Violence Against Women in Education

 

Women have been under attack and blamed for a lot since Eve offered the fruit to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Strong female characters in the Bible weren’t portrayed in a positive light either; Lilith, Jezebel, Delilah, Rachel and Leah’s bickering, Sarah and Hagar etc.   As the centuries progressed women have been able to score a few positive victories in advancing the rights of women.  When you look around the world today there are many initiatives, charities and non-profits dedicated to the advancement of women and girls yet, sadly the violent attacks continue to the point it makes you wonder how successful have we been for all our talk about  advancing our causes for women. For every successful story it is outnumbered two or three times with a negative story.

Attack on Women in Education

A recent New York Times article, ‘Misogyny’s Link to Killings‘  questions the rising violence against women in the United States that results in mass shootings. It took a deeper look into the cause of why these male shooters feel the need to satisfy their anger and frustration using gun violence on women.   Consider the following quoted in the article:

  • The man who shot nine people to death in early August in Dayton, Ohio seethed at female classmates and threatened them with violence;
  • Authorities are still trying to find out the motive that drove Connor Betts, 24 to murder nine people in Ohio, including his sister.  Investigators are looking at his history of antagonism and threats towards women, and whether they may have played a role in the attacks.  Others recall his dark rages and obsession with guns and that those rages were frequently directed at female acquaintances.  In high school Bretts made a list threatening violence or sexual violence against his targets, most of whom were girls, according to his classmates.  His threats were frightening enough that some girls altered their behavior: Try not to attract his attention, but don’t antagonize him either.
  • The University of Texas Tower massacre in 1966, generally considered to be the beginning of the era of modern mass shootings in America began with the gunmen killing his mother and wife the night before.

Lest We Forget – Polytechnique 

“On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine entered a mechanical engineering class at the École Polytechnique and ordered the women and men onopposite sides of the classroom. He separated nine women, instructing the men to leave. He stated that he was “fighting feminism” and opened fire. He shot at all nine women in the room, killing six.” Lépine then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, targeting women for just under 20 minutes before turning the gun on himself. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.”

CHRIS WATTIE / REUTERS
Demonstrators hold portraits of some of the victims of the Montreal Massacre during the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Dec. 6, 2011.

École Polytechnique is one of the three largest engineering schools in Canada, and the largest one in the province of Quebec. Since its foundation in 1873, this French language educational establishment trains engineers and specialists.  What type of engineers? All sorts: chemical, civil engineering, geological engineering, mining, biomedical, electrical engineering,  aerospace, mechanical and mathematical engineering.  You know “boys stuff”.

“The school contributes to the scientific and economic expansion of the region. Its graduates were part of most of Quebec’s major engineering works of the 20th century such as the construction of hydroelectric dams. The École Polytechnique is in the forefront of engineering in many fields such as aeronautics, computer engineering, telecommunications, biotechnology, nanotechnology, environmental science, artificial intelligence, and many other high-end domains.” [Wikipedia]

In the aftermath of the attack, investigators found a suicide letter in Lepin’s pocket with a list of 19 names of Quebec women whom Lepine wished to kill because he considered them to be feminists. The list included a journalist, a politician, TV personalities, a few female police officers whom Lepine knew as teammates from his volleyball team. “Lépine wrote that he considered himself rational and that he blamed feminists for ruining his life. He outlined his reasons for the attack including his anger towards feminists for seeking social changes that “retain the advantages of being women […] while trying to grab those of the men…” with a quick Google search you could find a full copy of the letter posted.


Honoring the Victims

  • Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
  • Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
  • Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
  • Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
  • Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
  • Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
  • Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
  • Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
  • Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
  • Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

“To date, 1,117 women have graduated, becoming leaders in their communities, and transforming them with a new paradigm of turning pain into power.” ~ Huffington Post


In a search for a rationale since the attack there have been debates over various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motives. Many characterize the massacre as an anti-feminist attack representative of wider societal violence against women. The anniversary of the massacre has been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. As the New York Times report points out about underlying issues of domestic abuse, “other interpretations emphasize the effect of Lépine’s history of abuse as a child, suggest that the massacre was simply the isolated act of a madman unrelated to larger social issues. Others have blamed violence in the media, as well as social issues such as poverty, isolation, and alienation in society and particularly in immigrant communities.  The incident led to more stringent gun control laws in Canada. It also introduced changes in the tactical response of police to shootings, changes which were later credited with minimizing casualties at the 2006 Dawson College shootings.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and other foreign ministers commemorate victims of gender and sexual-based violence by remembering the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, Canada, on Sept. 22, 2018.

