“Everything I do is going to contain the message that men who are going to be comfortable with powerful women are going to be more powerful men.” ― Joss Whedon
Exactly what are some countries and societies teaching boys and young men about women? Certainly, I am not naive to the fact that violence and rape have been used to control people since the beginning of civilization. Have we, as a country, been teaching men to respect the rights of girls and women? Are men and yes, even some women in the United States respectful of the fact that a woman has the right to control her own body including the right to contraception, sexual activity, abortion, childbirth, and even marriage? All of these factors add up when contemplating women's rights issues. When men read news articles, watch movies or speak to actual rape survivors they must allow themselves to fully feel compassion. No matter how harsh, men must allow themselves to view rape victims as their mother, wife, sister or daughter. When we speak to young men about equality and respect for women we must remember they are observing their own fathers, friends, mentors as well as being influenced by the culture around them. When men speak of women they must show respect, love, encourage empowerment, choice and understand a womans right to her own mind and body. Acts of violence, murder, torture and rape are human rights abuses that occur all over the world.
“Woman's degradation is in mans idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs, are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.” stated social activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton over one hundred years ago. We live in the United States of America, a country I love dearly but is not even on most "top ten lists" of best countries for women to live and thrive in the world. Are you surprised? I sure the hell am.