You have to stop misogyny before you can stop violence

With International Women’s Day approaching, The River’s comment editor asks if an end of violence towards women is enough.

Sofia Capel

I’m surprised that not more women hate men. After all, men hate women, especially the women who love them. Countless reports of domestic abuse, rape and even murder prove that.

This week two men in the UK will murder their current or former girlfriends. More than two thirds of women worldwide are likely to suffer abuse at the hands of a man.

That’s why the UN’s theme for International Women’s Day 2013 is called: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”. As happy as I am that they want to change things, I think it should focus on ending the general scorn instead and the age old notion that women are the lesser sex.

Misogynist “jokes”

When women don’t fall victim to a man’s testosterone they often fall victim to their slandering words instead. If you don’t believe me, go online. Trying to escape misogynist comments, “jokes”, objectification and sexualisation on the internet is nearly impossible.

Moreover, women pay the price for the choices men make, be it in politics, finance or war. I find no other reason than hatred for the abuse men expose women to. You don’t oppress people out of love. 

But still women adore men in a way no other group adore their oppressors. We make excuses for them, accept their contempt and continuously blame ourselves and each other for our submissiveness.

Open your eyes

When trivialising the general hate against women by calling it “humour”, “nature” or “just the way things are”, people subconsciously support rape, violence and murder. There are no short cuts to a world free of violence if one half of the world is still considered a little less human, a little less competent to rule, vote and work.

I’m glad women as a group don’t hate men, because love is essential in the quest to end violence. But I do want both women and men to open their eyes to the misogyny and not confuse it with biology or some fundamental social structure that can’t be changed.

Although we have been brain washed with the social constructions of male and female and their hierarchy from birth, it is never too late to step outside the box and have an extra think about why we see things the way we do.

Things may be bad but things are never “just the way they are”.

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