Mélissa Blais, a lecturer and doctoral student at the University of Quebec, is the country’s leading scholar on the massacre and its anti-feminist context. She interviewed a number of women for her research who were active feminists in 1989 and found that many felt responsible for what happened in Montreal. “Afterwards, they chose to be silent to avoid further attack.  When I became a feminist, around the year 2000, I was puzzled to see that some were still reluctant to talk in political terms about the attack. It seemed as though the most efficient way to dismiss the feminist explanation was to reduce everything to the psychology of a single mad man.

Before he opened fire, Lépine shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists and I hate feminists!” One female student, Nathalie Provost protested: “I’m not feminist, I have never fought against men.” Lépine shot her anyway.  Francine Pelletier, a feminist activist and newspaper columnist at Montreal’s La Presse newspaper, describes feeling “totally floored” on hearing about the massacre, but nothing prepared her for the discovery that she was on a list found by police in the killer’s pocket.


Family members of Montreal Massacre victim Anne-Marie Edward hug during a memorial service in Montreal, on Dec. 5, 1999. [Source: Sean Best, Reuters]
To bring the New York Post article into a Canadian context, the result of the massacre brought on a cry for tougher laws around gun control, the cry was so loud it became a movement. The parents of the victims were deeply involved with organizin and volunteers. This led to the passage of Bill C68 also known as the Firearms Act ushering in stricter guns control regulations:

“These new regulations included requirements on the training of gun owners, screening of firearm applicants, rules concerning gun and ammunition storage and the registration of all firearms. Between 2009 and 2012, survivors of the massacre and their families publicly opposed legislative actions by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government aimed at ending the requirement to register non-restricted firearms (commonly referred to as the “long-gun registry”).  A bill was narrowly defeated in September 2010, but following their 2011 majority election win, the long-gun registry was abolished by the Harper government in April 2012.  The Quebec government subsequently won a temporary injunction, preventing the destruction of the province’s gun registry data, and ordering the continued registration of long guns in Quebec. In March 2015, The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Quebec, clearing the way for the destruction of all registry data.”

Police response was heavily criticized as well as the men who were ushered out of the room.  Many felt that at least one should have stayed behind to try and distract the attention of the shooter. “Right-wing newspaper columnist Mark Steyn suggested that male inaction during the massacre illustrated a “culture of passivity” prevalent among men in Canada, which enabled Lépine’s shooting spree: “Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate—an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history.”  Anything can be said in 20/20 hindsight not everyone is built [or trained] to answer the call of ‘heroism’ – that’s why it’s so special if you’re lucky enough to have a hero come to your aide.   The boys did express remorse for their inaction, meekly following the instructions of the gunman to evacuate the room.  Yet, Nathalie Provost, one of the survivors of the shooting said nothing could have been done to prevent tragedy and they shouldn’t feel guilty.  On the flip side, “some men’s rights and anti-feminist commentators state that feminism has provoked violence against women, and without condoning the shootings, view the massacre as an extreme expression of men’s frustrations.”

Nearly 30 years later, not much has changed. In 2017, 84 per cent of homicide victims in Canada killed by a current or former intimate partner were women. In the first eight months of 2018 alone, 106 women and girls were killed in Canada, primarily by men. Indigenous women and girls continue to be killed at a rate six times higher than others.” ~ Huffington Post

The Government’s response to the killings was the creation of a House of Commons Sub-Committee on the Status of Women. ” It released a report “The War against Women” in June 1991, which was not endorsed by the full standing committee.  Then came a Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women that same year.  “Their final report “Changing the Landscape: Ending Violence – Achieving Equality”,  was issued in June 1993. The panel proposed a two-pronged “National Action Plan” consisting of an “Equality Action Plan” and a “Zero Tolerance Policy” designed to increase women’s equality and reduce violence against women through government policy. Critics of the panel said that the plan failed to provide a workable timeline and strategy for implementation and that with over four hundred recommendations, the final report failed to make an impact.”

