25 February 2008


The lack of posts in the past 10 days is not due to any lack of material to post about; rather, like many feminists who spend a lot of time focusing on violence against women, I simply needed a bit of a time out to step back and get some time away from focusing on violence against women. It can often be overwhelming having to pore over the news stories to read about the latest gruesome rape and murder story, or the latest large child pornography bust, or any of the other news items that pop up pertaining to violence against women and children. It's hard work that emotionally wears you down and can cause you to question your confidence in humanity's ability to overcome patriarchy and all the nefarious aspects that are contained therein. It is neither natural nor inevitable that men rape, assault, kill, or turn women and children into pornography--but there are times when one wonders if the necessary changes to reduce the horrific rates at which these acts occur can be implemented. There is no thirst for justice on the part of the public, no pressure on government to change, no sense among many younger men that the actions of recent generations are wrong and that we need to go in a different direction. All of this combines into an occasionally-occurring sense of futility and despair at humanity's inability to want to improve collectively.
That's where refreshing one's batteries can be helpful. By scaling back the scope and scale of activism, even for a brief time, we can pull ourselves out of those negative feelings and come back with a new, or more determined approach, to create change. I knew that when I reached the point where I couldn't stop thinking about some of the truly awful things I've read recently, that it was affected my day-to-day ability to stay positive, I needed a respite. Now, however, I am back. Regular posting will resume later today or tomorrow.

Lastly, there is a book out there that seems very interesting after an initial glance, one that promises to comprehensively examine the attitudes and perceptions of rapists. Written by Joanna Bourke, it is simply called Rape, and it examines the history of the practice over the course of the past 150 years. If anyone has read it, can you recommend it?


C.K. said...

I know exactly what you mean. It's so easy to get emotionally overwhelmed and you should make sure you take all the breaks you need - for however long they need to be.

I also wanted to say how great the work you're doing here is. Take care of yourself!

Maggie Hays said...

I hope you're okay, RGM. I do feel really emotionally overwhelmed and need to tune out sometimes (so long as I don't forget about coming back).

Also, I wish there were more men like you (who does genuinely care about women) in this world. So much pornography and violence against women and children out there and so few people who care... Such an unfair world!

Keep up the good work! And take care!

xoxo Maggie.

Kate the Great said...

I hear you on this one, Richard.

Thanks to you and Tasha for continuing to tow the line.