October 29, 2016

The High Cost of Masculine "Peace"

First, women need to cease being silent about the range, type, and frequency of assaults* upon them by men. We, women around the world, have been conditioned to remain quiet about these intrusions.

Second, men must stop pretending that their inappropriate speech and behaviors do no harm to women. Men must begin to be honest, "tell it like it is," about how they are socialized and how they socialize young men to interact with women as if we are toys for male sexual pleasure.

Men must begin to be honest about their physical violence toward women (from inappropriate touching to beating) being rooted in their emotional, social, and psychological violent toward women--in the family, romantic relationships, the workplace, even religious circles. These are among the spheres where women are stripped of their dignity (that's woman's work, that's a woman's instrument, my wife belongs to my other room) and in many cases terrorized by the men who claim to love them, leaving women emotionally naked.

Oppressors never want to be held accountable. The slightest push back from the target of their tyranny disturbs their peace.

The "peace" of oppressive males exists at dangerous and high costs to females.

Men have built, continue to participate in, and perpetuate the emotional, social, and physical abuse of women that is the foundation of patriarchy. Men must dismantle it.

"If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you liked it." ~Zora Neale Hurston

Women, disturb the peace. Disturb *their* peace!

*My earliest memory of being assaulted was when I was nearly abducted from Marshall Fields Department Store in Chicago when I was around 7-years-old. When I was in graduate school I was cornered by two men in a laundry mat. A third man intervened, drawing their attention, allowing me to escape. Just last week, a man followed me from the building as I left my gym (most creepy, he yelled to me, "have a blessed day!"); after stalling 10-minutes waiting for me to leave the facility parking lot, he proceeded to follow me by car. Miles away from my destination and 30-minutes later, I was able to shake his tail. It is clear: He intended to follow me to find out where I live so he could "visit" me any time he wanted. I was scared to death. I am still frightened. The micro and macro aggressions, from strangers and the men in my life, have been continuous since I was seven. No human being should have to live like this.

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