Today a plane exploded and crashed into a residential area of Queens. At present no one yet knows whether it was mechanical
failure or a terrorist plan. But immediately all airports in NYC, NJ and DC were closed. All bridges and tunnels into NYC
were closed. People in the area where the plane crashed said, "Oh no, not another WTC".
What does this all say about
our 'return to normalcy' after Sept 11? Everyone talks about going about their lives in order not to give the terrorists a
triumph. Well, we've resumed our lives but our reactions to anything that resembles that Black Tuesday is far from 'normal'.
We are reacting exactly the way a rape victim does after the rape.
Freud would have had a field day with the way the
terrorists approached doing their ugly deed. They 'penetrated' buildings with 'explosive' phallic symbols - jumbo jets. It
was soley MEN from an organization that hates women who not only masterminded the plot but carried it out. And when the jets
collided with the buildings and penetrated them they exploded, just as an ejaculation would!
Then the upright standing towers fell down after penetration, just as a woman who is assaulted and raped would do when
attacked. She would also 'fall to pieces' after such an encounter.
Also ironic is the fact that the date 9/11 is the
number a rape victim would call for help. 911, it would forever be imprinted in her psyche afterwards. All things associated
with that number would dredge up memories. And isn't that what we as a nation are doing now? It has become a sacrosanct collection
of digits because on that day, thousands of victims cried for help.
But that is just only the visible signs. Once a
woman has been raped, the inner scars remain for years. She never feels safe. Every event that comes anywhere close to the
rape situation creates terror in her. A sound or a smell, the lighting, the texture of the environment, an image in the shadows
all these things trigger her memory. We, as a nation, have collectively responded in the same manner over the last 2 months:
the sound of sirens, smell of a burning building, a plane flying too low overhead, walking underneath a skyscraper.....
so we are on 'heightened alert'. We batten down the hatches, seal of the area, shut the doors. Like the female rape victim,
we've even taken to 'learning how to protect ourselves'. She will learn judo or buy a gun, we've deployed the Coast Guard,
taught our air force how to shoot down an errant civilian jet, and close off airspaces and entries to cities in order to avert
All of this is what has made the attack on the WTC so much more dark in the psyche of our nation. This
overt yet not explored symbolism contaminates us. It will be our leitmotif for years to come. The terrorists couldn't have
planned it better if they tried. They just did things the way any arrogant, dominating, alpha male on this planet would do
it. They came and raped America.
c 2001 Leona Seufert