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U.N. Combats Violence Against Women, With Help From Men

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Posted on Nov 25, 2009
violence against women report
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On Wednesday, the 10th anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, U.N .Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the creation of a network of men tapped to serve as male role models in the fight against gender-based violence. Al-Jazeera English takes a look at the issue from the micro to macro level, starting with a glimpse inside a women’s shelter in Jordan. —KA

Al Jazeera English via YouTube:

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Amazing, a man has shown up!  You must be one of the few evolved ones,
Leefeller. 

Actually I don’t think gerard or I were stereotyping all men.  I know quite a few
civilized men who treat women as equals and with respect.  But stereotyping
has its origins in actuality that becomes exaggerated and then gets extended as
the norm. 

We were simply asking, along with the UN, that at every opportunity, all men to
take responsibility to teach the other males of our species,  the young male
offspring and adult males, to know that women are not barnyard animals nor
punching bags because that is what it will take to change their allegedly inborn
animal behavior.  To quote you, “it may take another 3000 years”  I
certainly hope not! 

Your elaborating questions, sort of musing about the motives to keep women
in an established model of low order humans are good for philosophical
discussion, but I do not have much hope that kind of discussion can be had on
this website, or if even started, as it has on this particular forum, would be
sustained very long as it is most distasteful for men, in general, to recognize
that it is their part of the species that is responsible.  They do not want to be
reminded of that.  How could they strut before the other males if they were to
take on this imperative?  I will commence to remind them on other
forums and anywhere I have the opportunity, distasteful as it is even for me.
And every thinking woman should be on this campaign as well or give a good
reason why they are not!

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 1, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

History has shown men are like animals, they prefer in fact demand to be the leader of the flock,the heard or pack (not so with lions we are told)? As a farmer I have observed the Bulls running the fence, the Billy Goat, the Ram and the Pope controlling their flocks with strong willed and even physical manipulations.  3000 years of goat herder mentality may be in for the long haul?

Stereotyping all men may be the problem, which seems to be the problem to begin with!

Keeping women or anyone ignorant seems part of the controlling powers program, seems to make the job of power, so much easier. Importance for the powers that manipulate does seem to have a plan. Why would a power in charge want to educate and liberate a large segment of the population? When all they have to do is promote mails in this case to keep an eye on the other half? Cannot have uppity segments of society running around.


Dumbing down or keeping dumb seems to be what is being done,  one can perceive from lack of education, and the making of elevated slaves of women and others as a segment of the populous, what is and has been and may well continue!

History may be changing for the better but ignorance still seems to be the armpit of society, so unfortunately it may take another 3000 years!

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

As long, gerard, as we don’t believe it ourselves we are all right.  To address your
three scarey points about gm’s.
1. WTF!  My sentiments exactly.
2. As Richard Feynman once said and even titled a book, What do you care what
other people think?  My daily mantra.
3. Yeah, I’m gonna live f’evah.  But frankly I’m kind of glad heavymetal is past its
prime, it was hastening my f’evah.

I couldn’t help myself but I did chide on another forum the fact that only two
women are making comments on this one!  The men don’t dare visit here, having
their penises in a sling.

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By gerard, November 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Grandmothers are scarey.
First of all, they are “over the hill” and therefore can’t possibly have anything relevant to say—(or is it revelant? —and “wtf” cares?
Second, you are supposed to show them “respect” even though you don’t feel it or see any reason for it.
Third, you, yourself are never going to get that old and out of date.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

I believe only men can significantly help other men restructure the male psyche
about females of the species.  They must do it through teaching and by
example.  Wouldn’t it be an amazing event if these brave strong-spined men
would organize a huge march on Washington DC to bring consciousness to the
nation and to the world of what they are doing.  It will never happen as the
quality of life of women is not a high priority. I am convinced that to correct
the damage done over the millennia to women that a relentless effort be made
to change not only the male psyche but the conditioned women’s as well.  I
think it will take generations to genetically remove any residual primitive
evolution that left women in the lower status in which many still find
themselves. 

As a long time academic I have only the highest regard for public education. 
But I know people who were home schooled who are amazingly integrated with
the the world, have extraordinary careers, love the literary and fine arts, and
have healthy outlooks on life.  I would guess that a home schooling that
provided a wide curriculum and encouraged reflective thought would be a solid
foundation for later life.  I am not sure what in the abstract makes for a happy
life, but I would think that loving learning is possibly one of the columns that
could give support towards a happy life. 

The electronic media is fast becoming surrogate teachers in spite of organized
or home education and as water seeks its own level, I believe the electronic
media will become the great equalizer.  It might just be that through electronic
communication,some of the violence against women will also be neutralized.

