The other day on Facebook a friend of mine posted a meme that read, ‘One Man Killed by a Shark this Year and there’s a push to cull sharks. Up to 60 Women killed by men this year and…’.
It’s hard to ignore the sentiment of how little systemic care there is in regards to the death of women. That would be like nearly two people killed a week by sharks. No-one would go into the ocean. Sharks would be hunted down. But why? Not ALL sharks are bad? Must ALL sharks be punished for the one with a taste for human flesh?
Swimming in the beautiful waters of Byron Bay this morning I found myself a little anxious about the cloud shadows on the water – then it hit home. It’s not white pointers we should be afraid of. It’s white men.
I’m tired of how anaesthetised we are to the body of a woman found on a beach, or in a park, or bludgeoned in her home. I’m appalled by the outrage and the sense of community alarm that our safety is at risk when just one person is killed by a shark.
Going into the ocean and complaining about being eaten by a shark is like standing in the middle of a highway and being shocked when you’re hit by a bus. Being killed by a man in your home, in your street, in a public space, that’s what’s outrageous.
If we fear sharks, then why aren’t we terrified of men?
Let’s imagine a world that reacted with the same intensity to violence against women as it does to the very natural food-chain violence when a shark eats you. So the initial strategy is to set up some man nets. It’s just a trial. I am sorry but we can’t just target the rogue ‘bad’ men. In the stopping of violence good men may be harmed.
Apologies to homosexual and trans men who may be netted but this is a crude solution so there will be some by-catch.
We can set up the man nets in parks. Places like Tyagarah Beach to catch the wankers and sex pests. The man net will need to go into bars, pubs, schools. Actually the man net needs to go wherever there are men. It’s clear absolute solutions to violence are not without issue.
I fear the man net like the shark net may create a sense of safety but it’s too destructive to our overall cohesive social ecology. We could cull. Just bring down the sheer numbers of men. Apparently, they’re everywhere – that’s why going out is so dangerous. Shit, that’s right. Staying home is worse! Tag the ones with AVOs and a history of violent offending.
Drone surveillance? But that doesn’t stop rogue first-time offenders.
Developing a strategy to stop violence against women is very complex. That’s why no-one has managed to come up with ANYTHING that works. Men keep killing women. If violence against women were bad for tourism I reckon the government might try to do something about it.
The onus of responsibility for safety is ALWAYS on the woman, not on society. They say in situations of violence, ‘why didn’t she leave?’ Violence against women is cultural – across the globe. So here’s an idea: why don’t we ALL leave? It’s time for some out-of-the-box strategy. Literally.
I’m not a fan of violent solutions. Violence doesn’t stop violence. Let’s cull male violence through sex. Let’s all stop fucking men. That’s every heterosexual woman in the world closing her legs, her door to paradise, right now. It’s a sex strike. It needs to go for at least a year, maybe two. Maybe ten. It needs to go AS LONG AS IT TAKES.
That means all men who want to be with women HAVE to be agents of change. Men have to take responsibility for the behaviour of other men. The onus is on them. I like this solution. I first read about it in a play called Lysistrata by Aristophanes. The women went about ending the Peloponnesian war by refusing to have sex until it stopped. It was a comedy. But was it really?
Our vaginas are powerful. We created men. And men need to start respecting that. The sex strike is not as ludicrous as it sounds, and where it has been properly enacted it actually works. In 2003 Leymah Gbowee organised a sex strike to end Liberia’s brutal civil war. Not only did the warlords end the violence, Gbowee was later awarded a Nobel Peace Prize! For stopping violence with the power of the vagina!
It seems so obvious! All this time we’ve felt like powerless victims, but as a community of women worldwide we are sitting on the solution! So I’m up for a sex strike. Who’s in?