Cancel culture warns me to steer a careful course with this one, but I cannot keep on ignoring the nagging tap on my shoulder, my better Angel telling me that if I have something to say, spit it out. I am not fond of challenging men. It never feels quite safe to, but here goes nothing.
When men hear about what happened to me, the abuses and the rapes, the permanent injuries and the lingering dangers and indignities, they have one general response. “I am NOT like that.” “I would never do that.” “I have never done that.” They nervously commiserate, but mainly defend. “Most men are not like that.” Or as I like to think of it NAMALT. Not All Men Are Like That.
Im sick to the back teeth of NAMALT.
So many men are like that. So many women lose their lives, live with PTSD from the beatings and abuses of men on their bodies and psyches, or injuries, temporary or permanent. They lose their children. They lose their future. They lose their dignity and any ability to ever be safe or happy again. All of this because of men who ARE LIKE THAT, and yes, boys, I’m shouting at you.
I don’t much care if you think you and your sons are decent examples of masculine protectiveness. I don’t much care about your defenses nor the way you play down the damage men cause to women in a myriad of ways. You can keep your door holding and your tire changing and your plumbing skills to yourselves. We do not need you any longer.
I have a son. I love him more dearly than anything, he is kind and gentle and decent. I understand what it is to love male people. But the response to abuse of women should never be self defense of your own personal masculine benign loveliness. Guys, you need to start censuring men who hurt women. You need to get your side of the divide under control. You need to tell the armies of abusive men that it will not be tolerated any longer. You need to pull them on their shit. You want to be an ally, fight for women’s rights, fight for their safety. Make sure that the legions of you in law and politics make domestic violence against women easier to prosecute, and do not force women to have continued interaction with their abusers by forcing children to see fathers that beat their mothers. What possible use can a man be to a child, when he has beat his child’s mother? I’d suggest you read how the Hague Convention international law on the children of international marriage traps women in situations where they either leave their children behind and get out of the country they are in, back to their place of birth, without their children forced to leave them with an abusive man, or they take their children with them, risking a Hague case and then jail time, or they stay and are beaten and possibly killed.
Do not presume to tell women we should not march, we should not complain, that we need to cow tow to male demands for us to be quiet. Women have struggles beyond equal wages and first world issues. Being female means a fight to simply survive men and men’s actions for so many women who are just not that privileged or lucky.
I believe in you, boys, I believe the good ones of you are out there, and I hope to see you on our side, rather than simply not actively hurting women and calling that enough.
If you want to read how I got here, I suggest the Marriage is Murder post, and perhaps Read Before Burning. See you on the other side!