I am a lifelong American citizen, born and raised in New York. I have lived my adult life in Northern California. I have been a professor, a therapist and a writer for all my adult years. I have only felt moderately comfortable in these roles, as I was repeatedly ridiculed and criticized and even sexually assaulted once or twice for the crime of believing that I, a woman, could do these jobs. My family was also horrified and wanted me to stay home, marry and give them grandchildren.
Of course, I was not the only one and the U.S. is not the only country where this discrimination and harrassment occur. Recently certain men whose names we all know (One is the president of the United States) have escalated the wars against women, people of color and immigrants to a level that must be called not only horrifying, but evil. I think this is not just a question of psychopathology, although the psychopathy is lit up in neon, but of morality. These are men who are evil, greedy and concerned only for themselves.
It is looking like they may win this round, appointing a judge who will permit them all to keep their ill-gotten gains without fear of retribution. This is only one skirmish in a long-standing war that probably began when Abigail Adams admonished John not to forget the women in the Constitution. He went off to the Constitutional Congress and ignored her advice. A constitution was written to protect the rights of white men and women and former slaves had to struggle for years to win rights even close to what white people have. That moment is when the gender wars began.
Eventually women won the vote, slaves won their freedom and then the vote. Now the superiority of white people had to be defended by trickery instead of by law. Asking for additional i.d., hiding the ballot box, etc. were some of these strategies. The war raged on. It is little known that the suffragists not only sought the vote, but oppoosed their husbands drinking as they then came home and beat them. There were battleaxes involved as these brave women tore up the saloons where their men were preparing themselves for violence and spending all theirv hard earned money.
The history of the family and the meaning of the word are “…all the possessions of a man”. He owned his women and his animals, property, and could do with them as he wished. Of course, this is ancient history. Domestic violence and rape share a long tradition and are much more prevalent than we ever thought when we began to look at them, in the 1970’s. It began with a simple idea. We listened to women’s stories. As we did, thouands of them poured out that had been kept secret before. The field of feminst therapy wascborn and grew up to be the field of Trauma.
Even today, when it got around the campus that I, a known feminist, was teaching at the University for Peace in Costa Rica, I came to my first office hours to find a line of women waiting to tell me what had happened to them. They felt that they would be given a fair hearing only by a feminist. This is usually the place where feminists defend themselves by saying that there aremany men of conscience that support women. Certainly it is the case. I say it here not as a defense, for I will surely be criticized as being anti-male. Feminists are not anti-male, but pro-female. These should not be opposed to each other.
According to statistics collected by the United Nations Women:
• It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
• Women who have been physically or sexually abused by their partners are more than twice as likely to have an abortion, almost twice as likely to experience depression, and in some regions, 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV, as compared to women who have not experienced partner violence.
• Twenty-three per cent of female undergraduate university students reported having experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct in a survey across 27 universities in the United States in 2015. Rates of reporting to campus officials, law enforcement or others ranged from 5 to 28 per cent, depending on the specific type of behavior.
• Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. By far the most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls are current or former husbands, partners or boyfriends.
Even more surprising is that we are learning that many scientific theories that are currently in favor were, of course, developed by men and, thus may be wrong. For example, Darwin’s theory emphasized competition and the survival of the fittest. It is turning out that cooperation and ecology play a major role in evolution . A theory has been put forth recently that the earth’s moon is a piece broken off the planet that it circles rather than the result of a powerful collision. This research and theory was done by women, who have a different perspective. This is the best argument there is for diversity in any group. We each have a different perspective. Here are the national statistics for the United States alone.
In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.1 That’s an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner.
Domestic Violence (Intimate Partner Violence or Battering)
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year. Less than 20 percent of battered women sought medical treatment following an injury.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day. Other estimates, such as those generated by the FBI, are much lower because they rely on data from law enforcement agencies. A significant number of crimes are never even reported for reasons that include the victim’s feeling that nothing can/will be done and the personal nature of the incident.
In the United States, we can not but call these gender wars. If there truly is evolution, it is time for men to become less aggressive and violent and for women to stand up and speak out without fear of retribution. I am not suggesting, as many men fear, that the system of domination be reversed, but that it is time for a system that emphasizes equality, respect and love. We are social animals and love is the gravity that holds us together unless it is distorted by learning. We must appreciate each other and the love that naturally connects us. I still have hope, but meanwhile I will not live in the U.S. under an increasingly evil and violent coup. Since I have the choice, I will not live in an active war zone.
 United Nations Women, Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment, 2018.
 Moon may once have been part of earth, scientists say. The Telegraph, 2012.