I hope others join this forum as I think it is a substantially important topic that
needs open discussion.  If not, so be it.  I thank you, gerard, too for your
letting me in on some of your thoughts.  I think you and I will do what we can
to transform the world within the scope of our own mental and physical
resources.

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By gerard, November 29, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Thank you.  I have enjoyed this exchange and getting to know you. Just one more piece of sharing:  One of my granddaughters has turned fundamentalist, which is my regret and anxiety as yours also. (I think I am somewhat older than you.)  Anyway, it is pitiful that she needs such a rigid structure to maintain balance, (if it is balance?) but she needs it and within that structure she is doing a pretty good job with her children.(“home-schooling” of course!) When I compare it with my childhood education—Ugh!

Among my friends these days several are undergoing this same uneasyness with either themselves (as break-aways from fundamentalism) or as grandmothers like you and me.  The rigid structure seems to cause problems later when freedom somehow gets in through the cracks.  It’s then that I worry about the kids because for now I can say not a word unless I want to cause a furor.  Beyond that, I worry for what it is doing to the country as a whole.  And to other places in the world as well, of course.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

gerard, I would guess we are contemporaries, not meaning we live in the same
time period, but that we are about the same age.  Again I felt honored to read
your last comments.  My single mom was a fiercely competitive woman who
taught me to be equal to everyone.  She suffered the blows of a husband home
from the war shell shocked and unlike his real gentle nature that didn’t correct
itself until years later as he grew mentally healthy.  But the damage had been
done to our family and it was rendered asunder.  Fast forward to now.  My four
grandchildren are the heirs of today’s world.  All males I can only hope they
learn to respect women as equals but that will depend on a few things not the
least of which would be my daughter’s influence, her husband (second), and
their religion (fundamentalist), home schooled, hence my concern. 

The vicissitudes of life are often unknowns and how women deal with the
unexpected is a function mainly of what was drummed into them what they
could do.  What was assumed of women from time beyond human memory still
affects how we are treated even by our female nurturers as they are also
products of history.  It is a struggle that needs continuous public coverage. 

Here we are two women, the only visitors to this forum and I am shocked.  It is
a testimony to everything you said.  I think we have a keen insight into what
needs to be done, we just do not have the collective power to do it.  The
women’s movements have done wonders but gaining the participation of the
majority of men is what will change the world.  It has to be a conscious effort,
taught to all males and then it must become an unconscious effort. 

Sometimes my comments are taken as brusque or as one as recently as today
said I have no empathy, and another does not like my tone.  I get riled at
chauvinism, especially when I’ve been called a chauvinist!  I don’t participate in
these forums to make friends nor to satisfy anyone’s egoism but I do not say
things to intentionally offend, unless I have been first offended.  I have never
initiated an attack against anyone but have been the recipient of virulent verbal
attacks and I have retaliated without sympathy.  There are others who do find
my comments relevant and caringly humane and above all relevant.  But that
also is not really my concern.  I am interested in truth and how humans treat
one another.  I give absolute respect and expect it in return.  I suppose the
reason why I say these things about myself is to say my frustration also shows
at times.  I am pleased to share this forum with a lady like you, gerard.

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By gerard, November 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

At my age it’s more a case of what I have not done—unfortunately.  This may surprise you, but I was raised as a child to be equal to men, and to oppose all brutality, especially war.
  Obviously, whatever I have done, it has not been of much help—that is, so far as I can see.  Things that were problems in my youth are still problems, and are becoming more so for my grandchildren.
  One reason why the present situation is so difficult to change is that all of us so far—SANE, Women’s Strike, Freeze, Hippies, Raging Grannies, Mothers for Peace, Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink—whoever— have not been able to stop what we saw happening all along—wars, Wall Street, prejudice, corrupted politicians, pollution, increasing gap between rich and poor,  willful ignorance, misinformation and lies. 
  Why have we failed?  Perhaps because of a desire to stay out of jail.  A desire to raise a family?  A desire to understand more? A desire not to do the wrong thing and make matters worse? A desire to escape responsibility?  Waiting for Godot?
  Whatever we do, whenever, I think new techniquest, new methods, a new strategy and tactics involving larger numbers of people are necessary. Impatience, rage, cruelty are just more of the same, with the same counterproductive results.
  Frankly, I think most of us are in a very
uncertain state of mind. We know what needs to be done, but not how to do it. That is the value of this article on women —about men taking responsibility to help men remake the male psyche—which perhaps only men can do.
  Not that women are perfect, but that they are more apt to nurture, to help, to save, to love, to protect. Without men the human race could not have survived, probably.  But now we are on the other side of history in the sense that those aggressive traits that served us then will kill us now, unless they are modified and can adapt to present needs for cooperation instead of confrontation.
  Excuse the blah, blah, blah.  It’s just my frustration showing.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 29, 2009 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

gerard, in my estimation you have said nothing to “shut down” this forum.  It was
most impressive and I was proud to read it, to think another human has
compassion for the battered and murdered women of the world.  It did not strike
me in the least as self-righteous.  Do you really think you gave even the remotest
air at having superior piety?

