Posted by: joshjasper | November 15, 2008

1 million dollars

If a person were to give you 1 million dollars to end  violence against women, where would you start?

I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about how Riverview Center can generate additional funds so that we can more effectively deliver our services and reach our vision of a community free of sexual violence sooner rather than later. 

Maybe the time and effort spent working to generate the money needs to be balanced by planning on how to realize true violence prevention if money was not an object.  Because in order to reach a goal that requires changing attitudes, norms, and beliefs of an entire community and society at large, money really cannot be an issue in order to be successful because of the task at hand.

When so many things in our culture has to do with misogyny, or the hatred of women, the task can at times can seem insurmountable.  Take a serious look at the most popular video games, movies, music, advertisement, and time and time again you will find negative messaging aimed at women.  Women are often objectified and degraded, and at what cost?  If in fact more beer, jeans, tools, toys, and cars are sold by having a woman be objectified in the process, what else is being sold in the process?  It has been said that the moment we objectify a person, violence is sure to follow.  The perpetrator is able to rationalize the pain inflicted on another, if in their mind, the victim is not a person at all. 

It is not as if we don’t know what is going on.  The problem is that not enough people are talking about this issue and taking active steps to end violence against women.  This is learned behavior.  People are not not genetically predisposed to rape, assault, or domestically abuse another person. 

I guess the question is then not so much how you would spend 1 million dollars but rather, how much money do you need to change one person’s beliefs and attitudes about women.

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