Sunday

Gun violence, women and children in the USA

In the USA the threads of violence seep into every crevice and cranny of our lives.  Those blackened, evil threads impact our minds and our hearts.  We weep for the victims and their families.  Innocence becomes the victim of our violence.  We fear for ourselves and our families.  Will our children/grandchildren die at school because of this madness?  Will that shopping trip be our families last trip?  Will going to the movies be "real" violence in 3D?  You hear a heated conversation, you wonder does this person have a gun?  You read in the paper, "Young mother of three shot execution-style in front of her children ages 3, 2, 1."  They were your neighbors a few years ago.  Small idyllic sea-side town, paradise;  and yet the threads of violence are under our sandy, sunny shores.  We become paralyzed by our fears.

This culture of violence is more often directed at women and children.  The recent horror in Connecticut killed adult women, educators, and young girls and boys of 6 and 7 years of age.  I recently read a statistic about women who die at their workplaceStatistically, women die in the workplace from gun violence not from a heart attack or job related injury.  Why is this violence directed at women and children?  We are easy targets for an enraged male with a gun who does not discuss disagreements but instead solves problems with the power of a gun.  We congregate in churches, in malls, at schools and are easy pickings for someone with an assault rifle, high on prescription or street drugs.

Listening to the election debates this year and reading headlines was just plain sickening.  Republican males believing that they have the right to decide issues regarding the female body.  Is there any wonder why women do not report rapes, with legislators and judges in court systems who blame the women for her rape.  If she was pure, she wouldn't get raped or have the rapist's baby.  Men without brains running for government offices.  The Republicans wonder why they lost this election.  Simple.  They totally discounted women.  I wonder how many men think the crazy thoughts that were expressed by the Republican candidates during this election.  And we wonder why violence is directed at women and children.  We don't exist to these men of power.  They haven't even figured it out that they lost this election because they have no compassion or understanding of women or children issues.

American culture is war.  We are like the Greek Spartans.  We wage wars across the world with little understanding of other cultures.  Inherent in those wars is what is called by our war machine, collateral damage:  death to civilians who get in the way.  Those civilians are usually women and children.  Wherever armies go, along comes rape and pillaging.  This attitude directed towards other nations seeps into our culture, fermenting a young male attitude about women and children.  It permeates Hollywood movies, with their violence towards women.  The roles women play in the movies being rather bizarre and usually not central to the movie.  And usually women are the "expendable" characters.  The ones butchered, shot or murdered in some horrid way.  How does this impact young men?  Even the gaming is about wars and fighting.  We are steeped in the tea leaves of violence towards others but in particular violence against women.

We wonder why birth and breastfeeding doesn't happen in the USA.  Why are our c-section rates so high?   Why breastfeeding just doesn't work?  Look towards the male views of women in American society.  Look to a political system warped by the power of weapons, the power of a male world outlook on how problems get solved.  Problems are solved through power and force.  Birth and breastfeeding problems are not solved in this manner.  They are solved by community, by women to women sharing, by the tincture of time.  Our violent society has no time for such problem solving.  Birth by the clock or else--we cut you open!  And if breastfeeding doesn't happen right after birth, we solve the problem by sticking a bottle in a baby's mouth.  The violence of surgical births and shoving a bottle or a boob into a baby's mouth is part and  parcel of a society that believes there is no time left to solve problems.  So we solve our problems by force.  And in the case of Friday's tragedy, a young male solves his problems by killing women and children.  We are a sad, sick society.  Those threads of violence are creating the downfall of a country.
Copyright 2012 Valerie W. McClain



 

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