What do men see when they see Page 3? »« Malestrom pt 1: The rights and wrongs of anger

Malestrom pt 2: When anger is justified

In her 1970 book Sexual Politics, widely considered a cornerstone of radical feminism, Kate Millett wrote:

Excepting a social license to physical abuse among certain class and ethnic groups, force is diffuse and generalized in most contemporary patriarchies. Significantly, force itself is restricted to the male who alone is psychologically and technically equipped to perpetrate physical violence. Where differences in physical strength have become immaterial through the use of arms, the female is rendered innocuous by her socialization. Before assault she is almost universally defenceless both by her physical and emotional training. Needless to say, this has the most far-reaching effects on the social and psychological behaviour of both sexes.

Like most early feminists, Millett was not a social scientist, a psychologist or a criminologist. She was a literary theorist and sculptor. [She was also a relatively privileged, middle-class white woman, as reflected in the astonishingly frank othering of working classes and people of colour in the first few words of that extract, but I’ll skip over that here]. Millett genuinely believed that women were entirely incapable of inflicting physical violence.

There was no evidence for her assertion, but to be fair there were no evidence to the contrary either, at the time. As John O’Brien pointed out in a 1971 paper, the academic Journal of Marriage and the Family ran for 30 years, between 1939 and 1969, before they published a single title mentioning the word ‘violence.’  It wasn’t just that social scientists didn’t know the extent of violence in the family, they didn’t even think it possible to find out.

Around the same time as Millett’s book was helping to spark feminist activism, a small group of feminist social scientists were beginning the process of developing tools to objectively measure the extent and nature of violence in the family home. Suzanne Steinmentz, Murray Straus and Richard Gelles spent the first half of the seventies piloting and testing survey methods which would eventually become known as the Conflict Tactics Scale. When the results started coming through, they surprised everyone – not least the authors. It appeared that there were previously unimagined levels of violent conflict in a high proportion of US homes and, most remarkably, a significant proportion of it was being committed and instigated by women. Steinmetz coined the (then laughable) phrase “battered husband.” They concluded that much family violence was a consequence not of patriarchy, but of the interpersonal stress created by the systems of the family unit.

There was a theoretical response from pro-feminist writers, notably from Dobash & Dobash (1979) arguing that violence against women is different in extent, cause, effect and societal function to violence against men. It is important to note that many feminist objections to Straus, Steinmetz et al have come from a place of good faith and sincere interpretation of the evidence. Other academic responses, both at the time and ever since, have been anything but honest and ethical.

All of this is well trodden ground, but I revisit it here to make the point that in this debate, those who have argued for the significance of female perpetration are often portrayed as proponents of a whacky theory that flies in the face of the evidence. The truth is the exact opposite. Straus, Steinmetz and Gelles were producing evidence that flew in the face of a whacky theory – that the male alone is psychologically and technically equipped to perpetrate physical violence.

Away from the journals, the attacks on the academics were less subtle. Feminist activists embarked on a campaign of harassment against the pioneers of family conflict theory. Steinmetz was subject to a lobbying campaign to have her tenure and research funding removed. Hate mail and death threats culminated in a hoax bomb threat being called in to her daughter’s wedding. Murray Straus had his lectures and meetings disrupted, and he was falsely accused of beating his wife and sexually exploiting his students by the chairperson of the Canadian Commission on Violence Against Women, no less.

If the atmosphere was hostile within academia, on the frontline of activism and service delivery things were little better.  I’ve often had feminists say to me that feminism is not hostile to male victims, that if men wanted to set up services for abused men, there would be no complaints. This claim is simply untrue. Many efforts to acknowledge and address female on male violence, even just to provide support to victims, has been actively opposed and disrupted by feminist activists.

For many years there were systematic attempts to all but deny the existence of male victims. In 1999, Julie Bindel wrote “there are a few cases each year of women battering their partners.” The BCS estimate for male victims that year was 253,000. Worse still, victims, either individually or collectively, have been widely smeared as probable abusers themselves, under the assumption that any attack against them was an act of self-defence. The defamation has even stretched to murder victims.

I’ve long abandoned arguing about the exact proportions and numbers of male and female victims or the nonsensical concept of symmetry. My own broad position is that there is no such thing as domestic violence – there is a range of abusive and violent behaviours that can happen for different reasons and with different consequences, and contradictory findings are largely explained by differing definitions. Whether you agree, it is a fair and important ongoing debate. But what is now beyond any reasonable debate is that male victims are not uncommon and that at least some of them are suffering, at risk of serious harm, and in need of support and assistance. Kate Millett’s assertion that women are incapable of violence has been proved grotesquely wrong.

This series is about widespread male anger towards feminism online. The politics of domestic violence are a vivid illustration that sometimes anger is justified. It is a topic about which I am passionate, and have become downright irate at times. It is also an example of where anger can be effective.

It’s rarely admitted by anyone, but the past few years have seen a significant shift in policy, media narratives and public attitudes. The 2010 Equality Act made it increasingly difficult for service providers to deny help on the basis of gender. The 2005 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act clarified that it could apply to men too. Last year, Respect – the organisation which accredits and supervises intervention programmes in the UK – published information aimed at female perpetrators for the first time. The issue has even crossed the ultimate threshold of “issue politics” – becoming a long-running (and generally well-handled) plot on Coronation Street.

From my own experience, five or more years ago it would prove almost impossible to persuade an editor to run a piece addressing male victimisation. Now they occasionally approach me first. Even Julie Bindel has toned down her rhetoric considerably. Yes there is a long way to go. Resources for male victims in most places are woefully inadequate (as they often are for female victims, it must be said.) Judicial and arrest policies not only create injustices such as male victims being arrested, but may also endanger women (especially those who are not white and middle class) by prescribing solutions that match the ideology, not their circumstances. (Linda G. Mills is brilliant on this point.)

What has brought on these changes? I suspect there are two reasons. The first is that the radical feminist case has simply collapsed under weight of evidence of male victimisation and violence in gay and lesbian relationships. The second is that the counter-arguments, for so long sidelined and dismissed, could be easily and widely disseminated online. (Witness the comment thread on the Libby Brooks piece linked above for an example)

In the long term, anger is usually only as effective as it is just, and on this topic feminist ideology, as applied in policy, has been demonstrably unjust. Men’s anger has won the day. This does not, of course, mean that all expressions of anger are justified. My contempt for the feminists who have actively obstructed efforts to help men is matched by my contempt for those men who seek to actively undermine women’s services with sneering, paranoid references to a ‘domestic violence industry’, or violently misogynistic reactions to any perceived provovation. Two wrongs do not make a right.  My own experience has also been that it has been much harder to raise these issues and champion the cause precisely because of the hateful behaviour of some of those who would appear to argue from my side.

The ultimate goal for us all, I hope, is to build policies and social values that provide protection for victims, or better, prevent them becoming victims in the first place. Anger is an energy. Use it well.

Comments

  1. Jemima101 (@itsjustahobby) says

    The quote a the start of this has just stunned me. I am not a reader of feminist theory, having rarely come acroos anything that has the intellectual rigor of the Daily Star on a bad day, however if this is what passes for it no wonder we are in such a bad way.
    I grew up in a very working class neighbourhood, the idea of women as weak, powerless victims would have been laughed out of the street, yes the street where you were judged on the shine on your step or the hour your washing was put out, but still a street where strong women ran things.

    Did domestic violence exist, undoubtedly, was kyriarchy responsible in so many ways for the oppression of women, yes, I know this from personal experience. But have middle class white cis feminists made the world worse for all they look down on? The only answer can be yes.

  2. maudell says

    That needs to stop. The ‘cry me a river’ response by certain types of feminists is despicable. Whether we are talking about DV or rape (particularly if the rapist is a woman), male victims are not taken seriously. It appears to me that this tendency is also common among anti-feminists and people in general as well. But I wish more feminists denounced the political push against male victims other feminists are perpetrating (as if helping men was taking anything away from women).

  3. badgersdaughter says

    Well, not everyone is utterly lost to reality. More than 20 years ago, I was a young wife in a battered women’s shelter. It came to the attention of the women there that the brother of one of them was married to a very emotionally and physically violent woman. We discussed it at one of our therapy meetings and were shocked to learn that there were no available resources for battered men. We tried to make the charity who ran the shelter help the brother, but other than steering him to legal aid, they were unwilling or unable to help him. I got the impression from the staff psychologist that the charity thought were were crazy for sticking up for a man after what we had been through.

  4. Schala says

    But I wish more feminists denounced the political push against male victims other feminists are perpetrating (as if helping men was taking anything away from women).

    I’ve been told just as much on a feminist blog a few months ago, as I was arguing services should be extended to male victims.

    Alas, a blog moderators and administrators also had this opinion in the past (and that was last I heard, I don’t frequent the blog often).

    The notion is that men should work to establish shelters, then to obtain funding, and to never “take” from women’s DV shelter funding in any way. As if it was earkmarked as “for women” instead of “against DV”. Even as feminists themselves work against male DV shelters who are initially funded privately (like Silverman’s) from receiving funding, on the notion that it’s trying to fix an non-existent problem. Note that Silverman is Canadian, and it was Canadians who tried to limit his funding (to zero), by saying he was filling a non-existent need.

    Canadian government which is counseled by feminist organizations on domains and issues such as DV and rape.

    The Supreme Court having ruled in favor of Vancouver Rape Relief, and against Kimberly Nixon (by denying appeal), in the case of being able to refuse a volunteer position on the basis of being trans (they said it was on the basis of “not having a lived experience as a girl from birth”, even though this is subjectively impossible to demonstrate, incredibly essentialist and baseless). What they really objected to was that this person had been born legally male. Not her appearance (which they wouldn’t care for if for a cis woman, even a masculine one), nor her experience (they don’t question their cis women volunteers about their job CV). It was all about open avowed prejudice. And they won in the highest court.

    Who is “they”? A radical feminist network of rape crisis centers, supported indirectly by Australia radfem Sheila Jeffreys, avowedly anti-trans and extremely misandrist. Yet still accepted as feminist.

  5. smrnda says

    I realize that I’m not well-versed, historically, in terms of feminist theory and writing because though I’d heard of Millet, I’d never actually read her work. The classism and racism is a bit distasteful, and I think by the time I was 5 or 6 I’d been told never to make statements with “all” or “none.” I just can’t imagine anyone writing a sentence that ‘men ALONE’ engage in violence, unless they’d lived an incredibly sheltered life. A 16 year old girl in Victorian times perhaps.

    All said, I guess this might be my age, but I’ve not really encountered the dismissal of either violence perpetuated by women or the fact that men are and can be the victims of violence at the hands of women. If that’s the case, then I guess in a way that’s progress.

    I wish I could source it, but I was reading an article about women who get incredibly angry over male partners who don’t seem neat and tidy enough. (To put this in perspective, I’m female and a slob.) One defense was that women are *forced by society* to be perfectionists in terms of domestic order, so they can’t help it if they feel a need to stand over the man while he washes dishes making sure he doesn’t leave any spots. To me, it just struck me as a bit too much.

  6. maudell says

    Thanks, Schala, I’ll look into this. I’m a Vancouverite, and I had never heard of the Kimberly Nixon story (I know of the Silverman debacle, however. I hear that WBB is trying to restart what he did, if so, I hope she succeeds. But really, it’s pathetic that the gov. budget only covers female victims).
    About the anti-trans feminists, yup, they absolutely are feminists. The hate displayed in Brennan-type feminists is disgusting. It is pure, unadulterated bigotry. It seems to me that they are dying down (it’s more of a second-wave thing, no?), but I may be wrong. I do my best to avoid people like that at all costs. Unfortunately, I think this type of essentialist thinking also fit well with the thinking of many Conservatives (not all). Sickening institutionalization of bullshit.
    Anyway, in my view, the trans* example is excellent to illustrate the unviability of a zero-sum approach to gender. Thanks again for letting me know about VRR.

  7. iamcuriousblue says

    The limitations of the automatic man-as-perpetrator/woman-as-victim paradigm are exemplified by this story of a domestic violence call concerning Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love:

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930701&slug=1709039

    (A story that led the always-charming Bug Brennan to label Kobain a “wife-beater”: http://nametheproblem.com/2013/02/17/kurt-cobain/ )

    It sounds to me like there was definitely domestic violence going on, but that it was a two-way situation, and not an example of a stronger party hurting or bullying someone weaker. It’s a situation where some intervention may have done some good – the actual outcome was that a year and a half later, Kobain ended up swallowing a shotgun, and many years later, their daughter felt the need to leave home while still a teenager, and it’s rumored that domestic violence played a role in this. There were some bad dynamic here that never were dealt with.

    And I don’t think the above example is an who got in incredibly bad fights that involved throwing glasses, etc at each other, and an ambulance showing up and taking both of them off to the hospital. This kind of thing is a not uncommon kind of domestic violence situation.

    The question is to how best to intervene. Right now, we’re stuck in a criminal justice model, and typically one where the man is automatically blamed as the perpetrator and arrested. However, I don’t think it would be much of an improvement in that kind of situation if both were arrested. There needs to be some model for intervening in violent relationships like this where it doesn’t automatically go to the criminal justice system, or at least not to automatic prosecution, but people who are acting out this kind destructive behavior get the intervention they need before somebody gets seriously hurt.

    Note that I’m *not* talking about violent relationships where one party is clearly terrorizing and dominating the other through violence. That situation does require some kind of heavy-handed, criminal justice kind of intervention where the abuser is made to stop, and the abused is given an opportunity to get away if they wish.

  8. Schala says

    I wish I could source it, but I was reading an article about women who get incredibly angry over male partners who don’t seem neat and tidy enough. (To put this in perspective, I’m female and a slob.) One defense was that women are *forced by society* to be perfectionists in terms of domestic order, so they can’t help it if they feel a need to stand over the man while he washes dishes making sure he doesn’t leave any spots. To me, it just struck me as a bit too much.

    There IS a stereotype that women are more neat and tidy than men, that women and girls have a neater and more aesthetic handwriting on average and absolutely than men and boys (however false this may be).

    But to say that women are forced to have a neater house than men and to enforce extremely high cleanliness standards than their male counterparts, is just stupid.

