On power and violence

I’ve been following the wretched story of George Pell and Tim Minchin and the child sexual abuse by clergy in Ballarat. And Melbourne. And Sydney and small and large towns all across Australia and the world. And pondering how this ties in with bigger ideas of power and religion and abuse. Of masculinity and feminism, sexual violence, rape culture and again, power.

We seem to be at a precipice of change:  victims and survivors of long-buried abuse are taking the lead of a the generation of people who didn’t grow up under the stifling social norms of the mid-century, and won’t accept the what-will-people-think excuse.

But.

The US justice system told Kesha that she must continue working with her abuser.

George Pell won’t come home and face the music, and (surprise surprise) a Catholic right-wing columnist defended him.

Bill Cosby. Rolf Harris. Jimmy Savile.

One in three women globally are survivors of sexual violence. This number does not count the women who have been felt up in a taxi, had their hands unwillingly shoved down a man’s pants, been leered at on a tram, had their bra strap flicked or their shirt pulled down or or or…  I am yet to meet a women who hasn’t experienced any of the above.

I have two boys, who will one day become men and enjoy all the privilege that comes with their gender. The best I can do is mother those boys and teach them about consent, and power, and respect.

Here is a brilliant, wrenching post by Bec Woolf about how sexual violence begins with teaching men not to rape. 

And this article from the Good Men Project on how to do that, starting from when boys are toddlers. 

 

Go and give your kids a cuddle.

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