Aiia Maasarwe is dead; there will be no justice for her. What remains however, is for the judge to decide how seriously our society takes the unspeakably horrific violence inflicted on her, and how seriously we should be deterring men from raping, torturing, and murdering others. That decision will be made tomorrow, on the 29th of October.
As I wrote in a previous post, 79 Days, the news of Aiia’s death took an unexpected toll on me, and changed me as a person. It’s not that I wasn’t previously upset about women being raped and murdered; believe me, I was. It’s that something broke in my mind, and try as I might, I can now no longer pretend that the violence and hatred shown to women across the world doesn’t exist. I can now, also, not pretend that the left-wing war on gender is not adding fuel to this violent fire. And I am now no longer okay about the fact that men stay silent and look the other way as we are being raped and beaten to death.
In the heartless timing of life, it was only a few months later that I read something which, again, broke me. In researching for a history essay, I came across a brief overview of the things men have said about women, and the way they have believed women should be treated. Worse – much, much worse – many of these men were Christian theologians who we glorify today. Christian theologians whose works I love reading; in whom I have placed a kind of spiritual trust. Men who, it turns out, would be horrified that I could even read, let alone read their work.
From day 17 of this year, the flood gates have been opened and male hatred has rained down upon my heart, mind, and spirit. People are okay to talk of generational trauma within different cultures and races. White Australians accept the responsibility of the atrocities we committed against the stolen generation, and we acknowledge the lasting emotional and psychological affect it has on Indigenous Australians today. Yet no one wants to look at the generational oppression, suffering, and trauma that hangs over women; the most oppressed, abused, and hated humans throughout all of history – all the world. Men don’t want to take ownership of that. No one wants to admit just how awfully the historical hatred against women affects modern women today.
And look, I get it. I get that I am a privileged westerner. I don’t really feel unequal in society today. I have so many options as a woman that it’s sometimes overwhelming, and in many circumstances, because of feminism, I have the upper hand.
Yet do I weep because of my womanhood. Not for myself, per se, but for the women who are long dead and only ever saw oppression, violence, hatred, neglect, and segregation. For the Jewish women who were raped on top of everything else they experienced in the Holocaust. For the young girls today who have their genitalia mutilated so that the act of sex will only ever be painful for them as women. For the women who are still refused an education; who are still sent outside the home when menstruating; who are raped and refused an abortion; who are denied proper medical attention because they are not taken seriously by authorities; who are sold into sex slavery by their parents; who die during childbirth; who are murdered in the womb or upon their birth based on that they are a female because their parents wanted a boy; who are raped in front of a camera so that other violent, sub-human criminals can watch it for pleasure. Yet do I weep, because of how we are hated. That because we were born a woman rather than a man, we were automatically hated. That because we have ovaries and breasts, we are made the object of lust – and it is made our fault. That because we have ovaries, some men believe our sole purpose in life is to cook, pleasure a man, and raise children. That our thoughts, talents, skills, intelligence, and passions are chained up and ignored; we are dehumanised.
Yet do I weep, because when I was a teenager, a Christian pastor could “accidentally” refer to women as “penis sacks”. Yet do I weep, because there are teenage boys today who chant hideous sexist hatred on public trains, without facing any real consequence. Yet do I weep, because a man can rape, torture, and murder a woman, and then excuse his actions with mental illness.
Yet do I weep because of womanhood, because there are men still trying to convince others that women are not more oppressed than them. Because women are still being raped, strangled, beaten, set on fire, and left naked to die from their injuries in some bushes, or in an alley, or in a public park. Dehumanised.
People from all nationalities and cultures carry the weight of the horrific evils inflicted against their people. Women carry the ever-increasing burden of the horrors committed against women past and present, and all across the world… and the added weight of being told to get over it.
I don’t want sympathy from men. I don’t want a power imbalance in favour of women. I don’t want to deny that men are made victims of evil too. What I want is for men to man-up and accept that women are oppressed in this world; that we are still hated not for anything we’ve done but because we are women. I want men to man-up and acknowledge that we have been so deeply wronged, and that across the world today women are still the victims of unspeakable hate crimes.