It is entirely true that there should not be violence against women. It’s also true that all lives matter, not just those pink and frilly so we should be aiming for no violence against anyone. But, clearly, given current events that’s not an attitude that’s going to get much air play at present.
To stick with the idea of none against women:
‘Society as a whole can tackle violence against women and girls via legislation and education’
While we have come a long way, tragic cases like Sarah Everard’s remind us there is still a way to go
That’s an odd claim. Or, perhaps, an incomplete one. For we used to have a system of at least trying to prevent violence against women. That was the idea that one simply never did hit a woman – used here as a catch all for that patriarchal system whereby men saw it as their duty to protect women. The same thing that had the ladies and kiddies taking the lifeboats while the men deckchaired it to the orchestra playing as the Titanic sank.
This is not, not at all, a clarion call for a return to such days. It is, rather, to note that we did have a societally agreed system by which the desired aim was at least attempted. Women were protected from violence because it was beaten into that society as a whole that that’s just not what was done.
We have changed society. Largely for the better too. The economic liberation of women is an undoubted boon. Their sexual liberty – which is clearly the sexual liberty of all – is on balance a benefit even as there are downsides to it. What we’ve not as yet done is found a similar societal solution to violence against women. That’s the very complaint being made.
Again, this is not to say that the old ways were better. Now is it to try and insist that we must return to them. It is just to note that we used to have a largely stable agreement on how things should be. Currently we do not. We have a number of insistences about how things should be, true, but again the complaint here is that not all have signed on to it.
We are, that is, looking for the new equilibrium solution that will be generally agreed and thereby generally enforced.
One of the problems with reaching such agreement is that as with near all crime there needs to be adjustment along many boundaries. We agree that people should not steal cars for example, but we also agree that leaving a car with the keys in is going to increase the opportunity to steal a car – and thus the incidence of car stealing. We do not buy door locks because all agree that burglary is criminal. We buy door locks to make burglary more difficult.
That is, we need adjustment along the boundary of female behaviour as well as along that one of beating the snot out of any man who dares be violent. Which is, of course, one of our problems in trying to reach this new equilibrium, that first is the very thing that some insist should not have to happen.