The article linked to below addresses the most fundamental, widespread, and accepted type of violence out there: male violence against women. Through a long list of statistics and examples, the author tries to hammer home what it means when people talk about the “rape culture” or “war on women” and how, across all societies, this basic violent misogyny from men is one of the cornerstones of human life.
I believe she is trying to make the point that this is specifically male violence against women for the crime of being women, and exists independent of other forces in play that always get far more press than misogyny, such as racism, anti-semitism and the like.
We ignore it. We sweep it under the rug. We tell ourselves some version of the rapist’s defense: “the bitch had it coming.” For wearing a short skirt. For talking back to her man. For not giggling and flirting back to the creep at the bar. For existing.
And beyond the violence itself, we have the fear and distrust that it begets. Women must fear walking down the street at night alone in a way men don’t because of the violence directed towards women by men. Sure, some streets in the rough parts of town will be dangerous for men… but those same streets will be even more dangerous for women.
Same goes for the parking garage. Or the office, late at night. Or the business-trip hotel room when a man and a woman have adjoining rooms. If you later found out that one member of the man and woman duo from your company had been raped or murdered by the other, would you really have to guess long and hard about which was the aggressor and which was the victim?
And let’s not forget the unequal response to misogyny vs. other social crimes in the celebrity-o-sphere. Michael “Kramer” Richards’ career was ended after one racist rant, and Mel Gibson basically became untouchable after his anti-Semitic tirade. On the other hand Chris Brown’s was barely fazed from beating his girlfriend’s face in. Charlie Sheen’s domestic violence is considered his least-important flaw. Kobe gets a free pass for raping a fan because, gee, just look at his points-per-game average. And Gibson himself had few repercussions from his own history of domestic violence — it remains his anti-semitism as his biggest career-killer.
Admitted racists and anti-semites are banished from society. Admitted misogynists (the MRAs, the gender equivalent of the KKK or the Nazi Party) are merely seen as misguided or socially awkward.
It obviously does not mean that every man is a wife-beater. But it does mean that every man must initially be seen with suspicion by every woman, because it’s never clear which exterior hides the beast underneath. It is our own fault.
I don’t agree with everything the author says and am not a doctrinaire Democrat unlike her because, well, the Dems don’t treat women much better now do they? Women and feminists are always at the bottom of the totem pole of Dem special interests, who are always pushed aside should their interests ever clash with those of unions, minorities, trial lawyers or environmentalists. Bill Maher is a card-carrying leftist on all those issues and more, but he hates women just as much as Rick Santorum. And let’s not forget the long litany of male Democratic politicians guilty of sexual assault.
But this climate of fear, this “rape culture” will never end as long as it isn’t addressed directly, and the woman-haters aren’t shamed into social exile the way the racists are. And this will never be the case while our leadership is dominated by men. In my opinion, the only solution is having our leadership roles default to women. If only it were that easy…