say anything due to the fact that they are illegal so they have the risk of being deported.
It is important that we change as society and government officials because it is not okay that women are getting sexually assaulted or raped because they are undocumented workers. This change is important because sexuality is not an identity these women should live by. But the idea of this has become a means of capital gain for individuals through the sex trade, prostitution, and undocumented work. What is your opinion on the topic? Do you guys have any ideas how we can make this change?
If you would like to watch the whole video you can find it at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/rape-in-the-fields/