    IF you want to fit with the image of The Perfect Woman TM, maybe. But few do. Few WANT to do so. I’m generally a slob (more than many), yet I do dishes once a day, and clean once a month, do laundry once a week…thanks to my boyfriend’s help (I really need someone else’s presence and help to provide framework for that kind of thing, or many other things, including work – my boyfriend does it for house chores, and I’m unemployed).

    But my IMAGE towards others because of my standards of cleanliness? How does it affect my life in any way? If my friends think it matters A LOT, and I don’t think it does…maybe I got the wrong friends. Friendship compatibility is also important.

    Conforming to other’s standards of life is not living at all. It’s being someone’s puppet. I may be useless (to society) and on welfare, but at least I do what I want to do. Doing someone else’s bidding to be accepted as “ok” would be worse than not living.

  9. Schala says

    “Conforming to other’s standards of life is not living at all. It’s being someone’s puppet. I may be useless (to society) and on welfare, but at least I do what I want to do. Doing someone else’s bidding to be accepted as “ok” would be worse than not living.”

    Obvious exceptions being about infringing on other people’s rights (including any violence not in self-defense), of course. But that should have been obvious.

  10. Schala says

    Thanks, Schala, I’ll look into this. I’m a Vancouverite, and I had never heard of the Kimberly Nixon story (I know of the Silverman debacle, however. I hear that WBB is trying to restart what he did, if so, I hope she succeeds. But really, it’s pathetic that the gov. budget only covers female victims).

    The story came to court in 1995, 2002 and 2007. As far as I know. VRR complained they even had to go in court about it (and pay legal fees), while they were the ones opposing the recognition of trans women volunteers as valid. They blamed Kimberley, and trans women for paying legal fees for something they consider stupid.

    It seems to me that they are dying down (it’s more of a second-wave thing, no?), but I may be wrong.

    They may be getting less popular, but I don’t think it’s necessarily old people. I’m 30 (born 1982) and some radfems who espouse 2nd wave ideals are younger than me.

    I do my best to avoid people like that at all costs. Unfortunately, I think this type of essentialist thinking also fit well with the thinking of many Conservatives (not all). Sickening institutionalization of bullshit.

    Have fun with this:

    http://amptoons.com/blog/2007/07/17/cartoon-an-easy-mistake-to-make/

    This is what got me to read that blog at all, by the way. Even if we disagree, we see eye to eye on trans issues.

  11. says

    I generally take a dim view to those feminists and anti feminists who take an us vs. them and/or essentialist attitude toward gender relations. Not that it seems to be a problem with the skeptical feminists on this network, but I feel this attitude often compromises the very goal of feminism. Hopefully, more will come to recognize that in the future. It seems as if that’s the trend, thankfully.

  12. says

    “Kate Millett’s assertion that women are incapable of violence has been proved grotesquely wrong.”

    But as you say Millett wasn’t even an historian yet alone a social scientist, although had she been the former she might have known that 30 years before she wrote about this, over 800,000 women had served in the Soviet armed forces in World War II. Nearly 200,000 of them were decorated and 89 of them eventually received the Soviet Union’s highest award, the Hero of the Soviet Union. They served as pilots, snipers, machine gunners, tank crew members and partisans, as well as in auxiliary roles.

    However just to put their role in its proper historical and social context, “very few of these women were ever promoted to officers”.

    As such your claim that “Kate Millett’s assertion that women are incapable of violence has been proved grotesquely wrong.” is also grotesquely wrong as the historical evidence has always confounded such a claim. And you from the land that produced among others Boudica (Died AD61) and Queen “Bloody Mary” 1516-58 and Mary Ann Cotton 1832-73 and Myra Hindley 1942 -2002.

    One thing is certain though and that is despite the very recent increase in the number of women being convicted of violent offences, which might explain why “Julie Bindel has toned down her rhetoric considerably”, if in fact she has, most violence in our societies is still perpetrated by men.

  13. mildlymagnificent says

    I think it’s telling that Millett’s original publication was 1970 – meaning that most of the preliminary work (such as it was) was done in the 60s or earlier. I can’t even remember if I read Millett during the 70s, but I do remember reading a lot of garbage (influential, but garbage nevertheless) based on Freud’s and Jung’s pretty pathetic female essentialism. There was even one dreadful high-falutin’ tome extolling how feminism could/should be based on Freud’s wonderfully accurate insights. It was the intellectual equivalent of a kitten getting into your half knitted sweater – tangles and knots tripping you up wherever you turned. For anyone here old enough to remember, that was the heyday of many feminists, both men and women, along with many anti-feminists strangely enough claiming that the world would be a better place if women ran things – because of their finer, better, gentler natures. Made things a bit hard for those of us trying to argue that women were exactly like men in moral terms, a few saintly types, most good, some bad, a few evil and beyond the pale.

    The main thing, of course, is the infancy/total lack of rigorous research into families and relationships at the time. People relied on the just-so stories of Freud and other “theoreticians” (for want of a more descriptive term). But you only needed to look at newspapers – the cartoon section. The housewife with rolling pin or frying pan poised behind the back door ready to clobber the husband home late from the pub was a stock joke.

    I do think a lot of men activists would do well to stop the silliness of demanding that abused men should be admitted into, and share, facilities which cater for women only. Sharing hallways, common rooms and kitchens is out of the question for people with genuine fears of men – and many of them with PTSD as the cherry on the shit sundae. Men need specific facilities for themselves and their children.

    The bigger problem is with general social attitudes about men being “too weak” to stand up to a woman. A bit similar to the old attitude, still far too common in some circles, that a woman being abused should just be a better housekeeper, better cook or learn to keep her mouth shut and there wouldn’t be a problem. Not an exact parallel, but still there’s quite a bit in common that an abused spouse should be a better version of the conventional “ideal” partner of that gender and the problem would disappear.

    In particular, police training in this area should be more comprehensive. I should say I’m not all that hopeful in this respect. There are far too many women murdered after being ignored or dismissed by police after gaining Apprehended Violence Orders (or whatever they’re called in various jurisdictions) and alerting police that the abusive partner has turned up in their street after being released from jail or whatever to give me any confidence in their ability to deal with men in the same position. otoh, the one positive(?) outcome from seeing the worst of what drugs and alcohol can do to both men and women is that no-one should be surprised when men and women alike are utterly vile and unbelievably violent given certain circumstances.

  14. smrnda says

    @Bitethehand. Thanks for bringing up Soviet military personnel. I recall Lyudmilla Pavlichenko making major after being one of the top ranked snipers of WWII, though overall it doesn’t seem women got promoted proportional to their achievements. Women also fought in the Ukraine/Poland war following WWI.

    @Schala

    I was actually really surprised that an article about conflicts in relationship over neatness would present such a gendered view – sometimes men are the obsessively neat party, and the same types of conflicts can occur in same sex and polyamorous relationships. I agree that, in areas like this, if you’re not compatible, you’re not compatible. I loved this quote here:

    ” If my friends think it matters A LOT, and I don’t think it does…maybe I got the wrong friends.”

  15. wtfwhatever says

    I don’t know why you object to references to a domestic violence industry.

    It is commonly said bureaucracies grow to serve themselves. And indeed, family court is completely infused with domestic violence counselors, all of whom are paid to find domestic violence, and surprise, they do. We give tax money to domestic violence shelters, to domestic violence programs, and even to cops to learn how to arrest domestic violence perpetrators. Again, all of these people get more money the more domestic violence they find.

    Why would you object to the sum of that being referred to as the domestic violence industry?

    How do you think the military industrial complex is different from the domestic violence industry?

  16. Boris says

    Very much so? The only thing they have in common is that is in their best financial interests to perpetuate, exaggerate or even fabricate the exact problem they are supposed to fix. Beyond that I fail to see the similarity between the two.

  17. says

    ‘Around the same time as Millett’s book was helping to spark feminist activism,’

    I am sure Millett’s books affected some activism but it was not a seminal (uh huh) text in most feminist women’s lives it is one which has had most influence in academia and ‘discourse’. I was born in 1970 when my Mum was already a feminist activist. I don’t think she read Millett either. There are a lot of myths about the ‘waves’ of feminism in my view when in fact feminism in some form or another has always been around. Millett claiming women can’t be violent is not so different from Victorian and pre-Victorian notions of the ‘fairer sex’ in need of protection by and from men, those beasts.

  18. says

    Worse still, victims, either individually or collectively, have been widely smeared as probable abusers themselves, under the assumption that any attack against them was an act of self-defence. The defamation has even stretched to murder victims.

    And the defamer you accuse here is none other than your fellow Guardian journalist Libby Brooks, whose article in November 2009, you actually asked to be censored.

    So where was the “systematic attempts to all but deny the existence of male victims” in Libby Brooks’ article in which she says in her second sentence:

    “I began corresponding with Jane Andrews, who absconded from an open prison in Kent last Sunday, in the autumn of 2001, some months after her conviction for killing her partner Thomas Cressman. “

    If there’s any defamation here Ally then it seems to coming from you.

    Your comments at the time were well and truly taken apart by among other Cath Elliot (Ms Woman) here and here:

    Matt Seaton, here:

    AlexJones here:

    and humptydumpty, whose contribution I particularly liked, here, who wrote:

    There’s enough pompous, self-righteous bile and indignation here to sink a flotilla of battleships moored in the boating lake at Tunbridge Wells. Anyone would think that Libby Brooks had murdered Mr Cressman, not Jane Andrews. But as well as the usual suspects, when paragons like Lord Summerisle and AllyF are swept away neck and crop by the tidal wave of hysteria, then it really is time for everyone to lie down in a darkened room and keep taking the tablets.
    Because a judge and jury rejected Jane Andrews’ assertion that she’d been abused, many people here are satisfied that the abuse never happened. Nonsense! Judges and juries hand out verdicts (ie opinions) based on probabilities, not certainties. Try telling the Birmingham 7, the Guildford 6 and Stefan Kiszko (were he still alive) that their court verdicts were reached on the basis of cast-iron facts.

    Libby Brooks knew Jane Andrews and she seems to give some credence to her story. Neither I nor the horde of tricoteurs and tricoteuses clogging up this blog have this personal knowledge, so I’m inclined to defer to Libby’s view.

    In any case, how odd it is that calls in the abstract for leniency for abused women, just as for calls for the courts to exercise great care before sentencing women with children to a prison term, are always greeted by shock and horror by (mostly male) bystanders.

  19. wtfwhatever says

    And worse,

    What politician can say no to the military industrial complex? None.

    We underwent BRAC because politicians could not on their own close bases without being skewered by special interests, so they had to cede their authority to a central committee.

    Likewise, what politician can say “maybe we’ve spent enough on domestic violence”? What judge can say “I don’t think the Duluth Model makes sense.” “I don’t think primary aggressor makes sense.

    It is politically impossible to attack either the military industrial complex or the domestic violence industry.

    Noting this does not mean one is in favor of domestic violence.

  20. mildlymagnificent says

    QRG/Elly

    Yes. Especially since 1970 was the year that Sisterhood is Powerful came out and Germaine Greer published The Female Eunuch.

    Millett I always thought of as a bit of an also-ran in the de Beauvoir (Second Sex), Betty Friedan (Feminine Mystique), Greer (Female Eunuch) high stakes race of getting more women interested in or supporting activism.

  21. Ally Fogg says

    Thanks for the comments, folks.

    @wtfforever (15)

    Why do I object to the phrase “domestic violence industry”?

    1. Because it inaccurately implies that those involved are part of a business, rather than the non-profit sector.
    2. Because it implies an element of manufacture which is (with very rare exceptions) untrue.
    3. Because it echoes the nasty rightwing smear against most charities that those involved are in it for their own ends / financial reasons. Virtually everyone who works in DV services (and similar) could have a lower stress, higher paid career elsewhere, and they do it because they believe in it.
    4. Because it is a self-destructive grenade. The exact same accusation can be (and occasionally is) turned against those who make efforts for male victims. So it becomes corrosive for everyone who genuinely cares about the issue.

    the difference with the Military-Industrial Complex is that the arms trade / military imperialism is absolutely central to the current global economy. Big-picture politics are intimately wrapped up with the economy of war. That’s not remotely true of DV services.

    To my mind, anyone who rants about “the DV industry” is less concerned with making sure everybody gets the help they need and more concerned with making sure some people do not.

    @Bitethehand

    Everything that needs to be said about that Libby Brooks piece is said in the little “correction” at the bottom of the article.

    QRG

    I think Sexual Politics was extremely influential within a relatively small proportion of feminists who went on to become modern day radfems. It was the book that originally laid down for a large audience the theory that patriarchy is the overarching theory of everything.

    It is a harder read than either Greer or Friedan, so I suspect it had less reach in the wider population, but it is often quoted as a major influence on those who went on to become the radfem opinion formers (Brownmiller, Dworkin, McKinnon etc)

  22. Ally Fogg says

    @Bitethehand

    But as you say Millett wasn’t even an historian yet alone a social scientist, although had she been the former she might have known that 30 years before she wrote about this, over 800,000 women had served in the Soviet armed forces in World War II

    To be fair to Millett, there’s a footnote to that sentence which notes that different dynamics apply in extremis – she mentions the VietCong and China (the latter, I presume, being a reference to the Cultural Revolution).

    I guess she’d have also said the same about the Soviet army.

  23. says

    This is a subject that has caused me a lot of surprise and hurt, when I began to talk about domestic abuse on-line. When I was being abused, two close male friends confided in me about their past experiences of physical abuse at the hands of female ex-partners. These were important stories that were part of the many factors that lead me to realise that I was being mistreated. I saw gender in all three of our experiences, in the words, ideas and threats used by our abusers, as well as in the expectations we had in ourselves which allowed us to put up with the violence.

    So the “us and them” thing blows me away. And my feeling is that we should attempt to move on from it as swiftly as possible. All right-thinking people acknowledge that anyone of any gender or sexuality can be a victim of domestic abuse, and that there are factors that make some people especially vulnerable (e.g. being disabled) or especially vulnerable to the most serious harm (e.g. being a woman abused by a man). All right-thinking people believe that there is a lot of ignorance on the subject, particularly around male victims and a lack of refuge and other service provision for many groups (including cis men, queer, trans and disabled folk of all genders).

