Catholic World News

Vatican newspaper decries violence against women, discusses Hollywood sexual harassment

January 24, 2018

In a front-page L’Osservatore Romano op-ed, Italian historian Lucetta Scaraffia decried violence against women and praised Pope Francis for a recent address in Peru in which he condemned the killing of women.

Scaraffia, a frequent contributor to the Vatican newspaper, made a distinction between the killing of women in Latin American societies and the claims of sexual harassment by “American actresses.” She then distinguished harassment claims in which “women have the full possibility of refusal” from other cases in which “the power of the male harasser renders it difficult or almost impossible to escape.”

There is a great difference, she continued, between “an American woman harassed by a producer and a woman raped on the streets in Latin America”: the former can find work in less humiliating conditions, while the latter cannot.

Scaraffia lamented widespread domestic violence against women in Russia and the systematic use of rape in African wars. Returning to her consideration of Latin America, she called on Christians to ask themselves why women are “designated victims of male violence” in traditionally Christian countries.


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