To the Editor:
Charles M. Blow’s excellent Sept. 15 column, “Ray Rice and His Rage,” raises a critical issue. Why is it not questioned and examined that we have so many young men showing up on college campuses primed to sexually assault? Or so many men physically abusing their intimate partners? Are we just going to accept that this is a normal part of masculinity? As a human rights lawyer focusing on gender-based violence, I don’t.
What we are looking at is gender-based violence. By ignoring its root cause, which is the universal devaluation of women and girls and the privileging of men and boys over women and girls, we allow it to continue.
Of course the socialization of men and boys toward violence against women and girls through our culture is completely ignored as well. The multibillion-dollar video game business, television, movies and pornography all continue to feature violence against women as entertainment. These are the cultural co-factors that are corrupting masculinity and contributing toward this universal and growing human rights violation.
What’s it going to take to end all forms of violence against women? It will take men making it their political priority as well.
New York, Sept. 15, 2014
Note from KBJ: The letter writer is uninformed. Women are as likely as men to perpetrate violence against their domestic partners. See here.