Not All Men

I started this in March 2021 after the murder of Sarah Everard. I haven’t updated it for the timings, which is why I am making this note. I have just logged on again after sometime (see my previous post) and saw the draft. With the sentencing of Sarah’s murderer, who will never know freedom again, I have decided to finish this and stop being so “squeamish” about sharing my thoughts on this tragedy and the wider issue.

This is specifically about male violence against women. I know there is also, female violence against men as well as woman on woman, and men on men violence. These are not part of this piece.

Not all Men

I’ve been procrastinating about my next writing piece for two, opps three months now. A few things have popped into my brain but nothing that stuck or that sounded right on the page. Then last week happened. I had so many thoughts and feelings running through my head I was lying awake at night thinking about what I would say and how I could possibly get people to understand.

Not all Men.

Quite frankly this comment encompasses what is wrong and what is the problem when matters that need addressing come to light, or are main stream news more then normal. This and “all lives matter” gets me ranting at the husband. That is another, probably longer piece then this, so for now lets not deviate.

Not all Men

Ok so of course not. Don’t be ridiculous, no one is saying that! Well the vast majority are not saying that. What people fail to grasp is that we don’t know which men, so we have to assume any man is capable. If we don’t then something could happen to us and we either report (if we can) or we don’t. If we don’t report we have to live with not only the trauma, without justice, but also the guilt that we didn’t stop him doing it again and perhaps has therefore caused someone else to get hurt. I wrote that last sentence and nearly rephrased but instead I am using that to highlight the subtle ways in which we blame ourselves. If we don’t report an incident – we are still not to blame for others getting hurt. The perpetrator is.

If we do report we are criticised for our actions, our clothes, our past. Our word is doubted and we are called names, we are blamed for “putting our selves into this situation” and often an accusation is removed as the whole process is just adding to the trauma or we go ahead and we don’t get justice as we were wearing a short skirt or something equally ridiculous. If the accusation is removed, we are then accused of making it up and the naysayers use these instances to prove that woman make false accusations all the time. Spoiler: We don’t

Not all Men

I now have a son. I have already spoken to my husband on this matter and we will be teaching both my children about consent – my daughter already does not in any way have to hug or kiss anyone if she doesn’t want too – including me! She does have to be kind and gracious when declining, although shes only 2 so we are working on that! My son will be treated with the same respect and we will speak to both of them about these things – in age appropriate terms of course.

Not all Men

What we need to do is change the way we talk about this. The violence against women doesn’t just happen to us. We need to educate our boys, not just the girls on what consent means. We need to stop the harmful “boys will be boys” narrative as we are the ones raising the rapists and murderers. It is not the girls responsibility only to keep herself safe from the predators. It’s everyone’s responsibility to change the way this is all looked at and teach our boys and girls about respect for each other.

Not all Men

Sarah Everard’s rapist and murderer was a policeman. Not just dressing up and pretending to be one to “fool” the woman walking by herself (“how dare she!”) people saw her being arrested and did nothing. We can’t even trust that a policeman wont kidnap, rape and kill us, so yes any man I don’t know I will be suspicious of.

Not all Men

Finally, Sarah Everard, is actually an anomaly in the sense that, statistically, if we are to be raped, its going to be someone we know. Isn’t that a cheery thought.

Not all men but just a reminder – we do not know which men.

Published by doughnutsandpastries

Aspiring writer who finally took a step in the right direction by starting with a blog - let’s see how this goes

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