April 5, 2007

The personal is political: violence against women

Posted in Feminism at 10:47 pm by The Lizard Queen

There isn’t much I can say about this issue at present; the pieces I’ve linked to and quoted below the fold have brought too much to the surface for me to sort through it and find what’s most important and easiest to verbalize. In lieu of my own words, I’ll quote Amanda Marcotte: “Natasha [author of the Pacific Views post linked below] wants us to get over our feelings and talk about it. She’s right, but I can’t. Call it lingering loyalty or call it shame. But know that women are quiet because it is so hard.” This is an issue to be paid attention to, and not to be taken lightly. I’ll balance this out with posts of a lighter nature tomorrow, but please, take some time to consider this issue.

First, from Daily Kos: Remembering Alicia: How Sexism Kills Women — “Alicia Sears was murdered by her ex-boyfriend and father of two of her children. This tragic loss of life provokes even more rage because it was the predictable outcome of Ohio’s Defense of Marriage Act, which discriminates against women who are victims of domestic violence depending upon their marital status.”

Next, from Pacific Views: Domestic Terrorism — “You’d probably think that I should have known after the first year, when he’d already established a pattern of starting screaming fights with me just before bed time when I needed to get up the next day for work, that I should have left. That I should have recognized at once what it meant that I was glad I didn’t know any of the neighbors at any of our apartment complexes. How could I have looked any of them in the eye, had they been my friends, knowing that they must have heard him yelling at me for not wanting to do certain things in bed?”

Finally, a stunning essay over at From the House of the Fox-Dogs, posted nearly a year ago and named after the Kindly Ones. Here is what the author wrote in the post that preceded it: “I know. Because it happened to me too. I was nearly killed by a man when I was 19. And though sometimes we say we can learn through suffering, let me say this: what I learned wasn’t good, and I don’t think anyone else should have to learn those lessons. I learned that violence begets violence: I wanted to see that man hurt, and he was. I learned that violent men often only understand violence: he didn’t hurt me again, but that’s because he knew there’d be retribution. I learned that I had to protect myself, because no one else would do it. And I learned that for the most part, people really don’t want to talk about this. They want to hide it, minimize it with names like ‘domestic violence’ as if it is different than any other sort. They want to believe that somehow the woman ‘asked for it.’ Because if they admit that perhaps a woman did nothing at all and still got hurt, well, that’s pretty scary. It means that it can happen to anyone, at anytime, and who really wants to think that?”

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