The Longest War


We have an abundance of rape and violence against women in this country and on this Earth, though it’s almost never treated as a civil rights or human rights issue, or a crisis, or even a pattern. Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender.
–Rebecca Solnit.


Not treated as a human rights issue is incorrect.


I don’t know what you mean.

Anyway, I would love to engage in a conversation about the essay, and the overarching issue she is trying to address therein, if anyone here is game.


I mean abuse of women is a long standing human rights issue. I’ve worked on campaign addressing these human rights abuses going back over 15 years. So it has been treated as a human rights issue and continues to be treated as one.

The rest of the quote I’ve said myself in other threads.


Not so much in the USofA. Solnit is talking about our backwards country.


She did mention “Earth” so…




And here’s where I stop contributing to this thread.



Here I want to say one thing: though virtually all the perpetrators of such crimes are men, that doesn’t mean all men are violent. Most are not. In addition, men obviously also suffer violence, largely at the hands of other men, and every violent death, every assault is terrible. But the subject here is the pandemic of violence by men against women, both intimate violence and stranger violence. …

Never mind workplace violence, let’s go home. So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over 1,000 homicides of that kind a year – meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular terror. (Another way to put it: the more than 11,766 corpses from domestic-violence homicides since 9/11 exceed the number of deaths of victims on that day and all American soldiers killed in the “war on terror.”) If we talked about crimes like these and why they are so common, we’d have to talk about what kinds of profound change this society, or this nation, or nearly every nation needs.

Rape and other acts of violence, up to and including murder, as well as threats of violence, constitute the barrage some men lay down as they attempt to control some women, and fear of that violence limits most women in ways they’ve gotten so used to they hardly notice – and we hardly address. There are exceptions: last summer someone wrote to me to describe a college class in which the students were asked what they do to stay safe from rape. The young women described the intricate ways they stayed alert, limited their access to the world, took precautions, and essentially thought about rape all the time (while the young men in the class, he added, gaped in astonishment). The chasm between their worlds had briefly and suddenly become visible.


Anyway, the chapter from Solnit’s book posted in the op is a good read, and I would encourage any man who thinks women are over-reacting to sexual assault and harrassment to read it. It might open your eyes to why women are reacting the way they are. Or it might be something to share with your BIL or your son, or whatever. Just sayin’.

I know I’m probably playing a fool’s game, but it never hurts to try.