Over the centuries, women have endured and sometimes survived brutal and cruel attacks, ranging from systemic assaults on the emotional, physical and psychological person through to acts of such horror that they should be unspeakable. But they must be spoken.
Some anti-feminist critics will be screwing up their tiny and indignant courage just about now in anticipation of hopping on a favorite hobby-horse. I do not understand or respect people who insist on minimizing or deflecting attention from real and significant problems, travesties and outrages by drawing attention to themselves or lesser problems. They’re like that person with a broken finger who wants priority attention in the emergency room while fifty more serious patients are hanging by a thread.
All violence should be condemned whether the victims are men or women; whether the perpetrators are men or women. Let’s start where matters are the most serious and where the most good may be done.
For example, the Chhanv Foundation, an NGO in India works to oppose acid attacks. If you choose to visit their website, the brutality of the attackers and the suffering of the victims are frightful and wrenching. There is also a fundraising calendar produced to celebrate International Women’s Day. It is crushing to use the term celebrate in relation to acid attacks. But the celebration is for the endurance and strength which these women carry despite all attempts to literally and metaphorically dissolve them.
In this Quartz India story, there is a picture of a woman holding a sign which says “I wanted to be a Doctor”. There is also this story:
Dolly was 12 when she was attacked by a 25-year-old man. He wanted to have sex with Dolly even though she was a minor. The acid ruined her nostrils, causing a permanent breathing problem. For more than a year after the attack, she refused to step out of her house.
Those four sentences, or that picture, tell a story which should fill a library. Please follow the link to read this child’s letter to her attacker and his family which includes this small passage “You burnt my face, but not my will to live. You can’t throw acid on that. I will fight this case in court, not only for myself but for other girls, so they do not lose their courage before people like you.”
Violence Against Women is a real and significant problem. It needs to stop.
Violence is real. We need to make it stop.