What do you think of when you postulate on the term "terrorism"?
Do you first think of martyrdom? The willingness to offer ones life for the intergrity of a deity? Mass acts of violent terrorism - and even the mere, yet imminent threat of them - are those that plague society on an almost daily basis. But is it necessary to consider that all acts of terrorism aren't necessarily overt acts of guerilla warfare, but instead are integrated institutions that we, as a society, have been socialised to accept as normality?
I'm talking about street harassment. We exist in a society that normalises sexual violence against women and girls of all ages. Sexual violence can fluctuate in type; ranging from being street harassment, to sexual assault, to rape; it doesn't quite stop at cat-calling, and heckling. We live in a rape culture that embodies the misogynistic nature of our society, and displays it on a grand scale. I don't necessarily need to reel off a catalogue of statistical evidence to prove the validity of such a statement, but I'm going to anyway, because you never can indulge too much on the cold hard truth (taken from the Rape Crisis UK/Wales web page and the Rape Crisis Centre US web page):
It is reported that almost 85,000 women are raped (on average) in England and Wales each year. Over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted. In the US, it is suggested that a woman is raped every 2 minutes. If this much is true, then even as I write these words, 2 more women have had their sexual freedom brutalised.
Society has the rather arduous habit of being far too obtuse in its perceptions towards the ways in which women are to be treated. It's not enough to downplay street harassment as horseplay, banter, or something that is non-violent, and non-toxic. It's not enough to embellish a man's sense of entitlement towards a woman when he sees her on the street - touching her, harassing her, propositioning her. It's not enough to say that such actions do not perpetuate rape culture. Far too often I am bored into streams of tears by men who claim that street harassment and sexual harassment is acceptable because they would "never actually rape a woman". Far too often do I find myself whirring on and on like a broken record; stating and overstating the fact that our actions as people work mostly on a basis of principality. We are taught from a young age that our actions have consequences; and matters such as this are in no different league.
Misogynistic terrorism on women is a new wave of social purgatory that is claiming control of our perceptions of women, removing basic levels of respect from the equation, and replacing it with docile aggression. Did you know that between the years 1970-2012, there were 3 times as many terrorist attacks that were carried out by anti-abortion Christian groups, as there were terrorist attacks carried out by Muslim extremists?
A woman's liberty is literally being attacked and disembowelled, and some aren't even doing their part to accept it; let alone inducing themselves to change it. And what does that reveal about how much we really regard a woman's place in society?