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*TRIGGER WARNING* This journal deals with issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.
As our girl Gloria says,
"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off"
Well, we're pissed off - Sarah Everard was another woman walking home at night. All the 'don't get yourself raped and killed' advice was taken seriously, from the clothes she wore to the time she walked, she even did what every other woman walking alone does, she left a text trail
"text me when you get home".
I know this story well, we all do - yet this time, I am in a blind rage - and it seems, enough of us are too.
Yet this blind rage is something only reserved for men, men who rape. Men who kill.
The 1 in 3 men who sexually assault 1 in 3 women.
And now, I find myself in a blinding rage. This story needs a different story teller so finally, it is a different story. These women we keep holding vigils for, lighting candles for, need a different ending. They need to be the heroes of the story, the ones who sent all the women in the world into a blind, raging frenzy! One where we storm the streets demanding justice.
Because the thing is, the best case scenario is that 1 in 3 men are rapists (or men who tried to rape before she somehow got away). We know this. These are the numbers that we know. I can't ask myself the question... how many more don't we know about?
1 in 3 men. And they are not the same man, they are all different kinds. So we can't make this about a 'special kind of man from a special kind of place with a special kind of creed'. Some of them are boys, some of them men. Some are husbands, brothers, fathers while others are lovers or total strangers.
Some are even the ones called to Serve and Protect us.
And while this is happening in every corner of the world to many different women by many different men, there seems to be one very strange consistency to this story - the rage. The blinding rage.
There is a blinding rage that seems to envelope these men, 1 in 3. It doesn't matter their age, creed, race, status or where on Earth they are from - they become enraged then they hurt and kill women. Sure, the details vary. The trigger behind the rage is often unique, but that is the story. It can be summed up in one sentence. A man became very angry today and a woman was there, he assaulted her. He killed her.
But there's that hashtag, #notallmen. There are good men out there, 2 in 3 men won't hurt or kill women. They can become angry and not become blinded by it. They can become angry and not hurt or kill women... Perhaps they were taught how to manage their big feelings, perhaps no one did the exact thing that sent them into that blinding rage.
So I ask those men, the 2 out of 3 men - the good men, devastated men at these 'sad, sad stories', where is your blinding rage now?
Why aren't you storming the streets now? Where is the saliva dripping from your mouth? The raging fury in your eyes? The clammy, clenched fists and absolute resolve for vengeance? If we ever needed the blinding rage of men to come through, this is the time.
It is right now.
Yet the 'good men' aren't making any noise, no one is raging a war. We have more than 1 in 3 women experiencing sexual violence in her lifetime. We have 1 in 4 men experiencing sexual violence in their lifetime.
And we all know who it is, there need be no jury out on this one.
And the good men have no blinding rage to this? Most good men seem to all respond with the same lowered gaze and tear-filled eyes. A head shake, hand on a woman's back as they stand in solidarity and silence next to us. Waiting for us to say what we need to say and do what we need to do. Another candle, another vigil, another peaceful march?
It seems, 1 in 3 women is not what will awaken the beast. It seems, this is not what triggers a man's blinding rage.
But it certainly has triggered mine.
This isn't a sad story.
Sad stories are unrequited love stories, stories about people who didn't achieve their dreams, sporting teams who didn't win championships.
Sad stories are not women being murdered by men when they walk home in brightly coloured clothes after visiting their friends' house. Sad stories are not when wives are beaten and killed by husbands. Or sisters by brothers. Daughters by fathers...
This needs to stop being told as a sad story.
I write to you only because it is the first thing I knew to do. Also, and perhaps more truthfully, because I am filled with an awakened rage and a strange hope that this time feels a little different. This time I do hear good men with their own voices, their own rage and shame and solidarity with women - not for their sister's sake or their mother's sake, but for humanity's sake.
I write this because I want to always use this platform to help re-shape the world we live in- no more text trails, no more keys between the fingers, no more questioning "what did she do?" "what did she say" "what did she wear"
It feels like today we are finally asking the right questions, "what was he thinking?" and I hope we sit with this question long enough to finally start the right conversation - this isn't one to be having with women anymore. It has nothing to do with women.
Let's have the right conversations with the right people.
Let's start talking to the men #allmen.