Whenever I wonder if my attitude towards real, lasting changes in the power and status of women is overly cynical some real world event comes along to show that I am not being cynical enough.
Whatever 'state of nature' or 'breakdown of civil society' means for men it guarantees one thing for women: sexual violence. Among the ruins of Haiti women are being systematically stalked by gangs of rapists. It matters not if the woman is old enough to be a grandmother or young enough to still be described as a toddler. She is female and therefore the nature prey of men.
It is sad that I am not surprised to read about what is happening in Haiti. It is sad that I am not surprised that we are hearing so little about what is happening in Haiti. Damage to women, it appears, is always acceptable collateral damage. Protecting women is seldom the first goal of rescue/aid missions and indeed it often the very last. It is only after life has returned to normal for the men in a community that the needs, concerns, fears, safety and health of the women will be addressed.