I haven’t posted anything since before Christmas 2017 partly because I’ve been really ill, and partly because I’ve been finding interactions on social media quite draining. While the posts I follow here on WordPress are all respectful and considered, I can’t say the same for Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook operate more like conversations, whereas WordPress tends toward articles. I’ve weeded out those I followed where responses were disrespectful, and where the bulk of comments didn’t move the issue under discussion any further forward, and I’m hoping that helps me.
While the main topic of my posts will be around the issue of gender based violence, my interest is broader than women and girls. Abuse exists at all levels of our society, and includes domestic violence – men toward women and women toward men; rape; child abuse – physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and economic. Abuse seen in this way shows that while or society has developed gender based violence as part of our hierarchy, all aspects of society are affected. In short, patriarchy is detrimental to women and children, and boy children become men. This has crystalised for me recently when reading tweets that condem all men for the actions of some. I can’t see a way forward for us when we make blanket declarations like this and don’t discuss the particular. Many abused women have male children, who have been abused by their fathers, making the effect of gender based violence something that affect women, girls and boys who then become men. Violence and agression are increasingly on the ascendant, in our speech, in our actions, in our desire to get the upper hand, and while this continues solutions will be hard to find.
You will have noticed I’ve changed the name of my blog; I prefer conversations to simply stating opinions; it helps me consider as many perspectives as possible. I can’t find answers to this question of violence on my own, but together we might move closer to a solution, or just a contribution to the solution. ‘Kitty Nolan in Conversation’ is an invitation, welcoming thoughtful and considered exchanges. To help us frame our exchanges I want to suggest we use Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.
I will continue to share excerpts from my book WITNESS, which gives an account of Sarah’s experience of domestic abuse. I am particularly interested in the added layer of religious tradition which Sarah experienced making it difficult for her to leave her abusive husband. I am planning a series of blogs trying to look below the surface of these issues, so watch this space.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Peace and smiles