The mass murder carried out on May 23 in Santa Barbara by a young man who professed profound hatred of women--and who released a manifesto which revealed years of cultivated resentment, score-keeping against women for living lives that did not reduce to sexually servicing him, "loving" him, and hanging on his arm in a way that elevated his "status" as a man--poses these questions:
How long must women live with the fear of violence at the hands of men who are trained by society to hate them, to feel entitled to their bodies, to view women not as human but as things who exist to sexually and emotionally service them or bear their children?
How long will young women in "the West" face the likelihood of rape while in college while girls in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere face the terror of death, abduction, or acid-attacks simply for going to school?
How much longer will we tolerate a society where every 15 seconds a woman is beaten, where every day three to four women are killed by their male partners, and where--on top of all this--the jails and prisons are then filled with the women who have dared to defend themselves against this abuse?
How long will we tolerate a culture which mainstreams violent and vicious pornography that trains millions and millions of men to see women's degradation, torture, and humiliation as "sexy"?
How many more girls and very young women will be kidnapped or tricked, sold by starving families or drugged and beaten into sexual slavery in every part of the world including here, where the average age of entry into prostitution is 12?
How long will women's lives be foreclosed by forced motherhood because they are unable to access safe, affordable, and unstigmatized birth control and abortion--rights which are under vicious and escalating assault in every part of this country right now as you read?
And how long will we be fed the bullshit LIE that women have "achieved their equality," that all that is left is for individual women to "empower themselves" within this landscape of abuse and degradation?