I don’t always agree with feminist writer and activist Clementine Ford. I disliked her “Fuck Abbott” t-shirts and wouldn’t be caught dead in one. I disliked even more her “I hate men” hashtag on Twitter.
But Clem Ford has taken on men who are abusive and threatening to women online, and one Michael Nolan has lost his job because the company he works for won’t have its employees publicly abusing women.
Of course Ford has received bucket loads of abuse for complaining about Nolan to his employer because, as she notes, the worst thing you can possibly do is make a man accountable for his actions.
In other words, a male who is so inclined may visit all kinds of abuse upon a woman, but this is secondary to the offence she commits by insisting that he be held accountable for his actions.
Well, fuck that for a joke.
When a man abuses a woman he loses his right to privacy. If he has a family, he also destroys their right to privacy.
Give me one good reason why any woman abused by a man is obliged to remain silent about that abuse in order to protect him, his reputation, his job or his family. He should have thought about all those aspects of his life before he perpetrated the abuse. Maybe if he does think about all those aspects of his life, he will think twice about perpetrating the abuse. And if he doesn’t respect his own life and others in it, why on earth should a woman he’s abused be expected to do it for him?
Actions have consequences. Suck it up, dudes. The shame’s going where it belongs.
If women stay silent about the abuses visited upon us because we’ll be perceived as vengeful bitches if we speak out and the perpetrator loses his reputation, his job, his family, then women are saying to men, abuse me, I won’t say anything because your job, reputation, family are more important than me. It’s ok, abuse me, and I’ll sacrifice my well-being for yours.
Well, fuck that for a joke as well.
I don’t know what else we can do about violence against women, no matter what form it takes. Name the bastards. If that’s what it’s going to take to make them think about what they’re doing, name the bastards, because the consequences of that naming and shaming are down to them, not the women they abuse.
The days of male entitlement are, albeit at a glacial rate, coming to a close. Men who abuse and exploit women are accountable for their actions, and the choices and decisions they make and the risks they take in the making.
It’s not our shame that we name them. It’s their shame that they have to be named.
And for the women in their lives who are collateral damage: take a step back and a good look at the kind of man you’re spending your life with and ask yourself, do I really have to set the bar this low?
We don’t have to stay silent so abusive and exploitative men can stay comfortable.
Fuck that for a joke.