Nuclear violence is an international and intersectional problem. At Beyond the Bomb, we recognize that oppression and power structures are an interconnected system; rhetoric and actions in one arena have vast consequences that play out across society. Violence against women and girls is part of this oppressive power structure. It transcends nationality, age, race, and class. With the advent of the #MeToo movement (shout out to the amazing organizer Tarana Burke), men across the world woke up to the reality that women face violence and harassment regularly, and women realized that they are not alone, that this issue is something that affects our friends and family, and not something to hide but something to stand up to.
And at its very core, our nuclear system is about dominance over other groups, about the constant threat of violence that keeps others in line. That maintains the status quo at the expense of innocent human lives.
Because of #MeToo, women around the world stood up and told their stories. It shook up power structures from the boardroom to the classroom across the globe. Our nuclear system is violent. It requires land be upheaved and irradiated. It requires tests that maim our environment and threaten our public health. And at its very core, our nuclear system is about dominance over other groups, about the constant threat of violence that keeps others in line. That maintains the status quo at the expense of innocent human lives.
Not only is this system inherently violent but anyone who studies violence against women will recognize the fact that most violence directed at women is also about control, much like the oppressive nuclear system. The way we think about the use and threat of nuclear violence trickles down into our collective psyche and opens the door for other forms of violence. When we as a country condone masculine posturing at the expense of millions of people (and write the victims off as “other”), we feed into the same logic that creates a toxic culture of gender-based violence.
The way forward is multi-faceted. We need women to continue standing up and sharing their stories, we need organizations and individuals providing support to the victims of violence around the world, and we need organizations like Beyond the Bomb fight to change our cultural narrative around, and relationship to, violence.
Right now, we are participating in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence to help spread the word and amplify the voices of those who need it most: those impacted by violence right now. Our organizing does not exist in a bubble. We fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons because we want to live to see a world in which no one is the victim of violence, in any capacity.
We fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons because we want to live to see a world in which no one is the victim of violence, in any capacity.