“We know that the work space remains one of intimidation, silent complacency and even danger for women.” ~ Huffington Post

Honorary Canadian Citizenship -Malala Yousafzai

Let me first start with a personal story, both my parents were educators, my father ended his career as university professor at McGill University.  Growing up I loved school, I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I was disappointed though during the latter years of high school my school grades suffered because I couldn’t focus on my homework.  Each day that I would return home, get off the school bus where I was greet with three half younger sisters all under the age of 5 with their noses pressed against the window, “Yaaaay!! Suzie’s home!!” I would put away all my school work and take over the child minding for the rest of the evening. Helping with [or made] supper, cleaning the table, doing the dishes, playing with the kids, get them in the bath, dress them before putting  them down for bed.   Our tribal religion doesn’t endorse furthering education, they support spiritual [religious] education where your aspirations are to become a full time pioneer in the Ministry and my father, being “old-school”, fully endorsed that trajectory.   We had not one word of conversation about what was going to happen once I finished high school and we’re coming dangerously close to graduation – teachers were asking about my direction, as well as my peers.  I became depressed, and when I was sent home one day by the guidance counselor my dad thought a holiday break to accompany my sister on a trip to Dominican Republic would help. No -what do you want to be when you grow up?  No – what career do you aspire to?  No – do you want to go on to CEGEP after high school? and being the daughter of a Professor at McGill University I’m sure I would have attended school at a much discounted price  – – or something…

I graduated high school, still no conversation about my future so I left – yeah, literally, I left –  at the ripe age 15 to live with my sister.  Boy Dad wasn’t happy about that.  Fast forward a decade and a half later. I decide to go to Art School.  I mustered the courage to call my father to ask if he’d be the co-signer to my student loan. All was fine it went through.  But I loaned my father half of my student loan money.  My stepmother unexpectedly served my father some divorce papers  and totally  cleaned him out of the bank account. I couldn’t finish school.  Then a decade later I decide to go to University and this time – darn it! –  I will do it MYSELF! No interference.  I finished a year of Humanities and Women’s studies.  By the time my father started to catch on with my academic pursuits and the affects of what I was learning had on me, well he became worried.  Humanities is not a course for religious people, every class I went to debunked some religious mythical story I learned growing up. Women’s studies?!!!  Heaven forbid!  Religious patriarchy hates Women’s Studies! Then my dad fell seriously ill, somehow the family banded together and I haven’t since had the opportunity to finish my degree.

Violence against women doesn’t have to be a slap or a punch in the face – it’s could also be a punch in the mind or the soul, you know the wounds that have a harder time to heal than the physical. The attack against women in education doesn’t necessarily happen in lands far away,  it happens right here in our continent, our country, in our cities and towns. It’s not necessarily fought with guns and extreme violence, it could simply be an ideological problem among a woman and her support who might have something else in mind for her future. Yet, scratch just below the “well-intentions”, in many cases,  you’ll find some level sexism motivating the advice and it happens on both sides of genders.  For women, it’s the social comparisons we spoke about examined through social media, it could be rivalry among family members, or it could be just pure fact that men do not want women advancing….especially women of color.  Yet, I can’t help but wonder had my mother, another educator, had somehow survived her Leukemia, I would have gone straight into university right out of high school.  She was a “brainiac” and would demand no less especially of her daughters.  That I know for sure and Dad would have supported furthering my education – perhaps not the courses I ultimately chose but he’d be there to help steer both me and my sister’s academic direction – both of them would have done so.

My father passed away in 2016.  I never had the chance to visit him during his “hey-days” days of teaching at the university, and he sure loved teaching university students!  He would often remark on the difference between teaching high school and university students and that difference was the university students wanted to be in class – its not an obligation – so the teaching experience was even more rewarding!   It would be almost two years after my father’s death I would happen to attend a book launch hosted by McGill’s faculty of Law, the school where my father taught Metallurgical Engineering students in the Science Lab.

