Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
May 26

#YesAllWomen Deserve Better Than #MisogynyCulture

I follow several feminist blogs, Tumblrs, authors and communities. It’s a topic that is near and dear to my heart even when something so horrible as a young man hunting down and murdering 6 people isn’t in the news because even when it’s pretty “good” to be a woman, it’s still pretty bad. The typically sudden but sometimes overt viewpoints, words and actions condoned by a society that hasn’t made nearly enough progress since the 1950s — I don’t care what you say — has led to the death of those 6 people. In addition, another young woman named Alyssa took her own life after harassment for being in a porn flick.

This past week has been littered with women dying because it is essentially a crime to be a woman and expect to be more than chattel. I don’t know how to express my frustration except that I know it shouldn’t be discussed and thought about only by people — mostly women — who already realized what a problem exists in this misogynistic world  and most certainly it shouldn’t be a topic only when the “really” terrible things happen. We should be talking about it every day to make this a better place not just for our children but for us right here and right now.

The longer we let this bullshit go on, the more women die. More men rape women because they don’t understand what rape is. More men continue to stalk. And more people, men and women alike, blame the victims for this as if they can control predatory and sexist behavior.

And the longer men continue to be miserable and angry because they don’t understand that their entire line of thinking — the worldview that they’ve been taught for their entire lives — is wrong. If you really care about men’s rights, then will recognize the only way to improve their lives is first by providing true equality and safety for women. There is no other answer.

And I am pissed as a feminist. How could I not be? But I am simply angry as a decent human being who would like people to stop dying because of hatred for women, because of a belief that women are not real people.

As much as I want to be angry at Elliot Rogder, I recognize that he didn’t deserve this, either. He didn’t deserve to die. He deserved a chance at a happy life and not through becoming rich or finally having sex. He deserved a world where he would be taught that he wouldn’t always get what he wanted and this didn’t have to mean unhappiness for him.  But the lesson that would have literally saved his life went with him to the grave.

Elliot was obviously looking for answers. I’d hazard a guess that many men are. Even some women. Unfortunately, the answers he found led to his death and that of six other people. Because those answers were wrong:

Because this is what the Men’s Rights Movement does: it spreads misogyny, it spreads violence, and most of all it spreads a sense of entitlement towards women’s bodies.

It’s easy to write this off as a one-time thing. Many people have. This terrible event has sparked discussions about mental health and gun rights. I am all for conversations about this when the time is right. Now is not that time. Because what Elliot did wasn’t a one-time thing of a “lunatic.” It was a symptom of something even greater.

You only have to look toward the next headline, the tragic suicide of Alyssa, to see this. While Elliot was angry at women who wouldn’t have sex with him, Alyssa was slut-shamed. Two sides of the same damning coin. She had sex on camera so she’s a slut even though a man wouldn’t receive the same treatment. It gets worse, though. She kills herself and the Internet is full of comments such as “You deserved to die but I watched and liked your video, anyway.” I can’t even comprehend how someone could think that this is okay. But it’s clear that if you’re a woman, you cannot win. Or even live.

I don’t know how we can live in a society where people are allowed or even influenced to think in ways that promotes this behavior. The harassment. The rape. The assault. The stalking. The entitlement to a woman’s body. The murder. But here we are in that society. And I think I will not rest until it is no longer that society.

If you’d like to be supportive or to understand how damaging rape culture and msyogny are to women, you only have to look at the hashtag #YesAllWomen on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or Tumblr. Just beware that you’re going to see ignorant and hate-fueled arguments in returns because “OMG what about men’s rights?!” and “She had it coming.”


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