Take Back The Night

Have you ever found yourself in the position where you know that your presence is making someone uncomfortable? Unfortunately what happens quite a lot, and for the worst of reasons, is that I make slightly more then half the population uneasy simply because of my gender. Whether walking down a side street in twilight, sitting sharing a doctor's office alone I feel helpless with the knowledge that just by being there I have created tension for the other person. Is this anyway to live? How have we allowed our world to degenerate to such a state where over half the population has been so subjugated, defiled, and maltreat in general to such an extent that the natural state between our two genders is at best mistrust descending down into fear? With women on the whole still being treated as sort of high maintenance appliance by society things aren't likely to change for the better any time soon either. Its easy enough to point the finger of blame at the usual suspects; religious fundamentalist of all faiths primarily, but its far more insidious then that. From commercials proselytise the flaws inherent in being a women; aging, bleeding, smelling and hormonal depression, to the continual projection of an unreachable ideal of perfection dreamed as personified through anorexic models and perpetuated by entertainment starlets determined to hack and trim their bodies into shape, the perspective of a flawed creature is promoted. But objectification can't exist without a willing audience. If men did not accept this portrayal, if we were not complicate in the continual subjugation of half of our species, it could not occur. You may think that looking at pictures in a calendar or magazine is harmless, or that telling that blonde joke doesn't hurt anyone, but it all contributes to a culture of depersonalization. Each time we forget there is a person with a brain and feelings in that body is another time we treat them as less then ourselves. It is this atmosphere that leads to the preponderance of rape, violence, and abuse. If we create a society where in one segment, no matter how large a proportion, is considered something lesser, then that is the way they are treated. From the judiciary to the locker room the male attitude of condescendsion is identical. Whether the dirty joke or the rape victim who is made to feel at fault its all the same thing. YOU DON'T MATTER. unfortunately there is no easy solution to this problem. With each passing generation there seems to born a new wave of repression; currently the gangsta' rap of the ghetto being adopted by everyone as cool has taken it to a new low, and the backlash against political correctness fueled by the right wing has taken its toll on advances made in previous decades. Once again we are presented with the ideal as being either making lots of money so you can be swarmed by scantily clad"bitches" or the subservient compliant virgin who has kept herself for the marriage bed. These are the traditional polar extremes of what is deemed acceptable for women of course, the whore and virgin. Sound familiar!!!(hint: check out the New Testament) Be aware, be respectful, correct behaviour if possible, call the cops necessary(it is your business)and if you find yourself on a back street with a woman alone, cross to the other side of the street to move away from her. Its the least you can do. cheers gypsyman


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