    Because any discussion around the extent of abuse to men vs. women, the stats, whether one gender can get away with abuse more effectively than the other, historic feminist standpoints, all that does so much harm to abuse victims. Because *all* of us have been falsely accused of mistreating our partners – that’s kind of how it works. It’s what abusers do, and then it’s what the rest of the world does when they don’t want it to be as bad as it is – they must have done something to provoke that, there’s always two sides to a story etc.. All of us have been told that as women or men (even when we are neither), we are bad in A, B and C ways, and our complaints are either false or insignificant.

    Anyway, I rambled on for much longer on this in a blog post earlier this year: How Not To Talk About Domestic Violence Towards Men.

  24. Ally Fogg says

    that’s a fantastic comment and the blog you link to is utterly brilliant, Ms Goldfish. Thanks so much.

  25. Paul says

    I grew up in a family and community where the women could not only be violent themselves but where they’d also actively encourage their menfolk and children to be violent. And where it wasn’t and still isn’t unknown for the women -as well as the men- to taunt those males who won’t fight. Yet even so there was and still is a certain taboo about men hitting women .

    I’ve never understood why so many feminists refuse to accept the extent to which women can also be violent and abusive.And that in those families and communities where there’s a culture of violence the women can be every bit as guilty as the men of both underpinning and reproducing it from generation to generation. And that simply removing the men from the situation where the violence takes place won’t necessarily stop the cycle of violence.

    Men are more likely than women to be killed or seriously injured as a result of violence -the most serious of which is largely perpetrated by males. And in any violent confrontation between a man and woman the woman is likely to come off worse .However it’s estimated that around a third of the victims of the most serious act of dv are men.And that most of these male victims are straight men assaulted by women as opposed to gay men being assaulted by their male partners.

    Since the 1970′s Erin Pizzey has angered many feminists with the work she’s done on violence prone women. And by her efforts to get greater recognition that a significant number of women who are victims of dv are also violent themselves.For this doesn’t fit in with the feminist narrative that women must primarily be viewed as being victims.However those who i call traditionalists are just as guilty as feminists for their failure to acknowledge the extent to which women can also either be violent and/or encourage violence.For it doesn’t fit in with their narrative which promotes the myth that females are sugar and spice and all things nice.and in effect treats women as though they were children .

    We have a number of double-standards in our society which can favour either sex.However feminists are only interested in challenging those double-standards which favour males.For instance when the old adage that ”boys will be boys” is used to justify unacceptable male behaviour . However they never seem to be interested in acknowledging those double-standards which favour women. One of which is in their reluctance to recognize how abusive women are capable of being not only to men but also to other women and children as well. And with their reluctance to recognize the extent to which women can also instigate violence by actively encouraging their menfolk and children to be violent to others.

    Thankfully the majority of both sexes aren’t violent. However if we’re serious about further reducing the levels of violence in our society -and not only dv- there needs to be more focus on the role women play as both perpetrators and instigators.And challenging female expectations of males which can include encouraging them to be violent-usually to other males as opposed to females. Largely focusing on men and boys and ignoring the input of females is like having a jig-saw which will always remain incomplete because certain pieces are missing.

  26. Schala says

    In any case, how odd it is that calls in the abstract for leniency for abused women, just as for calls for the courts to exercise great care before sentencing women with children to a prison term, are always greeted by shock and horror by (mostly male) bystanders.

    Perhaps because there is no calls for leniency for abused men, nor calls for courts to exercise greater care before sentencing men with children to a prison term.

    There’s also no calls by a baroness to change the prison system completely so men don’t even go there and instead go in reform houses. Apparently men merit whatever prison term they get, but women don’t.

  27. Adiabat says

    “It’s rarely admitted by anyone, but the past few years have seen a significant shift in policy, media narratives and public attitudes.”

    I know they often get accused of not really doing much ‘activism’ but I wonder what effect Men’s groups have had on this. Maybe some, maybe not at all, but the change does correlate (yes I know) with the rise in prominence of Men’s Rights.

    I’d be annoyed if so, because I don’t know if I have the time to give them crap as well for the stuff they say and do if they also become influential :).

    “The first is that the radical feminist case has simply collapsed under weight of evidence of male victimisation and violence in gay and lesbian relationships.”

    Ahem, I think you mean mainstream feminist case. Can you really get more mainstream feminist than controlling the DV discourse for the entire country? I dislike this tendency to blame everything that feminism gets wrong ‘on the radicals’. This was mainstream feminist ideology that has collapsed.

    Though it gives me hope that people are slowly coming round to a more egalitarian view on DV, I would much rather the feminist movement was reformed instead of disappear completely.

  28. Schala says

    Ahem, I think you mean mainstream feminist case. Can you really get more mainstream feminist than controlling the DV discourse for the entire country? I dislike this tendency to blame everything that feminism gets wrong ‘on the radicals’. This was mainstream feminist ideology that has collapsed.

    It was mainstream-supported, but radical feminist in terms of ideology and source.

    That is, not radical as in extreme or man-hater, but radical as in second wave and those who think/thought that women’s oppression is the root of all oppression (ie racial oppression, class oppression, sexual orientation oppression – all stemming from it).

    It was unquestioningly supported though. By the mainstream. Either by its silence, or by it’s advocacy.

  29. Adiabat says

    Mildlymagnificent: “I do think a lot of men activists would do well to stop the silliness of demanding that abused men should be admitted into, and share, facilities which cater for women only. Sharing hallways, common rooms and kitchens is out of the question for people with genuine fears of men – and many of them with PTSD as the cherry on the shit sundae. Men need specific facilities for themselves and their children. “

    I agree, but my guess is that a whole tonne of new money isn’t going to be plied into providing DV shelters for men. The only solution I can think of would either for them all to cater to both men and women, with perhaps designated meal times etc so they don’t see each other, or some of the existing ones are repurposed and only deal with men, to the proportion that men are affected by DV. This means fewer services for women, which feels like a step backwards.

    Unfortunately, this is one topic which is likely to be a zero-sum game. Annoyingly.

  30. Copyleft says

    Ally, I’d say at least some of the resentment toward the “domestic violence industry” is based on the relentless focus on women’s victimhood as the core of (much of) today’s feminism. The trend away from empowerment and toward portrayals of woman-as-victim (not to mention passive helplessness in the face of the all-powerful PatriarchyTM) is a huge step backward for women’s advocacy, and probably a good part of the reason that so many women today embrace equality and yet are reluctant to self-identify as feminists.

  31. says

    @ally I am sure Millet did influence radfems. She also influenced you as you happily use the terms ‘patriarchy’ and ‘patriarchal’ to describe the dominant system of power in society.

    I agree with copyleft too, there is every reason to criticise a ‘domestic violence industry’. A recent piece of legislation allows ‘perpetrators’ to be removed from their homes if they are accused of violence by a partner. Men’s rights activists in the UK rightly in my view are concerned this will target men. They also have pointed out how professional officers (in the police and in other organisations) will be paid to implement this policy. My personal concern is it could leave people(mainly men) homeless and does not require a criminal prosecution just an accusation to take effect.

  32. Paul says

    @Adiabat -27

    Ahem, I think you mean mainstream feminist case. Can you really get more mainstream feminist than controlling the DV discourse for the entire country? I dislike this tendency to blame everything that feminism gets wrong ‘on the radicals’. This was mainstream feminist ideology that has collapsed.

    I more or less agree with the above although Schala ‘s point that it was radfem in ideology and source is a valid one. Nevertheless no other strands of the feminist movement have seriously challenged it.

    What i didn’t make a particularly good job of explaining .in my post upthread was that feministsof whatever ilk can’t be blamed for the wider double-standards in society that can favour either sex.And that one double-standard which can favour women and girls is in the reluctance to recognized how abusive females are capable of being.to men,women and children alike.And that females can and do actively encourage some of the male behaviours which are viewed as being problematic and not only by feminists.And that consequently abusive females are more likely than abusive males to slip under the radar. One could argue that feminists have exploited that double-standard to pursue their own agenda but they can’t be blamed for creating it.

  33. Schala says

    And that consequently abusive females are more likely than abusive males to slip under the radar. One could argue that feminists have exploited that double-standard to pursue their own agenda but they can’t be blamed for creating it.

    Can they be blamed for:

    1) Saying women aren’t abusive, it’s all (violence, especially DV) in self-defense, women cannot be guilty of pedophilia.

    2) Blaming DV and rape on a male-exclusive tendency to want to control women as a class, based on a conspiracy theory that says all men benefit from keeping all women in a state of fear.

    3) Having those (1 and 2) instituted in victim services and even laws.

    4) Propagating statistics to the effect that 99% of rapists are men. 99% of pedophiles are men. Profiling men is also totally legitimate to protect yourself from harm, sexual or otherwise, and to protect your kids.

    5) Profiling women for anything whatsoever, legitimate or not (employers and pregnancy), is hatred against women – hatred against men is called…nothing. It cannot exist in a patriarchy. Misandry isn’t real.

  34. Ginkgo says

    Millet’s comment notwithstanding, The Goldish is right in saying, in her excellent blogpost, that feminists have led the way on this issue. We would not even be having this discussion about male DV victims without their work. And I could not care less that it might be simply the law of unintended consequences in effect because ultimately intentions don’t matter to people needing help.

    “Significantly, force itself is restricted to the male who alone is psychologically and technically equipped to perpetrate physical violence.”

    What is so hard about “feminism is the radical concept that woemn are human beings”? So then why is there this stone-walling reluctance to acknowledge women’s violence and violence by proxy? Maybe if we corrected that nursery rhyme to “Spiders and lice and every vice, that’s what girls are made of” i.e. fully human, we wouldn’t labor under this delusion or abuse little girls by trying to force them into this straightjacket of a gender role.

    This all rests on hypoagency, and erasing male victims rests on hyperagency.

  35. carnation says

    I read an article about a jpurnalist’s experiences when they visited a men’s shelter.

    I’ve had a look but can’t find it. Anyone have any ideas?

    In terms of male victims, as usual, the MRM does nothing whatsoever to help. The MRM focuses on “false allegations” and, as usual, blames everything on feminists.

    Male victims are underserved, of that there seems little doubt. However, it’s arguable that men need different support than that available to women:

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2002/09/15201/9618

    On a macro level, men’s advocates should drop the hysterical hyperbole, stop victim blaming and instead approach this vexed and difficult subject in a sober and reflective manner.

    Again, discussions at school, in social education, about what constitutes healthy relationships is a good starting point.

    MRAs reading this, a challenge. If you call yourself an “activist”, then justify your title. What are YOU doing to help men?

  36. Ginkgo says

    “This all rests on hypoagency, and erasing male victims rests on hyperagency.”

    Jemimia @ 1 – Your comment about the class dynamics of this are apposite. This hypoagency trope is largely middle-class Anglo culture, and I think it really got rolling in Vicotrian times as the industrial class dealt with its class anxiety and specifically industrial class women spared no effort to appear refined and delicate.

  37. Ginkgo says

    Carnation @ 35 – “MRAs reading this, a challenge. If you call yourself an “activist”, then justify your title. What are YOU doing to help men?”

    Does the name Earl Silverman mean anything to you?

    https://www.google.com/#sugexp=cpsugrpqhmsignedin&gs_rn=17&gs_ri=psy-ab&tok=gfEA4es8ovKyAF-0-bv_uQ&suggest=p&cp=14&gs_id=15&xhr=t&q=earl+silverman&es_nrs=true&pf=p&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&oq=earl+silverman&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.48293060,d.dmg&fp=836f434939577ff3&biw=1280&bih=871

    That’s the state of institutional support in a patriarchal society for men’s shelters.

    Some MRAs are in fact “doing something” about male DV victims and victimization, but they hit entrenched cultural attitudes about gender roles thatn form nstitutioanl biases and structures – that actually helped female victims ( however inadequate that help has been.)

  38. Tamen says

    This study found that male victims of IPV

    experienced the most positive experience in seeking help from family/friends, and mental health and medical providers. They have the least positive experiences with members of the DV service system.

    cumulative negative experiences were associated with higher rates of exceeding a clinical cut-off for post-traumatic stress disorder.

    So for male victims of IPV/DV it can be dangerous to seek the services of the DV services system.

  39. Tamen says

    I linked to the abstract in my comment above, the complete article: The Helpseeking Experiences of Men Who Sustain Intimate Partner Violence: An Overlooked Population and Implications for Practice (J Fam Violence. 2011 August; 26(6): 473–485) by Emily M Douglas and Denise Hines can be read here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3175099/

  40. Microdog says

    Thank you Ally for a wonderful piece. As a long-term male victim of domestic abuse by my ex-wife, being punched kicked and hit with the kids base bat for 5 or so years I have despaired at the lack of coverage for male victims.

    I remained in the house suffering the regular abuse because my children were young and I knew if I left I would not see them again, the Police arrested my ex a number of times and she assaulted them plus ended up in cells over night on 5 or 6 occasions over the years. She was only ever prosecuted once, when she hit a policewoman with a hoover but they eventually dropped the case.

    I found the Police were generally ok but social services just believed everything my ex said to them and were only interested in her view, despite the wealth of evidence against her from neighbours and the head teacher.

    I eventually left the house at 5am one morning with my glasses broke and face bruised, after she attacked me when I was in bed. I was not able to see my kids for 3 months as she would not allow it and the courts treated her lies with respect as she was with the kids. She begged me to return for those 3 months and used the children to convince me to return but I held out, something I had not been able to do previously as I had believed her that she was sorry etc.

    My children moved in with me when they were around 12 because they could not live with her anymore. I still ensure the children see her but they know to call me if she is in a poor state to pick them up.

    Social services allowed my kids to be abused and maltreated for years and it was only when they were old enough to make the move themselves did they escape.

    I am no shrinking violent, most people who know me would say I am confident and decisive. Ex forces and high up in the corporate world but I was trapped in an abusive relationship because of my kids and the system that does not believe men are ever ‘really’ victims. It is what my children went through that still haunts me.

    Those that ignore men victims, ignore children who are also victims of female violence.

  41. Pen says

    They concluded that much family violence was a consequence not of patriarchy, but of the interpersonal stress created by the systems of the family unit.

    Leaving aside the question of whether the family unit has something to do with patriarchy, if this is the problem, what to do about it? I would easily buy this idea, the family unit creates huge stresses and conflicts between the two adults who are supposed to be at the head of it on top of a lot of other stresses already placed there by society. If there is any additional factor such as poverty, it gets even harder to alleviate those stresses. In many ways the whole thing is a nightmare. But what’s the alternative?

