Wednesday 27th April, 2005

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Man-bashing: The myth - Part II

Million-black eye baby

“Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.”

— Noel Coward , Private Lives, 1930

Imagine a woman who’d just been gang-raped by ten men. Imagine her inert in a pool of blood leaking from the battered and torn most private part of her; gashes, scratches, bites marks, bruises from punches and other blows riddling her body. Her spirit at death’s door, begging her body to follow and just walk on through.

Well it’s come to me that if such a woman were to turn to her assailants, all still leering and each considering if he should have a second (or third) go at her, and she said to them simply, “You’re all bad men for raping me,” her attackers and, sadly, many another man to boot, would accuse her of man-bashing.

See, women are not “supposed” to ever see anything wrong or bad about men and speak up, out, against it.

No matter her intention, no matter that she’s trying to put a stop to atrocities, evil acts, horrid things that’s hurting people— the self-same perpetrating men included—such a woman will be deemed a man- basher and man-hater.

As though she’s not also trying to protect the one in five boys who will be sexually molested by men before the age of 18.

As though she’s not trying to make younger men aware of the pitfalls of sexism, thereby that they might avoid repeating the “sins of the (many) fathers” who’ve gone before them—sins that landed those fathers in jail, in destitution, inhabiting terribly scarred soul-places.

Mind you, everybody else can bring up the suffering of “their people” at the hands of others and not be deemed bashers.

Jewish folk anguishing over the horrors of the holocaust? Not seen as German-bashing.

Blacks lamenting the suffering inflicted upon slaves? Not seen as Caucasian-bashing.

Indigent people crying out against the wealthy world’s policy to keep the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Not seen as elite-bashing.

Also, when we consider the typical things said about women—such as the opening quote—and compare it to the types of things often termed man-bashing, we should realise this much, “How absurd!”

In a world where it’s still widely advised that a man should beat “his” woman to show her who’s boss, calling a wife-beater a wife-beater is seen as man-bashing while the former’s not seen as woman-bashing. This is just?

It’s as though by trying to protect women, girls, boys—AND men, too, dammit!—from the baser aspects of other men’s sexism-conditioned actions, a stand-up woman is seen as more of a “bad person” in the eyes of larger society than the rapists, robbers, kidnappers, murderers, bigots she speaks out against.

This, clearly, is a great wrong—nay, injustice inflicted by society!

It is sending conflicting messages to younger generations of men about right and wrong. For if a young man constantly hears that male wrong-doing isn’t really wrong-doing, but merely hateful women mouthing out with man-bashing innuendo, he will never come to fully identify what is wrong. Worse, he will never learn to himself stand up against wrong. Can you spell c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l?

It’s sickening to hear men (and the traitorous or ignorant women who do it, too) use the word bashing to refer to simply speaking the truth about the negative things far too many men doth wroth.

What’s sickening is the inaccuracy of the extremity of the word when one considers what bashing really looks like.

Rape victims most often can lay claim to having received a bashing. As can homosexuals beaten to death by a bunch of homophobes.

As can people of colour molested by racist skin-heads. As can South African Blacks flogged under Apartheid. As can the latest victim of a brutal robbery in Trinidad.

As can the suffragists truncheoned in their attempts to win women the vote. As can Gandhi’s peaceful resistance followers clubbed during India’s struggle for independence.

As can children “spanked” to death by abusive parents. As can the list goes on and on.

No one who has a clear understanding of the word “bashing,” no one who’s actually seen or can fully imagine what the end results of an actual bashing looks like, would ever again choose to apply the word elsewhere but where it’s due.

They would realise that to do otherwise would not only be belittling the impact of the word, but also would belittle the pain, suffering, injury, death of the victims of literal bashings.

Come good.

Be BREWing again Sunday!



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