25th November 2022.
I hate violence against women.
I know that most violence against women is perpetrated by men.
I also know that it’s a myth that women perpetrate violence against men just as much, and I get irritated when men say that to me.
I’m outspoken, I’m blunt and I’m to the point. Worldwide a woman is murdered by a man every 11 minutes and I’m not okay with that. I won’t mince my words about it.
I also know that our behaviour stems from our attitudes and that the best way to change a culture of violence is to change beliefs and attitudes. I’m outspoken about those beliefs that say women are inferior, shouldn’t have the same privileges as men or aren’t capable of making their own choices. I am angry with the insecure, fragile men who perpetuate those beliefs for their own comfort.
That doesn’t mean I hate men.
It doesn’t mean I think all men are abusers.
This should go without saying.
The stereotype of the man hating feminist is complete nonsense. A feminist, in the words of Gloria Steinman “is anyone who recognises the equality and full humanity of women and men”
Feminism benefits men, well the non-abusive ones at any rate. We recognise your “full humanity” your right to express your emotions, to feel grief and cry about it, to feel love and declare it. We recognise your desire and your right to spend time with your children and we don’t think you should have the sole responsibility of earning family money to the detriment of that. We recognise your right to wear whatever you want, to be as fabulous as you feel and to enjoy whatever hobbies you like, be it sport or knitting.
Patriarchy doesn’t just lead to violence against women, to rape, oppression and femicide. It also leads to mental health problems and high suicide rates in men, to male burnout and family alienation and to the fact that men die younger, often because of stress. It is the reason that men are more likely to be both the victims of and perpetrators of violent crime and why men make up 96% of the prison population. Feminism seeks equality for women AND MEN, we care about these issues, we care about men.
So today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls I am issuing an invite to men: Join Us! Declare that you are a feminist. Stand with us. Speak out about violence against women, seek to eradicate it, alongside eradicating the problems that plague men, because they come from the same place. Let’s stop this competition over who has it worse and stand together to make the world a better place for all of us, that’s all us feminists want.
(I’ll be re-issuing this invite to men every day for the next 16days)
16days #16daysofactivism #orangetheworld