All men are responsible for stopping male violence against women
by Utopia Bold
Men may feel unease when male violence against women is addressed including non-violent men. However, all men, both violent and non-violent, must be held responsible for stopping male violence against women. Violent men must stop assaulting women. Non-violent men must not sit by and allow male violence against women to continue.
Their inaction-or indifference- is passive male violence against women.
Women, who outnumber men, are the single largest group of oppressed humans on the planet. Men have oppressed women nonstop for the longest length of time of any oppressed group, more than 5,000 years (The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler).
In Bob Herbert's 10/16/06 New York Times article "Why aren't we shocked?" he wrote, "We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that violence against females is more or less to be expected." A woman once told me that dealing with male violence "was just part of being a woman!
I don't understand why many people-especially women-resist holding all men responsible for male violence against women. Here are some popular evasions:
1. "Not all men are violent" No one said they were. Since men collectively hold more power than women, non-violent men are still responsible for stopping male violence against women.
2. "Women are violent too" Two wrongs don't make a right. Also, female violence pales in comparison to male violence. Men commit 88 percent of violent crime (US Bureau of Justice statistics). Women don't build rape camps to torture and molest men to death. Women don't control the U.S. government which spends half a trillion dollars a year on mass murder (war). Globally, women can't walk alone without the possibility of men assaulting them. The reverse is not true.
Even though some women may collaborate with patriarchal men to gain power (Condi Rice, Margaret Thatcher etc.) it doesn't change the fact that patriarchal men are in charge and allow selected token "henchwomen" into the boys club-if they act like patriarchal men.
3. The absent referent The "absent referent" refers to something without naming it. Mary Daly in her book Quintessence notes that the agents of rape are men. "Naming the agent is required for an adequate analysis of atrocities," said Daly.
Timid language ("sexual violence," "domestic violence" "gender-based violence," and "violence") don't name men as the perpetrators. Even Amnesty International, which calls it "a global scourge," uses the term "violence against women" instead of "male violence against women." ( http://web.amnesty.org/actforwomen/index-eng).
4. Men also rape men and boys This does not change the fact that in every nation on earth, in all levels of society, men rape women. Rape is a male hate crime against women. Men who rape women have contempt for women and want to degrade them. Even when men rape males, contempt for women is the underlying issue. A man rapes a man to degrade him by treating him like a raped woman, an object of contempt.
5. The duality argument Supposedly, opposing something directly "gives it more power." If racism and sexism were not opposed directly in the U.S., blacks would still be slaves and women would still be men's property, unable to vote, own a business or keep their own wages. If the Nazis were not opposed directly, they would now run the world.
6. Passive grammar Instead of the active voice (men raped the women), the passive voice (women were raped by men) shifts the focus from the perpetrators and their actions (men doing the raping) to their victims (the women being raped).
7. "Boys will be boys" Patriarchal cultures promote "nature over nurture" (biological determinism). Supposedly, men are "naturally violent." This legitimizes and perpetuates war and men's abuse of women. Abnormal violent "manhood" is regarded as the norm.
Men are naturally peaceful. Archaeological evidence shows men enjoyed and maintained 1,500 years of peace in ancient Crete! It's proven today by many non-violent men. It takes traumatic conditioning to make men violent. "Military training camps, police academies and even some self-defense pros are constantly searching for more effective methods of suppressing the human revulsion to taking human life." - The Science of Creating Killers http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/13/INGKFKDJHC1.DTL
7. "Societies were always patriarchal and men have always dominated women"
Marija Gimbutas, the world renowned archaeologist who wrote Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe unearthed relics that prove men didn't always dominate women and that women and men once shared power in non-patriarchal Goddess worshipping societies. Riane Eisler's book The Chalice and the Blade cites many more instances proving this.
Kinds of Male Violence against women
Modern patriarchal cultures are maintained by contempt for and abuse of women. Male violence against women in the media, men's requirement for emaciated super models and life threatening cosmetic surgery, mandated pregnancy in most nations, and billions spent on violent degrading pornography confirm this. Feeling contempt for women makes it easier for violent men to abuse them.