  42. Microdog says

    P.S. These days the Grauniad deletes any comments about male victims of domestic violence straight away, however benign or factual. Suppressing any views on male victims is now an un/official policy of the mods.

  43. Sid says

    >My contempt for the feminists who have actively obstructed efforts to help men is matched by my contempt for those men who seek to actively undermine women’s services with sneering, paranoid references to a ‘domestic violence industry’, or violently misogynistic reactions to any perceived provocation.

    Pro-feminists and their false accusations, smears and sexist double standards.

  44. Ally Fogg says

    @Microdog

    Thanks so much for that post, much appreciated.

    Pen

    Leaving aside the question of whether the family unit has something to do with patriarchy, if this is the problem, what to do about it? I would easily buy this idea, the family unit creates huge stresses and conflicts between the two adults who are supposed to be at the head of it on top of a lot of other stresses already placed there by society. If there is any additional factor such as poverty, it gets even harder to alleviate those stresses. In many ways the whole thing is a nightmare. But what’s the alternative?

    That’s a good question.The most important thing to note, I think, is that unless you correctly diagnose the problems, any solutions are likely to be inadequate.

    One thing many observers of the DV debate don’t know about Murray Straus, is that his work on violence between adults (M/F or whatever) is only a small part of what he’s done over the years. Much of his best work is on violence and abuse of children, especially physical punishment, which he sees as a very important factor in the long term trend.

    Others have looked at other forms of conflict reduction work, which often involve non-judicial interventions. The Linda G Mills books I linked to in the piece are so good I have to plug them again.

    Nicola Graham-Kevan (who is a clinical psychologist as well as an academic) has tried to develop perpetrator programmes that reflect the true nature of their offending rather than making ideological assumptions. However at the moment only Duluth model interventions are authorised for use in the UK.

    So there are things that can be done. Perhaps it will always be the case that there will be conflict within families and sometimes that will spill into physical violence, but there is a lot that can be done to help. That does require us to be more open-minded and evidence-based in our approaches than we have been.

  45. Paul says

    @Microdog 40/42

    P.S. These days the Grauniad deletes any comments about male victims of domestic violence straight away, however benign or factual. Suppressing any views on male victims is now an un/official policy of the mods.

    Sadly your experience seems to be a common one and the Guardian doesn’t do itself any favours by denying abused men a voice. The deletions you speak about are probably ” justified” by the off-topic rule -ie posters are declared off-topic for mentioning male victims of dv on threads specifically about female victims.Trouble is where else can the issue of male victims be mentioned ? Numerous requests have been made to the Guardian to address this but they invariably falls on deaf ears.

    @Ally

    Even Julie Bindel has toned down her rhetoric considerably.

    Maybe but she still sees dv as something that’s largely perpetrated by men against women and children.And believes that the safety of children is very much tied up with the safety of women.In other words the more that’s done to make women safer the safer it’ll be for children.So although she may have toned down her rhetoric she still clearly views men as primarily being the problem.

  46. carnation says

    @ Ginko

    Yes, I’m familiar with Mr Silverman. A tragic, tragic case. And, unfortunately, an example of the wholly negative effect of the MRM as it currently stands:

    “Mr. Silverman appears incapable of coherent and rational problem solving with government or community partners,” Maria David-Evans, the exasperated deputy minister of Alberta Children’s Services wrote in a formal response to one of his suits. “This is clearly not because of discrimination or gender bias … but is based on the illogical, unjustifiable and unreasonable ideology needed to communicate his views about misandry conspiracies that he has come to believe.”

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/05/14/another-mens-rights-activist-suicide-exploited-by-ideologues/

    It’s an arduous slog to start a service for helping people. Those that attempt it, unaided, and bogged down in the cul-de-sac of MRA ideology will invariably fail. Negotiating the beaurocratic maze requires pragmatism, patience and perseverance, not dogma and conspiracy theories.

    In my opinion, only men who have nothing to do with the MRM will achieve anything tangible.

  47. Schala says

    It’s an arduous slog to start a service for helping people. Those that attempt it, unaided, and bogged down in the cul-de-sac of MRA ideology will invariably fail. Negotiating the beaurocratic maze requires pragmatism, patience and perseverance, not dogma and conspiracy theories.

    In my opinion, only men who have nothing to do with the MRM will achieve anything tangible.

    Now replace MRA with feminist and you might be saying something true.

    Because there is no “MRA ideology” that one must believe. No catechism of the hierarchy of victims and of the right way to organize Oppression Olympics every 4 threads. Or of the ordainment of privilege ministries.

    It’s evident that there is some sort of bias against male victims, but it’s nowhere near as hidden as a conspiracy. It’s in plain sight that feminist ideology, since the 1970s, has defined maleness as problematic and the cause of much of DV (and the basis of the Duluth Model), and male victims simply don’t fit into this notion. It’s a perpetuating of Victorian era notions of female helplessness and lack of agency, by the very people claiming to fight it.

  48. Paul says

    On a completely different subject there seems to be a pop-up making the rounds on the net saying ” 2 People Are Spying On You” and inviting people to click on a link to find out who they are. Apparently it’s from a site based in the USA which has recently been set up.Word on the street is it isn’t anything sinister and is best ignored. Reason i mentioned it is i’ve been getting it here and elsewhere so assumed others were getting it as well.

  49. carnation says

    @ Schala you now join Sid in the list of hysterically hyperbolic MRAs I won’t engage with. It’s difficult to know where to start refuting your gibberish, there’s too much of it and it’s too broad. Goodbye.

  50. Schala says

    I don’t get pop-ups. Firefox blocks most, and others require some kind of action (like opening a link to a adware-infested site, such as “free upload hosting” sites often have)

  51. mildlymagnificent says

    31 QRG/Elly

    A recent piece of legislation allows ‘perpetrators’ to be removed from their homes if they are accused of violence by a partner. … My personal concern is it could leave people(mainly men) homeless and does not require a criminal prosecution just an accusation to take effect.

    I’m not familiar with law in the UK. The only examples of this police response that I’d heard of in other places were those that removed a perpetrator for 2 or 3 days to allow the rest of the family a safe period to leave the house unhindered/unharmed and not followed. It’s one of the few sensible responses available to avoid/reduce the incidence of murder or serious injury.

    One thing statistics in this area can tell us is that _the_ most dangerous time for women with a violent partner is in the process of leaving. The next most dangerous time/place is court attendance or service of notices – some family courts have upgraded security for this reason, others are not yet up to speed.

  52. Paul says

    Ally- i won’t be posting here again but just wanted to wish you all the very best with this site.It certainly seems to have had a good first year and i hope it goes from strengh to strength for you.

  53. carnation says

    @ Paul 53

    Paul, I’d like to send you a message privately. I regret some of the things I’ve said.

    Let me know if you would be ok about this?

  54. mildlymagnificent says

    adiabat

    I agree, but my guess is that a whole tonne of new money isn’t going to be plied into providing DV shelters for men. The only solution I can think of would either for them all to cater to both men and women, with perhaps designated meal times etc so they don’t see each other, or some of the existing ones are repurposed and only deal with men, to the proportion that men are affected by DV. This means fewer services for women, which feels like a step backwards.

    Unfortunately, this is one topic which is likely to be a zero-sum game. Annoyingly.

    My feeling is that the problem with DV beds availability is much the same as for mental health beds. Never enough for community needs. Mixing women and men in MH wards has been pretty disastrous. DV facilities would be less likely to have the same issues of physical and sexual assaults as the psychiatric wards do. But triggering fear or PTSD reactions – for both men and women – means that you already have more problems than you can cope with. There’s no point in offering a “refuge” that feels unsafe to the occupants.

    Seeing as research indicates that abused men have quite different emotional and psychological needs/ problems from those of abused women, you need different therapy and counselling resources/ processes for them before you get started, so you might as well face up to providing them separate facilities altogether.

    The only viable solution is to have more, safe and appropriate, facilities for everyone who needs them.

  55. says

    @40 Microdog

    One thing, among many that intrigues me is why you married / got involved with this violent woman in the first place. I’ve known women who’ve started relationships with men who they knew had been violent to the previous women in their lives but never men.

    Were you so totally unaware of this aspect of her character when you married her and had children with her?

  56. says

    @42 Microdog

    You write:

    These days the Grauniad deletes any comments about male victims of domestic violence straight away, however benign or factual. Suppressing any views on male victims is now an un/official policy of the mods.

    I hope your previous post was more honest and accurate that this one. :)

    I’ve just done a search of the Guardian’s database of contributions to CiF articles which include the all the words “male victims of domestic violence”. There are 135 of them, the first on 16 July 2007 and the most recent on 21 June 2013.

    Here’s one from a certain AllyF on 29 November 2012 at 9:31am on the thread of an article “The government’s position on domestic violence is hypocritical”. Quoting a contributor called Clare:

    It doesn’t take a long stretch of the imagination to realise that a high percentage of male victims of domestic violence are being beaten up by other men: their partners, their fathers, their brothers.

    Ally’s response:

    “Hi Clare,

    As others have said, this is simply flat-out wrong. The figures I was quoting are technically called ‘intimate partner abuse’ and refer to all violent acts, threats and sexual crimes committed specifically by partners and ex-partners, including non-cohabiting couples..

    So there will be a small percentage of reported crimes in each committed by male gay couples and lesbians, but those will cancel each other out. Around 95% of those male victims will have been abused by a female partner.

    That’s plain and simple fact, and easily checked if you click on the link in the previous post”

    That’s a long way from your “un/official policy of the mods”.

  57. AndrewV69, Visiting MRA, Purveyor of Piffle & Woo says

    @56 Bitethehand

    Speaking for myself.

    Never underestimate the power of self delusion. Not to mention the fact that men, just like women, also have a rationalization hamster.

    On a more serious note. Dr Tara J. Palmatier has a forum for abused men and women (but she seems to focus more on abused men)
    You could try reading this entry I suppose: Abused Men: How Covert Abuse Begins, Part One
    The forum is here: http://www.shrink4menforum.com/

  58. says

    I’m posting this merely because it seems to add something to the discussion:

    “Studies of violence by men appear to be moving away from single theory explanations towards more integrated approaches which take account of situational characteristics, social and economic factors as well as interpersonal factors. There has been increasing attention to developing understanding of women’s use of anger, aggression and violence recognizing that most work in the field has been developed on the basis of men. This identifies differing socialization and up-bringing patterns for men and women which encourage men to use aggression, but women to suppress it. Women’s use of aggression is characterised as largely expressive and men’s as instrumental in gaining control. Thus the use of anger and aggression, ways of expressing it, reactions to its use, and the social reinforcements of such behaviours are very different for the two sexes.

    Experiencing violence in childhood does not inevitably lead to its use as adults, nevertheless, among women in the criminal justice system a high proportion will have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse as children or adults. Prison based studies indicate a link between the victimization of girls and criminalization, making them more vulnerable to violence on the streets. Alcohol, and particularly drug use, are clearly associated with violence by women.” (my emphasis)

    from:   Understanding Violence By Women: A Review of the Literature. Explanations Of Violent Behaviour By Women

  59. Sid says

    @Bite the hand

    >Women’s use of aggression is characterised as largely expressive and men’s as instrumental in gaining control.

    Sounds ideological. Straus found that maintaining dominance and control was a factor in DV for both men and women, and at roughly equal rates.
    http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf

    @AllyFog

    I saw a good quote that relates to your uneven treatment of feminism and mens rights and why users like Carnation can be disruptive and hateful here in a way that someone representing men would not be tolerated.

    “Female hypoagency, the notion that women have no agency and that their actions are somehow ineffectual compared to men’”

    http://www.genderratic.com/

  60. Gjenganger says

    Hi Ally. While we are on the subject of male victims, could you comment on this report? It looks well done, reliable, and asks a sensible set of questions. And the conclusion, roughly, seems to be that men being forced by women to have sex is a problem of comparable size to women being raped. If that is really true I shall have to rethink several things, but there are no obvious flaws to a quick look. Seeing as you have surely read it, could you give us your evaluation?

  61. Ally Fogg says

    @Bitethehand

    That passage you quote is almost entirely stolen from Anne Campbell’s Men, Women and Aggression, which I’ll confess I’ve never got around to reading but have often seen referenced elsewhere. From what I understand, she’s very much in the social learning camp. I’ve seen her referenced particularly in relation to the question of why women seem to be so much more aggressive/violent towards men than towards other women, whereas most of men’s violence is targeted on other men. It’s interesting stuff. Thanks for the prompt. Men and women do use violence differently, and do experience violence differently. I think that’s her point, and it’s not one I disagree with.

    @Sid

    Sooner or later you’re going to have to accept the fact that someone refusing to accept your point of view as fact is NOT the same as someone being dsruptive and hateful.

    I read all the comments here, in case of mischief. I disagree with Carnation on many points but I’ve not seen her being personally abusive or in any way breaching my guidelines for comments. On the other hand, my finger did hover over the delete button the other night when someone called her a “fucking idiot.” I left it up because I’m getting the impression carnation can give a good as she gets and I prefer not to intervene unless it is essential.

    If Carnation or anyone else writes something in breach of my guidelines, I’d be grateful if you’d bring it to my attention. Please tell me which comment numbers she is being abusive or otherwise out of order?

  62. Tamen says

    @56 Bitethehand
    A simply appalling comment. Not that I expect you to care, but I can only hope that you didn’t ask the same questions in the same way of the women you refer in your comment.

  63. Ally Fogg says

    @Gjenganger

    I had a chat with Tamen on the last thread about that report.

    My one real reservation is that CDC is a sample survey (albeit a pretty big one), but when you are talking about a figure of less than 1% in a survey you get a huge margin of error. I always prefer to talk about trends over time than single statistics. It is possible that the return on that question is a rogue result. Until it has been replicated and repeated I will view it with a degree of caution.

    FWIW, I’m, actually not that surprised by the figure for men being as high as it is. I am surprised by the figure for women being as low as it is. It is just as possible the CDC has somehow underestimated assaults on women for some reason as overestimated assaults on men.

