Sweeping it under the carpet

Saturday, 3 December 2011

I haven't written a post on here for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence because last month, Anna at Goannatree asked me if I would write a guest post for her 16 Days series.

My experience of talking about violence against women and the activism aiming to tackle it is that there are a lot of uncomfortable silences. People give you odd looks; they try to change the subject. They turn it into a big joke – “When’s International Men’s Day, then?” – or they regale you with a “statistic” they’ve heard somewhere (or possibly made up on the spot) – “Did you know that most violence is now committed by women against men?” (yes, this was actually a colleague’s response when I told him what a Reclaim the Night march was).

When you say the words “rape”, or “domestic violence” people look even more uncomfortable. They’re not nice things to think about, for a start. Yes, of course it’s awful, but we don’t need to discuss it, do we? Injustices happening a long way from home are easy to talk about. They’re also easy to accept, to sit back and do nothing about, because people feel they can’t help. No matter how bad the situation is, it’s down to a matter of different cultures, different religions, different worldviews. And so violence against women used as a weapon in conflict – that’s awful. Women killed as a result of so-called “honour” crime – that’s awful. Trafficking? Also awful.

Read on and comment here...

1 comment:

Anna said...

i'm glad you did too. It's a great post!


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