There are many avenues to assist with violence reduction. Women can play a surprising role. In no way am I saying women are responsible for violence nor am I saying women can end violence. This is a call to think critically, so stay with me.
Many men need to feel masculine. In poor communities this is harder to do because often times masculinity is equated with wealth and/or violence to prove dominance (cited from Vera Institute of Common Justice). In poor communities where wealth is nearly impossible to obtain, violence and hyper aggression is favored.
This line of thought got me thinking about how I could address this. How could this be solved, the idea of masculinity being proved through wealth and violence. Some of the ways I thought of to change this image of masculinity were: modern art, media portrayals, fashion, and women’s desires.
Men will do strange things for sex. They’ll jump into danger, sing karaoke, write poetry, dress ridiculously, behave obnoxiously, or over-the-top mannered. So my idea is, what if we as gay men and straight women really pushed the idea that non-aggressive men are more desirable then aggressive men? The image of the hard faced thug and butt smacking bad boy can easily be replaced by the smiling, well manicured romantic. Women hold an immense amount of authority that they either don’t believe they possess or are afraid to use.
I had a boyfriend once and we would run together. One day people on the track were complacently walking in the running lane and I got vocal about my irritation. My boyfriend, who was the Super boy nice guy, immediately expressed how unattractive and even disgusting that was of me. That moment was so influential in me getting my anger under control. I didn’t want to be unattractive. Women can do the same thing. When your drooling harem of lusting hounds begins to express that Neandertholic dominance, respond with utter disgust, and mean it.
The worst it will produce is a society full of men who don’t lash out violently, oh no. Its a small part, but potentially has big impacts. Try it, write about it. Maybe just think about it. Why or why not would this work?
Love to talk about it.