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“It is important to make the distinction between men’s supposed loss of control and their use of violence for the purpose of control, because this goes right to a root cause of their violence against women. If the problem is that men simply cannot control their tempers, then the solution is to start building anger management skills into school curricula, starting in kindergarten.
But if the problem is men’s learned need to exercise power and control over women, then the solution is much more difficult. It requires that all of us take a look in the mirror and ask: Why do so many men in our society feel the need to control and dominate women? At what age do boys begin to learn that having power over women is part of being a man? What steps can we take in order to change that, both on an individual and an institutional level?”
–Jackson Katz, Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help
“Male violence against women does not simply take place in the cocoon of an individual relationship. It is structural, it is systemic. The pattern, the overwhelming consistency with which women are the victims and men the perpetrators should be a big clue. Male violence against women is not random, it has a function and that function is to maintain the social order of male dominance: patriarchy. Male violence against women is a cause and consequence of inequality between women and men. In the UK, the mainstream is very quick to identify ‘other’ religions as oppressive to women but this is equally true of Christianity. Religion reinforces and upholds patriarchy, forgiveness is just another of its tools. We do not need to forgive male violence against women unless we want men to continue to dominate women.”
Another super-peachy-keen aspect of being female in our society – saying “no” to men can get you killed.
Thank you wing-women of the world. :) On a much more sombre note, to stop the clueless dudes from cluttering my comment section a small sample of what can happen when women say no…
- A woman says no, I don’t want to go to prom with you, and gets stabbed to death.
- A woman says no, I will not sleep with you, and a man go on a shooting spree.
- A woman says no, I will not give you my number, and is shot outside the club.
- A woman says no, I don’t want you to buy me a drink, and a man shattered a glass across her face.
- A woman say no, I’m a lesbian, and a man shoots both her and her girlfriend while they slept in their home.
- A woman says no, I don’t want to be with you any more, and a man stabs her to death and murders her dog.
- A woman says no, stop harassing these teenagers, and a group of men beat her to death with stones and bats, smashing her skull on the pavement.
- A woman says no, we aren’t married any more, leave me alone, and a man shoots her to death.
- A woman says no, we work together but I’m not interested in you romantically, and a man shoots her to death whilst she’s working.
- A woman says no, I don’t want to sleep with you, and a man rapes, murders and then hangs her from a tree.
- A woman says no, I’m not interested, and a man slashes her neck open.
- A woman says no, I never cheated on you, and a man beats her.
- A woman says no, I want a divorce, and a man cuts her neck open and stabs her multiple times.
So dudes, yes you with the hangy-bits – You want women to start telling you no? You don’t want women to play games? Teach your fellow men to stop murdering women for doing so.
Radical feminism starts with naming the problem – male violence – and working on solutions based on the material conditions of the situation.
“Six years ago, when I sat down and wrote the essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” here’s what surprised me: though I began with a ridiculous example of being patronized by a man, I ended with rapes and murders. We tend to treat violence and the abuse of power as though they fit into airtight categories: harassment, intimidation, threat, battery, rape, murder. But I realize now that what I was saying is: it’s a slippery slope. That’s why we need to address that slope, rather than compartmentalizing the varieties of misogyny and dealing with each separately. Doing so has meant fragmenting the picture, seeing the parts, not the whole.
A man acts on the belief that you have no right to speak and that you don’t get to define what’s going on. That could just mean cutting you off at the dinner table or the conference. It could also mean telling you to shut up, or threatening you if you open your mouth, or beating you for speaking, or killing you to silence you forever. He could be your husband, your father, your boss or editor, or the stranger at some meeting or on the train, or the guy you’ve never seen who’s mad at someone else but thinks “women” is a small enough category that you can stand in for “her.” He’s there to tell you that you have no rights.
Threats often precede acts, which is why the targets of online rape and death threats take them seriously, even though the sites that allow them and the law enforcement officials that generally ignore them apparently do not. Quite a lot of women are murdered after leaving a boyfriend or husband who believes he owns her and that she has no right to self-determination.”
Go read the rest.