The attack on Charlie Hebdo today brought me light to a subject that can affect any kind of movement or cause: the radical ones.
Just as terrorists have been for decades killing in the name of a god or a nation, radical speeches are also on the borderline of hate. Here’s one example of what we can expect to happen after the attack.
Lately I have been observing a lot of radicalism in the feminist movement.
That’s why I believe the #HeForShe campaign is so relevant. Having men participating in the feminist movement only reinforces the idea of equality.
When you are passionate enough to fight for a cause, things can get heated up so easily that it is safe to say that every activist needs to watch her/his actions not to become too radical. Especially in our modern world, with the internet being the perfect place to poison-spreading.
When talking about equality and opportunities and fighting for more space, activists often see themselves under fire by men who feel personally attacked.
That happens quite a lot when it comes to street harassment: defensive men try not to acknowledge their – brainwashed – mistake of catcalling a woman thinking that’s a compliment. Instead of apologizing they react as if they were the ones being offended. After that, our tendency is to simply shut down any counter-argument that can come from men. If we go on radical-mode too much, the aggressive response will only bring more aggressive actions.
As I said before, when we are dedicated to a cause, we can turn into radical mode very easily, but that is far from being a bad thing. If is wasn’t for the radical feminists, nothing would ever change. Calling for action, going on the streets and taking the lead of a movement takes a lot of energy and radicals are prepared to face the counter-attacks. The problem with this is when the speech turns from defending a cause to attacking someone.
Every time a radical idea turns into an attack, it backlashes.
If you rule out every men from feminists movements, you are basically saying that half of the world’s population are against you. Think is not just untrue, but also a major setback to the movement. Besides, those men that are sympathetic to the cause may simply feel under attack as well, undermining the whole idea of equality.
Diplomacy is the key (or… al you need is love)
In the end, when we get involved with such a crucial cause, like fighting violence against women, in my case, there is no better way than diplomacy. From catcalls to rapes and femicides, we have men on the attackers bench and women on the victims. But there are also much more men defending women than attacking and by acknowledging that we create a bridge of discussion so necessary to end this behavior.
Let’s stop feeding the trolls.