Sunday, 26 September 2010

if i was a superhero

I should warn you that this is an angry post filled with rage, anger, a desire for revenge and a deep sadness about what I see happening in the world. But I know what people may comment so please be assured that I am not talking about all men, or all women, or all of anything, I am just expressing an anger. There are lots of great men and women, and terrible men and women. There are lots of men and women working to solve the world's problems, and I am grateful to them. But I am angry today and this is me being angry.

If I was a superhero...

I would start by finding all the men that have hurt, abused, sexually assaulted and raped my friends.

I would make them parade through the city streets, whilst we pelted them with rotten veg and fish. I would make sure everyone knew what they had done, so they could never lift their heads in pride again. I would make sure that they knew that they were guilty of a great crime, that they would pay for for the rest of their lives.

And then I would take on the men who hurt, abused, sexually assualted and raped all my sisters all over the world. I would make the world stand up and notice. I would tell them that they were the scorn of society, lower than the dog shit on my shoe. I would make sure they never ever did it again.

And i know it is not just men that commit these crimes, and  i know women who have been assaulted and hurt by other women. I would make that stop too.

And then I would find all the millions of women who are missing, as described in Half the Sky. All 100 million of them. I would stop them from being left to die.

And then I would raid the brothels all over the world that are full of trafficked women, and full of vulnerable women, and all the strip clubs where customers can retreat in to their pre feminist fantasy of dominance and I would wait outside the doors and I would make the leaving punters listen to the stories of these women. The stories of the women who are beaten, who are raped, who give birth in a brothel and know their daughters will be forced in to prostitution too. The stories of all the women who live in fear, who are hurt, who are left with PTSD...The stories of the women who are sexually assaulted, the women who feel trapped in an industry that sees them as disposable objects...I would make them listen. And once they had listened I would make them apologise, until they were so sad and sorry and ashamed, they would stop seeing their need for sex as more important as a woman's life and freedom. No one died from not having sex with a prostiture or not going to a lap dancing club.

And I would find the cinema owners who showed 'deep throat' because it is a 'cult classic' and i would raid the cinema and i would stand there and read to them what happened to linda lovelace, and make them see that they are watching live rape, over and over and over again. I would make them say sorry for validating the rape of a woman and calling it art.

And I would raid the offices of the daily mail and friends, and make them print an apology every day to women every where for endlessly printing false accusation of rapes, and not covering the issue of rape. And I would make them apologise every day for insinuating that women are to blame for the violence committed against them, unless their rape or attack happened according to the strict definitions believed by the daily mail.

And I would stop religon being used as a tool to attack women, and i would stop so-called honour killings and rapes, and I would stop the view of women as being male property who do not deserve rights.

I would build schools to educate women and girls and men and boys, so that the endless cycles of poverty and degradation would end. 

If I was a superhero...

But I'm not.

And yet, we have insititutions in places that could achieve this.

We have the police, who have had the funding cut for powers to prevent domestic violence, and the funding cut for an investigation in to their handling of rape.
We have the PCC who could regulate the media and ask them to not print lies about women being liars.
We have the UN who could have maybe done something to stop what is happening in the Congo.
We have a government that have decided to hold women to ransom.
We have an EU directive to stop trafficking that the government has decided not to sign.

We have wonderful charities and aid organisations who work tirelessly to make the world a better place for women and men and children, against all the odds. Thank god for them.

And thank goodness for all the women who survive, and the women and men who are there to ensure and enable survival, the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and everyone who says no to the scourge of gender inequality. The fathers who stand up to outdated tradition and the brothers who stand up to the people who want to hurt their families, the women who face horrors i cannot even contemplate and who survive. And mourn for the women who don't survive, and the men too.

If I was a superhero, I would do all the things the leaders of the world should be doing anyway.

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