The Law department has a  stunning interior of old architecture meets new designs and even a bit of art.  I’d paused for a bit peering through the window of a few classrooms full of students listening to a teacher’s lecture .  I’d remember my dad with this whole Sydney Poitier “To Sir with Love” style of teaching  and imagined what it was like to be him in front of all those students.  As I passed various classrooms, the Law library and then the common area where I was greeted with a life sized mural of Malala Yousafzai.  Wow!  I was totally blown away!  Now Malala is a story of what happens when you arm a girl with a book and education. It is also a story about a father investing in his daughter’s future to allow her to be the best she could be – at a young age Malala had already won a Nobel Prize! Learning the story of Malala and all that she went through for the sake of education – boy! I tip my hat to her father! Bravo!

Portrait of Malala Yousafzai in the social area of McGill University’s Faculty of Law.

About the Book Launch at McGill: Public international law has embarked on a new chapter. Over the past century, the classical model of international law, which emphasized state autonomy and interstate relations, has gradually ceded ground to a new model. Under the new model, a state’s sovereign authority arises from the state’s responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill human rights for people. In Fiduciaries of Humanity and International Law Constitutes Authority, Evan J. Criddle and Evan Fox-Decent argue that these developments mark a turning point in the international community’s conception of public authority….The authors apply the fiduciary model to a variety of current topics and controversies, including human rights, emergencies, the treatment of detainees in counter-terrorism operations, humanitarian intervention, and the protection of refugees.

The above becomes appropriate because of what Malala and all the other women and girls had to endure in her country with the Taliban banning women and girls who were pursuing education and the assistance that they needed very well falls under the category of humanitarian intervention as the world watched in horror and  rally to champion Malala’s cause.

 

Let Her Fly: A Father’s Journey [excerpt]

Malala’s father was an activist and  steadily shaped Malala’s activism by providing her the tools, education and encouragement, in which she bravely obliged and pursued.  On the back cover of his book, it is written:

“In Pakistan, I occasionally came across families who kept a bird in their courtyard.  Somebody, no doubt a father or a brother, had taken some scissors to its primary feathers and clipped them so short that flight was no longer possible.  When I say of Malala “I did not clip her wings” what I mean is that when she was small, I broke the scissors used by society to clip girls’ wings.  I did not let those scissors near Malala.  I wanted to let her fly high in the sky, not scratch around in a dusty courtyard, and I would stand by her, protecting her, until she had the confidence and strength to fly high herself, no longer in need of  protection.

Inside the book cover it is written…

Living in the mountainous region of Pakistan to a man who has broken with regressive social norms, Yousafazi has proven that there are many faces of feminism.  As an educator, a family man and an activist, Yousafazi has championed positive changes in all aspects of his life, be it empowering his daughter, Malala, to be a global leader, fighting for girls’ education around the world or teaching his sons the value of equality…for the first time, readers will learn how an ordinary man from rural Pakistan started school with the express mission to educate young women for a brighter future and become and activist and global leader in his own right.

Inside the book Yousafzai wrote of his daughter…

“...I needed faith in my own position as her father.  I had such instinctive, powerful love that I felt as long as I was beside her, supporting her, nothing could stand in her way.  I look back and I see myself resolved and determined that these social norms I lived with, these traditions full of misogyny and male chauvinism would not cut her down.”

View image on Twitter
Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai on your honorary Canadian citizenship ceremony today.

“Malala is an international symbol of perseverance for not only girls and women but for all of us, she embodies what it means to be Canadian. Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai on your honorary Canadian citizenship.

Join Laureen and I in congratulating Ms. Malala Yousafzai on her honorary Canadian citizenship ceremony today in Ottawa.

On behalf of all Canadians, it was an honor to bring forward a motion on the naming of Ms. Yousafzai an honorary Canadian citizen in the House of Commons October 21, 2014. Malala is an international symbol of perseverance for not only girls and women but for all of us, she embodies what it means to be Canadian. Malala’s incredible story and tireless work to give millions of girls a voice will leave a lasting impression for generations.

Welcome to Canada, Malala!  

~ Stephan Harper, Facebook post, April 12, 2017

Interim Tory Leader Rona Ambrose also directly thanked Harper in an Instagram post for making the day happen.

