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The Gabrielle Stanek incident, also known as the Stanek-Quirk incident, was a controversial affair occurring in the summer of 2562 that threatened the timid peace between the Jiralhanae people and humanity, stemming from the rape and murder of human feminist and social rights activist Gabrielle Stanek at the hands of Jiralhanae politician Badanus. The Jiralhanae believed the assault to be just and it was legal in their society, while the United Earth Government demanded that the perpetrator be punished according to UEG laws. Badanus was forced to retire and to pay a fine of 900 monetary units (approximately 5023cR), a percentage of which was given to Stanek’s surviving relatives. The incident sparked intense debate about humanity’s place in the governing of alien cultures, a topic with continued relevance today.
- "We value the rights of humans not because they have four limbs, a bipedal stance, a concentration of hair in the scalp and facial region, sexual dimorphism, ten fingers, single knees, or other physical qualities. We value human rights because humans have the ability of self-awareness, of reasoning, and so possess personhood. Therefore, what we truly promote is not human rights, but rather the rights of thinking individuals, and cannot stop merely at human rights. The stars are out there, nonhuman civilizations among them, and we cannot stay idle. We must go to these alien worlds, and we must liberate our nonhuman kindred from the kyriarchal systems that oppress them."
- ―Gabrielle Stanek, in her speech at the Lunar Association for Women’s Welfare convention of 2557
Jiralhanae culture is rigidly patriarchal, the men occupying every position of power and the women treated essentially as slaves. Even as there is a nominal difference between free Jiralhanae women and slaves, there are few benefits awarded to the free women. A Jiralhanae woman who has bonded to a man in a mating ritual may be traded to another man or rented out to men on the whims of the husband. On July 7th, 2562, Luna native Gabrielle Stanek, along with her spouse Daniel Baker, travelled to the Jiralhanae home planet of Doisac to promote fourteenth-wave feminist ideology to the Jiralhanae people. Their trip was sponsored by the not-for-profit Interstellar Organization to End Rape, which provided them with the yacht Allucquere as well as Jiralhanae language expert Kylli Quirk, formerly of the Office of Naval Intelligence, to accompany them as translator.
Murder/Double Rape Case
On July 26th, 2562, Lower-Chieftain Badanus assaulted Stanek and Quirk in an alley behind the Chamber of the Chieftains, an attack which took Stanek’s life. Badanus initially claimed that the attack was provoked by Stanek, who allegedly mocked him and threatened to force him into bloodbondage, but after pressures from the UEG he recanted and admitted to acting without provocation.
According to Quirk’s testimony, Badanus approached them in the Chamber after their legal demonstration and told Stanek he was interested in hearing about her philosophy. He listened to her outlining the subject and appeared genuinely engrossed. He politely bade her farewell, and they assumed that was that. Twenty minutes later, he cornered them outside the Chamber and ushered them into the alleyway behind it. He then raged at them, calling them Vrouw, which is a mythological figure comparable to the witch, before physically assaulting them. Stanek drew an M6K handgun, but his hand closed over hers, broke all the bones in her hand, and he tossed the gun away. Badanus then raped the two women, before crushing Stanek’s skull with a single punch. He left Quirk alive and told her to warn other human “Vrouw” that the same thing would happen if more came to Doisac.
The UEG displayed initial resistance in pursuing the case, motivated by reluctance to endanger the cessation of hostilities between the two species that was put in place only four years ago in 2558 while a peace treaty could be negotiated. UEG Minister of Justice Jerred Wallace went so far as to make the controversial statement that what occurred was not rape, likening the attack to an act made by an animal. “Frankly, I don’t see rape here,” Wallace said during a press conference. “Rape is when a man forces a woman to have sexual intercourse with him. This here’s a case of a randy Brute humping a couple of women. I can’t imagine it was pleasant for them, but it was definitely not rape. Not anymore than when my dog humps my leg.” The media response was highly negative, the minister criticized for failing to recognize Jiralhanae personhood, and Wallace made a statement a few days later asserting the Jiralhanae’s personhood.
Following Wallace’s statement, the UEG began putting pressure on Jiralhanae High Chieftain Potodus to have Badanus punished accordingly. Chieftain Potodus reacted aggressively, declaring it an insult for it to even be suggested that Badanus’ actions were criminal, and threatened to resume hostilities with the human people. In response to becoming aware of this, Sangheili bureaucrat Thel ‘Vadam brought an assault carrier to Doisac to, through implicit threat, encourage Chieftain Potodus to keep diplomatic relations with the UEG. Ultimately deciding that the treaty was more important than keeping Badanus as a Lower Chieftain, Chieftain Potodus ordered Badanus to retire and pay a monetary fine.
