By Victoria Ross
"Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender." – Rebecca Solnit, author
A national crime victimization study showed only 20.1% of violent offenders were female, and even that understates the gender difference (e.g., includes women who can find no other escape from their batterers but homicide). Our culture encourages boys’ more aggressive tendencies to fight, and/or be aggressive. “Manliness” implies hard-line defense and domination.
U.S. foreign policy has, especially since the Project for a New American Century, included aggression toward worldwide U.S. domination. Our government initiated war on countries unrelated to 9/11, starting an endless “War on Terror,” including illegal, immoral and foolhardy weaponized drones.
We began with near-genocide of indigenous people and racist enslavement. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government.”
He-who-was-impeached and his associates have reached new levels of aggression and oppression.
Our government’s current foreign and domestic policies are damaging to people and the planet, at home and abroad. And sanctions punish people, not governments.
The first Women’s March took place the day after the 2017 inauguration of He-who-shall-not-be-named, as resistance to the power of a man who’d bragged about sexual assault, vilified races and ethnicities, threatened and encouraged violence to those one doesn’t agree with, and generally fomented hate.
Such behaviors have continued and increased, including sending in mercenary troops, making capricious and cruel decisions with no regard for the effects on whole communities, pushing fossil fuels and generally decimating the environment, and more.
We have held sessions called Women’s Ways – Peace Ways. Certainly we don’t mean to suggest that all men are violent – remember Dr. King, especially on his birthday, this Weekend of Action, as well as Gandhi. Nor are all women nonviolent.
However, in our culture women are encouraged to communicate and collaborate; to nurture, help and cherish.
These problems didn’t start with the 45th president, nor are they limited to him and/or dictators who are making this world generally a more unsafe and unsustainable place.
Please join us at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in Niagara Square as part of a Weekend of Action. We will stand up for truth and love, for and with women – especially indigenous women. We stand and march for people – particularly the most oppressed – and the planet.
Victoria Ross is executive director of the WNY Peace Center and consults for the Interfaith Peace Network.