In traditional times in Native American culture, (male) abusers of women and children would have been punished by their peers through public beatings or banishment from the tribe. There were systems in place that worked to maintain the moral and ethical life of the community and to protect its more vulnerable members. Things have changed. The rates of sexual assault and violence against Native American women are the highest in the nation. Be a witness. Take time to view this video and make a comment.
I have been tracking journalists' reports, field workers accounts around the world, everyday citizens, media of all types on and offline, and increasing books that assert a decrease in violence around the world. Can any studied measure of violence possibly ignore the facts? There is great good being accomplished in the world that we rarely get news of in the press; that's a fact. Violence provokes the spectacle-loving, aggression-seeking desires that exist in an increasingly chaotic and unpredictable world and, in many ways, confirms our deepest fears. As 2012 ended and 2013 opened we both celebrated and mourned more-than-frequent occurrences of identifiable violence from India and China to the Ivory Coast and Connecticut. But if we look closely, just under the surface, human violence is not decreasing as Pinker and others write.That type of subjective comparative data just makes us less anxious, or does it? And what are the data anyway? What and who counts as violence and violated? Have the authors ever experienced violence over a lifetime in a personal setting, as innocents from a prison cell, or in a repressive state?
Selectively analyzing history or prehistory and comparing it to present-day forms of violence underestimates unreported and systemic violence as well as the normalization of forms of human behavior that we are reluctant to categorize as violent. Note how many acts of recent violence target children and women. Laws and policies are key guardians of deviant social behavior but what types of interventions actually reduce violence and what are the proven outcomes?
Men are awakening to their responsibilities in violence awareness and prevention. It starts with talk and ends with personal changes-how we think about manhood and why we must "rethink" manhood.
It's not merely a matter of playing games about who's more violent. But it is time that men 'man-up' and reexamine the key role they play in violence prevention, how socialized we all are, men and women toward complacency, what new behaviors we must demand of men, and how me are bound to redress the women who, as co-dependents, prevent and protect men from ever growing up.
In this article, Michael and Cliff have done the 'man-up' thing and put the issue under the spotlight. That harsh spotlight needs to remain on until we eliminate the threat that 'normalizing violence' plays in our societies worldwide.
As I have repeated, violence and manhood aren't just the responsibility of those who believe they are "decent men". Listen up, decent men. Let's hear more from the rest of you, not the words, but the deeds. Read and comment: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-kimmel/the-unbearable-whiteness-_2_b_2350931.html
These are days of challenge, struggle, and opportunity in every nation and among all people, women and men, youth, children, and elders. Before us, the challenges ask that we embark on what Black Elk called a vision quest, a life journey that will change us from who we are now to who we might become. Easy words to say; harder to make happen amidst the current chaos and insecurity in all nations. Black Elk refers to a power we can engage when we examine the power of the circle manifested in so many aspects of the natural world. There are lessons to learn for human brings in the circularity, harmony, and eternal power of nature.
This past Monday (December 10), I facilitated a Study Circle on 'Gender Equality: Why We Must Achieve It' in London, co-sponsored by Global Network 21 (a UK-based civil society group) and held at the National Baha'i Centre with great success. We hope that all who attended were enriched by these first discussions and thank you for your indispensable contributions and your generous joy. The 'welcoming partnership' has begun. Please take the concept of the Study Circle into your families, neighborhoods, and the workplace to create "a place of ritual, a place of prayer, a place of lasting vision" and report back from the new frontier!
The violence pandemic (quantitative research in public health) has us all in what Nobel Prize author Wole Soyinka's book title calls a "Climate of Fear"(literature). Detection skills (criminal justice) for receiving and sending critical data (communication studies) on impending outbreaks (forecasting) of violence (deviant social behavior) is now in the hands of technology (computer science) and its innovators. Listen and learn (right & left brain) about how a software tool originally developed to track election (political science) violence in 2007 is being applied to other human survival projects.