by Rachel Andras, Germany
I find it totally ridiculous that the recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald is based on a few men and very few women who are hurt because their partner left them or they participated in a workshop with Universal Medicine. In a world where women’s rights and integrity is constantly violated and domestic violence is through the roof it is hard to understand how a supposedly serious newspaper is giving this minority a voice without checking their facts and thus, disqualifying what the Universal Medicine women students by free will chose they want in their lives – namely love and a loving relationship. It seems that these women, for the first time in their life, had claimed themselves independently from being identified through being with a man and they have chosen to no longer be in a probably convenient but not loving relationship. What is so bad about that?
In today’s society it is normal that women are brought up with the ideal that they are only complete when they find their ‘perfect man’, get married and have kids, and live happily ever after. Which very often means going through an unloving marriage, divorce, more unloving relationships, etc. But when women decide to not follow this pattern and claim a different quality of life for themselves – some men get outraged and look anywhere to put their blame – and Universal Medicine is the perfect scapegoat and a newspaper the perfect platform.
Considering that worldwide 6 million women are killed every three years due to gender based violence it is outrageous to see the disregarding position the Sydney Morning Herald holds towards women. I am not quite sure how it works in Australia, but in European countries there exist a strong code of ethics for journalism and one of them is to NOT picture women as passive victims, vulnerable and without any capacity to step up for themselves, but as active citizens who have an equal position and are respected members of society, very qualified in what they say and valued contributors to the well being of humanity.
What you write is highly unprofessional. You base your article on this disgruntled group of people (mainly men) who make themselves the victims of being left by their wives, by putting them in a superior position and discarding the ability of those women to decide over their own lives. This is exactly what is contributing to the increasing violence against women worldwide.
Gender based violence is a structural problem of our societies based exactly on behaviours, patterns, ideals and practices as you express at your newspaper: Disrespect, second class citizens, worthless, lack of autonomy, dependent, blind followers, stupid, etc.
A structural problem means that we are all part of a whole – that is not only about the individual actions but about the general position or consciousness towards it. Some disrespect women in their capacities, others treat them as less, and some (actually a lot) consider them worthless – and as such treat them with horrendous violence.
But it does not matter from which level you function you are nonetheless responsible. It is all feeding the same ideal of men’s superiority and contributes to the ongoing violations of women’s human rights.
Every newspaper has a tremendous responsibility on this subject. But are they stepping up to it?