The Shadow Pandemic

Artpil / Prescription .121
Matthew Hong / November 25, 2020

The United Nations General Assembly has designated this day International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women… These are many words strung together to be ascribed to a single day. By truism, this is a proposition that states really nothing beyond what is implied by its terms. An otherwise unnecessary existence, but in the reality of 1 in 3 women having experienced such violence in their life time, its raison d’être is self evident. The more awkward half of this tautology would be to pronounce that 1 in 3 of us male counterparts have committed violence against a women in our lives.

It is an unfortunate supposition, but one which does not require any doubt or denial in order to understand. And verily, to simply understand is to not deny. There would not exist a man more useless. If only we could be as diligent with a more noble task – a perversion of promise in keeping with being a man, like the emperor with no clothes who will not concede.

Reported by every relevant and reliable organization, the dramatic spike in incidences, at times twofold in the confined conditions of a worldly pandemic, has made the awareness of what is now called the Shadow Pandemic that much more crucial. This virus, which has existed for a far greater period of time and whose rate of contagion is perhaps the highest known – with the spreader population in denial even more staggering – has not yet a cure. Long after the vaccine for Covid is distributed around the world and we are more or less safe in one another’s air space, this Shadow Pandemic will continue behind closed quarters.

“Violence is not confined to the battlefield. For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest. In their own homes.” –António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

This, given everything else in history, begs the lamentation, how is it that we are still alive? That is perhaps a discussion for another day. Today is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Whereas, now, therefore, teach our sons.

“Not until the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free from fear, violence and everyday insecurity, can we truly say we live in a fair and equal world.” –António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Indeed, with our often better halves, and without whom we could not be, we renew our commitment to engage and celebrate the women who have inspired and created in the art world.


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