I went out to dinner with my Dad recently and we were talking about the rising violence in the US and the world, and he stated quite confidentially that if 40% of the men in the world died, there would be peace.
Now, I am obviously not advocating mass murder. But the point stands – male violence is on the rise, whether it’s white nationalism, rape, war, etc., and it is only going to get worse.
Last year, I was at work watching some protests against police from my window and for no apparent reason whatsoever, young men started throwing chairs around that had been set up for an event, ruining yet another peaceful protest. It was quite similar to my college days when the Steelers won the superbowl and I had to leave the outdoor celebration because the boys decided to riot by attacking property and getting into fights.
And now we have Cesar Sayoc, Robert Bowers, and Gregory Bush. And men like John Bolton want to pull out of the nuclear treaty because they just love war so much.
There was an article I read in which a Sudanese official was talking about why the cycle of violence in South Sudan won’t end. The reason was because an entire generation of males was raised on violence and didn’t know how to lead without it.
My first thought was put the women in charge. But Sudanese culture is so patriarchal that I am not sure this will happen anytime soon. But I do think it is important to note that the Sudanese women grew up around violence, and do not run around wreaking havoc. Instead they are desperately trying to feed their starving children.
Interestingly, the idea of putting women in charge as an alternative to male violence is not necessarily exclusive to feminism. Abdullah Shrim is an Iraqi business man and former beekeeper who started saving Yazidi women from ISIS and believes that the world should be like a bee colony – that women should “run the world.” There is actually a book about the whole thing called “The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq” by journalist Dunya Mikhail I plan on reading.
The entire country of Liberia got so sick of male violence that they elected the first female president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who, despite accusations of corruption and not doing enough for women, is overwhelmingly credited with keeping peace in Liberia while president. She would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize beside Leymah Gbhowee and Tawakkul Karman. Gbhowee is Johnson’s biggest critic, but even she admits Johnson can be inspirational to women. Interestingly, peace in Liberia was achieved in 2003 when Liberian WOMEN launched a mass peace protest which included a sex strike until their men put down their arms.
Liberia, however, is a good example that a female president alone is not enough to uproot the patriarchy. Her attempts at pushing through women’s initiatives were hampered by the fact that there weren’t enough other women in the government for support. Which is also why her tenure didn’t usher in a golden age for women in politics – everything was still mostly run by men.
And that is the direction the world seems to be going – more men, specifically “strong men.” Donald Trump is inspiring fascists everywhere, and Brazil just elected Jair Bolsonaro, who actually seems worse than Trump. Strangely, this includes a lot of young people and women who didn’t agree with Bolsonaro but wanted change.
Except there won’t be change. Jesus Christ.
With the rise of strong men elected as leaders, along with pissed off white males shooting up grocery stores and synagogues, ISIS, males rioting for social justice instead of actually getting things done, the world is spiraling into a free fall of violence. Again, women have the most to lose as many of these fascist strong men have their sights set on reversing women’s progress in gaining human rights.
That’s why I will always vote for the woman. We need NUMBERS. If you don’t know who the candidates running against each other are (for example in the Democratic primaries), vote for the woman. I don’t care of how little importance the office seems.
Because as the patriarchy begins to close in, WE NEED NUMBERS to truly fight against male dominance and violence.