Wednesday, May 24, 2017
I'm struggling with the 'essentially playful' part of my blog ethos today, my heart going out to the families of those killed and injured, many of them young girls as they clutched pink balloons and dreams, in the latest deranged attack on female freedom by another boy-man brainwashed into thinking pink balloons are what's most wrong with the world. At least that's how I see the Manchester suicide bombing of the Ariana Grande 'Dangerous woman' concert yesterday.
Others will focus on the immigrant status of the bomber's parents and make it about letting people into our countries who don't share 'western values'. But male resentment of female freedom is universal and many of the school shootings in the west by non-immigrant men have been motivated, in some part if not entirely, by this same resentment. And the aggression and pervasiveness of online misogyny speaks to the same depressingly timeless and borderless resentment.
Of course in many ways it's easier, if that's the word, to make it about immigration and a clash of cultures than it is to face the harder-to-change reality that boys of all cultures continue to find common cause in the idea that they are more entitled to self-expression and realisation than girls are, and to resent any and all challenges to this idea.
I don't have the answers but I do think that framing the problem as it is must be part of our response.
Balloons over bombs.