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Jun 12 2014

“Without Their Silence, Their Ignorance, Their Shrugging Shoulders, This Situation Could Not Continue As It Is”

Miri’s got something to say. If you haven’t heard it yet, go over there and listen. Then tap your friends on the shoulder, and point them toward it. Share it on social media. Email it around to your friends and family and casual acquaintances. The next time you hear a dude sniveling about how women see him as a predator and that’s just not faaiir, tell him to shut up and read. The next time someone in your circle of acquaintance, whether they be man, woman or gender fluid, sneers at women for taking precautions, sit them down and walk them through this paragraph by paragraph. Check for reading comprehension at the end.

Too busy for the whole thing? Set it aside. Come back to it within the next day or two. But take a moment, right now, to read at least this much:

I’m going to go out on a limb a little here and then solidify that limb as much as possible. Men who refuse to take violence against women seriously until it happens right the fuck in front of their faces are as complicit in this injustice as men who commit violence against women. This is not to say that they are as individuals just as bad or just as sexist or whatever. It just means that, without their silence, their ignorance, their shrugging shoulders, this situation could not continue as it is. It cannot continue without the participation of men who commit violence, and it cannot continue without the participation of men who shrug it off or blame the victims or accuse them of “overreacting.” Both of these are gears have to turn in order for it to continue.

If you have to watch a woman be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order to care, that means that even more women must be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order for you to join in the fight against violence against women. If you have to watch a woman be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order to care, that means that women’s personal accounts of violence–which they have little reason to lie about but many reasons to keep silent about–aren’t enough for you. If you have to watch a woman be harassed or beaten or raped or almost raped in order to care, that means that on some level–even if you won’t admit it–you think that there’s some level of “bad enough” that this shit needs to get before you’ll even acknowledge it as a problem, let alone actually do something about it.

[snip]

But what’s it going to take for more men to actively, assertively challenge male violence against women? To shut down other men who excuse it or attempt to exonerate themselves by chanting “Not all men!” as though it were a magic spell? To refuse to support a type of masculinity that glorifies dominance and violence?

If what it takes is personally watching women being victimized by that type of masculinity, we’ve got a huge problem.

Image shows a tawny cat with sea-green eyes holding a paw curled by its face and looking very much like a put-out professor. Caption reads, "U get teh point - right?"

Don’t like women having to constantly be on guard? Do your part to make this a world in which women, trans folk, and other marginalized people can be just as carefree as most straight white dudes. Speak out. Stand up. Make a difference. Right bloody now.

Come help us create a better world.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Thanks for this. I’ve just read Miri’s piece and have shared it on facebook.

    I hope that it helps make a difference – I want you to know that you have done. (One of 275 shares at time of typing this. Ripples into a shaking world)

    Hope you are well and happy and if not that you’re heading in that direction, best wishes.

  2. 2
    rq

    O I have people who need to read that.
    Trouble is, I don’t think they will.
    And even if they will, they will not believe that it applies to them.
    Or they will be insulted and offended because obviously they are not like that. They totally believe women, they just need to see some proof.

    *sigh*

  3. 3
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Yes, that was a great post. Thanks for pointing it out again.

  4. 4
    Trebuchet

    I’ve just read Miri’s post (but not all of the comments) and am having trouble responding. I’m an old (just signed up for Medicare) white male. I’ve no idea, or at least understanding, of what women are going through. Or, come to think of it, even what they were going through when I was young.

    I’ll read it again. And probably again. I’m not sure what, if anything, I should or can do. But I’ll at least be thinking about it.

    Thank you, Dana and Miri.

  5. 5
    jenny6833a

    I read both articles. I then asked my husband to read both articles. He did. When he was finished, he asked, “What SPECIFICALLY should I be doing to help.?” I didn’t have an answer. Neither article appeared to have an answer.
    Is there an answer? If so, what is it?

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