(tw: violence against women)
I am crying right now, actually crying as I write this.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington. You may know that two students are dead, including the shooter, and four others are wounded.
The line that stuck with me the most from the story I linked to? This:
Jarron Webb, 15, said the shooter was angry at a girl who would not date him, and that the girl was one of the people shot.
Just a few months after the Isla Vista killings, a child takes aim at his classmates again in his rage against women, and I’m left feeling powerless and hopeless with the question, “How many more will die before we do something about it?”
There’s a culture of male entitlement, toxic masculinity and violence against women that pervades our society. At Isla Vista, one man killed six people because he felt entitled to sex from women. In Washington, a boy shoots his classmate because she refused to date him. Earlier this month, media critic and feminist Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel a talk at Utah State University after receiving threats of the “deadliest shooting in American history.”
I am horrified, terrified and enraged to live in a world that will probably talk about this shooter as a madman, as an outlier, while online hordes are harassing women such as Sarkeesian and game designer Zoe Quinn with threats of rape and murder. We will discuss his mental health, and gun control, and gun sales will skyrocket while the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we need to do something about a culture that teaches men to hate women will get swept under the rug.
After the Isla Vista shootings, Richard Martinez, the father of victim Christopher Martinez, went to national media to demand that “Not One More” person die of gun violence. I admire Richard Martinez’ courage and eloquence in speaking about such a difficult and personal subject, and I believe that restricting access to guns is a wise idea.
And I want to extend that idea now to violence against women, to misogyny. We need to band together as a society and take a stand. We need to take a hard look at a culture of male entitlement and misogyny and say, “Not one more. We will not allow another person to die because of hatred of women.”
I’ve attached some resources here, Dad, for info on how toxic masculinity perpetuates violence against women, and ways we can fight it:
- White Ribbon Campaign, a Canada-based campaign that “positively engages men, young men and boys through relevant educational programming that challenges language and behaviours, as well as harmful ideas of manhood that lead to violence against women.”
- Feminist Frequency, Anita Sarkeesian’s website where she breaks down harmful, sexist tropes in video games and movies.
- Amnesty International, a global organization that fights for human rights, including breaking down a culture of discrimination that leads to women being beaten, raped, tortured and killed around the world.
- Men Can Stop Rape, which engages men in ending violence against women and “embraces men as vital allies with the will and character to make healthy choices and foster safe, equitable relationships.” Currently, they’re accepting registration for the “Healthy Masculinity Training Institute.”
These are just a handful of sites that I admire, Dad, and there are plenty of other organizations out there doing their part, but it’s clear there’s so much more work to be done. I encourage you to visit the sites, spend some time reading up on them, and think about what you can do to help too.
It’s been a rough day. I love you,