Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Afraid of the darkness

Content warning:  This is about violence against women.

Tonight as I left work someone said to me to take care, and I knew what she meant.  She meant take care because it is dark.

But it's not the dark that hurts us.  It's not the dark that killed Blessie.

It's the darkness; the hate of women, the drive to possess us, to control us.  The dehumanising of women, who are, after all, just other people, to the point where killing us, hurting us is somehow justifiable.

The vast vast majority of people who are murdered in Aotearoa New Zealand are killed by people they know.  For women the most dangerous person in their life, statistically, is a male partner.  There is no data on this, but I imagine most of those killings happen in light, artificial or natural.

Blessie didn't die because she caught the bus, she didn't die because she was out alone at night; both of those things are normal ordinary things to do, things most men can do without question, things we all should be able to do without fear and without a bad outcome.  Blessie died because someone killed her.  

We can fear the dark, and what's in the dark, but it won't keep us safe to do so.


Lindsay Mitchell said...

The faces of her sons and my imagining their grief is enough.

I am not sure what point your post is making. An assumption that the crime is the result of one (?) man's hatred of women; his targeting for vulnerability under dark; and therefore the heightened anxiety women should feel of the dark because he is not unique?

(Genuine question).

Rachel said...

So true. When I lived with a male flatmate, I caught the bus more than I do now, and people would always tell me to take care, text when safe at home. My flatmate was an absolute sweetheart who made me coffee every morning and never once made me feel unsafe, but I always thought it was odd: I was statistically in more danger at "safe at home" with him than on any bus. I mentioned this to my friends once or twice - they didn't want to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is true that statistically you're more likely to get attacked at home, or for that matter be involved in a serious car accident. But that doesn't alter the fact that there are some sick individuals out there who will cause harm to anyone they come across. Unfortunately there is little you can do should you become a target. Part of me is hoping this started out as a tragic accident, it was dark, the driver didn't see her, she was run over, the driver panicked, and hid her body. It would be more reassuring I guess that knowing that there are these predators out there. But I guess it was something more sinister. no doubt we will find out more in the weeks to come.

Di Cleary said...
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