The profound impact of male violence on women, children and our community.
Watch the short video HERE
“Think of three women you truly love. Three who’ve earned your trust. Your compassion. Your devotion and unconditional willingness to, in the least, do this one thing. Your mother, your sister, your daughter, your girlfriend, your friend, your ex, your teacher, your student, your niece, your aunt, your grandmother, your coworker, your coach, your doctor, your idol, your mentor, your lover, your wife. Three of them.
One of these three women you truly love will be – or has been – raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
Put another way: someone, somewhere, at some point will look at one of these three women you truly love. They won’t care who she is, where she comes from, or how she got there. They will see a thing to use. A lesser being to humiliate. An object to exploit. Someone will see one of these three women you truly love and do any number of things to them.” READ MORE
“This is a very uncomfortable and inconvenient truth. It is all men and the society that they produced that allowed a misogynist, alleged serial abuser to rise to and feel comfortable within the halls of media and fame, despite the now known and clear indications that he was a predator all along and that many, many people could have done something about it but did not.
The people who knew did not care. He was famous. He was a celebrity in our eyes. He had very real institutional power. And so, as is increasingly clear, even though everyone on the inside seemingly either “knew” or had an inkling that he was a predator, no one did anything. No one did anything.
And this does not at all surprise me. Despite all the protestations to the contrary, this is as old as male patriarchal power and is entirely predictable in a male supremacist “culture” of institutionalized pornography and prostitution and of male violence and sexual power as an accepted norm.
The very nature of systemic oppression means there are no “good guys.” We have all, especially as men, participated in the “locker room” or trash-talking objectification of women and in the creation of a culture and context in which a Ghomeshi would feel right at home. All men know this if they are choosing to be remotely honest. The belief that men are entitled to women and the reality of porn culture and its degradation of women is a fact that every heterosexual male has encountered and lived in.” READ MORE
“If asked, I imagine most men would not say that they value their pornography more than they value the right of the marginalized to name and confront the prejudices that oppress them. But in practice, that’s exactly the choice many of us have made by shutting down the feminist critique of the sex industry.” READ MORE
“As men, we all see how violent the pornography industry is. If you claim you don’t, do this for me: Go the front page of a porn site and just read the titles. Block all the images if you can. Then ask yourself, is this how we talk about human beings? Is this how human beings talk about each other? And then remember that it isn’t just talk. It’s action. This is something that men do to women – real men hurting real women in the real world. I ask men to do this all the time, to look up these titles, and it’s made more than one cry. That shouldn’t be shocking; without the haze of arousal clouding your view, it’s hard to see the way we as men treat women and do anything except cry.
Sadly, not all men take to the challenge. A few are honest enough to say that they just don’t care. A few others will argue against all reason thatBlack Teen Punishment is not actually racist, misogynistic hate speech. But the majority will say something else. They’ll fall back on the classic defense: Well, absolutely these videos are horrible. I would never support this. But you know, not all porn is like that. You’re just focusing on the bad parts. And, of course, that’s technically true. There is pornography out there that does not descend to the depths of viciousness standard for the industry. There might even be videos out there that bill themselves as female-friendly, or even feminist. But to see why this is an incredibly poor line of reasoning with some terrifying implications, it’s time for a short philosophy break.” READ MORE
“It has become common knowledge within anti-pornography circles that the average age a young male begins viewing pornographic material is eleven-years-old.
I want you to think about that for a minute. Think about the porn you have viewed in your lifetime. Think about what you have seen – the specific sexual acts, the message those acts consistently convey, and the effect that message had on you personally when you first came across it. I want you to consider what it must be like for such a young boy to see today’s pornographic material for the first time, at a time in life where he has little or no understanding of human sexuality and intimacy.” READ MORE
“I’ve allowed myself to be misinformed for years and to shrug off the reality of what prostitution actually is: sexual slavery. I’ve lent my voice – on the web & conversationally – in favor of the legalization of sexual services without assessing where my beliefs came from. Well, I’ve assessed. And I was wrong.” READ MORE
“I won’t get into whether or not media influences thinking. It does; that’s that. That’s how propaganda works – not through a solitary image that lies, but through a barrage of mediums all saying comparable things at the same time. It accumulates in the brain, normalizes itself, and shapes the way we perceive the world. I spent years absorbing that I wasn’t a real man unless I was more muscular, that violent retribution is awesome, that women are subordinate to men, and a slew of other problematic ways of thinking. It’s not that working out is bad, that justice is wrong, or that women can’t cook dinner for men, it’s that these are very gendered and amoral impositions that have been skull-fucked into the fabric of my being since I was a child.” READ MORE
“I am all out of creative words. All I have are the words of the reality of the world women live in, a reality that I can never fully know, a reality that I still do not truly realize no matter how angry I get about it. I have women’s words – the words they use to tell their stories, to recount their experiences – words I still find increasingly difficult to hear. But hear I must because I do not ever want to become apathetic. I want to be angry, I want to be furious. I must stay furious. And I must allow that fury to teach me how to be a human being once again, instead of a monster. I must allow that fury to inform my actions, and to constantly remind me that the world has had enough of men’s words. What the world needs – what women need, what children need – is men’s action to destroy male violence and patriarchy once and for all.
I have the shame of being a man, that sex-caste category that has socialized me to be abusive, and to be callous towards other men’s abuse of women and children. I have the shame of knowing that I benefit from large-scale violence against women, the subordination and objectification and public humiliation of half the world’s population in the name of masculinity and manhood.
But that shame is not enough. I can see that my shame has not changed men’s behavior. Shame has not prevented our fists from breaking women’s jaws, our penises from torturing women’s bodies, our words from dismissing their experiences.
No, that shame has not ended male violence, but our actions can, and they must.” READ MORE