MSNBC Contributor: Sexism, Misogyny Produce Rape

By Melanie Arter | June 9, 2014 | 12:14 PM EDT

In this Wednesday, May 28, 2014 image taken from video, villagers, left, sit in silent protest under the bodies of two teenage sisters hanging from a tree in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state, India. (AP Photo/NNIS via AP Video) INDIA OUT

( – During a panel discussion on violence against women worldwide, Rula Jebreal, an MSNBC contributor and Newsweek foreign policy analyst, said Saturday on MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” that “sexism and misogyny produce rape and sexual assaults.”

“Just as racism produced violence, sexism and misogyny produce rape and sexual assaults,” said Jebreal. “And this is the origin of everything, and this is what we need to address. It has nothing to do with culture and with religions.”

Two teenage girls in India were raped and hung from a tree last week after leaving their homes to use the bathroom in the most recent case of sexual assault in the region. The 14- and 15-year-old cousins – came from a poor family that had no toilets in the homes, so they were going to the field to relieve themselves, the Associated Press reported.

“You mentioned India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, but it happens here in this country on a daily basis,” Jebreal said, pointing to examples of what she considered misogyny and sexism in the U.S. and abroad with heads of state.

“If you think of Sandra Fluke a year ago or two years ago, testifying in front of Congress, heads of states, Sylvio Berluscone called Angela Merkel said she’s an unattractive sexually. He called her other names. Or the prime minister of Australia [Tony] Abbott. He called another prime minister, Julia Gillard, all kind of names. He said ditch the witch and other names.”

Fluke, a Georgetown law student, was invited to testify before Congress on his school’s health care plan, which does not include contraception.

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut,” saying: “What does it say about the college coed ... who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex." Limbaugh later apologized.

“We should start fighting misogyny and sexism on daily basis, because this is the root of everything. When it comes to rape, it's already too late. It's already too late. And like women in India said after what happened in India, ‘don't tell your daughter not to go out, but tell your son to behave properly.’ We need legislation, but we need above all education when it comes to this,” Jebreal said.