“If Man Haron Monis’s 36 sexual assaults had been taken seriously, the #SydneySiege wouldn’t have happened.”
It is women who are the victims. It is women who are in the middle of male violence. It is women who are in the firing line.
Interesting article by Megan Murphy in Feminist Current:
“Violence against women is taken for granted. Misogyny is taken for granted. Male violence is not seen as gendered. Violence against powerful men is a “public” problem — a war — and violence against women is a sidenote, if it is mentioned at all. Sixty women disappeared from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver over about 20 years, beginning in the early 1980s, before the police even began an investigation. A database created by an Ottawa researcher tallies the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women across Canada at 824. On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. Most domestic violence homicides happen after a woman leaves (or tries to leave) her abuser. Women simply aren’t protected by the system. They aren’t taken seriously. The signs are there and they are ignored, over and over again, until it’s too late.
“Soraya Chemaly pointed out that the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq was 6,614, while the number of women killed as the result of domestic violence during the same period in the US was 11,766. So tell us, who is being targeted? What kind of violence matters? What kind of victims matter? Who is really, “at war?”” http://feministcurrent.com/…/a-war-on-the-police-how-about…/
By now we have all heard of the siege in Sydney. And about Man Haron Monis.
For the last two days it has headlined the news and social media.
The immediate assumption made when the siege occurred was that it was a terrorist attack. Why? Because he was a Muslim. And because he raised a flag with Arabic writing in the window. This is what he wanted us to believe – that his holding siege with hostages in the middle of Sydney was for a cause, and not because he is a violent, malicious man.
It is what the Western media and our Western politicians also wanted us to believe. Even as the real story of this man came to light, they continued to define him as a rogue terrorists and media outlets continued to examine this event in these terms.
This man, Man Haron Monis had a history of violence against women.
He had been charged with being a co-conspirator in the murder of his ex-wife, who had been knifed and set alight.
He was also charged with 40 sexual assault charges against women. And let’s not play around with words –aggravated sexual assault is violent rape.
He was on bail.
The magistrate who gave him bail stated:
“If there is a threat it was to this woman who was murdered.”
But after all he is not a threat to the community – only to women!
This is why he was not on the radar of the authorities – he was not a real threat to anyone – except women.
Male violence against women is epidemic throughout the world.
Destroy the Joint figures show that 73 women have been killed by male violence in Australia this year.
Our politicians are not really interested in violence against women.
It is more interested in creating fear and war-mongering.
Escalating the threat to Western democracy allows them to continue with their wars, continue with their torture, continue with their demonising of the “other” and make us all afraid. This allows them to justify their secrecy and their denying of our freedoms and our rights.
They are more interested in escalating violence. In making war.
According to Women, Peace and Security:
• Today close to 90 per cent of current war casualties are civilians, the majority of whom are women and children.
• War crimes including rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, and any other form of sexual violence.
• Violence against women is greatly exacerbated in conflict zones
• Women face many challenges in conflict and post-conflict environments – including extreme poverty, displacement from their homes, destruction of social networks, and limited opportunities for employment and income generation.
And wars which put more women and children at risk.
A hashtag was born declaring #illridewithyou to Muslim Australians fearful of facing backlash on public transport. It was a powerful and heart-warming hashtag – but it is a practice that every woman uses on a daily basis – because every day – at home or in public – women are targets of male violence – physical, sexual, threats, harassments. But there is no public outcry, no empathy, little understanding – it just part of normal life for women in patriarchy.
Acknowledging violence against women is a step that men in power are not willing to take. It would threaten their very power base.
As Louise Pennington states
“This is the reality of rape culture: systemic violence against women is simply not considered a problem. We need to start using the term terrorism to define male violence and we need to start recognising that women are human too. Until we do, men like Monis will continue to perpetrate these crimes, which are not ‘isolated incidents’ but systemic, state-sanctioned terrorism against women and girls.”