“I would like to acknowledge PM Harper for recognizing her amazing contribution to the world in 2014. ” ~Justin Trudeau

View image on Twitter
“This morning, in the Library of Parliament, Malala Yousafzai received the honorary Canadian citizenship bestowed upon her in 2014.”

CTV Power Play tweeted earlier in the day that the Prime Minister’s Office had said Harper and other former prime ministers were invited to attend the ceremony, but could not attend.

PMO confirms that Harper & other fmr PMs were invited to attend Malala ceremony today but “regrettably, they were unable to attend.”

Nobel Prize

In 2018 Canadian Co-winner Donna Strickland also won a Nobel prize in physics.  Strickland said she didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about her rarity as a woman in this scientific field.  “I’m not a woman who has been looking at all of these prizes and thinking why isn’t there a woman.  I haven’t thought like that.”   She says she pursued the work for the sheer joy of it.  “It was a fun thing to do and so I enjoyed putting many hours into it,” she said. “It was a fun time in the field of short pulse lasers and it was a fun group to be in, so I put in long hours.”  She still describes working with white light generation in her lab as almost magical.

Donna Strickland receives her Nobel Prize [Source: MacLeans]

She said the Nobel win offers an example to young researchers, particularly women, that there is a place for them in science.  “Seeing women celebrated definitely can help more people see that it’s possible for them, too,” she said.

Author, play-write and activist, Eve Ensler (See: Body of World) writes a tribute to Dr. Mukwege: “I know of no man who has given his life more completely to ending violence against women. He does it because he loves and values women. He does it because he knows that the women of DRC are the lifeblood of the future. He is a man of profound grace and generosity.”

Eve Ensler and Dennis Mukwege. [Source: Lion’s Roar]
“At a time when men are being encouraged – by Trump and many others – to reassert patriarchal domination to demean women, to dismiss women and to define themselves in toxic ways against women, and to brag about how they can assault us with impunity, I would say: he is a model for men. Mukwege has led by love, with love and through love. He has risked his life (he survived an assassination attempt in 2012) to break ranks with a patriarchal culture of violence towards women. He did it by standing with us, for us, when it was one of the most dangerous things he could possibly do. This Nobel peace prize should be held up as a beacon – in the darkness of swelling sexism and male supremacy – for all men to follow.”

The Rise of the Incels and Mass Shootings

Allison Anderman, senior counsel at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said measures that facilitate the removal of guns from abusers “are a critical step in saving the lives of abuse survivors.” And given the link between domestic abuse and mass shootings, she said, these laws may also help prevent massacres. Consider the following as the New York Times article further points out:

  • The man who shot nine people to death in early August in Dayton, Ohio seethed at female classmates and threatened them with violence
  • the man who massacred 49 people in an Orlando nightclub in 2016 beat his wife while she was pregnant
  • the man who killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas in 2017 had been convicted of domestic violence
  • In more than half of all mass shootings in the United States from 2009 to 2017, an intimate partner or family member of the perpetrator was among the victims. [Shannon Watts, founder, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America]
  • Most mass shootings are rooted in domestic violence and most mass shooters have a history of domestic or family violence in their background.  It’s an important red flag. [Shannon Watts]
  • Women who are in relationships who are not married to, do not live with, or have children with their abusers receive no protection.
  • The plagues of domestic violence and mass shootings in the United States are closely intertwined.
  • Devin P Kelley, who opened fire on parishioners at a Sunday service in Sutherland Springs on November 5, 2017 had been convicted of domestic violence by the AirForce, for beating his first wife and breaking the skull of his infant stepson. In attacking the church, Mr. Kelley appeared to be targeting the family of his second wife.
  • A professed hatred of women is frequent among suspects in the long history of mass shooting s in America.
  • the massacre in 1991, when a man walked into Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, and fatally shot 22 people.  The gunman had recently written a letter to his neighbors calling women in the area “vipers” and eyewitnesses said he had passed over men in the cafeteria to shoot women.
  • Special reverence is reserved on various websites for Elliot O. Rodger, who killed six people in 2014 in Isla Vista, California, a day after posting a video entitled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution” where he describes himself as being tortured by sexual deprivation and promises to punish women for rejecting him.
  • Several mass killers have cited Mr. Rodgers as an inspiration.
  • Alek Minassian, who drove a van onto a sidewalk in Toronto in 2018, killing 10 people, had posted on Facebook minutes before the attack praising Mr. Rodger.  “The Incel Rebellion has already begun!” he wrote “All hail Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!
  • Scott P. Beirele, who last year shot two women to death in a yoga Studio in Tallahassee, Florida, had also expressed sympathy with Mr. Rodger. In online videos in which he railed against women and minorities and told stories of romantic rejection Mr. Beierle had twice been charged with battery after women accused him of groping them.