    But I do think it is potentially a very important finding, and I hope academic researchers are looking at it and trying to produce some kind of detailed analysis. I would be reluctant to claim it as definitive proof of anything just yet.

  64. Paul says

    @ Carnation 54.

    Thanks for you post but honestly it wasn’t necessary.I don’t remember you saying anything you should regret. All the best :-)

  65. Sid says

    Right Ally, this is what I’m talking about. Carnation can post bigotry here all day and it will fly under your radar, but if a man gets angry about it, then it will be a problem. Were the situation reversed and it was someone coded male posting the bigotry and someone coded female getting angry about it, the roles of good and bad would be reversed. The female anger would become just and understandable and the male bigotry would be correctly identified as bigotry. The same bias is there against Elam.

    This is the sort of thing you can expect to be pulled up on in this debate.

  66. Schala says

    FWIW, I’m, actually not that surprised by the figure for men being as high as it is. I am surprised by the figure for women being as low as it is. It is just as possible the CDC has somehow underestimated assaults on women for some reason as overestimated assaults on men.

    If you add 20 years it goes 22% for each. How is that LOW?

  67. Ally Fogg says

    Sid

    So point me to one example of carnation’s unacceptable bigotry? You could also remind me how many posts I have deleted from yourself, Schala, Tamen or others on the other side of the debate?

    On the broader point, I spent about 1400 words above condemning feminist bigotry (in the true sense of the word). I made a brief aside pointing out that men who write pieces about “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” are every bit as deserving of contempt and condemnation.

    You completely ignore the fact that I have condemned some of feminism’s most abhorrent behaviour, imply that you think there is nothing wrong with Elam’s misogynistic vitriol, then YOU accuse ME of having bigotry “flying under my radar”!

    On the last thread I invited you several times to distance yourself from the rhetoric of Elam et al that celebrates rape and violence against women, which you have steadfastly refuse to do. I’ll ask you again, do you endorse or condemn that Elam piece?

    When I think that you are even capable of recognising misogyny and bigotry on your own side, never mind actively condemning it, then I’ll start taking lectures from you about selective blindness.

  68. Schala says

    I made a brief aside pointing out that men who write pieces about “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” are every bit as deserving of contempt and condemnation.

    Wasn’t that satire from Jezebel’s “I hit my boyfriend lulz” piece?

  69. Ally Fogg says

    Schala

    Risk of rapes and sexual assaults are not evenly spread throughout a 20 year cycle, so you can’t really multiply up like that. Both men and women are at much higher rates in teens and twenties than any other time in life.

    The same study gave a lifetime incidence report of about 4% for men and 18% for women.

    One explanation for that might be that the rates for women have tumbled spectacularly quickly (which is true) and have now fallen so low that they match men’s rates. Or maybe something else is going on.

    Note, I’m not saying I think the findings are wrong. I’m just urging caution on jumping to too many conclusions from one result.

  70. Schala says

    One explanation for that might be that the rates for women have tumbled spectacularly quickly (which is true) and have now fallen so low that they match men’s rates. Or maybe something else is going on.

    Or maybe (just as likely) men underreport lifetime rates at a rate incredibly higher than women’s, even in surveys.

    People who have been victims of child sexual abuse.

    Of the women, 64% recognized that what happened to them was sexual abuse.
    Of the men, 16% recognized that what happened to them was sexual abuse.

    Note that they were ALL abused.

  71. Ginkgo says

    Carnation @ 46 – “Yes, I’m familiar with Mr Silverman. A tragic, tragic case. And, unfortunately, an example of the wholly negative effect of the MRM as it currently stands:”

    You seem to be blaming the MRM, as marginal a movement as you can name at present, for the gvoerning structure’s refusal to support his work? Really? If that’s the case, your e[pistemic closure is so total that the issue is not worth discussing with you.

    So much for any empathy for abused men yoyu might claim to have. The sociopathy – not yours, but society’s, because I don’t imagine we can all get fully clear of our patriarchal cultural conditioning and it’s not really fair to blame oyu as if yoyu have full agency – on the point is noted.

    And you are indeed firmly in the grip of oyur superstitions:

    “It’s an arduous slog to start a service for helping people. Those that attempt it, unaided, and bogged down in the cul-de-sac of MRA ideology will invariably fail.”

    Telling the future? Shouldn’t you be hanging one of those palm reader signs out?

    “Negotiating the beaurocratic maze requires pragmatism, patience and perseverance, not dogma and conspiracy theories”

    Unh hnh, right. Funny how none of that has held feminists back at all.

    You have shown yourself to be a foaming-at-the-mouth feminist ideologue. No point ion talking with you at all. Goodbye.

  72. Sid says

    @Ally

    Ally, you didn’t make a brief aside. You closed the article by misrepresenting the Bash a Violent Bitch Article and minimizing the article it was satirizing in response to – which was a group of feminists in the mainstream celebrating DV against men, and tried to paint its as some how on a par with the deliberate cover up of domestic abuse and using manipulated statistics to demonize, dehumanize and legislate against another biological demographic.

    You’ve got an extreme bias.

  73. Paul says

    A quick change of mind on my part about posting here. A man’s perogative and all that. :-)

    I may be wrong but i think the level of under-reporting by male victims of both dv and sexual abuse may be even greater than the it is for female victims given the different cultural pressures on men to ”man up” etc. And by under-reporting i don’t just mean in the context of going to the police.

    I remember reading a report from Victim Support suggesting that male victims of a variety of violent crimes tend to want to put their experiences behind them as soon as possible whereas female victims come across as being more negatively affected and in need of support for a longer period of time.Now i wouldn’t interpret that as a sign of men being more stoic and resiliant than women but possibly a consequence of men feeling more uncomfortable with being seen as being a victim. And feeling that as males they’ve got to be seen to pull themselves together asap even though they’re actually suffering every bit as much as the female victims. And this obviously may also reflect on whether they’re prepared to admit to being a victim of crime- especially sexual crime and dv-in any crime survey.

  74. Adiabat says

    Ginkgo: “Telling the future? Shouldn’t you be hanging one of those palm reader signs out?”

    Carnation is right, but not for the reason she(?) thinks she is. Anyone using MRA ideology will be stopped by those in authority, who follow Feminist ideology. That’s the whole point demonstrated by the Silverman affair. It’s exemplified in the quote provided by Carnation in post 46.

  75. Adiabat says

    Mildlymagnificent (55): I agree, but we won’t get more facilities. The money just wouldn’t be provided.

    In any service such as this, be it MH beds or Hospital Wards, mixed services provide the most efficient use of those beds (ie they cater to more people and increase capacity) but you get safety concerns, which is why capacity is balanced with safety in these services. There’s no easy answer unfortunately.

    Like I said before, what is more likely is that existing women’s refuges will be re-purposed as men’s refuges, reducing the capacity of the service for women. I also think that the feminists who oppose the recognition of male victims know this and it is the major source of their opposition (at least those who aren’t just parroting what they learnt in their Women’s Studies class). I guess this is just one of those issues that separates out the feminists that care about equality and fairness from those who just care about women.

  76. Ally Fogg says

    Sid

    The Jezebel article was appalling, horrific and indefensible.

    Elam’s response was appalling, horrific and indefensible.

    Which of those statements do you disagree with?

  77. Ginkgo says

    Ally, both of them were disgusting. Sometimes I’d like to put these people in the same bottle like scorpions just to watch.

    But the question really is which of those articles is more mainstream, which one is closer to current cultural norms, legal regimes in force and institutional policies.

  78. Sid says

    @Ally

    I was objecting to your biased handling, playing down the first article and exaggerating the second in order to misrepresent Elam as somehow on a par with a a political organisation covering up real abuse and so perpetuating abuse, to demonize another demographic and support its own theories.

    The whole point of the Elam article was to do exactly what is acceptable for women and feminists to do, to highlight the double standard.

    If you come to this debate, and hold things coded men and coded women to different standards of responsibility people on the side coded men are going to call you out on it.

  79. Fergus Robson says

    I’m surprised by the loathing expressed for, not to mention the belief in There many be a few such people in authority, not many mind, look at the composition of any government you care to mention and if even a handful are dominated by feminists I’ll be mighty surprised. I accept that it is a crude measure but it would be telling nonetheless. A recent experience I’ve had shows the other side of this problem. I helped a good friend of mine who set up the V-Day event in Dublin, one of her first actions was to reach out to all groups with an involvement in domestic abuse and violence. Among these was Amen who campaign to draw attention to and prevent violence against men in the home. After three attempts to contact Amen by email to ask them to send a representative to speak at the event we gave up. Neither before nor after the event did we hear anything whatsoever from them despite a genuine offer to share the stage and help to raise awareness about domestic violence as an issue which affects men as well as women. We were disappointed as we thought it was a great opportunity but reading some of the comments on this piece and others it becomes evident that working with women and women’s groups is anathema to many MRAs. What exactly would be the problem with taking up a completely independent group’s offer to cooperate? Any insights?

  80. Schala says

    What exactly would be the problem with taking up a completely independent group’s offer to cooperate? Any insights?

    No longer staffed maybe? Nobody to answer emails. That’s my guess anyway.

  81. Fergus Robson says

    Their newsfeed is still running and their support centre updates its advice if that’s any indication? They claim that

    “The organisation campaigns for greater recognition and support services for male victims from political and statutory bodies and for the inclusion of men, men’s groups and men’s experiences in the formulation of relevant social policy and legislation.”

    You’d have thought that they would welcome a platform to address a common cause?

  82. Fergus Robson says

    The first post should have read:

    ….not to mention the belief in “those in authority, who follow Feminist ideology”.There many be a few such people….

    Apologies, blockquote didn’t work.

  83. Sid says

    @Fergus Robson

    I believe the woman that runs Amen was threatened by feminists in the past and I’d guess she probably doesn’t want to be seen to legitimize groups that put out misleading statistics about domestic violence and discriminate.

    Also, vday is pretty hateful, -it misrepresents sexual violence as male.

  84. carnation says

    @ Ally. Thanks for your comments, I’m well versed in “debating” with MRAs, there are far too many Sids out there, they serve a purpose for those of us opposed to the MRM, specifically, confirming its lunatic fringe status. You might have noticed that I haven’t identified as a feminist. You might also have noticed that the reason I give for being opposed to the MRM is specifically because it does NOTHING positive for men at all, and in fact is a wholly negative entity.

    MRAs like Sid, I posit, view any attack on their views as an attack on the rights of men. This is a blinkered, self serving and immature view, totally uninformed and devoid of reality. Sid, to put it politely, isn’t an intellectual, so what readers are treated to is a badly presented version of a half baked theory, written on blog.

    @ Gingko

    Please pay close attention to my comments above about Sid, assess yourself, and then think about your conduct on this blog.

    In reply to your comments, after dredging through ad hominem, I repeat what I have said about one of the many failings of the MRM: the total lack of evidence to back up theories, and the utter lack of real life activism.

    Mr Silverman tried to access public funds. He did so for a virtuous reason, and for that I applaud him and honor him as a man of courage and conviction. And I’m sorry that he’s dead. But those accessing public funds are asked to complete many difficult pieces of work before receiving them: compliance, evaluation, scope, growth need, impact… All of these things are assessed. There is no place for theorising and conspiracy. Mr Silverman was either badly advised, or had no advise. I’m guessing the latter. And the MRM should have supported him. It’s a tough job, accessing public funds, for,good reason.

    Incidentally, no one is asking if men need shelters specifically. There is a theory, that I support, that men are affected by DV in different, sometimes deeper ways. Are shelters the priority? Has there been a study to determine this? What is needed for women won’t necessarily be the right support for men.

    As an example, allow some latitude. A 15 year old heterosexual boy who,is sexually abused buy a female teacher would require different support than the same boy abused by a male teacher, in my opinion. And the same with the sexes reversed.

    Now, the shelters available is a good soundbite, but does it reflect service demand?

    And again, why is the MRM incapable of facilitating this type of real world activism?

  85. Sid says

    Also Fergus, can you see the problem with trying to make whats been a traditional heterosexual romantic holiday about male on female rape?

    To put it in context I’ll take the lace curtain off for you and show you what it would look like if the same was done other groups.

    Making Pride day about same sex pedophilia.
    Making mothers day about infanticide.
    Making black history month about black men raping white women.

  86. Fergus Robson says

    @ Sid

    Ah now Sid, there is a real element of willful exaggeration and mis-comparison there. I’ll grant you that there are plenty of old-fashioned feminists still out there who think men are evil, there may even be a few younger ones but all those who I had any contact with over V-Day were not at all of that ilk. I see it as an affirmation of love, this definitely includes heterosexual romantic love. it can’t not. I can’t think of a better way to honour the idea of love than by standing in solidarity with anyone trapped in an abusive or violent relationship, no matter their gender. I certainly never got the impression from any V-Day literature that they deny violence against men, they just happen to be focussed on the massive incidence of violence against women. It goes beyond scoring points and as our approach to Amen showed, we came at it from a completely non-blameful or confrontational angle. We wanted to them to send one of three speakers, it was made really clear that we saw domestic violence as something that both men and women have to work to eliminate and there was no shying away from abuse by women. None of us involved are affiliated to any feminist or political organisation so they had no reason to suspect our motives. All I’m trying to say is that the presumption of enmity is ridiculous and it sounds like that is what motives you, whatever about Amen. In the real world where men and women are friends, lovers, family members and colleagues there is no such behaviour, whats the need for it on the internet?

  87. Sid says

    @Schala.

    Yeah, I think that’s still limited to the US, no doubt it will take off in Europe too.

    @Fergus Robson

    I don’t doubt that most of the people you know that are involved with V-day are well meaning and cannot see through the lace curtain either.

  88. Sid says

    Actually can you demonstrate the willful exaggerations and mis-comparisons.

    Making Pride day about same sex pedophilia.
    Making mothers day about infanticide.
    Making black history month about black men raping white women

    aside from the fact that its obviously socially acceptable to make a heterosexual celebration about rape, and the other examples would be considered extreme hate, why is it all of a sudden so different when a heterosexual celebration is turned into something about rape?

  89. Lucy says

    “Men’s anger has won the day. ”

    Angry internet men’s public insights on women being the biggest abusers of children and victimisation of men (at the hands of women) being just as common as the victimisation of women (at the hands of men) and their grandmother in Glasgow being a well-muscled, houseproud matriarch and definitely not a victim, are citing these/any sources? They’ve been lobbying parliament? I’m glad to hear it.

