The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, now based in Geneva, is a coalition of grassroots non-government groups in 100 countries and has fought for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons. It is the first Australian Nobel Laureat for Peace, recognised for it “groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition”.
[D]esperate profiling plays to people’s desire to believe we should be able to spot terrorists. But while rent-a-gobs flail around naming and shaming Kent and drunk teenagers, it is telling how rarely one feature common to many “lone wolf” attackers is called out: a history of domestic abuse.
Domestic violence is frequently a way for male abusers to try to impose so-called traditional gender roles on their female partner – beating them when the laundry isn’t done, telling them what to wear – using violence to validate their own feelings of insecurity. So it is almost inevitable that these men would then be attracted to belief systems – whether it’s Isis, evangelical Christianity or the fundamentalist version of pretty much any major religion – that advocate wildly restrictive attitudes towards gender and endorse patriarchal systems which encourage men to punish women for their own failings.
The problem isn’t Islam, or a perverted interpretation of Islam, but rather a perversion of frustrated masculinity. After all, 98% of mass killings are perpetrated by men, and many of the attackers discuss women in proprietorial terms.
And yet this is almost never discussed, because there is no political capital to be gained by suggesting warped masculinity might be more to blame than Muslims. After all, domestic violence is a problem that spans cultures, and if President Trump were to try to ban men accused of domestic violence from entering America instead of Muslims, he would lose some major figures in his own White House.
While we all celebrate International Women’s Day in different ways, there’s one under-discussed issue I hope all of us will take up – the way racist policies across the globe are being enacted under the guise of protecting women.
Stoking racial hatred by invoking the protection of women – white women, in particular – is nothing new in the United States, of course. The fear of rape has historically been used to justify horrific violence against American black men