It was the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre yesterday (December 6th), and while it’s great to see an increase in awareness and desire to end violence against women, I can’t help but wonder at the futility of any subsequent policy if we, the people, don’t take ownership of them to create not only a violence-free environment around the women in our society, but also (and perhaps especially) to create an environment that eliminates all factors leading to violence (being shoved at in the metro, being told off rather nastily at work, being treated badly because one ‘only’ works as a waiter, etc, etc).
Fact of the matter is, violence against women mostly happens within the domestic setting, and is a reflection of unresolved issues the man has. However, laying the blame on the men is a narrow-minded way of thinking. Truth is, the blame starts from that man’s childhood, from any abuse he might have witnessed, from the lack of nurturing he might have gotten, from lack of education related to how to express his frustrations in a healthy way, from lack of true connections, from lack of understanding on behalf of those around him…
And going around accusing one another of who was responsible for what doesn’t help, either. I would think that rather, if this rise in awareness and desire to eliminate violence against women was channeled into understanding how every act we perform every day has a butterfly effect, be it positive or negative, then we would create the conditions within which feelings, emotions or situations that usually culminate into violence against women would find other channels to dissipate themselves in.
By the same token, there has been an exponential rising in awareness with regards to the sorry state of the environment (thank you, Al Gore) and yet, at the level of day to day life, little change is being observed. Just sit outside a Starbucks and count the number of one use cups you see trotting out of there, or count the number of cars that are left idling on the street.
There seems to be a certain laxity when it comes to taking ownership of these problems. My question is: why? Do people really feel that helpless? Or are they so distracted by the rising tides of materialism that they don’t have the time to do what they could do to help with these two situations (and many others)?