It’s easy for us to sit back and pretend that women aren’t being killed because of their sex nowadays. But the fact of the matter is, it continues to happen. ~ Elizabeth Hawksworth, Writer and blogger

In recent years, a number of these men have identified as “incels”, short for ‘involuntary celibates”, a subculture of men who express rage at women for denying them sex, and who frequently fantasize about violence and celebrate mass shooters in online discussion groups. Experts say the same patterns that lead to the radicalization of white supremacists and other terrorists can apply to misogynists who turn to mass violence: a lonely, troubled individual who finds a community of like-minded individuals online, and an outlet for his anger.  “They are angry and they’re suicidal and they’ve had traumatic childhoods and with these hard lives, they get to a point and they find something or someone to blame,” said Jillian Peterson, a founder of the Violence Project, a research organization that studies mass shootings. “For some people that is women, and we are seeing that kind take off.

So here’s my advice to “incels”, it’s not my advice it’s Caroline Myss’ advice and to anyone else – man or woman – who for whatever reasons finds themselves suffering with an  open wound:

“Woundology”

There’s a new language, well it’s not really new for we have been speaking this language for quite sometime; what’s new about  it is we’ve finally found a name for it: “woundology“.  Woundology is the process of forming bonds with others through the wounds that you have suffered which in turn should make the listener compassionate and empathetic to your wounds -perhaps your wounds are similar thus creating an even stronger bond with others through your wounds.  It’s a manipulative way of getting people  to like you, befriend you and to get them to do what you want them to do because of “all these wounds you have suffered.”  In essence, what you are doing is creating an artificial bond through speaking the language of woundology.  Relationships, marriages, friendships,  in business, and employment relationships have all experienced bonding through the language of woundology.  Some cases are far worse than others.  Here’s an example:

I was in California where I happened to meet an ol’ friend of mine.  I was waiting for a couple of friends to show up for dinner so while I was waiting we took the time to chit-chat catching up on the current events in each other’s lives.  When the friends I was waiting for arrived I introduce them to my friend and this is how my friend introduced himself:  “Hello I’m — I’m a recovering alcoholic, I’ve been in rehab for x number of years, I am also a recovered drug addict (of whatever type), I’ve been clean for  number of years, I am happily married to my wife of X number of years and I have a child who is X years old.  It’s been a tough journey but I’m happy that, with the support of friends and family, I am now living a healthy, rewarding and fulfilling life…”

And that was the script.  I’ve never noticed this coming from someone before, I was a little shocked, so were my friends “Uhhh…okay…” they say nervously not knowing what to say, shaking my friend’s hand while looking back at me with a happy but weird look on their face, “Congratulations, I am very happy for you, it must have been a tough journey but glad you turned out alright.  My name is —-.  [no story, on purpose] Pleased to meet you.”

While this story had a very happy ending, most “woundology” conversations come from those who are still living in their wounds; the point is they are not afraid to share their wounds right within seconds of meeting people.  Carolyn Myss, author of “Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can“, I  coined the term “woundology” and she writes extensively about it in her book.  She cites a similar encounter with a woman in a casual setting, when Myss address the language of woundology with that woman after listening to ‘her story’, she became angry (Myss was dis-empowering her artificial power that she used over others to get them to do what she wanted) she stormed out and never spoke to Myss again.  Upon reading Myss words I finally was able to put a name to that odd encounter with my friend in California and from then on I am no longer deaf to the language of  woundology especially with men who have unresolved issues with women. I’m very sensitive to woundology and men – I hear it right away and for what it is – however, I am yet to determine whether this sensitivity is a blessing or a curse.

