Trigger warning for sex/gender-based violence.

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I hope ‘International’ means Iran too, and justice for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and all the other women being mistreated there. I hope it means in the places where women suffer acid attacks. Places where groping and sexual assault has become so normal they have instated women-only carriages on public transport. Places where rape is an epidemic. Places where unmarried women aren’t even allowed mobile phones. Places where women are the property of their fathers and husbands. And places that think they don’t have a problem, but that really do.

And to make this clear, ‘women’ means women of colour too. ‘Women’ means trans women too. ‘Women’ means women who are differently abled. ‘Women’ means older women. ‘Women’ means girls. ‘Women’ means fat women. ‘Women’ means women of all religions. ‘Women’ means women who are not heterosexual. ‘Women’ means women with less economic clout. ‘Women’ means intersex women. ‘Women’ means sexually active women. ‘Women’ means women who have experienced abuse. ‘Women’ means every woman, anywhere. (if I’ve missed any axis of oppression out, email me or comment and I’ll add it; I’m extremely sorry if I have)

But hang on. Why is it only one day? For one day, we all say, ‘Violence against women is wrong blah blah blah…’ and then the rest of the year we ignore it. We let countries with appalling records on the subject onto committees about women’s equality. We punish them for being abused. We objectify them and then act surprised when folks who seemed okay treat them like objects. And the only reason why it being only women is okay is because women are disproportionately targeted for violence. Otherwise, it should be the Elimination of Violence Against Humans – because women are human.

Back to the one-day thing – do you think that, if I declared this the Millenium-onwards for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, do you think people would listen? Do you think it would get better?

Every day should be the International Day for the Elimination of [insert unfortunately widespread societal evil here, such as Violence Against Women or Transphobia or Racism or Ableism or….]


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