Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Here in Australia, it manifests itself as White Ribbon Day, which I guess is a bit less of a mouthful…
Clementine Ford wrote a great article today about how the White Ribbon campaign risks being little more than ineffective tokenism – something “good guys” can pledge their support to, before resuming day-to-day life where they don’t call out violence, misogyny and privilege. She points out how simply voicing our horror about violence against women isn’t enough; how we need to address the patriarchy behind it.
Being male, white, middle aged, cisgendered, heterosexual, and living above the poverty line, I’m certainly in a position of privilege. I would like to do more to tackle the problem of misogyny and it’s effects, but I’m also keenly aware that my own past actions fly in the face of my values. Can I call out misogyny without being labelled a hypocrite? I guess I can if it’s not in front of people who know my history. But I still know, and realise that there’s a disconnect there.
I try to remember that sometimes the best thing to do is simply to step back and allow women to have a voice and take the lead. But I will continue to support change and advocate for it where I can; to work towards a society where my daughter can be shaped by who she is, not by what others expect her to be. Aside from that, I guess the most important thing I can do is focus on my recovery and ensure I don’t offend again.