The most recent violent act against women (and some men) by the young man whose name I refuse to mention broke something in me.
I watched his video rant against women and why he planned to kill them, and for just a moment, I fought the urge to laugh, but not because the situation was funny. His “reasoning” was laughable. His thoughts were so ridiculous that, for one small instant as I watched his video, I thought he was kidding. He felt rejected and therefore it was women’s fault. He felt entitled to sex, pleasure, dating … you name it. And because he didn’t get it, he wanted to slaughter women.
And here’s the scariest thing of all. This viewpoint, to varying degrees, is RAMPANT in our society and throughout the world … and very few people comment on it. Those who do are called “radical feminists,” “femi-nazis,” “men haters,” and on and on. When Nigerian schoolgirls are kidnapped, raped and used as bargaining chips in political showmanship and our First Lady comments on it, she is MADE FUN OF. When outraged women after this latest anti-women killing post hashtag #YESALLWOMEN, people respond back#NOTALLMEN … when that is sooooo NOT the point.
NO, of course MY father, husband and son aren’t like that, but there are simply too many who are. If you doubt that, check this out: whenwomenrefuse.tumblr.com It’s downright frightening.
And to put a personal note on it, my nine-year-old daughter this year was verbally threatened by a little boy who said that he would KILL HER (and he told her exactly how) … all because he didn’t like something she said. Nine years old. When the school made him write her an “apology” letter as part of his consequence, part of the letter said, “I’m sorry I threatened you, but you made me angry.” He blamed a girl for his violence. Sound familiar?
Friends, it’s out there … this hatred, disrespect and violence toward our daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers. It has to stop. It has to be stopped. WE MUST STOP IT.
We have to be radical in our approaches. We have to teach our boys to be strong … in their desires for justice, truth and respect. We have to teach our girls that they deserve respect and that they are worthwhile, special people all on their own … with or without men to approve or disapprove of them.
We have to be radical in our solutions to domestic violence. Consequences must be severe and without question. Our law enforcement must understand that domestic violence is a cycle and, as hopeless as it sometimes seems because the victims don’t always cooperate, they MUST interfere. They must protect. They must prosecute.
We must choose radical healthcare policies that include paid-for mental health care so that these damaged young men (and 70 out of the last 71 serial killers were MEN) are, most importantly, identified and stopped, and then, of course, treated, if possible.
And we each have to be RADICALLY vigilant in our interactions with our friends, relatives, teachers, family and society. We cannot allow body shaming, put-downs, threats, hurtful words and physical violence to go unremarked. Or unpunished.
If we are not radical … if we don’t change the conversation … if we don’t do whatever can be done RIGHT NOW … the next high school girl killed because she said no to a date for prom could be my sweet neighbor down the street. Or the next teacher killed by her ex in a divorce situation could teach at one of our high schools. Or the next college sorority girl murdered after a video rant could be your sister/aunt/daughter.
It’s time to be radicals. Who’s in?