There are things we can do to help STOP THE VIOLENCE.

TRIGGER WARNING ~ Violence
from yesterday’s news (5/5/15)

“A man allegedly carved his nickname into a woman’s forearm with a knife while keeping her as his sex slave for a month, an ACT court has heard.

The 25-year-old man, who cannot be identified, pleaded not guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to charges of rape, kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault and sexual servitude.

Police alleged the two people began a relationship last December.”

I shared that article on my Facebook wall last night. A friend suggested that people tend to scroll past these sorts of stories when I post them because it is just too much to bear.

I understand.

She went on to say that people do feel affected by what is happening but that they are frustrated, overwhelmed because they don’t know what they can do to make it stop, what they can do to bring about change.

I understand.

But there are plenty of things that we can do.

woman thing

We can start by challenging social norms and representations of women that are limiting, that sexualise them, that reduce them to the status of an object; an object of desire for consumption.

And we can do it Every. Single. Day. Because every single day we are confronted, bombarded! with an insidious cultural narrative that assures us that ‘She’ exists for the pleasure of others. ‘She’ exists to be gazed upon, to be appreciated for her beauty, her sexual desirability (but not for her own sexual desires, slut!)  ‘She’ exists to be judged, to be shamed if she doesn’t conform to the narrow, stereotypical, accepted beauty standard of the day. In turn ‘She’ aspires to be desired, beautiful, possessed by others, always available, feminine, compliant, ready.

‘She’ is public property.

In challenging every day instances of blatant sexism and discrimination based upon gender WE push for a broader understanding of who WE are.  We declare our shared humanity, our values and our care for one another. We can and surely ought to demand women be recognised as fully fledged people, subjects in their own right. Worthy of the status of Equal. Worthy of full consideration.

The sexual objectification of women reinforces Gender Inequality every day.

Women do not exist as mere accessories, as commodities for what? a patriarchal, capitalist ideology that screws us all! Women deserve to be acknowledged and accepted because of their differences, not in spite of them. Isn’t it time we demand to see more diverse (non sexual) representations of women in the media?

HE ‘allegedly’ CARVED HIS NICKNAME INTO HER ARM WITH A KNIFE!

Yesterday I was updating our Man Assaults Woman file that exposes the daily instances of male violence inflicted upon women (and children) so far this year.  It only lists the assaults that are reported to police (around 10% of all assaults) and of course it only contains those incidents the media decide to publish on any particular day. So not a complete picture at all. But shocking all the same!  Please take a look.

violence is happening

#CountingDeadWomen Australia, has worked in raising awareness to the fact that women are being killed by men in this country at an alarming rate, 33 so far this year.  Perhaps the time is ripe for us to consciously open our eyes to the enormity of the problem of male violence against women in this country.  These shocking stories of violence and abuse could and should motivate us to act.

So many Australian women are being treated as objects, possessions. So long as we brush it off while partaking in it, so long as we remain silent, so long as we continue to look the other way, so long as we choose to buy into it, not a lot is going to change. We cannot simply rely on our Government to bring about the cultural changes we need. We can certainly let them know of our concerns.

But each one of us can start taking stands for positive change.

There is a lot of talk within feminist circles regarding ‘personal choice’ and ‘personal empowerment’ that does little for society as a whole. We can, however, make choices and take actions that empower the liberation of all women!  Personally, I think it’s time we started making a habit of it.  When we  challenge cultural representations of women (in the media) that are restrictive, that equate a woman’s worth, her capital with her desirability, we help to create the grounds whereby Gender Equality becomes a possibility.

In this country there are women living in TERROR, in fear for their lives, for their children’s lives, and this is happening every single day, right now.

Take ACTION

– If you see an advertisement that you find offensive you can lodge a complaint here.

– If see something that you find offensive in a newspaper, magazine or on a newspaper website you can lodge a complaint here

– If you see something on free to air tv that you find offensive, you can lodge a complaint here.

– You can write a letter to your local paper, your local politician and so on. It really only takes a few minutes to do any of these things.

– You do have a voice and there are many outlets that you can utilise in order to be heard. Speak out. Do something. Don’t be paralysed by feelings of helplessness. Act for change.

– Also speak up among your friends, family and peers, call out everyday words and acts of sexism.

Cheers.

Related:

While men decide what they stand for – We women must become warriors

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Do you need help or want to report male violence? please contact:

If you are feeling unsafe right NOW, call 000

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