Friday, October 11, 2013
The revolution can’t come quick enough
We have a history curriculum dominated by celebrating the achievements of white men – even where those achievements had a dramatically negative impact on other groups. We have a literature curriculum dominated by white male writers. We have a government that repeatedly refuses to contemplate the introduction of statutory Sex and Relationships Education. And meanwhile children as young as eight – maybe younger – get their sex education from porn, which in its current state overwhelmingly teaches young girls that it’s their role in sex to be demeaned, to put up, shut up, and suffer ritual humiliation and often traumatic pain with a smile on their face and grateful groan in their throat.
We have a media that repeatedly pushes the idea that women are there for decoration and nothing else. This isn’t just about the proliferation of images of half-naked women with compliant smiles, there for whatever fantasy we wish to impose upon them. It’s about the marked lack of women anywhere else. Where are the women experts? Where are the women journalists, the women editors, the women photographers, the women presenters – particularly past a certain age? You know, that age when they stop being of service for fantasies. Because of course no woman over 50 has ever had sex.
We have a criminal justice system that calls thirteen year old girls sexual predators and lets a 41 year old man off with an eight month suspended sentence because, essentially, she was asking for it. We have a judiciary dominated by white men – all the way up to the Lord Chief Justice. We have a UN international law article (20.2) on hate speech that doesn’t include gender as a discriminatory factor. We have a police service that allows two women every week to die from domestic violence – women who are known to them, but who are deemed not to be at immediate risk, because…actually I don’t know why. But judging by the initial response to my case, and by the response I know other women have faced when reporting similar levels of threats and harassment, likely because of a lack of understanding about the impact of such speech, and its potential to lead to further, potentially fatal, violence.
This society we live in is sick. It’s filled with injustice – and unsurprisingly, hatred. And again, we act surprised when that hatred spills out into violent speech and acts against oppressed groups. We wring our hands about what we’re doing to punish it – but we lack the will to address what we do to create it. In the words of the ultimate Daily Mail reader’s letter, I’m sick of it all. I’m sick of the lies, the pretence at caring, the lip-service, the tiny drops in the ocean that come at the expense of rape threats and burn-out. Frankly, the revolution can’t come quick enough. ~CarolineCriado-Perez
Read the full post at: weekwoman.wordpress.com