By: Melinda Cochrane - Contributing Writer
“In the past 5 years, female violent crime has risen by 12 percent, four times the rate among men…” The Independent UK.
The words we use can be a catalyst for our healing or they can act to counter-act any positives. Positive words create a positive force around us. Often as women, we are bombarded by words that are all too often negating our experiences. Media has used and manipulated popular derogatory words to make us either feel ashamed of our bodies or to make us defensive, which acts to divide rather than heal gender relationships.
A word can build a woman up or it can break us down and too often as I turn on music these days and television- the words I hear do nothing but make me feel as if young women out there are being manipulated to act in ways they are both unsure of and uncomfortable with. The manipulation has now extended into what I will call the Violent girl syndrome- an encouraged behavior for young women to be violent.
The first time I noted this was when I turned on the television, just to catch a show and a woman was pouring hot water over a male character- a comedy. It left me feeling shocked and made me wonder if the use of negative words and images like this in the media was also creating a confusion in young women in how to treat the opposite sex and as a result themselves spiritually.
Young women should be independent and confident but we should not use them to hurt young men. The feminist trend that is occurring is a positive one but at the same time a scary one for men. We all know good men and perhaps we should keep this steadfast in our minds as the media overflows with negative male examples. Our words could also create a violent attitude toward men- we should be conscious of this as well. True equality comes when all people respect one another. Young women and men are perhaps being wrongly told that they should be aggressive but in reality, we want them to be assertive. Assertive females are not violent and they do not act verbally or physically violent toward males. We must keep the rules for women as the same.
Records are also showing that violence among young women has increased. Feminism in its positive has given us our ability to do anything we want. The world has increasingly become kinder to females- although the recent harassment cases would suggest otherwise. These cases are important and shedding light on it is very important. But equally important is to shed light on what the media does toward women as well. How the repeated use of negative messages, the continued body shaming words and all those things that go with being females are also the direct results of a society that is determined to further divide male from female. We need to move toward healing so that our genders can act in unity. We must show young women that to be strong means also to think first before acting in a negative way as well.
As we fight for awareness as women with the Me Too movement, perhaps we should also give males the room to speak about what is called the disposable male trend. A trend where men no longer feel wanted or cared for in society. As more and more young men join fundamentalist groups, we must realize as feminist that to change things- we need to make males who are good and caring feel valued as well. We must change the vocabulary for women so they do not feel they need to be violent in approach or attitude toward men while at the same time we give men the space to say, “ I am not like this. All men are not alike. I feel disposed of and unneeded.” By giving males this space too we end any violent trend that occurring subconsciously toward males. We can start by changing the words we use to heal.
Changing the language words we use in media, in music and in our everyday interactions with one another will create a more positive trend and may close the divide that is occurring and move us toward healing. Freedom of speech is important but we must also use our words to heal us all.
By Melinda Cochrane - For more about the author - melindacochraneinternationalbooks.com