Today started out as a day that sucked for no reason. I could not quite put my finger on what was making me feel so agitated. Regrouping after the holidays has never caused me so much irritation. It isn’t womanly time. Why does it seem like something is wrong? What is going on here? Then I remembered I live in a world where horrible things happen and my inner voice keeps telling me I need to do something about it. It keeps agitating me, irritating me, forcing me to take notice of unspeakable acts that make me want to scream at the top of my lungs.

What will happen to the scum who committed the atrocity against the young woman in India? Will the story fall from the headlines and become just another tragic event in human history? Predictions from the sidelines are useless. We must acknowledge that citizens banding together has always been the instrument of change. Hope must be met with action and a commitment to see that action through to the end of violence against women. It is more than a cause; it is a moral imperative.

Women of the world don’t need a million man march or another goddamn law. We don’t need ribbons in every color of the rainbow. We need fathers, brothers and sons to stand up to those who rape, beat, use and abuse. We don’t need any more pontificating. We need swift action. Women need to make our voices heard and support each other. We need to respect ourselves and know that we deserve more than a fairy tale.

“How far beyond suffrage we have traveled. Yet even with so much progress, cruelty still exists equally among our most and least educated. Neither the laws created by nature, nor those created by man have prevented acts of violence against women. There is no missing body of knowledge yet to be discovered. All things that have ever been known are known still. We have more information now on the subjects of abuse and neglect than ever before. What better time to put an end to the plague from which so many have lost so much?” ~~Claire Martin, Summoning The Strength

21 thoughts on “Hearing Voices

  1. Holy cow, I DID miss one of your posts! King’s Speech!!! And this is a beaut, Honie. I had a conversation with a friend about this topic very recently—we don’t need more pontificating and bloviating, or “thoughts and prayers with the victims.” DO SOMETHING. Stand up and say NO, we will not put up with this anymore. We will not let women be victims anymore. We need people to band together and rise against those who would abuse women for any reason. That’s the only way it will stop. Not by empty gestures, but by ACTION.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Exactly Madame, you said it! I love that word – bloviating. I am so adding it to my list of favorite words to describe the large and in charge over there in our nation’s capital with their thumbs up their asses who let the Violence Against Women Act expire. What a bunch of lame, good for nothing, pontificating, flatulating, bloviaters! Why can’t we fire their asses?

  2. Tara sometimes says she doesn’t want to bring a child into this world because it’s such an awful place. I say, a child can grow up to be an agent of change. Classic optimist speak, but I truly do believe that.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Mr. Petruska, that is very forward-thinking and I applaud you for it. Being prepared to give our children everything they need, a range of experiences, guidance, freedom, attention and an example to be an agent of change is a tall order. One only an optimist can fill.

  3. You are so right. I have been thinking these same thoughts, wrote something similar but in a much more personal vein two days ago. This time, right now if we don’t stand up we are lost.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Val, I read your post. What a courageous person you are, and I completely agree, what a sad day it is when we fail to stand up for what is right. That is the day when we all lose.
      Unfortunately there seem to be a lot of misguided people who believe they have a monopoly on what is right. It is disturbing how misguided people can manage to obtain so much power.

  4. Great piece Honie, especially your list of how to tackle this problem… may the Force be with you and with all women

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Thank you Valerie. I’m sure there are many other people who could add to that list. If only they would use the Force! 🙂

  5. jmgoyder says:

    I am glad you wrote this.

  6. artsifrtsy says:

    It boggles the mind that half the population of the world, half the intellect, half the creativity, half the goodness could be so easily despised. It’s really a human issue.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Is truly does boggle the mind. Here is a link for a documentary entitled Half The Sky. Parts of it are difficult (painful) to hear, but it is thoughtfully created and something we should all be aware is happening in our world.

  7. Wyrd Smythe says:

    Totally with you on the laws, ribbons and pontificating. We have the tools (do we have the will?).

