This was originally published at Missing Filter by Basic Pitch on September 12, 2016
“What if that happened to your mother, sister, or daughter?”
This is often the question posed when people are asked to understand or sympathize with a woman’s position when confronted with harassment, oppression, or violence. It’s wildly effective. One imagines their loved one affected by the most recent atrocity and they are outraged.
Even more outrageous is that it takes this to make others understand what another human being is going through. When we see terrible things happen to men in our lives or on the news, no one needs to imagine it’s their father, brother, or son. We instinctively sympathize with the pain we see. It’s not the same for women. Women are only to be understood by the relationships they have with men. One struggles to sympathize with a woman catcalled on the street, often even defending the offender saying it was meant as a compliment, until they imagine their mother verbally assaulted by the vulgar outburst. People are quick to question the life choices of a rape victim unless it’s someone they love.
Where does this come from? Why is it even a thing? Why does someone have to exist in relation to another person to be worthy of consideration?
Don’t call me daughter, human should be enough.