Responses to the handling of the incident were varied. Some, like Minister Wallace, declared it a wonderful success. "Peace has been defended," the minister boldly declared. "Thanks to the efforts of the valiant United Nations Space Command, justice has been done."
Quirk, however, referred to the event as an “outrage”. “The Jiralhanae murdered my client and he raped the both of us, and now our glorious leader wants us to accept the perpetrator walking free?" she asked. "[Badanus] still keeps his wealth, his influence, and all six of his wives, who [he] will doubtlessly rape innumerable times. The only permissible outcome is [to sentence Badanus to lifelong comatose].”
Akio Turnbull, founder of the Interplanetary Association for the Protection of Men, declared the incident itself ridiculous. “What were these women thinking?” Turnbull said. “The Jiralhanae are called ‘Brutes’ for a reason! Jiralhanae rape women. They also eat people. We know that! Everyone knows that! As far as I’m concerned, these two idiots got what they were asking for.”
Likewise, xenomorphologist Mikkel Groß described rape as part of the natural behavior of Jiralhanae males. “What we modern humans call ‘rape’ is nothing more than the forced act of sexual intercourse. In the primitive animal, of which these Jiralhanae undeniably are, forced intercourse occurs as a part of natural selection. The toughest male claims his prize, thereby ensuring the best genes are used to create the next generation. It’s survival of the fittest.”
The Institute for Facilitating Interspecies Relations’ president Iakopa Orosz described the incident as representing a failure in the UEG’s management. “We can’t meddle in the affairs of alien cultures,” Orosz said. “The recent mentality of the UE Government – in particular, its prime minister – is to manage other cultures as though they originated from Earth and are under its jurisdiction. This is a faulty mentality that should not exist. Other cultures have their own ways of doing things for their own reasons. Look, I’m sorry [Stanek and Quirk] were hurt, but they shouldn’t have tried to meddle in alien affairs. It’s as simple as that.”[unreliable source?]
- ↑ Sean Fischer. (October 7, 2562) “Back to DEFCON 5?” The Sol
- ↑ Felicidad Salvai. (October 1, 2562) “Justice Served at Last” The Pyongyang Globe
- ↑ Published in Free to the Stars, by Charlotte Linberg-Weiss, page 52
- ↑ Going Ape: Inside the Fascinating World of the Jiralhanae by Poul Wolff, Chapter 6
- ↑ Sandhya Vemulakonda (August 13, 2562) “Cutting Through the Bullshit” Feministers’ News Source
- ↑ Svatopolk Jokela (August 1, 2562). “Human Activist Slain by Brute” The Sentinel.
- ↑ Gathbiyya Roijacker. (September 20, 2562) “The Brutes Speak” LCS Today
- ↑ Adhara Kron. (September 29, 2562) “Brute Admits to Violent Crime” Sydney Tribune
- ↑ Pre-Covenant Alien Mythology, by Jasper Quinones, page 232
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Torstein Kristensen (September 14, 2562) “Brute assault case could hold dire consequences for treaty” New Orlando Post.
- ↑ Jannick Ward (August 11, 2562) “Brutes Are Evil People, Not Stupid Animals” Cydonia Times.
- ↑ Arik Ivanovic (August 11, 2562) “Minister Reveals Speciest Bias” Kelorist Science Monitor
- ↑ Dardan Maçon. (September 30, 2562) “Crisis Averted? World Waits in Silence” New London Times
- ↑ Basira Westbrook (October 2, 2562) “Wallace: Peace has been defended!” Democratic Free Press
- ↑ Ami Chaput. (October 5, 2562) “Raped Feminist Still Not Satisfied” Interplanetary Herald Tribune
- ↑ Suibne Lucas. (October 10, 2562) “Turnbull says what we were all thinking” The Space Age
- ↑ Edward Fox. (September 7, 2562) “Brutes: Natural Born Rapists” The Martian
- ↑ George Washington. (October 13, 2562) “Meddle Not in the Affairs of Brutes” Innies Out!
Behind the Scenes
This article draws inspiration from the science-fiction novel The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, as well as various rape trials and the sorts of characters that crop up to offer their opinions. The Sparrow is about a team of Jesuit missionaries going out to make first contact on an alien world. It doesn't go very well.
The idea for this article came about after the colossal SNAFU in the Halo community that resulted from Lesbian Gamers' scathing review of Halo 3: ODST. Bungie.net n00bs swarmed the page and posted all sorts of misogynistic comments, proving how truly stupid they are; if you want to show up a feminist, making sexist comments is exactly the wrong approach. What it came down to was "how dare a woman have an opinion about a video game?" It made Dragonclaws wonder about the state of feminism in the Halo universe. What would they be up to, hmm?