Us gender-based violence types talk a lot about the continuum of violence – a concept that helps us understand how violence against women is normative – meaning part of the everyday lives and lived experiences of women and girls worldwide. Yes – EVERYWHERE.
These aren’t one-off events that exist in isolation. Instead, we need to see them as different manifestations of inequality and abuse of power – perpetrated largely by males against females. So it’s about understanding that this crap happens all the time, everywhere, in many forms, forever. It’s all interlinked. And most of us can unfortunately claim experiences of multiple forms of violence – in a range of settings like home, work, school, the street, the falafel stand – you get the point.
What impact does this have?
It threatens people’s right to safety, to freedom of movement, to freedom in general. Even the fear of this is an impediment to a free, rich, full life – a life to which we are all entitled, regardless of genitalia. It impacts lives for the duration of people’s lives – not just during the incident itself. It impacts our ability to achieve, to grow, to thrive.
And then there’s intersectionality. This helps us understand the intersections of oppressions – because, like, why would it be just one thing?! This stuff is layered. It’s about race and sexuality and class and ideology and whatever other stuff.
But today I want to rant about the interconnections of violence: how we treat the environment, animals, women, migrant workers, refugees, the disabled – anyone we perceive to be weaker than us. It’s all coming from the same rotten little place – our own sense of entitlement. Our feelings of our own power – and our sense that we have a “right” to abuse that power.
I’m using the plural here – ours – largely because those abusive turds (1) don’t know who they are (2) won’t be reading this anyway. I’m actually trying to be polite and inclusive. And also kinda mean.
But in the end, it’s YOUR problem, perpetrator. Entirely yours.
So – whoever you are, wherever you are, here’s what I think about you:
You’re generally not an asshole in just one aspect of your life – you probably litter, abuse animals, demean women, and treat you housekeeper like a slave – it’s usually all connected. Like, you’re an asshole in nearly every aspect of your life.
Why?! You exist in the world with a bloated sense of entitlement. Without a sense of obligation.
Everyone owes you.
No, it’s not “lack of education” or “lack of opportunity” or really lack of anything at all. You vary in terms of age and socio-economic status and religion and whatever. You’re a pretty diverse army.
You drive like you own the road. You walk like everyone should get out of your way. You treat people as though they are invisible. You think the world is both your playground and your trashcan – which baffles me because how much fun can it be to play in rubbish?!
I could go on. But I can’t waste any more time on you. You’re a waste of space.
Herein ends the rant.