    Who? What day?

  90. Fergus Robson says

    @ Carnation I’m interested in this idea that men and women need different protection, treatment and resources and that these are also dependent upon the circumstances of the abuse. I think that in terms of dealing with trauma there is not enough recognition that in sufferers divided by the gamut of horrendous experiences, not to mention subdivided in the context and consequences of these, be that by gender, sexuality, faith, ethnicity, national or cultural identities. From many conversations with friends who have studied and practiced both psychology and psychotherapy, there doesn’t seem to be much more than a reliance on the practitioner’s sensitivity, even generational gaps can render some young people beyond the comprehension of older counsellors and hence effective treatment largely impossible, this must only be magnified across the often more severely drawn cleavages I outlined above. Do you know much about all this and have you any reading to recommend? I’m interested.

    Also, on pondering trauma I thought that since, as collectivities we can suffer cultural trauma (J. Alexander, P. Sztompka) maybe that is part of what is going on with the anti-feminism of many MRAs. Instead of recognising the source of their cultural trauma outlined by Ally so evocatively in Malestrom 1, they may be performing their trauma towards the nearest, most accessible targets, their perceived rivals for influence in a gender divided world. Thankfully it isn’t really a gender-divided world any more than it is divided by any number of conflicting, claim-making collectivities of varied cohesion, (ouch that was a lot of c’s sorry) so we can and do quite naturally forge friendships and alliances across any of the supposed boundaries of contention. How much truth is there to the claim you make that the MRM lacks real life activism? If its the case then it looks like the first purely web based performance and representation of cultural trauma that I have come across.

  91. Ginkgo says

    Carnation @ – “Please pay close attention to my comments above about Sid, assess yourself, and then think about your conduct on this blog.”

    This isn’t your blog to police anyone else’s conduct on. Learn some manners. That’s the first thing.

    The second thing is that you are not fooling me for a moment that you actually give a damn about Earl Silverman or anyone he was trying to help. Your comments on child custody disputes have shown me that.

    Your comments both about the state of discrimination in disputed child custody and now about Earl Silverman and MRAs’ advocacy for men shows me that you have no respect for facts or for the truth in general.

    You are speaking out of your female privielge when you claim that MRAs’ ideology hinders them but ignore the fact that feminists’ ideological biases in no way hindered then from getting the same help. You ignore the ideological and cultural barriers that MRAs face in. And by the way, your separate but equal pleading is trnasparent and it gives you away.

    This amounts to gaslighting and it is symptomatic of something that makes it a waste of time and effort to engage with you. Please do not address me again.

  92. Sid says

    @Fergus

    Word of warning, carnation is bluffing their way through this conversation with pretentious tones and little else. There is no theory.

  93. Ginkgo says

    Fergus @ 93 – “they may be performing their trauma towards the nearest, most accessible targets, their perceived rivals for influence in a gender divided world.”

    Ah, the patronizing False Consciousness trope. Has it occurred to you that they may be “performing their trauma” not at the nearest targets but at the nearest instruments or even agents of their trauma? You do grnat that feminists have agency, don’t you, and that at least in the community of DV services, and rapae services also, they have positions of power?

    Have you given any consideration to their contention that they oppose feminists and traditioanlists because they are in this instance functionally identicla in their action and effect?

  94. Fergus Robson says

    @ Sid, yeah that’s really easy and I’m surprised you asked.

    Equating Pride day to same sex paedophilia lacks any internal logic, paedophilia bears no relation to sexuality, I’m aware that there are those who claim that it is an innate characteristic but the right to exercise sexual preference has to stop at non-consensual and extremely traumatic acts. That would be paedophilia, on the other hand homosexual preference is (now) legally consensual and not traumatic for consenting participants. To try and link the two probably reveals a prejudice rather than any inherent causal connection. Or do you think homosexuality should be illegal?

    Mother’s day and infanticide have one thing in common, children. I can actually talk about this from the perspective of my own historical research into peasant society in 18th century France (it has nothing to do with gender, this was an incidental finding when quantitatively analysing court records). Infanticide was generally a family affair, heads of the household were almost always involved in the decision to keep or reject another mouth and pair of arms, often the women were forced to commit the crime but were supervised and/or under orders in a society which practiced a strict system of extended families/oustaux with decision making collective among senior members but dominated by men (P. M. Jones, E. Claverie). This aside serves to illustrate that the association between mothers and infanticide which you are drawing is based upon many similar flawed understandings of family management in diverse societies. So again there is a spurious attempt to draw a non-existent causal connection, celebrating motherhood will not end, nor probably reduce, infanticide.

    Black history month, once again, is in no way connected to the manufactured cultural imagery of the predatory black male against white women. I once spent time studying the emergence of cultural myths about blacks in France, it began during WW1 when Senegalais and others were brought to work in the factories (because they were seen as too savage to send into battle) and alongside all other groups who weren’t actively at the front, a set of resentments were imagined against them by the troops slogging it out in the trenches of the nationalism wars (sorry couldn’t resist that). The prevalence of black man on white woman rape has no correlation with, nor is it comparable in order of magnitude, to the injustices, historic and contemporary wrought on blacks in the USA and elsewhere, which is why there is absolutely nothing to be gained analytically nor effectively by celebrating/protesting against them together.

    However, when we want to talk about domestic violence and abuse and its relationship to romantic love, it becomes evident that the two are inextricably linked. Romantic love, for a start is somewhat problematic but I am in madly love with my girlfriend so I don’t doubt its existence but I understand that for many people, more complex sometimes darker, things happen underneath that veneer of loving feelings. Most people around in the west today would probably claim that love had played some part in their long-term partnership/marriage, it is in these very loving relationships that most domestic violence occurs.

    So far so good, I have not mentioned gender because the reality is that gender shouldn’t even come into it, yes V-Day used some over in-your-face material, I didn’t like all of it but there was a real attempt to reach out to men, one which respected masculinity(s). I guess we heard different messages based upon what we wanted to hear.

    Back to the point though, the place to start addressing and the best place from which to address, the problem of domestic violence is a holiday which celebrates love. There are two reasons for this. The first is that those celebrating Valentine’s day are hopefully in happy relationships, taking your beaten or cowed partner out for a nice meal would be pretty weird, it is to be hoped that they would react as loving couples with empathy for the horrors which are committed and become more vigilant against it in their surroundings, condemn it outrightly when confronted by it and combat the gendered identities which perpetuate certain types of abusive behaviour. (This applies to both sexes, from non-belief of male abuse victims to rape culture). The second reason is that whatever about the focus of the campaign on women as victims, it is absolutely necessary to remember that that is because it is more prevalent, some of the BIG FIGURES they threw around were clumsy but this was an attempt to garner publicity for a vital cause, a cause which could easily have been grown with rather than rejected out of hand. Can we not all be human and stop worrying about what genitals we have, what colour skin we have, what god we have or don’t have etc and confront these problems as human rights which need to be improved consensually and generously.

    my pen is nearly out of ink….

  95. Fergus Robson says

    @ Gingko

    There is nothing patronising about that at all, it happens all the time to all sorts of groups suffering from any number of cultural traumas from people who blame natural disasters on god or on a rival group’s god to anti-semitism in central Europe as a reaction to the traumas of modernity and industrial poverty. The spectrum of potential misdirected trauma dramas is as broad as the possibilities for trauma to occur. There are all sorts of reasons why this occurs and this is what Ally is talking about on this series, specifically in relation to male cultural trauma. Viewed as one of a vast number of competing and intersecting identities, gender, and masculinity in particular is fascinating, I am interested in what it is for me and for others to be masculine. I for one rarely feel terribly oppressed by it, probably because I’m white, heterosexual, middle-class and well educated. I really appreciate how lucky I am and understand that its not the same for everybody. I do however take some issue with your allegation that feminists are in charge of dv and rape services. I imagine that a number of people with influence in these spheres might identify as feminists, that may be in part because what they see in their jobs provokes such empathy in them, for others it may have been a personal conviction, regardless, this does not make them either anti-men or unsuitable for their jobs. This is because they are, as implied by your equivocating contention, not in the majority there, nor do they necessarily use their agency (which of course I understand they are possessed of) to work against men, they may use it to work for women, that’s undeniably necessary, is it possible that the other people in these spheres might balance out their zeal to help a certain group (albeit one desperately in need of help)? I think that as a charge it began thinly and doesn’t seem to stand up to logical interrogation.

  96. Ginkgo says

    Fergus @ 99 – “There is nothing patronising about that at all, it happens all the time to all sorts of groups suffering from any number of cultural traumas from people who blame natural disasters on god or on a rival group’s god to anti-semitism in central Europe as a reaction to the traumas of modernity and industrial poverty.”

    All that says nothing about whether it is happening in this case, and in this case ther eis a much more compelling explanation available. That’s all I’m saying.

    As for your objection to characterizing feminists as dominant in DV anbd rape services, they invented them basically – they advocated for them, they organized to get them, they built them – very good work – and they dominate them, naturally. Theat would not be a problem if in fact they hewed to their stated core principle of gender equality. The problem is the traditionalist dreck, that pedestalizes women and considers men disposable, that they have failed to clean out of their thinking.

  97. Sid says

    So Fergus

    “Black history month, once again, is in no way connected to the manufactured cultural imagery of the predatory black male against white women”

    Valentines day is in no way connected to the manufactured cultural imagery of family, sexual and relationship violence being limited to heterosexual male on women and girls.

    “This aside serves to illustrate that the association between mothers and infanticide which you are drawing is based upon many similar flawed understandings of family management in diverse societies”

    A bit like the flawed understanding that cause people to think it makes perfect sense to frame family and sexual violence as heterosexual male to heterosexual female and child on valentines day.

    “To try and link the two probably reveals a prejudice rather than any inherent causal connection”

    A bit like trying to link a traditionally heterosexual celebration to the manufactured cultural imagery of family, sexual and relationship violence being limited to heterosexual male on women and girls.

  98. Fergus Robson says

    @ Gingko

    We seem to be talking about the question of trauma on two very different levels, you are limiting its manifestation to what you perceive as a victimisation of men by rape and dv services. I am talking about it in the sense that the collapse of the viability of a certain way of being a man, of understanding one’s roles, rights and responsibilities, of losing possibility of enacting this masculinity despite seeing it fetishised for commercial purposes, is far broader than the specific but nonetheless wrong, ill that you are objecting to.

    While feminists lobbied for and were instrumental in the creation of many rape and dv services, and many are volunteers in the same, it is important to realise that they did this in response to the realities they faced, Carnation made a very interesting point which you failed to engage with, are such services, as set up by and for women, adequate for men’s needs? Probably not, male equivalents are necessary and as it was for the massively more widespread and intensely violent problems they faced. Which brings us back to the point, that problems of masculinity need more careful thought and attention, our responses to our problems need to be calibrated to suit us, it is not a competition to have more of what the girls have, zero-sum?

    These problems have not come from women but from deepseated historical change which encompasses the growth of personal rights, the advent of strong state and market economies, industrialisation and de-industrialisation, two world wars and countless other gruesome conflicts in which both men and women acted and suffered differently, they come from shifting social and economic roles, changing understandings of rights and increased freedom for people to define their own roles in life (in certain respects at least). They certainly do not come from feminism.

  99. Fergus Robson says

    @ Sid

    Your refusal to engage with anything other than one or two small sections of an argument does intelligent debate no favours. You have utterly disregarded my argument for association and where you have tried to contradict my interpretations you have been very un-original.

    When you write that “Valentines day is in no way connected to the manufactured cultural imagery of family, sexual and relationship violence being limited to heterosexual male on women and girls.” You seem to fail to engage with my argument (backed by personal experience of the movement) that it was not targetted solely at men as perpetrators. However the real problem is that the loving relationships which Valentines day is supposed to celebrate form the locus of most domestic violence, necessarily. It follows that the best day to approach a problem which occurs predominantly in romantic relationships, is a day which celebrates them. This can in no way be equated to your black history month-black male rape.

    For the other two, see above, you make no effort to engage on anything other than the most sophistic level, you do not address my point and merely reiterate your flawed comparisons.

    In short, there is a causal relation between romantic relationships and domestic violence and abuse. There is no causal relationship between any of the others.

  100. Fergus Robson says

    @ Schala

    Sorry about that, point taken, I was not taking my time to format, last couple should be a bit better.

  101. Schala says

    Carnation made a very interesting point which you failed to engage with, are such services, as set up by and for women, adequate for men’s needs?

    I sincerely doubt Duluth Model is adequate for the VAST majority of female victims or male perpetrators either, to be frank. Never stopped them though.

    Probably not, male equivalents are necessary and as it was for the massively more widespread and intensely violent problems they faced.

    Please reword that. It makes no sense.

    These problems have not come from women but from deepseated historical change which encompasses the growth of personal rights, the advent of strong state and market economies, industrialisation and de-industrialisation, two world wars and countless other gruesome conflicts in which both men and women acted and suffered differently, they come from shifting social and economic roles, changing understandings of rights and increased freedom for people to define their own roles in life (in certain respects at least). They certainly do not come from feminism.

    Feminism has no agency. Feminists have no power…they are leaves in the wind, only blowing where the breeze takes them.

    Seriously, are you arguing this? A movement that aims to fight patriarchy, supposedly a male conspiracy to oppress women which was successful for millenia…and you tell me feminists have zero power to do that change?

  102. Schala says

    “Please reword that. It makes no sense.”

    By this I mean, there are too many instated pronouns. It’s very unclear who is “they” at the end.

  103. Sid says

    Fergus,

    your arguments fall flat because V-Day is based in the culturally manufactured and inaccurate portrayal of relationship and sexual violence as gendered.

    http://www.vday.org/home

    You just think that V-day is so different from the others, but the main difference is that V-day is culturally accepted.
    Black Brute propaganda made perfect sense to progressives at one time too.

  104. Fergus Robson says

    @ Schala

    Thanks for the clarification, they final ‘they’ referred to women.

