It is impressive that a former SAS man acknowledged the peace-loving women in his life. That is a good start for changing attitudes. Please don’t leave it there. We know that over history women have often taken the lead to promote peace: think Lysistrata (ancient Greece); Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (founded 1915, the oldest international women’s organisation and one of the oldest international peace organisations) and the Save our Sons Movement (Vietnam era).
However, it is not women’s responsibility to be the sole peace bearers and promoters of love in society. It is each person’s responsibility to promote lovingkindness, peace and compassion. Women are not genetically programmed to be anti-war etc. It is our social conscience that propels us towards positive social connections, peace and cooperation.
I look forward to seeing more men being proactive in challenging other men’s aggressive attitudes, violence and antisocial behaviours. Think how meaningful it can be to voice non-aggressive and alternative views when other men say they ‘want to kill’ someone, or that a person ‘deserves a good slap’ or that the biffo behind the pub and at sports events is ‘just letting off steam’, or that ‘males are naturally more violent so it’s okay’.
Thanks to the Remembering and Healing group for once again providing an opportunity to the people of this region to stop and think about the issues of peace, compassion and personal responsibility for challenging the idea that men and boys should be ‘acculturated toward accepting violence and aggression as a natural part of being male’.
In proactive peace and freedom.
Lavender (Kate Lavender), Lennox Head