    Can you talk about what specific actions we should take? I’m ready and willing.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      Of course I can. Here are a few qualities that anyone can exhibit to take action against the problem of violence against women. Refuse to accept it as a form of entertainment. Actively participate in community programs that work toward the goal of exposing and eliminating violent behavior in all forms. Pay attention when a co-worker, neighbor or family member says they are afraid to go home, go to work or go to school. Teach, train, promote, discuss, demonstrate, advocate and require personal responsibility across the board for everyone who breathes.
      • require more from media than titillation
      • listen to your conscience
      • encourage everyone you know to speak up
      • get involved in your community
      • think for yourself
      • empower students with tools and resources
      • make your dollar count at the box office
      In our country, we have elected thousands of people to solve problems, those elected leaders should collaborate to create a safe environment and solve problems using readily available resources. In addition, elected leaders should not impede the efforts of citizens who have the willingness and ability to implement solutions in their own communities.
      In case those elected to solve problems need to be reminded, and when don’t they?
      1) problem solvers don’t fight among themselves
      2) problem solvers don’t reward themselves when they fail those who elected them
      3) problem solvers put the needs of others above their own personal gain
      4) problem solvers act with purpose and positive intent
      6) problem solvers do not blame others for their mistakes
      7) problem solvers consider suggestions from differing points of view
      There you have it. A brief compilation of some actions anyone can take. This is by no means an exhaustive list. After all, I am not an elected problem solver. Women’s shelters accept donations. Domestic violence affects one in four women. You probably know someone who could use some encouragement to help them realize they don’t have to become a statistic. Expect more; we just might get it.

      1. Wyrd Smythe says:

        A most excellent list! It deserves to go in the post itself, but hopefully people will see it and read it here. Great stuff!

        Expect more!! I said much the same thing recently.

      2. Wonderful list, similar to what I have been thinking but you have put it down into actual actions.

  8. Thank you for this, Honie. I’ve started, and stopped, writing something at least a dozen times, and… can’t find my words. Or, more to the point, can’t calm my thoughts enough to be coherent.

    As I’ve written about Malala Yousafzai, violence against a woman, because she is a woman, is violence against all women. Every single one of us.

    And, I think I can’t find my words about this, because, well… I can’t come up with what would be right, what would be just. Frankly, death isn’t enough for the attackers. Not by a long shot. (And I don’t believe in the death penalty, and carry creepy crawlies outside, but… it’s not enough, for them.)

    That our own Senate raced to extend the surveillance act (FISA) and let the Violence Against Women Act expire, well… I don’t have to read between any lines to figure that one out. Sigh.

    Thank you, Honie.

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      You are correct; this is a grievous act of violence against every single one of us. Each time it happens we all become damaged. Each time men are not held accountable, each time their trials become a three ring circus that spawns one liners and fodder for late night TV, each time book deals and one-hour specials create another sensational flash in the pan by those charged with carrying out justice, each time horrific acts are covered up, each time accusations are reversed to shame the victims, each time, we all become damaged.
      It is difficult to separate our emotional responses to the reality that stopping violence against women is yet to be a priority for humanity.
      It’s up to the laws of India to decide how justice will be carried out this time, isn’t it?
      I appreciate your comment.

  9. Brigitte says:

    Freaking love that Tracy Chapman song! The theme of this post is a big underlying theme in your book, Honie which I enjoyed very much but have never given you my private email opinion (as I said I would) – I’m sorry – it is on my to-do list! Thank God all men aren’t abusive toward women! Women have made huge strides but you’re right that more must be done. I try to think of it this way: the generations of women before me made it better for me. I hope I’ve done the same for the future generations of women. When I think about the things that were acceptable when I was in the corporate world, it makes my head nearly explode — and some were done to me. That doesn’t happen now because we stood up and said no. I firmly believe we will have a woman leader one day. Glad you got that out woman – maybe that’s what’s been gnawing at you. Xxoo

    1. Honie Briggs says:

      I appreciate your comment and encouragement Brigitte. It’s true huge strides have been made. It’s time for one giant leap for humanity to put an end to the violence. 🙂

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