Men and women are different. What isn’t so obvious is that men and women are similar. But we go out of our way to highlight the differences and generally, culturally, balk at suggestions of essential sameness. This is nowhere so true as in our understanding of violence.
The world over men are aware that they can always, potentially, be frightening to women and children. Men are, on average, physically stronger humans. They can do two things with their physical strength: hurt others or help them. In most places, masculinity is inextricably bound to violence. And that violence is inextricably bound to female vulnerability. And that vulnerability, with the ever-present threat and exercise of physical harm, keeps women subordinate to varying degrees — physically insecure in developed countries and virtually property on entire continents. Boys will be boys.
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