Throwing Down the Gauntlet
By Elaine Charkowski
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The first step to eradicate oppression is NAMING the oppressor.
“Silence is the first thing within the power of the enslaved to shatter. From that shattering, everything else spills forth,” said Robin Morgan in her book “The Demon Lover”
The phrase “to throw down the gauntlet” means to challenge or confront someone. I am throwing down the gauntlet and breaking the silence by naming MEN as the primary source and originators of ALL the horrors we see in the world today.
Yes, ALL of them.
These include, but are not limited to: war, racism, sexism, homophobia, femicide, torture, concentration camps, factory farms (concentration camps for animals) “everyday” rape during peace time, rape of “enemy” women as a weapon of war, rape camps (concentration camps for women who are used as soldier's sex slaves) and pornography.
These also include child sex slavery, overpopulation (MANdated pregnancy), genocide, including but not limited to the Jewish Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition and the Women's Holocaust (300 years of men burning European women alive as “witches”) female genital mutilation, foot binding and hand grenades.
These also include sport hunting, deforestation, mountain top removal, fracking, global warming, ocean acidification, Fukushima, Chernobyl, automatic weapons, traumatizing children to make them into “child soldiers,” chastity belts, and land mines, (including ones that look like toys to blow up enemy children).
These also include throwing acid in the faces of women who reject them, napalm, nationalism, nuclear weapons, computer operated drones that can kill “enemies” from thousands of miles away, dropping bombs from aircraft, and cluster bombs with hundreds of razor sharp pieces of metal that shred every living thing within hundreds of yards.
But what about violent women? Violent women are the ABERRATION cast as the NORM while violent men are the NORM cast as the ABERRATION!
And what about collaborators such as women who collaborate with men (“What about Margaret Thatcher” etc.)? And what about race traitors who collaborate with white men (such as Clarence Thomas of the US Supreme Court)?
MEN created ALL the unjust systems we must endure and unjust systems ALWAYS breed collaborators. This is the reason people collaborate. However, reasons are NOT excuses for collaboration.
Also, collaborators did not create nor do they control the unjust systems MEN created. Collaborators do NOT change the fact that ALL the horrors we see in the world today ORIGINATED with MEN!
Elizabeth Dodson Gray, a feminist theologian said that patriarchy is the fatal need to rank diversity. Naturally, the suffering of people specifically targeted by each type of male violence would cause them to feel that their oppression is the worst. Thus, women would say sexism is the worst oppression, people of color would say its racism, Jewish people would say its anti-Semitism and so on.
However, ranking one's own oppression as the worst unfairly diminishes the importance of other people's oppressions. It also unfairly diminishes the importance of the people themselves. To respect all sufferers equally, ALL types of male violence must be regarded as EQUAL horrors.
Also, ranking each oppression also diverts the focus from MEN and MALE violence. The fact is that MEN are the SOURCE and the common denominator in ALL these abuses- racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, economic oppression and all the rest!
However, the only kind of male violence that CAN be ranked as the worst of all is men's systematic destruction of the Living World to feed the endless demand for economic “growth” on a finite planet-with finite resources. Since we all need a healthy Earth to survive, this is the worst kind of male violence.
Think of ANY horror you can name and MEN will be the source. So I'm throwing down the gauntlet and challenging anyone to name a horror that did NOT originate with MEN.
MALE VIOLENCE IS THE WORST PROBLEM IN THE WORLD.
Break the taboo of silence.
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” Muriel Rukeyser — Poet and investigative journalist