I'm reading up on the laws around marital rape. Wiki says the criminalisation of marital rape in Australia occurred in all states and territories, by both statutory and case law, from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. That's not long ago. According to the Australian Law Reform website "these developments were brought about by a number of factors including the growth and activism of the women’s movement in this area."
I wonder what the women who fought for this to happen had to face? Was there an opposition to this law change? Were they male voices? What kinds of arguments did those defending the status quo throw at them? This law change shows you the history that the fight for equality is built on. Between just 20 and 40 years ago it was legal for husbands to rape their wives (and vice versa.)
It gives you an idea of the enormity of the history behind the male bias our society is built on and many of us are blind to or turn a blind eye to. I know the bias, I was raised in the mens matrix. My first job as office boy was in an office where the MD issued a memo to all women not to wear pants. I kid you not.
So the take out for me; the world as we know it has been built to favour men, sometimes overtly, other times on the sly. Some shit things change, like marital rape, lots of shit things remain. The things that change do so because lots of brave people stand up and say things that others find deeply uncomfortable because their world view is being challenged. They get called lots of names and cop a lot of abuse, but, their actions are seen by other people who have this deep seated uncomfortableness with the disrespect and mistreatment of others. The message hits and they start to google and read more, and then join the cause. Finding their voice, their purpose, their calling. They in turn create work that spreads the message; art, songs, movements, initiatives, conversation, articles, blogs, they become the media and infect others, and so on and so on, til eventually the idea has caught on and it becomes common practice.
This radical idea of "equality" follows the diffusion of innovation. The first to speak out are the innovators, the message and the movement are then owned by the early adopters. After some time the early majority get it and mutate it and live it until it becomes their truth, then finally the late majority are forced to get onboard. The laggards stay hating and in denial. They defend the old ways. Never changing, just being angry at everyone who has become too p.c or too sensitive.
This is how I view the world right now. When I post articles about equality for women, I'm hoping to infect those early adopter men who feel there's something not right in the way they've been programmed to see the world. The story of rapists getting light sentences, the distain they feel when mates tell rape jokes, the stories of teenage boys starting social media groups to rate teenage (and younger) girls. I know these men don't know what it is they can do yet but they want to do something and they will.
The negative comments are from the late majority and the laggards. Some will change when the force of the movement on a roll hits them, that is literally the weight of history bearing down on them. However they aren't the men I'm trying to reach directly with my message. New Ideas can't spread through society without following the diffusion of innovation. I'm talking to the men who want equality for women and are willing to call out their own gender kinks first, own them before hopping into the ring to find their voice and spread the message.
I'd like more of my male mates on FB to join in, I want more men worldwide to put their hands up and ask how can I change? But apparently these things take time, so tonight instead I'll sit back and recharge with the strength of the those women, and I'm sure men, who fought to change the law so husbands couldn't rape their wives anymore, way way back in the 1970's, 80's & 90s.