The other day I was buzzing around the kitchen putting lunch together when snippets of a video Richard was watching in the living room kept finding their way into my rather deaf ears. Though the voice was familiar I could not put a name to it, but when I heard the line below I downed tools to find out out who it was that could be breaking a taboo so very eloquently…
“The people who could do most to improve the situation of women and children are in fact men: it is in our hands to stop violence towards women… I do what I do in my Mother’s name because I couldn’t help her then.”
It was of course Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame talking at Comicpalooza this year, having been asked a question by a member of the audience and using the opportunity to acknowledge the great work done by Refuge in this country and to discuss his own childhood, his Father’s shell shock and his own work supporting the women and children who are victims of domestic violence today.
That Patrick would choose to use his platform at a place where his message will be heard by so very many men and perhaps significantly, boys, seems to me to be both a brave and inspired choice: that Richard would be listening to a man he respects talk about something he has probably never given more than a moments thought to in his life is proof that the medium is the message and that Patrick Stewart, a refined, elegant man could not have chosen a better way to spread the word that it is in men’s hands to make this world a better place at a domestic level and beyond, and to help us all recognize that often behind a monster there is a man struggling with his own distress and pain.
Most of us, thank heavens, will never have to live through domestic violence. Here at Brocantehome I spend a huge amount of time discussing the inner workings of our domestic lives without ever really acknowledging that many, many women are suffering behind their front doors: that life isn’t all rosy posies and lemon tarts.
So we should support charities like Refuge as much as we can and applaud Patrick Stewart for knowing just how powerful words can be.
There but for the grace of God, darlings.