There are many conversations worth having as a result of any tragedy. The Atlanta massage parlor murders should cause several. One is the view of Asian women in our culture; another is the view of Asian-Americans of both genders. These issues have gotten headlines. But early media accounts have not focused on the obvious issue: violence against women.
Like the Incel murderer in Toronto, one man in Atlanta focused his fury and hatred and ultimately his murderous rage towards women. In this regard, he is not alone.
Women are much more likely to be murdered by their own boyfriends or husbands than by a stranger. This statistic is true worldwide according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime in a study issued November 2018.
Police officers know this: they face danger in domestic violence calls. A 2017 report that examined the results of multiple studies estimates over 4000 officer injuries from domestic violence calls per year.
Men have “movements” that focus on their “needs”. A few of these movements have resulted in the development of ideologies of hate — Incel is the best known. Insecure men who justify their hate towards women who “deprive” them of their sexual “needs.”
All humans have needs. But our culture is geared towards meeting the needs of men: to feel powerful and sexually successful. Women are socialized to care about the needs and to assuage the insecurities of men. Most women put great effort into understanding the feelings and needs of men. Men do not, as a rule, reciprocate.
Underlying all of this is a rational fear that women have that if they hurt the feelings of the wrong man— he will hurt, rape or even kill her.
We talk too much about “power imbalance” — an abstract concept that is not meaningful to the man who may have some social power but internally feels weak and insecure.
We need to start talking more about fear and violence and how women must alter their lives in a thousand ways — to carry the keys in their hand walking to the parked car after work — or to stay silent when their unemployed husband gets drunk— to avoid getting raped, assaulted, or murdered.
Women can never forget that life is dangerous. Men forget it all the time if they don’t live in impoverished communities. Men must call out other men who hate and dehumanize women. Do not tolerate it among people you know. It is not a quirk: it is sociopathy.
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