Stan Grant claims that racism is at the heart of the nation. I don’t deny this, however, misogyny is at the heart of most cultures and this, as always, is denied aggressively by men and women.
Isn’t it funny how a study about bike helmets can produce, almost instantly, a nation full of conscientious bike helmet wearers, except in Byron where freedom over safety laws is a local matter of choice.
Misognyny can be a choice that can, from a women’s perspective, easily be overcome with some assertiveness training and lessons to combat aggressive denial and communication.
Why is it so simple to advocate for the safety of a bike rider’s head, be they male or female, yet not, the safety of a woman? A simple look at this would be to watch fathers with their children in a public playground.
From a sociological perspective, a lot of fathers don’t encourage sharing and turn taking. From father to son and even the adoring mother social lessons are ingrained and unconsciously taught. Who’s to blame for a misogynist society?
Is this a parenting issue or a reinforced father-to-son cultural carry on of inter-generational violence?
Misogyny, not simply men and women calling other women whores, sluts, and other demoralising names; it also includes, victim blaming, scapegoating, shaming, denying women rights to all emotional expression, possessiveness, overbearing jealousy, and the obvious physical violence and of course denying income, work choices, etc.
Why is it so easy, then, for the police to reinforce safety laws, such as riding with a bike helmet and not to emphatically connect with women who experience emotional, psychological and physical violence from their partners, ex partners, family members, neighbours and generally contemptuous community members who see women as a lesser ‘object’ to let off their steam at/on/about?
Could it be that Australia, like many nations of different religions and cultures, has at the heart of it misogyny that also includes racism because how can we respect women and not respect different skin colours or vice versa?
Why respect women when anxiety can give us a feeling from insecurity to power by dominating and abusing someone else?
I have experienced misogynist abuse quite a lot since becoming a single mother living in lower socio-economic areas of the northern rivers.
These areas seem to have a very high incidence of drug and alcohol abuse and an increasing number of ‘reported’ domestic violence crimes. Of course, drugs in this region are an issue because there is the argument of ‘free choice’ and self governance.
That might be great for the poets, philosophers, writers, painters, yogis in the region, however I live next door to men and women with crippling drug and alcohol problems who persistently use misogynist abuse to intimidate and threaten me, example, ‘white inbred whore, slut, liar, ugly mole, fat pig’.
These people don’t sit around discovering new ways to express gratitude and compassion towards themselves and instead impinge on others’ freedom, isn’t it also a free choice to live without misogyny?
Because of their traumatic past and maladaptive coping strategies that rely more on drugs and alcohol than care for the self and assertiveness and compassion training. Could emotional intelligence, ethics, and improved problem solving strategies help women rise from the web of self-harm and harm towards others in the poor (not necessarily financial) problem solving cycle?
Misogyny is a problem in the government – a predominantly straight white boys club who got their free university education and now deny others that right – it’s also a growing problem on social media because the same types of people who yell out the abuse towards ordinary women and people like myself feel free and anonymous to do it online. Trolling in the social is evident and in cyberspace we hear about beautiful and intelligent women being belittled by whom? A beautiful, intelligent, loving being tapping away on their desk top or phone, feeling great about themself? Or a self-loathing, insecure, anxious person taking out their issues on successful people and putting down women so that they can feel better.
Misogyny needs to be addressed in the home; in the playground; in the place of worship; in the new arrivals lounge; on the dance floor; in the eyes of the beholder too blind to see a beautiful authentic being living their life not wanting to be callously and maliciously pulled down to the level of a psychopath; sociopath; an abuse victim who hasn’t done the work to become a survivor, and others who project out social ills onto and into the bodies of women.
Misogyny is invasion of privacy; stalking; name calling; blaming; physical violence etc and unless our relationships with the police and political heads change to become more human then calling women a ‘snitch’ because she believes her corporeality has been abused and called the police is misogynist and just as violent in silencing her than the perpetrator causing and instigating the violence.
People make up a community; why is it so hard to change the socially ingrained abuses towards women?
Why is international women’s day less important than Australia Day?
Why are women’s issues overlooked and placed lower on the hierarchy of compassion than other issues?
What are we afraid of? Are women scared of being called a dike because they stand up for their own human rights?
‘Homo-sociality’ is society as we experience it: from bombarding and assaulting us with photo -hopped images of magazine models, mainstream pornography, cosmetic surgery, and what makes women ‘be for’ men in hope to escape their isolation and gain social status besides a less than equal and adequate man.
Misogyny is reality yet needn’t be seen by women as an acceptable truth. A woman is not a whore simply because you decide to abuse her; a prostitute is just as special as a nun and ALL people need to question the socially accepted abuses that make up society.
Before you abuse a woman, name call, think and reflect what is it about you that needs to be addressed?
What is it within you that is feeling anxious about another’s being? Is it your own sexuality? Sexual inadequacy? Your religious misinterpretations? You’re feeling depressed? You hate yourself? You feel inadequate? Question your own feelings before denying an other’s.
And if you just don’t care and can’t find the empathy nor compassion then the doctor offers at least five visits to a psychologist and perhaps you need to find out if you’re a sociopath or psychopath or have something else the psychologist’s manual can assist you with and give society some peace.
The change you want to be starts with you and as a community people can work together to change misogyny and ignorance.
Cat Anders, Lismore