16 December 2012

About The Massacre In Connecticut

Although it may not seem directly related to transgender issue, I want to make a comment about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

I'm thinking about it (How could you not, with all of the coverage it's getting?) for a variety of reasons.  One of them is the ways in which such tragedies affect women and children disproportionately.

One of the most obvious reasons why these shootings are a "women's issue" is that the principal and school psychologist who were murdered, and the teacher who was shot to death while shielding children, were all women.  That's no surprise when you consider that the vast majority of elementary school teachers are female.  

It's also hard not to notice that most of the parents who came to the school in the aftermath of the shootings were the mothers.  Although men--at least in some communities--are taking on more roles in child-rearing, it's still a fact that kids spend more time with their mothers or female caretakers.  There's also an unwritten, unspoken expectation that the mother will take on the more emotionally difficult parts of raising children--including the role of "first responders" in crises in the children's and families' lives.

I hope that the mothers--and fathers--of the victims get all of the support they will need for a long time to come.  And I hope that whatever comes next for those who were killed does not include the violence--emotional and spiritual as well as physical--that punctuated the last moments of their lives.

No comments: