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10 December 2007


Gema Gray

Here's an issue where I must disagree with you Katz. Whilst I deplore the constant barage of insiduous images of violence against women that does indeed permeate our society, I cannot condone the use of equally insensitive images against men as an antidote.

Likewise, I do not believe it is appropriate for a store akin to CVS or Walgreens to be selling an item whose use should be confined to the specialized gym or martial arts dojo.

My house certainly contains items that are weapons, some ceremonial, others more practical in nature. They were all acquired, however, through specialist vendors promoting the skills and traditions of the martial arts my husband has practiced over the years.

If we as a society want our women to be more assertive in their own defence - against perpretrators of violence actual or metaphorical - let's encourage them to become involved in self defence classes, and be vocal advocates against sexism. But please, let's not descend into the kind of destructive imagery against men that they have used against us.

I want my son to respect and protect the females in his life. His generation should not become the victims of women's retribution for the wrongs done by generations of men before him.


I appreciate your thoughtful engagement with my blog entries and there is nothing in your response that I don't agree with. Those girly boxing gloves were, at the price, trust me, just a novelty item (not that that deprives them of meaning), but I'm more worried about this "men's" organization's agenda than a joke item.
And I don't see any generational retribution happening - to the contrary - do you?
Thanks always for writing, Sue

Gema Gray


My point about generational retribution is that only mutual respect between men and women can lead to the disappearance of all the mysoginistic crap we are currently subjected to. The men of my son's generation will not dismantle the culture of abuse and violence against women if we begin to redress the situation ourselves by introducing virulent anti-male attitudes. The seemingly innocuous novelty item is a first step in that dangerous direction.

Dosmestic violence against men is real and in this society the victims are doubly victimized. Unlike women who speak out against the outrages committed against them, and find support, strength, and comfort with their female cohort, these men are not embraced by their brothers in society. They are ostricised and despised by other men for their so-called weakness and submissiveness. Clearly they merit support from legitimate charitable organizations and advocacy groups. The key is to make sure that such organizations are legitimate and do not - as you suspect in this case - have a hidden agenda.

Superdrug did the right thing in withdrawing this item. They should have known better than to sell it in the first place. They understood, I think, that this would cause a huge backlash. Inadvertently though, they may have partly legitimized a somewhat shadowy organization.

It truly is a strange place we live in! I'm grateful that we have writers like you to illuminate some of the recesses of society that the mainstream media choose to ignore.


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