    As per your final comment in 106, this is where you’ve really got the wrong end of the stick. There may be some idiots who call themselves feminists who still talk about patriarchy as a monolithic institution which existed in one basic form throughout history and which they are trying to overturn. There aren’t very many of these and wouldn’t it be much more constructive to engage with the majority who understand that power relations have been highly differentiated across different groups within different societies.

    It is also incorrect to equate feminists lacking agency with the sweep of historical change. Of course feminists have agency, as does everyone to greater and lesser extents. However feminist’s agency has not been motivated by hatred for men nor has it been directed at undermining traditional masculinities except where they pertain to direct abuse of or discrimination against women. I hope you wouldn’t argue that embedded discrimination, on any basis, should be retained or cherished. I also hope that you wouldn’t claim that feminism has undermined masculinity to a greater extent than say de-industrialisation or two world wars?

    That would be really missing the point of what Ally is trying to talk about on this blog, these changes to manhood are way way bigger than domestic abuse of men or unequal access to children. They are permanent now anyway as we cannot return to some mystic golden age when we all had male jobs, provided for obedient families and made decisions for large groups of people without their consent.

    Why? Because these days never really existed. Yeah we were more powerful than women for the most part historically but most human beings throughout our shared history have lived lives of deprivation, ill-health, fear and confusion. Nearly all suffered, at each step on the hierarchy where the power to influence the distribution of suffering was subdivided, there were those who could ensure that people close to them would endure a greater share of violence or hunger. In European families it was traditionally the male head of the household who controled the economy of suffering and as his sons were needed to continue the clan, they couldn’t be made suffer too much so a significantly greater proportion was visited upon the females of the family. In this instance we see suffering initially distributed along social and economic lines, at each level it was refracted through various other divisions, gender, faith, age etc.

  105. Paul says

    @Fergus Robson

    Some interesting posts from you.I agree that there are those who attribute far more power to feminists than they’ve actually got. However feminists do have a certain amount of power as a lobbying group and as a result have managed to have input in policy- making in certain areas such as dv. And not just in terms of funding for services for women and children but also in promoting the myth that dv perpetrated by women is less of a problem than it actually is. And in this they have powerful allies in those i call ” the traditionalists”.Namely that large number of non- feminist men and women who believe that women are far less prone to violence and abuse than men . And that if a man does have the misfortune of being with an abusive woman he should be ” man enough” to deal with it. And that if he can’t he must be lacking in the masculinity department.For as i’ve said on numerous occasions we live in a society that has a deep-rooted double -standard underpinned by the old adage that ”only girls and cissies cry”.So consequently men are reluctant to admit to being victims at the hands of abusive women and when they do they may face scorn and ridicule rather than help and understanding.

    I think it was your first post where you expressed frustration at the failure of a Mens Group to speak on the same platform as a number of Womens Groups including feminists. And on one level i can understand your frustration given it should be an issue that men and women work together to tackle. Except it isn’t as straight forward as that because most feminists in particular are loathe to acknowledge the extent to which women can be the perpetrators of violence and abuse as well as the instigators of male violence-ie using men to attack others on their behalf. And that specifically within the home dv perpetrated by women is a problem which hitherto hasn’t been properly addressed. And if and when it is properly addressed it invariably puts those addressing it on a collision course with the powerful feminist lobby. For currently feminists have a vested interest in not only viewing women as being primarily victims but also viewing the safety of children as being intrinsically tied up with the safety of women. So whilst i may be wrong that Mens Group you were talking about may have had perfectly valid reasons for not wanting to get involved.

    psJust so there isn’t any misunderstanding i accept that the outcomes for female victims of dv are worse on average than they are for male victims. However that isn’t a good enough excuse for ignoring the problems caused by abusive women.For instance it’s estimated that around a third of those most seriously injured as a result of dv are men.And most of these male victims had a female abuser.

  106. carnation says

    @ Ginka

    “The second thing is that you are not fooling me for a moment that you actually give a damn about Earl Silverman or anyone he was trying to help. Your comments on child custody disputes have shown me that.””

    What’s the link here? Where is your evidence?

    And I have “female privilege” now? Who knew!

    I don’t remember saying what sex I was.

    You guys really just can’t help yourselves…

    Still waiting on Sid pointing out my bigoted comments…

  107. says

    @63 Tamen

    @56 Bitethehand
    A simply appalling comment. Not that I expect you to care, but I can only hope that you didn’t ask the same questions in the same way of the women you refer in your comment.

    Appalling? And if we don’t ask questions like mine, how are we ever going to resolve the question of Domestic Violence?

    And yes I have asked exactly the same question of women who’ve been beaten up by their partners and their answers were “because I loved him” and “I thought I could change him”.

  108. Schala says

    Thanks for the clarification, they final ‘they’ referred to women.

    in this

    Probably not, male equivalents are necessary and as it was for the massively more widespread and intensely violent problems they faced.

    Let’s stop playing Widespread Olympics. Violence against men is intensely violent, very widespread, and called humor, or action movies, or part of the plot/story (ie a tool), or there’s always war. Violence against women is widespread and intensely violent, but there is no proof that it is MORE widespread. Evidence says it causes more injuries in women, but that doesn’t mean it’s more intense, it can have to do with the same force usage on a weaker body.

    And violence which doesn’t leave injuries can still be very painful psychologically. Even DV services recognize that it’s more about fear and PTSD, being triggered and what not. And not about gashes and knife cuts most of the time.

    I got anxiety from elementary school bullying (which was common and condoned by authorities). I NEVER got sent to the hospital from it, never got a serious injury from it either, like broken bones, or needing suture points. Now I’m scared from everyone outside, but mostly people 5-17 (people who look like the children who bullied me). I’m aware it’s irrational. It’s still there. And I don’t need specially-tailored services for trans people, or even trans women. I’ll do fine with the generic services as long as the service providers are not transphobic or plain stupid (and stupid or asshole shrinks do exist).

    There may be some idiots who call themselves feminists who still talk about patriarchy as a monolithic institution which existed in one basic form throughout history and which they are trying to overturn.

    Most of the feminists who affect social policies, most mainstream feminists who serve as the basis for online feminists (ie references, like Finally Feminism 101). And all radical feminist ideology from the 1970s’ second wave which became mainstream (for example, the usage of the term patriarchy, the seeing male privilege but not female privilege, and thinking rape culture primarily (or even only) affects women).

    There aren’t very many of these and wouldn’t it be much more constructive to engage with the majority who understand that power relations have been highly differentiated across different groups within different societies.

    By identifying as feminist, they provide cover for the idiots, who can claim the constructive ones are on their side, and agreeing with their idiot policy. I specifically disavow any allegiance for this reason. I want no one to be using me as ammo for their cause without my assent to what they’re specifically doing.

    It is also incorrect to equate feminists lacking agency with the sweep of historical change.

    You misunderstood me. Feminists have affected DV and rape-related policies. They still do today. They’re the go-to organizations when the governments want to do something about it. I don’t care about historical change pre-1900 (wether related to feminism or not). I only care about what feminism has done 1960-now, specifically about DV and rape. It was willful, calculated. And aimed against maleness itself. While providing cover for traditionalists who think men are beasts/evil to appear progressive.

    However feminist’s agency has not been motivated by hatred for men nor has it been directed at undermining traditional masculinities except where they pertain to direct abuse of or discrimination against women.

    I don’t care about what feminism has done to undermine traditional masculinity. I care that it has done nothing to expand it the way it has expanded feminity. Since it said it was for equality, I was kind of expecting it. But there’s only lip service of the “men should be able to wear skirts” variety. Compared to the scope of stuff like slutwalk, that’s spit in the ocean. There has been no widespread campaign to employers and other enforcers of dress codes (the army, prisons, schools) to relax their sex-segregated codes or abolish the segregated portions altogether, to allow more freedom of expression for men.

    I hope you wouldn’t argue that embedded discrimination, on any basis, should be retained or cherished. I also hope that you wouldn’t claim that feminism has undermined masculinity to a greater extent than say de-industrialisation or two world wars?

    You’re so far away from what I’m talking about. Who cares about undermining masculinity.

    What feminism has done is made masculinity’s perks gender neutral, removed masculinity’s rewards (respect for the sacrifice you are expected to do, now it’s nothing, or contempt) and kept the obligations and even put some into law (child support), punishable with prison (debtor’s prison), even though it’s civil court. Some, like Marie-France Goldwater (a Ontario lawyer who is kinda famous) espouses ideas like declaring all cohabiting couples as the same as married so that women who lived more than 1 year with a guy can get spousal alimony. She thinks she’s very feminist, and says so on the roofs whenever interviewed. Even very leftist people (the kind who usually swallows the Kool-Aid and become very traditional and pro-woman anti-man) think she lost it.

    Why? Because these days never really existed. Yeah we were more powerful than women for the most part historically but most human beings throughout our shared history have lived lives of deprivation, ill-health, fear and confusion.

    I’m not a man. I’m a trans woman. Also note that I don’t use “we” to include myself whenever I talk about something that isn’t personal lived experience, but that’s me. I don’t use we when I talk about men, when I talk about women, when I talk about trans people or trans women specifically. I say we when I talk about society, since I include everyone.

    In European families it was traditionally the male head of the household who controled the economy of suffering and as his sons were needed to continue the clan, they couldn’t be made suffer too much so a significantly greater proportion was visited upon the females of the family. In this instance we see suffering initially distributed along social and economic lines, at each level it was refracted through various other divisions, gender, faith, age etc.

    You make me laugh. The big part of the male gender role is disposability. Ergo: if bad stuff happens to you, NO ONE CARES. So why would a father prioritize his sons if not as a tool to propagate his own enterprise? As in, he’ll beat them however he wants, as long as they don’t die or disavow him as father he won’t care. They don’t love him? Part of growing up, “grow a pair, like all other boys”, will he be told. It “forges character”. Ever heard that one?

    Women are overprotected, and paternalized and their freedom restricted so they don’t face as much overt violence. There’s always the possibility they marry an asshole, or have an equal-opportunity asshole parent (or two). But society-wide? There was a LOT more compassion for female victims, even then. The whole point of female privilege having a bad side is that the bad side restricts your freedom. The bad side of male privilege is you do it without a safety net. Fall off in the ditch, and they’ll just fill it up over your head.

    Choose wisely:

    Freedom to part in business and earn money, possibly status and fame (you’re unlikely though, as most people were born poor, and died just as poor). But if you fail, just too bad, try again next life.

    Or

    Protection from the harms of participating in the world, people willing to protect you directly, and less likely to harm you even if they’re evil (heftier penalties, socially and legally). But you have less of a chance to make it to the top.

    That’s how the world was.

  109. Schala says

    “Some, like Marie-France Goldwater (a Ontario lawyer who is kinda famous)”

    Sorry, Anne-France Goldwater. And she’s from Quebec, just English-native (most in Quebec are French-native).

  110. says

    This brings up one of my main complaints with modern feminism: the use of “what about the menz?” mockery to dismiss men’s problem’s that the patriarchy causes. Most of these stem from the idea that men are supposed to be tough and be the protectors, but not the protected. There seem to be plenty of feminists who don’t feel there’s anything wrong with telling men to keep whining about their man problems as they are being injured less that women and should be able to handle it.

  111. Maureen Brian says

    Of which modern feminists do you speak, Ace of Sevens @ 116?

    I’m a modern feminist and find that there are two and only two aspects of outmoded masculinities against which I fight.

    The first is the “women can’t do that” notion. Why? Because it disadvantages me and because evidence to refute it is not hard to find.

    The second is the toxic notion that should something go wrong in an intimate relationship it falls first and mainly to the woman to put everything right. I see some of that reflected in parts, only parts, of the men’s rights movement – the idea that having lobbied, fundraised, marched and researched so that in some places we now have dv shelters and legal access* to our children we should now put in another 40 years of effort in order to achieve services of similar quality for men.

    * persons wondering what I am talking about might like to read Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

  112. Tamen says

    @69 Ally:

    So point me to one example of carnation’s unacceptable bigotry? You could also remind me how many posts I have deleted from yourself, Schala, Tamen or others on the other side of the debate?

    Are you implying that I’ve posted unacceptable bigotry?

    If you by “the other side” mean to imply that I am an MRA I have to point out that if I were to identify myself as something other than Tamen or unique Unicorn #3,860,789,944 it would be as an egalitarian.

    @113 BiteTheHand

    And yes I have asked exactly the same question of women who’ve been beaten up by their partners and their answers were “because I loved him” and “I thought I could change him”.

    So much for that hope.

    Are you so totally unaware that there is a difference between*

    Were you so totally unaware of this aspect of her character when you married her and had children with her?

    and

    In retrospect, were there any red-flags about her behaviour which you didn’t pick-up on when you married her?

    *see what I did there

  113. Tamen says

    @117 Maureen Brian:

    the idea that having lobbied, fundraised, marched and researched so that in some places we now have dv shelters and legal access* to our children we should now put in another 40 years of effort in order to achieve services of similar quality for men.

    Aside from the fact that this is at odds with the claim from many feminists that what men need is more feminism I have to wonder if this means that men should by the same account abstain from lobbying, fundraising, marching and researching anything that in any way helps female victims of DV?

    Personally I think we all should lobby, fundraise, march and research for dv shelters and similar services for all. So personally I support shelters which offers services to all who needs them and I am for mandating publicly funded shelters and services to not discriminate between the people they help.

  114. mildlymagnificent says

    Fergus

    taking your beaten or cowed partner out for a nice meal would be pretty weird,

    A lot of things in abusive relationships are pretty weird.

  115. Maureen Brian says

    Tamen,

    Please identify these “many feminists” who go around telling men what they need. Like a citation or two.

    I am with whoever it was above who said that what men need may not be exactly the same as what women need and with those who argue that shared facilities could well create a whole new set of problems, including deterring people of any gender who suffer anxiety and PTSD from using the services at all. Not, I think, what any of us is aiming for.

    There is no problem for me to admit here that in conversations with men on such topics I have mentioned the work which went into building up our collective stock of confidence and knowledge so that we could speak to a possibly hostile or merely ill-informed public meeting or council sub-committee. These conversations, which might well take in media coverage of murders, police attitudes to marital rape and a million other sub-topic, were aimed to share insight and sometimes they helped.

    But these conversations took and take place between consenting adults, any one of whom could disagree or walk away. Sometimes they do.

