Call to action: this shit has got to stop

NS November 24th, 2009

The response to my last post has been overwhelming. The F-Word picked it up and posted about it on their site, which then made the rounds through the feminist blogosphere and brought hundreds of visitors to my blog overnight. The supportive comments and messages I received — here, by email and on Twitter — made me realise that what happened at the march hadn’t just angered me, but many people. When something like this happens to one of us, we all feel it because we know it could’ve been any one of us. To be attacked while on a peaceful demonstration just makes it all the clearer how deeply ingrained violence is in our society, and how much of a threat those who question the Order Of Things are to those who think they hold the deeds to us.

Wednesday November 25th is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, as designated by the United Nations since 1999. It is also White Ribbon Day, a complementary campaign run by and for men that encourages them to be part of the solution. In honour of this day, Million Women Rise had planned a candlelight vigil. When they read about what happened to me at Reclaim The Night, they asked for my permission to turn the vigil into a wider protest and to use my story to help highlight just how unsafe we still are. Together with other women’s organisations, like Object, the Women and Girls’ Network and Roshni, they are asking for as many people¬† (all self-identified women and male allies) who are able to come to this event to attend or help spread the word. I will be speaking of my experience at the event and there will likely be a media presence there as well.

Please, if you are as pissed off about violence against women as we are and want to demand that it stop, come join us in Trafalgar Square at 7pm tomorrow (Wednesday 25th November). Bring a candle, bring a friend and bring your voice. If you’re not able to attend, please spread the word to as many as you can, particularly if you are in or near London. A good turnout will help us raise some much-needed awareness.

My own personal request to those of you who can’t attend (and even if you can!) is to focus on speaking to the men in your lives about domestic violence, sexual violence and other forms of abuse and harrassment towards women. If you have a male partner*, ask him not to sit in silence when he hears a joke demeaning or belittling women. Talk to your male friends about how consent means getting an active ‘Yes’, not just the absence of ‘No.’¬† Ask them to complain about sexist ads (including ones that degrade men) and boycott misogynistic publications like the Daily Mail. If you have a son, talk to him from an early age about respecting girls and the conflicting messages he will receive from his peers and the media. Ask all of them to get active in becoming part of the solution because we can’t eradicate this problem on our own. Passive agreement is not getting us anywhere. Keeping quiet is not an option anymore; it is silent complicity.

It’s time for this shit to stop.

*edited for more inclusive language; h/t to Ruth for pointing out my mistake — I have poor editing skills when hastily typing before the school run!

15 Responses to “Call to action: this shit has got to stop”

  1. Ruth Moss says:

    Would you consider changing:

    Ask your partner not to sit in silence when he hears a joke demeaning or belittling women.

    To “if you have a male partner, ask him not to sit in silence…. (etc.)”?

    Thanks xx

  2. [...] @thenoblesavage: New post and call to action: this shit has got to stop. End violence against women Like – [...]

  3. Ruth Moss says:

    Sorry, realise that sounds very picky, it just stood out to me (well, it would, wouldn’t it) in what was otherwise a very important thing to say. It’s also important to remember in all of these things, that sometimes, the male partner might be the very person being violent…

    Glad to hear the event in Trafalgar Square is for all self-identified women.

  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by thenoblesavage: New post and call to action: this shit has got to stop. End violence against women

  5. onevoiceIfreedom says:

    Such an outrage this violence could happen on a peaceful demonstration. I am with you on this. Have added you to my blog list and recommended another to do so. Thanks for bringing all this info to our attention.
    Speak again.
    ( also Cloudgazer on Twitter and onethoughtfulwoman- 2nd blog name on wordpress). Hello!

  6. Potty Mummy says:

    I can’t be there I’m afraid, but I will post about it. You’re absolutely right; this shit HAS got to stop.

  7. NS says:

    @Ruth – Changed, thank you. Not picky at all, I just worded it poorly.

    @onevoicelfreedom – Thank you, will check out your blog as well. :)

    @Potty Mummy – Cheers, I appreciate it.

  8. TheMadHouse says:

    As I said on yesterdays post, I am trying to activly bring up my children who are boys to respect woman in every way.

  9. Well said. I hope I am bringing up my boys to respect women but will try even harder. They certainly will never read the Daily Mail if I can help it….

  10. [...] all women worldwide who have been murdered and affected by male perpetrated violence (and in protest of the recent sexual attack on blogger Noble Savage at the Reclaim The Night march in London), Million Women Rise will hold a peaceful candle lit vigil tonight in Trafalgar Square at [...]

  11. Wishing you good luck tonight – raising awareness is important; none should live in fear if we are to have equality.

  12. [...] I’ve never done any PR on this site before, mainly because I’ve never received a request that I could really get behind. I don’t want to help people sell more of whatever stuff they’re peddling unless it’s something I genuinely find extra-special or if it’s for a cause I believe in. I don’t even bother replying to ones wanting me to promote this or that DVD or pair of shoes or children’s clothing line. So it was with great pleasure when I read an email asking me to help promote a charity single for Women’s Aid, to celebrate 35 years of the fantastic work they do, and released today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which I wrote about yesterday. [...]

  13. andrea says:

    best of luck tonight! i’m proud of you for standing up and telling your story!

  14. Liz says:

    Good luck tonight NS, my thoughts are with you all

    Liz x

  15. [...] being sexually assaulted whilst at RTN, and her follow up post calling for action and promoting One Million Women Rise’s candle lit vigil tomorrow. By: Sarah Barnes, 24.11.2009 | Comments (1) Tagged: Activism, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Finn [...]