[Source: Rizadelpoems.com.blogpost]

“I shared my wounds with everyone I knew. I was open with my anger about my failures and unfairness with the world. I developed a ”Woundology”. This became my persona. It defined me. I felt this was a good way for me to heal myself.” ~ M. Jaqua

I bring this up because those who feel victimized by women are usually stuck in their own patterns of “woundology” which feeds their anger, anxiety and frustration to the point of violence. They form “bro-bonds” with other men comparing their stories of rejection and show an unusually high level of loyalty towards each other because of the wounds that they share – it’s unbreakable! Replaying situations in their minds, writing about it, reading about it, reading into situations that prove they are right to reinforce their feelings towards women to the point they resolve that they have to do something about it, usually by finding an unsuspecting woman to punish for all the transgressions that all women have done to this individual, and for the really neurotic male, he won’t be satisfied until the vilification of their chosen ‘representative’ target is desolate, unnerved mentally or dead.

This tactic gives a sense of being loved by the other person when expressing emotional wounds and they respond back with attention and affection, creating a victim/rescuer relationship. Or the other person also expresses their wounds in kind, creating a mutual victim/victim relationshipThis is an unhealthy connection, because the foundation of the relationship is injury, pain, power and fear.” ~ M. Jaqua

The weird part is they feel justified in their actions, display very little to no remorse because the individual is so hyper-focused on ‘his feelings’ and blaming his target, he can’t separate the woman from the collective and underlying negative experiences with women in general that probably goes all the way back to being disappointed with and/or abandoned by his mother.  In reflecting on Gloria Steinam’s words in the video the issue is really about “supremacy”.  Therefore their targets usually are women who have high intellect, they’ve got a degree (or two or more), or they’re in school striving towards an academic goal, they are women who are on the precipice of success – too late to interfere when they’re already successful but just when they’re about to take off, once they reach success tactics  of attacks adapt by trying to discredit the woman and her climb to success.  “You are not meant to stay wounded.” says Caroline Myss.  Women who have moved on in their lives and as a result make better life choices for themselves, whether in personal relationships, romantic partners, the friends that they choose – these men feel frustrated and left behind because they can’t or are unwilling to make those necessary changes in their own lives.  So they continue to make poor choices about the opposite sex, can’t handle rejection, and are often found living the lifestyle of an Incel because it, and because of it they are resentful and begin offloading  their frustration on women in a very dangerous way.

[Source: Leading with Trust.com]

“You are not meant to stay wounded.” ~ Caroline Myss

What’s dangerous about ‘woundology’ is that the individual is dealing with some deep seated but very real authentic negative feelings, it’s very convincing to those whom they speak woundology to.  Since they’ve been dwelling on the issues, replaying it in their minds in a constant play-back loop, as a result their wounds of victimization are well thought out, well spoken, articulated they can manipulate anyone listening to do what they want and get them to believe what they want about their chosen target.

“And the Oscar goes to…”

Woundology is like a seductive mistress. It uses the role of victim as a power play as a way to receive love and compassion [and solidarity] from others. It creates a lot of emotion and drama. This kind of connection with another person can be a powerful feeling.” ~ M. Jaqua

Upcoming Elections

“Feminists are so often accused of being sexist, as if fighting for our rights and safety is somehow taking something away from men. And a good amount of the time in 2014, it’s fairly easy to ignore statements that insist that we’re somehow being “misandrist” towards men by talking about issues that affect us daily. But when another woman is killed by a man, the conversation turns from being annoying to being necessary. Because in 2014, we’re still not past the legacy of the École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal, Quebec.” writes Elizabeth Hawksbury, a writer and blogger with the Huffington Post.  “Women are often beaten, raped, and murdered for responding badly to street harassment. And over 1,500 missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada are considered a low priority by the government, not only because they’re women, but also because they’re indigenous. Women, in this culture, are still considered throwaway beings, second-class and for the sole use of men. It’s desperately sad. It’s desperately scary.”

[Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia]
As we head into an election year, now is the time for political parties to include a commitment to an National Action Plan on Violence Against Women in their electoral platforms.  Half of this country are women and girls directly affected by these issues; the others have mothers, wives, daughters or sisters. But it’s not just about being personally affected by these issues, or knowing someone personally affected. Violence against women is a societal issue that needs to be addressed by everyone.

Because women’s rights are human rights!

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