Recently, New Jersey Federal Judge Esther Salas and her family were attacked resulting in the loss of her son and injury of her husband. Suspect Roy Den Hollander labeled himself as an anti-feminist lawyer whose interest was in defending men’s rights. Hollander’s misogynistic agenda sheds a harsh light on a bigger problem facing women and this country.
Hollander was reported to have a fixed agenda against women, testifying that even a ladies’ night at a club was unfair to men. His personal grudge against Judge Salas had to do with his belief that Latin American women had an “inferiority complex.” His writings exhibited even more hate and sexist rants but the drive he had to act on his hate is what puts women in danger every day.
The anger driving the misogynistic man often leads to the insult, rape or murder of a woman. The memes and tweets among the internet about women giving out their numbers just to protect themselves are disappointingly true. Women have shared their stories of abuse or violation as a result of a man’s inability to accept rejection. Salas, though not facing any direct injuries, still represents women who are victims of male fragility.
Hollander’s ability to even be allowed to represent two women in court should have been a red flag as his hatred for women and feminism was on display. Unfortunately, men like Hollander don’t only exist on their own but sometimes in relationships. Women have been low on the societal ladder for so long that some men have grown fonder of the patriarchal way of life.
However, since the women’s suffrage movement and the continual feminist fight, the modernization of women’s equality has only made anti-feminists more bitter. Men like Hollander forget the motive of feminism: to achieve equal rights for women. There is no information to justify why women shouldn’t be treated the same as men especially in the workplace and in the home.
Even a woman in power such as Judge Salas couldn’t avoid the result of such hateful ways of thinking. Attacks like these only fuel the feminist movement further by providing proof that the fight is not over. How does a woman without government protections avoid anti-feminists? How do women protect themselves? This moves from the question of how women protect themselves to instead, how do men control themselves.
It often becomes the burden of a woman to protect herself against hateful and dangerous men. But, how could have Judge Salas known someone had held a year long grudge strong enough to attack her family? The average woman can’t even carry so much as pepper spray with her in the majority of states. Society still has work to do to support women and shine a light on the dark corners where sexists hide. Unfortunately, many of them, like Hollander, hide in plain sight.
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