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The Danger of the Monster Myth: Tom Meagher on men’s violence against women

18 Apr

The Danger of the Monster Myth: Tom Meagher on men’s violence against women

Following the rape and murder of his wife, Jill, Tom Meagher expected the man, the criminal, who perpetrated the rape and murder, to fit the image of a monster. It is the collective image: the rapist might be a man, but that’s irrelevant to the fact that he’s a monster and that’s why he rapes. During the court trial, Meagher expected ‘the monster’ to be incoherent and to fit his image of what he believed to be ‘the monster.’ Instead, he was confronted by a man who could articulate and appeared just like ‘a man.’

In this moving essay, Tom Meagher examines his and men’s beliefs on who and ‘what’ commits such violence against women, and how we as a society, especially men of society, don’t confront the real issue of the monster being just a man and that violence against women is ‘men’s violence against women.’ His examination of the framing of the issue and the necessary reframing required is both intelligent, well reasoned and carries a gravitas born of his own experience and grief.

Let’s all examine our attitudes, society’s attitudes, men’s attitudes and not only reframe the issue in order to both assist the victims, but to find ways out of an ongoing and, currently, escalating problem.

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