Magazine article Herizons

Man Plan

Magazine article Herizons

Man Plan

Article excerpt

We don't really need a wake-up call. But the fall's series of killings does make you wonder-are we really getting anywhere?

The Dawson College shootings, and the killings that followed in the Pennsylvanian Amish community and in Colorado-this one all the more horrific as the killer sexually assaulted his six female victims before killing them-tell us that male violence isn't going anywhere but up.

"What do you mean?" you're doubtless thinking. "Haven't we been talking about this for over 3o years?" Yes, and that, by the way, is why feminists are perceived as so dreary-we have to keep talking about the same things all the time.

And we have to keep doing it.

But we need a new plan.

I'm not saying we should give up on our old strategies-believing women and what they say, honouring women-only spaces, supporting the institutions we've spent over 30 years building.

But there are some items on the old agenda that need a new push. In particular, we have to revitalize our analysis of the connections between our gun culture, war and male violence at home. This may sound obvious, but I am surprised how rarely these connections get articulated. The Dawson College shooter was briefly a member of Canada's Armed Forces-no coincidence that. Our prime minister, by insisting on scrapping the gun registry and supporting blow'em-up ads for our army, has to be called to account. Pointing to the Dawson shootings as a reason to end Canada's Afghan mission as it exists now is a start.

By gun culture, I'm including the influence of violent and sexist media: video games, pornography and television. I don't believe that video games create abusers-that was the first and easiest explanation that emerged from the Dawson shootings-but they do act as their support system. It's time to renew our commitment to media literacy.

But consider this thought: The same-sex marriage issue is still on the table in this country, and that debate is relevant to this issue. …

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