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Women at Risk – NYTimes OpEd

August 8th, 2009 Comments off

Very well written piece by Bob Herbert in today’s New York Times (dated Aug. 7 online) regarding the recent, tragic shooting at a Pennsylvania health club and its linkage to a long list of such violent attacks. Mr. Herbert does a fine job of bringing misogyny to the forefront of the conversation – something that is usually buried in stories such as these; he also brings masculinity into sharp relief:

Soon after the Virginia Tech slayings, I interviewed Dr. James Gilligan, who spent many years studying violence as a prison psychiatrist in Massachusetts and as a professor at Harvard and N.Y.U. “What I’ve concluded from decades of working with murderers and rapists and every kind of violent criminal,” he said, “is that an underlying factor that is virtually always present to one degree or another is a feeling that one has to prove one’s manhood, and that the way to do that, to gain the respect that has been lost, is to commit a violent act.”

I have no doubts that Mr. Sondini had mental health issues; but let’s not paint this as an isolated incident, but a sign of larger, unexamined patterns of masculine behavior that desperately need to be addressed.

Fine work, worth a read…

Op-Ed Columnist – Women at Risk – NYTimes.com.