Belfast Telegraph

Why do so many men think that it's ok to hate women?

By Nuala McKeever

Did I miss something in my education? Was there a class taught at some point that for some reason I didn't get to? Did they run a session I heard nothing about? I'm beginning to think there must have been. The class/session/lecture/workshop or talk in which the rules about how to treat females were spelt out to everyone.

I can't for the life of me understand how else it is that the world seems to have such a TOTALLY different approach to my gender than I have.

In India, two young girls gang raped and hanged. In Pakistan, a woman stoned and beaten to death by her own family because she was going to marry a man they didn't like. A man who previously had strangled his own wife because he fancied this new woman. In Sudan, a woman threatened with death for marrying outside her religion.

In Ireland, 793 women's children dumped in a septic tank as opposed to being buried properly.

I know this is the tip of the womanicide iceberg, but coming as all these new stories have done, within days of each other, it makes my head spin and stomach lurch.

Where do people get the idea that women are mere chattals? Don't tell me it's a feature of backward weird religions "over there" somewhere. It's happening here, day and daily. All the time.

There is an insidious attitude to the female of the species that is atrocious. We don't have to go so far as that young man in the States Elliot Rodger and his murderous spree to revenge himself on females because he couldn't get laid. "He's sick," we say, sagely.

As if his attitude to women was so left of field as to be only explained by an actual mental illness.

His attitude, that women are less worthy than men, is fed to us all, all the time.

I understand the fact that in general men are stronger than women, physically. But that doesn't explain this male domination mindset that is being reported more and more widely in the media.

One explanation is that men became afraid of women's power, way back when and set out systematically to demonise and malign them. Women were burned and tortured and drowned for being witches.

Many religions treat women as unclean because they have menstrual cycles. Er, hello? How do you think all the women-hating men came into this world if it wasn't from just such a woman?

Is it mummy-love gone wrong? The boy loves the mother and can't bear that she isn't the perfect virginal saint he thought she was when he was just a baby so he turns against her and hates himself for having such feelings so he takes his self-loathing out on loads of other woman who aren't her?

That's a rough paraphrase of what drives a lot of male serial killers. Well, according to the books I've read.

But while that might be the extreme, it's just several shades darker than the underlying attitude to women that pervades our culture, our media, our entertainment, our education and our religions.

It does nothing for anyone. Neither women, nor, ultimately, men.

Treating women well is not a feminist issue. It's a human dignity for all issue. Decent men need to be heard saying so.

Sad to call time on another pub

Just heard that an old bar near Queen's University has closed down and the site acquired by ... guess who? Tesco!

So, The Club or The Elms, depending on your vintage, will in future be selling groceries.

Is this the future? All our roads looking like something off a Monopoly board with only a few brands available?

Tesco and Starbucks interspersed with McDonald's and KFC. Love to have a pint with the planners who passed this one.

Oh, sorry, can't. The pub's gone. Oh, well, we'll have a chicken tikka wrap, a cheap T-shirt and and a plastic bag then ... cheers.

A new way to make Earth move

Did you listen to the Queen's speech? Me neither. But I heard the low-lights. Companies who want to frack will be allowed to run pipes under your house without your permission. Hurrah for democracy!

The right to own your own house, but not to have any say in what goes on underneath it, near the water table that feeds you and your children – our most precious resource. Maybe it'll spice up the bedroom life, mind you.

"Did the Earth move for you, darling?"

"Eh, yeah, but don't flatter yerself, that was just the frackers on the job, you're not that good."

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