Indifferent Children says:
Where is this patriarchy that has men and boys targeting women and girls? Males are 3.4 times more likely to be murdered than females*. Our society obviously hates males. These incidents are terrible, but is it less terrible when a boy is killed than when a girl is killed? Is it more terrible that nine girls were killed in one building, than that 30 boys will be killed in ones and twos across the nation?
* No, I’m not ignoring that men are the bastards doing to killing, only pointing out that these bastards target men more than women. So while women have much more to fear from rape or domestic battery than do men, if women are more afraid of being murdered than men are, that fear is caused by psychology, acculturaltion, or something else other than the reality of the situation.
To which I say, "Duh."
And then I pause and say "Duh" again.
And then I consider laying down under my desk until my head clears. But I do not.
Instead, let me explain things.
We have a way of relating to each other based on a series of combined oppressive systems: sexism, racism, etc. These systems are harmful to us. All of the systems are based on consolidating power among a small group and keeping the group without power split into factions fighting against each other rather than working together to change the system in a way that would be more beneficial to more of us.
From where I’m sitting, it looks like this system perpetuates itself most readily by turning woman-hating into our national pastime. Women are perceived as weak, vulnerable, uppity sluts who need to be taught a lesson for putting gross things like dicks in our mouths.
Other people might look at the same system and say, "No, the system perpetuates itself most readily by turning everyone against black people." Or poor people. Or rural people. Or folks in the inner city. And so on.
Call it what you want, we all seem to recognize that it’s there. But here’s the more important point, it’s a system that thrives on human suffering. It is built on and works because people suffer.
And any system that has at its foundation the suffering of humans is evil.
And because a system is evil and needs suffering to perpetuate itself, no one is protected. Not even the people who have been promised that they will benefit from the system.
Of course, if we frame the system as the ‘patriarchy,’ it makes perfect sense that men are the predominate perpetrators of violence. But fuck yes, it also makes sense that men are the predominate victims of violence.
For one, under the patriarchy, being a woman is the worst thing to be, so any man that appears too womanly (too weak, too smart, too nonviolent, too gay, whatever) is an obvious target for purging from the ranks of "man." Or some other forms of punishment. But also, W. gets it (even though I bet you ten dollars he’ll deny he gets it) when he says:
Perhaps it’s a backlash against female power. I’m not referring to feminism, and I do realize we still have a partriarchy for the most part.
But women have a large power over men’s self image. It starts with mom, and it’s perpetuated when any heterosexual man wants a date. A woman’s opinion is more important to a lot of guys than another guys. It’s usually easier to interact with another guy, but women are more mysterious. And it’s a lot more crushing to be rejected by a woman than by a man, at least socially. Ask any teenage boy who can’t find a date to the prom.
If Bridgett is correct, perhaps the increase in violence against women is correlated with an increase in chosiness among women which leads to rejecting more men.
If women are supposed to be below men in the scheme of things, it is hard for some men to reconcile how someone on a rung below them can have power over them. Either the man has misinterpreted where he is in the hierarchy of things and he really is beneath women, in which case he is worthy of even more scorn than women are worthy of, or the woman has misinterpreted where she is in the hierarchy of things and must be put in her proper place.
That’s why it’s so crucial for men to understand and support what feminists are trying to do–not just to make life easier for women, but because the way we do things now is costing you, too.
And the price is too damn high.