Monday, March 20, 2006

What do I believe?

I was listening to NPR on the way home as I always do. On Mondays they have a segment called "This I believe" which originally aired in the 1950s. They've brought it back and I manage to catch it periodically.

Today's was by Eve Ensler, the playwright who wrote "The Vagina Monologues". Her essay talked about crimes of violence perpetrated upon women and her list of them made me angry, Very Angry! Wanting to go find the men who did these things and hurt them sufficiently to make them stop. It felt like hurting these men who hurt or abused women would feel good and still be a good thing. A right thing.

Then a bit later it occured to me that more violence wouldn't solve the problem of violence against women. Hurting, or even killing, the men who did those acts wouldn't solve the problem either, as good as it might momentarily make me feel. Since rape is ultimately a crime of violence not a crime of sex. And more violence is ultimately just perpetuating the problem, as those who support the violent men exact their violent vengence against me and even more women.

I have no answer to violence against women, no solution or final option. Just a realization that violence will only bring about more violence and a sadness that I don't have an answer.


Anonymous Aaron said...

Jim, you are going to think this preachy, but the answers to violence are love and empowerment.
People who believe that they have a stake in the world and can affect the world around them don't commit violence.

Blogger banzai said...

As I read the blogs I usually look at every day I found a friend of ours whom we used to play Everquest with. Yesterday in her blog she wrote about the power of love and I realized that her solution was probably for "my" problem.

Preachy or not if it works ...

Blogger alaphrench said...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a smaller scale, men holding other men accountable for their attitudes and actions toward women would go a long way.


Blogger Desert Rose said...

Yeah, but I betcha that a lot less men would beat the shit out of their wives if she beat back...

Love is great, I suppose. But my grandmother loved my grandfather and he still beat the shit out of her everyday.

I don't think either is an absolute solution... love or violence. If either exists in a vacuum, neither exists.

If someone rapes your daughter... do you go out and give them a loving hug and kiss? I don't. That violence to her is done and it will endlessly breed violence (against herself and what her children pick up watching her if she ever manages to have children), so if violently ending the perpetrator's life stops him from doing this to another woman, I'm all for it. The thing about rapists is that no matter what "love" you show them, they will only take advantage of it. The least they deserve is bang your ass federal prison. The ones that rape/beat little girls deserve far, far more.

Love and empowerment for rapists and wifebeaters. Dear God, I'll go on a rampage if that ever comes to pass, and you can take that to the bank. Many rapists have even said they will continue to rape until they lose their penises. Some have even gone on national TV asking for removal of their genitalia so that they can stop raping. But that would be violent. Let's give them fuzzy teddybears instead, with little shirts that say "Rapists are people too!"

Blogger banzai said...

I will admit that my previous thoughts hinged upon the belief (mistaken?) that people who commit violence (against whomever) are rational, functioning members of society and thus could be motivated by things which motivate the rest of us.

If perpetrators of violence are rational then their actions can only brand them as truly evil (and those who commit them against the weak - women or not - are even more Evil). If the perpetrators are not rational than no amount of love will "fix" them. Professional help (perhaps motivated by love) will be necessary and if modern medicine (in which I regretfully lump psychiatry and other "less than hard" sciences) is unable to help, cure of alleviate their problem (or at least symptom) than other means may be necessary, as distasteful as they may be.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to think it's a very 'loving' action to prevent someone from hurting someone else. If it means putting them in prison, even. It is NOT loving to allow someone to abuse another person. Even the abuser is building up bad karma, at the very least, so prevent him from making it worse. Put him away.


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