It’s a fascinating piece about how the rage of women at what the massacre represented in the fight for equal opportunity and professional respect was sidelined and gatekept from being part of the national and international discussion of the massacre at the time, and shines a light on everyday silencing tactics.
[Trigger warnings: sexual violence, beatings, police brutality, domestic violence, racism] The recent events in Ferguson, MO probably have a variety of significance for people, when, in response to a policeman shooting dead black teenager with his hands up and…
[Trigger warning for ableism and violence against women]
How is that a man can leave a 140-page manifesto describing, in explicit detail, how much he hates women, why he hates women, why he thinks women deserve to be punished, and precisely how he plans to punish them — and then his subsequent killing spree is attributed to everything but misogyny?
Well hello again! Yes I am still here, although MIA for the past month or so as I wrapped up my freelance life and started at Cosmopolitan.com full time. And I’m writing a lot over there: On illegal abortion in Brazil, on pro-choice advocates embracing life, on the minimum wage, on the increasing inaccessibility of abortion in the American South, on the kidnapped Nigerian girls. I’m also doing a series of interviews with women who have interesting careers, detailing how they got to where they are. So far I’ve spoken with Jordan Zimmerman, a cheese educator; Anna Holmes, a journalist and the founder of Jezebel; and Sadie Nardini, a yoga instructor who was paralyzed as a child and now runs a massive international wellness empire. The latest: On PUA and MRA responses to the misogynist murders in Santa Barbara. Here is one of those things:
[Trigger warning for domestic violence]
These good people, these people whom, albeit in different industries and capacities, are each individually working to make the future a better place than the present, do nothing. They, of relative privilege, watch the aforementioned horror unfold. Some are stunned. Some don’t notice. Some shake their heads. It’s a shame, they think. It’s fucked up, they think. It makes my blood boil, they think. But they do nothing. They hold their girlfriends tighter. They back their friends away from the scene. They try to break their stares. They go get more drinks. These are good people. But they do nothing. They are silent.
A few try. Three university age young women try. They do as their friends tell them. Go get security, they say. But security does nothing. This is between a husband and a wife, they say. Please go back inside, they say. The young women beg their friends and the bar security to do something. They do nothing. Get away from the car, they say. There is nothing you can do, they say. You’re going to get hurt, they say. You’re being irrational, they say. It’s not our fight, they say.
The Longest War, by Rebecca Solnit, details the ways that physical violence against women and political hostility toward women are part of the same epidemic of gendered violence and control, leveled almost entirely by men. Women are beaten, raped, killed, harassed, controlled and abused by men at astounding rates. We write these incidents off as isolated or personal, tragic but certainly not epidemic. On other pages of the newspaper we talk about conservative encroachment on women’s bodily autonomy as if that’s totally separate from violence, as if it’s a “social issue” or a difference of political opinion. But all of it — the violence, the domestic abuse, the street harassment, the online harassment, the gang-rapes, the abortion debates, the contraception battles — comes down to a desire to control women, and rage when that control isn’t maintained.