Antonia Zerbisias has used the Benoit murder/suicide and one other in Toronto, to highlight the fact that women are more likely to be killed by their domestic partners than by a stranger. There is no disputing the fact that women are at risk of violence in their own homes.
Can it be tied to a combination of factors adding up to a “loss of manhood”? In some men, it seems that is so. But why not in others, when similar factors exist in their lives? How many men “suffered” the same personal affronts as Marc Lepine, yet managed their lives without the use of violence? It’s beyond passé now to suggest that the answers lie in the upbringing of a boy.
Domestic violence must be a nurturing – or lack thereof – issue. Like addictions, we need to discover how to break the cycle of violence, and I think it starts with looking at how our society worships violence and the use of force in general. We see it in a fascination with weapons of war, in sports, in the media, in video games, which become more graphic everyday. How often, in the mainstream media, do we learn of those who risk their lives for peace, in the Middle-East, Darfur, Iraq and Afghanistan? Instead we hear all about Tony Blair becoming a Mid-East peace envoy. A man who is arguably a future war crimes defendant! Instead we constantly hear of soldiers – professional killers – risking their lives to “bring peace” to a region that has never known it – at the point of a gun.
In Canada, we elect male leaders who lead through fear, and cynical power plays, and do nothing while corporations roam the world raping and pillaging the landscape and the people in it. We allow our leaders to instantly order more tanks, or slash welfare rates by 22% ( as the Ontario Harris government did), but tell us it will take years to build a hospital and decades to restore welfare rates. And then we wonder why violence pervades our homes. It’s time to wake up to reality: the world is a violent place, run by proponents of the use of force – men – to solve problems. It is so because good people – men and women in the working class – don’t do enough to nurture the beauty and love that is inherent in every last one of us.
Making the world a better place requires that we reject violence in all its forms as a way to solve problems. Replacing patriarchal capitalism should be the starting point.