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Sexual harassment, assault: Change the story

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Participants at the Women's March, Kansas City, Missouri, Jan. 21, 2016 (NCR photo/George Goss)

  • We're not far from the scary world of "The Handmaid's Tale," but we don't have to keep repeating the story. Men in power can demonstrate that women are equal. They can call other men to examine masculinity. They can accept that women and men both desire sex and can control their urges. We can talk about crimes of power and the crime of silence among those who hold it. We can change.
  • Related: From the Archives | Let’s Stop Referring to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as ‘Women’s Issues’

 

Mariam Williams, National Catholic Reporter

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Stop%20the%20War%20on%20Women%20graphic_1.jpgOct 28, 2017 | Lately my favorite way to add gray to my hair is to watch the show "The Handmaid's Tale" on Hulu. Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, the story is set in a dystopian present in which the United States is a totalitarian nation, a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible is law, and fertile women are forced to be surrogates for barren women. From what I can tell after seven episodes, all the barren women are married to wealthy men in positions of power. All the characters who aren't "commanders" or their wives are militia, servants or handmaids.

I watch it because a coworker recommended it, though she said it was scary. She didn't mean this in the seasonal, Halloween way. She meant "The Handmaid's Tale" is scary because it's so plausible.

Mariam Williams is a Kentucky writer living in Philadelphia. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing and certificate in public history from Rutgers University-Camden. She is a contributor to the anthology Faithfully Feminist.

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Related:

From the Archives | Let’s Stop Referring to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as ‘Women’s Issues’, Linda A. Seabrook and Quentin Walcott, Huffington Post

  • We all benefit when responsible men stand in their communities as shining examples of healthy and respectful masculinity.
  • Related: “Dear Kim. Please stop using the term ’empowerment’ when you really mean ‘marketing’.” 

 

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/4267860/images/n-GROUP-OF-MEN-628x314.jpg George Doyle via Getty Images 

04/28/2016 | From reproductive rights to paid family leave to sexual and domestic violence, our society neatly categorizes issues where women bear the brunt of the burden as “women’s issues,” turning them into problems for women and women’s rights advocates alone to solve. But this framing couldn’t be more wrong, and only serves to reinforce the practice of victim blaming that is so pervasive in our society.

As we close another Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we can’t help but wonder — where are the voices of the men? Yes, women are overwhelmingly victims of domestic violence, but men are overwhelmingly perpetrators. It comes down to male behavior and conditioning, so preventing and addressing violence requires men to be engaged in this issue, and take action as well. And breaking the cycle of violence starts with addressing how boys are conditioned to model “male” behavior and attitudes.

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