Why Men Don’t Want to Talk About Violence Against Women

Why Men Don’t Want to Talk About Violence Against Women

Last Friday, a deranged and dangerous Californian man published a video online in which he expressed a serious of sexist and hateful remarks before he embarked on a shooting which left 6 people dead.  This kind of sentiment has led to violence closer to home in the past, so it’s understandable some frustrations come back up over so little progress.  I had a heated debate with some good friends of mine about why that is, and one of them suggested that men just don’t talk about violence against women.

She was right.

I am a 26-year-old man, and I want to have meaningful discussion about violence against women.  I just can’t… because I don’t know how.

Almost from birth, I’ve been socialized to view women in a certain way.  Mario defeated Bowser and Peach was the prize for his efforts.  It’s easy to point to this omnipresent sort of narrative as an example of male subjects acting on female objects, of course, but that forgets another important factor: Mario never spoke.  All he could do was save Peach by defeating Bowser.

Ladies, I understand you’re hurting.  I see you jump if I make an unexpected move as I cross you in the street.  I’ve noticed you lingering by the bouncer until the guy you turned down earlier is safely out of sight.  I know why you suddenly get very quiet and still during those scenes in Game of Thrones.  I just have no idea what to say, because I know in your mind at that moment I could be one of them.  After all, they look, talk, dress, and act just like me… until they don’t.  You know that.  In that moment, no matter who I am, you’re with one of them.

I don’t know what to say because I hate them.  In that moment as you’re staring blankly ahead, all I want to do is destroy them.  Then I look at you avoiding my eyes with your fingers curled up and I know that to you right now, I am them.

And I hate myself.  For something I’ve never done.  For something I’d never do.

It’s not your fault, and it’s not mine either, but it’s something we’re both going to have to work through if we’re going to move forward.  I know it will be painful for you, but you need to know it will be painful for me, too.  Women, we want do talk about this, but we’ll need your help. #YesAllWomen

 

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About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset is passionate about discussing (among other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québécois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québécois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image. He has an engineering degree from Université Laval and is currently a law student at McGill University.

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