Where do you start when it comes to violence against women?
Violence against women has always been here. Forever. Look back to anytime in the past and there is example after example of violence being carried out against women because they were women. The routes and the methods vary. In the West, the position of women has come a long way.
We still get elections stolen from us, but at least we are allowed to fight them now. We have strong female leaders who are articulate and well thought of in government and public life – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elizabeth Warren, Madeleine Albright to name three hopefully less contentious ones. But throughout, women have to be prepared to put their heads above the parapet in the knowledge that doing so opens them to personal violence in a way a male colleague would never do.
But you don’t have to be a public figure
Women are taught to avoid violence from the beginning. It does not matter where you live east, west, northern hemisphere, second or first world; from the point where we can take it in, we are taught a methodology of avoiding violence. We start by teaching little girls not to make daddy cross, the consequences of which are violence. Even if only verbal.
At school girls are taught a boy who hits us is only doing it because he likes us. Think about that for a moment. If a child were to hit a dog because ‘he liked it’ we would a) stop him pretty quickly and b) have a ‘serves you right thought’ in the back of our minds if the dog snapped back.
Parents are changing
Well at least some of them are. Now with the internet at our fingers, we have ways of getting information never before. Parents are encouraged to think about the ways in which they perpetuate a gender stereotype which perpetuates violence against women.
We might hate the way our children male and female dress, but we don’t ever stop or sons dressing in a particular way because we’re aware of the implications of his ‘looking like that’. We do stop our daughters because we are afraid of the consequences of how they look.
Luckily young women are calling out older women
It there is one thing to be thankful we need to thank the women who paved the way for younger women to be so much more strident. We have created an environment where a teenager can wear a shirt which points out how she dresses does not excuse your problem. Older women have created an environment where the younger ones can call time on the ridiculousness of it all.
Women also seem more able to ally together
White women who support the current president aside, women, the concept of sisterhood and social change is making a difference in this country. Led in a lot of ways by women of color, but led by women there is a groundswell and in the next election, we are going to hear them roar.