|This guy gets it.|
I’ve always thought that such an analysis can also be used to understand why we live in a society in which violence against women is such a common thing. When you have competitions in which you can ‘win a wife’ and the promotion of such a competition has a woman, face pixelated with a gift tag on ribbon attached to signify her object status, it’s easy to see how such violence against women continues to be a problem. When a person becomes an object, it is easier to disregard their feelings, their emotions and their thoughts.
It’s the type of culture that deems it acceptable to shout at women during cricket matches “tits out for the boys’, or to yell obscenities at women out of cars driving along, or to grope women in buses and trains. For white, heterosexual, able bodied men, such experiences are totally alien. Not on their radar. Hence why men like Martin Sneddon and David Farrar can so easily brush off the concerns that violence against women will increase during the Rugby World Cup and why the idea of subsidised taxi fares, or women’s only spaces seem so absurd.
In a great display of just not getting it Farrar says:
“it is true that there are some studies that suggest an increase in domestic violence after a rugby loss. But the violence does not happen at the rugby grounds – it occurs in pubs and bars or at homes. So the so called solution (sic) of “women-only” space at RWC games is stupid – plus of course would make us look an international laughing stock.”
Actually, it’s not just about the violence that happens. It’s also about creating spaces in which women don’t have to fear violence, regardless of the chance of violence happening. For instance, I know for a fact that as a woman, I’m much more likely to be assaulted by someone I know. It doesn’t stop me from feeling unsafe when I have to walk home at night however and restricts my ability to walk freely.
Dismissing the legitimate concerns around violence during the RWC only serves to perpetuate and support the type of attitudes that lead to violence against women.