Being “totally fed up with brutality against women and children” might mean a will
to action on your part.  What would you do to end this shockingly cruel behavior? 
What do you do?  Shall you give up at the instant of self-consciousness before
your peers?  I fear women are condemned by the world of men who just don’t give
a damn.

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By gerard, November 29, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Frankly, I don’t know how to answer the comment below—or even whether to answer it at all.  Finally I will just say that if I said anything in my original, longish comment that tended to shut down this string, I am sorry.  The issue is very important but I have no desire to connect myself, even accidentally, with a “holier than thou” attitude. I am, however, totally fed up with brutality against women and children.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 28, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Don’t you find it interesting gerard that this article has been on Truthdig for over
24 hours and you and I are the only people that care enough to make a comment? 
The struggle for women is not a climb at an incline but is straight up and the
hypocrites that reside on these forums can go straight to hell (if there is a hell).

Report this

By gerard, November 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

There is something about men, particularly, that propels them toward abusing women and children for no more reason than the fact that they are physically stronger and therefore can prey on physical weakness.

It is the same violence that promotes wars, torture and other massive abuses of power such as police brutality, slavery and pimping.

Any serious consideration of “immorality” has been removed from these atrocities long ago.  Some are even sanctioned by religions – Eve “deserves” to be treated as inferior because why?  Because she tasted the apple first!  It’s her fault!  That’s why she is “cursed” to “bleed” and be “dirty.”  Come on!  Who with any kind of mind or heart or spirit can believe such trash in the year 2009?

Yet the horrible belief in women’s “inferiority” persists, and women have either to learn to adapt or suffer the consequences for asserting their right to be treated as equal human beings.

Along with the atrocity is found, too frequently, a “compensating” myth about how women are “special” because of their ability to bear children (magically, to those ignorant of physiology) and therefore dangerously associated with “dark” powers –witches, zanies, black magic, vampires, etc.  All crazed superstitions.

I applaud men who are strong enough to take up the responsibility of bringing other men out of these dark regions of ignorance and oppression.  I hope they succeed as quickly as possible.  More power to them! I hope they are prepared for the long haul and their interest is permanent and persistent. I thank them from the bottom of my heart!

I urge them to back up every success with binding laws to prevent the reappearance of such evil behavior, starting with laws that guarantee women’s total equality.  Maybe just a taste of their own medicine would be sufficient to dissuade offenders from repetition. Also, take the money out of the business of peddling abuse and provde income for women that does not victimize them sexually or otherwise.

And just in case one “culture” feels superior to another, let’s try to remember that the abuse of women and children is worldwide.  No place is immune from this despicable brutality – and wars make it worse, not better.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, November 27, 2009 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

It is a serious catastrophe.  While crimes against women are reported as
committed by both men and women, men are the ones who commit the
innumerable, countless, and often never reported, atrocities against women
and girls, and it is men who has to stop the men who do that horrifying
violence.  It is to the credit of the UN who have since 1981 (only since 1981 has
it been codified in the consciousness of mankind even though such misery has
been suffered since time began for female humans), designated one day in the
year, November 25 (around Thanksgiving in America, how befitting?) to reflect
and act (well that remains to be seen) on human violent actions on women. 
Females, from infanthood to the very old women, are victims of this abuse.  I
won’t say it is inhuman acts because every single act of violence is performed
by a human against another human.

I am here not only to blame the inherent savagery of men, many of whom in
the world think they have a right, YES, A RIGHT, to commit violence against
females, but to indict the news media who are accomplices in the crimes
against women and girls for not ringing regularly to poignant consciousness
the constant heinous behavior, the most obscene behavior against women. 
The media will devote continuous, non-stop stories about the most vacuous of
women such as Sarah Palin, who would do nothing to de-institutionalize the
ferocity women suffer but would spend her entire life on her hollow self, and
the exploits of reality show characterless women, than spend more than a
passing mention to the latest announcement from the UN about the absolute
necessity for men to take responsibility to stop the despicable acts against
women and girls. 

I have frequently and consistently commented, particularly with respect to the
abortion issue without getting into the morality issue, which is another
separate discussion, that practically speaking, if men did not impregnate
women and girls the need for abortion would disappear and if men and women
taught their male children to keep their penises in their pants, teenage
pregnancy would be a rarity, this is the message the other day from the UN. 
But if you read any story any at all about women who get abortions, the story is
always about the woman and the doctor who performed the abortion never
about the men who impregnated the woman.  The men and boys who use their
penises to reduce women and girls to human ciphers, to non-beings get off
scott free!  And that latter is a morality issue.

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