Can I start off with a few facts.
I have ONE wife.
I had ONE Mother.
I had TWO Grandmothers.
I have ONE sister.
I had NINE Aunts.
I have/had NINE Female Cousins
I have TWO Daughters in Law
I have/had TWO Granddaughters.
I have FOURTEEN Neices
I have at least TWO Great-Neices.
Is that a total of FORTY THREE Female Relatives that I know or have known.
Additionally my best Friend is female. And there are probably another TEN women I consider friends.
Throw in former colleagues etc….I certainly consider that I have cared for and in some cases loved upwards of SEVENTY family and friends.
You could probably do the same formula and I would be surprised if you had a total that was less than FIFTY.
Yet there is another startling statistic that says about one-fifth of women suffer sexual or physical abuse in their life.
So how does that statistic look for me….one fifth of say SEVENTY is FOURTEEN.
Possibly before I was born, women I loved suffered abuse.
Possibly long after I am dead, women I loved will suffer abuse.
Indeed you and I certainly know women who have been abused because some have confided in us.
We do of course live in 2015. Times change. We tell ourselves that we are more understanding about such things now.
I am not so sure.
Of course, I could hide behind a jokey cliché and say that I dont understand women. And certainly it can be complicated.
But when Helen Reddy belted out the anthem “I Am Woman”, she included the words “….still a long way to go before I make my brother understand”.
At least half of all men are DECENT men.
But I am not sure that the problem of sexual abuse can ever be dealt with until it is accepted as a MANS ISSUE or a PEOPLE ISSUE.
Because thats surely how Civil Rights works.
Racism, Anti Semitism and Islamophobia are not just crimes against Black, Jewish or Muslim people. They are crimes against all of us.