    When someone says or implies that I may not raise a given subject or express doubt in certain words, do they not realise that they are silencing not merely me but all my friends in all their assorted genders.

    I remember one man in particular, dead these 20 years, who was a textbook example of look at me I’m male. He was a feminist before the letter – in his head – but still found that he needed and welcomed the odd refresher moment when it came to dealing with real life and its competing pressures.

    If I say that I want men to stop whinging and to get on with what they believe needs to be done and to work out how to do that successfully as they go, does that make me anti-men or merely pro-adult?

  116. carnation says

    I’d be interested in what MRAs have to say about this video clip of AVfM’s John Hembling laughing about victims of rape and telling them he “doesn’t give a fuck” about them.

    He doesn’t mention the sex of the victims, just reiterates that he doesn’t care about them and would do nothing to prevent the attacks on them. The MRM does nothing positive for men, it is a wholly negative entity.

    Those who dispute this are delusional:

    http://tinyurl.com/pge4pvd

  117. Copyleft says

    Cherry-picking one comment from one person and using it to draw sweeping conclusions about an entire movement is truly delusional, yes. It’s good to see you acknowledge that.

  118. Tamen says

    @Maureen Brian

    Please identify these “many feminists” who go around telling men what they need. Like a citation or two.

    I have encountered the statement that “men need feminism” so often on the net that I didn’t think it would be controversial, but here are some citations for you, I hope you don’t mind that I included more than two:

    Amanda Marcotte: “The Solution to MRA Problems? More Feminism

    Kate Harding: Why fat men need feminism

    Kate Harding: Male caregivers need feminism, too

    Beatrix Campbell: Men need feminism – their salvation is feminism

    Lindy West after listing a list of male issues: “If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them.

    Jessica Schreindl: Why Men Need Feminism

    Lewis Evans: Why men ‘need’ feminisms

    Kate Arms-Roberts: Why Men Need Feminism

    Katy Kreitler: Why Men Need Feminism Too (Really, You Do!)

    Cathy Bussey: Why men need feminism

    Pema Levy: How Men Need Feminism

    Alyssa Rosenberg: ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Little Women,’ And Why Men Need Feminism

    Brenna McCaffrey : Why Men Need Feminism (Part 1)

    Rachel F. Seidman: After Todd Akin comments: Why women – and men – still need feminism

    Feminism Helps Men Tumblr: This blog exists to demonstrate to Men’s Rights Activists that feminism helps men by freeing them from their oppressive gender roles.

    Nicola Sugden: Feminists are not anti-men. We are at the front of the fight for men’s rights – breaking gender-based oppression and harmful gendered patterns of behaviour will make everyone more free.

    Jessica Valenti: I wish he would identify feminism (at least more concretely) as a movement that’s already working to help men as well as women.

    Ned Resnikof asking rhetorically in MsMagazine: Can Feminism Liberate Men?

    Hugo Schwyzer: And it requires seeing that feminism—with its remarkable claim that biological sex has nothing to with our human potential—is the best avenue for our personal and collective liberation.

    But the people who REALLY, REALLY need feminism… are men.

    L. S. Tredom, Lily09, DragonRider, and cheezemziez: Feminism is a movement that helps bring equality and eradicate gender stereotypes for EVERYONE, including females, males, and non-binary genders.

    Abby Norman: Men and boys need feminism too.

    Vimeo video by Nocturnus Libertus: Men Need Feminism

  119. says

    @ Maureen 122:

    Please identify these “many feminists” who go around telling men what they need. Like a citation or two.

    http://jezebel.com/5992479/if-i-admit-that-hating-men-is-a-thing-will-you-stop-turning-it-into-a-self+fulfilling-prophecy

    Please, read the comments. You’ll find lots and lots of feminists agreeing that what men need is to a)shut up about their problems, and b)feminism (despite not actually deigning to name anything feminism has actually done about said issues, despite claiming that the movement was “working on it”). In fact, the former was the first priority of the article, enough to make it both the title and the opening paragraphs. Jezebel, as best as I can tell, is the most popular feminist website in the world.

    The commenters also seem to think that all MRAs are men. Which isn’t even close to true.

    I am with whoever it was above who said that what men need may not be exactly the same as what women need and with those who argue that shared facilities could well create a whole new set of problems, including deterring people of any gender who suffer anxiety and PTSD from using the services at all. Not, I think, what any of us is aiming for.

    The problem with that is that, as far as the dominant dialogue and actions indicate, men don’t really have any DV needs at all.

    “When someone says or implies that I may not raise a given subject or express doubt in certain words, do they not realise that they are silencing not merely me but all my friends in all their assorted genders.

    Not believing you for whatever reason is not the same as actively trying to suppress you. Please, please don’t fall into that ideological trap.

    If I say that I want men to stop whinging and to get on with what they believe needs to be done

    Please stop gendering this advocacy as something only men want to do. There have been women who tried to talk about men’s issues, such as Erin Pizzey, and they have been shouted down just as much as the men. I mean, people literally broke the law trying to suppress and silence her and others, of varying genders and sexualities.

    Also, do you expect them to stop complaining about the problem by way of solving it? Because you seem to imply that they can’t do both. Feminists certainly don’t stop complaining about M>F rape and M>F domestic violence, even as they’re working on it, so why should people who advocate about male DV and rape?

    and to work out how to do that successfully as they go, does that make me anti-men or merely pro-adult?

    I note how you shifted the responsibility entirely off of the system and entirely onto the advocate. The system, in general, doesn’t acknowledge male DV and rape victimization, period. In fact, the laws and policies in many places say to assume a female abuser is actually defending herself.

    The fact that you suggest tailoring one’s presentation to the system means the system itself has power, that the responsibility for one’s success can lie outside oneself. There may well be nothing someone can do within the system to get more resources to help men. The only solution is to change the system itself.

    It’s also interesting to me that you did not address or acknowledge the question of whether men should advocate for and help female DV victims. Incidentally, Pizzey founded the first shelter in the UK, and got funding from rich men. When she went to those same men to get funds to help male abuse victims, she was refused.

    I’ve heard the argument that advocates like her and Silverman are somehow “doing it wrong” lots of times, and it never rings any less hollow.

    Carnation@122: So, you’re saying that one video, from one man, is representative of the entire MRM? Where are the thousands of MRAs agreeing with him?

    Do you really want this to turn into a slapfight over which individuals in which movement said worse things and citing that of evidence? Because feminism has a far larger glass house, mostly by simple virtue of being larger.

    Also, you don’t seem to have supported with first-order evidence a single claim you’ve made about Silverman in this discussion, IIRC. The only thing you said about Silverman with any evidence was based on someone else’s claim about his beliefs, not anything Silverman himself said or did. Even your implied claim about JTO’s video being representative of MRAs is a generalization.

    It’s kind of ironic that for someone who keeps complaining their opponents aren’t sourcing their claims, you don’t provide very many yourself, or just ask your opponents to support their claims.

    /not an MRA

  120. Sid says

    The original of the edited video that carnation has produced tells a different story than the original. If the origional video is so damming, why the need to editorialize it?

    What the original says is that the man is so tired of feminists exploiting rape as a rhetorical trick and making false accusations relating to rape that his will to care has been worn down by it overuse.

  121. Sid says

    Whoops.

    I meant the original of the edited video that carnation has produced tells a different story. Be ware of anything that person says, the only two sources I’ve seen the produce here are very deliberately misleading and dishonest.

  122. Adiabat says

    SYABM: “Also, you don’t seem to have supported with first-order evidence a single claim you’ve made about Silverman in this discussion, IIRC. The only thing you said about Silverman with any evidence was based on someone else’s claim about his beliefs, not anything Silverman himself said or did.”

    From someone who was a defendant in a breach of Human Rights lawsuit made by Silverman no less! I’d expect anyone with any integrity to apply basic scepticism to anything she says because of that.

  123. Adiabat says

    Myself (77): I’d like to clarify something I said in this post because my comparing capacity to help DV victims over safety may make me seem a bit heartless and bureaucratic.

    By having single sex DV shelters you will inevitably run into the situation where battered women turn up at a female shelter and has to be turned away because they are full. This is while there may be beds at the Male shelter down the road. Because of this you are sending this woman back home to an abusive partner. (Obviously the genders in this scenario can be switched).

    By focusing on the safety of current residents in a DV shelter, you necessarily sacrifice on the safety of New Arrivals to the shelters. By having them mixed, perhaps with 24 hour staff and separate meals times etc, you not only increase capacity but by doing so you increase the safety of more people, especially that DV victim fleeing her partner in the middle of the night.

    Now, I’m not advocating for mixed shelters, I even err on the side of not having them, but I’m pointing that it is not as easy a decision as some claim and the safety argument isn’t all one way. You must balance the safety of different people in an impossible situation.

    Same goes for hospital wards, except that is staffed 24 hours and the argument is mainly one of “comfort” and “dignity” against ensuring new patients are in a place of safety. In this case I am against single sex wards.

  124. Maureen Brian says

    Well done, Tamen, that’s an impressive list. Yes, my first reaction was to wish I’d kept my mouth shut.

    In a way, though, the items here almost prove my point. We have a series of blog posts and opinion pieces and a brief radio spot with 2 men and 2 women. Some seem designed to refute nonsense, some to provoke debate – maybe both. None claims to be a meta-analysis of all known facts. None represents either Holy Writ or the law. They are opinion – no more and no less.

    We have all been dealing with changes brought on by new technologies, expanding education, changing world views and the growth of both medical and social sciences for 150 years at the very least.

    Add to that the fact that none of the work done by feminists, very loosely defined, has been done in secret. That includes everything from high-powered academia to the most local of grassroots activism. We are not the Illuminati! What has been done has been done openly and has always been available to be criticised.

    Some of it has stood the test of time, some we recognise with hindsight as a passing fad or a clever slogan without much to back it up. But that is true of every set of ideas there has ever been.

    So, if there is a body of work which will stand up to the same criticism, which is non-feminist rather than anti-feminist, which I really ought to be studying, then where is it? After all, I have books on my shelves which have impacted feminism with publication dares in the 1790s and 1890s. Where is the corresponding work which acknowledges the changes yet tells a totally different story?

  125. jcarr says

    Another good piece, Ally, thanks.

    As a specialist in trauma and abuse, the only point I would add to your essay is that those of us in the field have known for quite some time about males receiving abuse from women, even if the literature, media, culture, and politics overlooked it. We’ve worked with some of these men on occasion. We’ve sometimes grumbled collectively about the lack of interest across the board, but we remembered the days not too long past when abuse itself was swept under the rug. Feminism, as many commenters in this thread have noted, was instrumental in bringing abuse into the spotlight, and, from our point of view, with feminism pushing the issues of abuse, gradually more journalists, academics, and the general public would become aware of women-inflicted abuse on children and men. We saw it as a natural progression, and we certainly didn’t pay much attention to the wild claims of the more radical feminists, anymore than we pay heed to radical men’s advocates who insist that men in general are actually victims of a massive feminist conspiracy. We work with families on a daily basis. We see what the truth really is, in each and every family.

    Granted, I tend to work with children primarily, but that means working with the families too, of course. In our experiences at the clinic, most of the physical and sexual abuse suffered by children has been male-inflicted, while neglect and mental abuse is relatively equal. We find the abuse between parents to also be male-inflicted the majority of the time. Perhaps with greater awareness of our cultural tendency to view the male as “strong” and the female as “weak,” we’ll see these numbers balance a bit more as more men come forward (and society starts to pay attention to them rather than dismissing them as wimps).

    I still find the problem to be more of a cultural/social issue than a wide feminist conspiracy, however.

  126. Maureen Brian says

    Curiously enough, SYABM @ 125, I have never denied that men experience domestic violence and that they need support services.

    I have yet to meet a man, though, prepared to work with me as an equal on addressing the issue. By contrast, I run into persons by the truckload who tell me that it is all my fault, that feminists should not have been allowed to address an issue which affected women in a particular way and that they can tell with certainty what I think on subjects A, B, C just by guessing the configuration of my genitalia.

    When domestic violence shelters were first being set up in the UK women faced a specific set of problems which included a lack of access to cash, an unwillingness of the police to intervene, and unwillingness of local government to be involved, so secure shelters became one of the top priorities. Things have changed to some extent but we are talking about the time when I, earning a good salary, could not have got a mortgage without a suitable man to countersign my application. Yes, things change but they change because people organise and exert pressure.

    That’s how politics works and this is politics.

    As for my shifting responsibility “out of the system” I cannot do that because I am part of the system, as are you, as is everyone else. Forty years ago “the system” did not recognise the extent of either domestic violence or of rape. In fact it fought hard not to be informed and as you say yourself it was rich men who refused to fund Erin Pizzey’s shelters for men. Because they were rich? Because they were men? Because the captains of industry lived in fear of marauding feminists? Who knows?

  127. Adiabat says

    I hate the word “conspiracy” in this context. It makes it sound crazy when suppression of alternative views and research is something that has actually been happening and has been demonstrated.

    Perhaps we could see it has being ‘institutional’ in the same way as the institutional sexism that is aimed at women?

  128. jcarr says

    They (society) already made Father’s day about deadbeat dads.

    Schala, as an individual with degrees in psychology and sociology, I’d really be interested in how you arrive at this conclusion. The image I’ve heard most frequently from people is the idea of Dad lounging in a hammock in the backyard, with a cold drink, enjoying a well-deserved rest day. How does that translate into a deadbeat dad?

    Hallmark cards are not representative of public sentiment, I hope you realize.

  129. jcarr says

    @sid

    Hush. I have no interest in your constant harping. You are the wah-wah-wah of the adults in the Peanuts cartoons to me. Are we clear?

  130. Schala says

    Hallmark cards are not representative of public sentiment, I hope you realize.

    And what about Obama’s Father day’s speech (not this year), which said essentially that men ‘needed to step up’?

  131. jcarr says

    I hate the word “conspiracy” in this context. It makes it sound crazy when suppression of alternative views and research is something that has actually been happening and has been demonstrated.

    Perhaps we could see it has being ‘institutional’ in the same way as the institutional sexism that is aimed at women?

    Agreed. Unfortunately there are far too many people like Sid that call it exactly that: a conspiracy.

    Thank you for your response. You’ve summed up exactly what I’ve been arguing for two threads now. There are indeed instances of suppression and avoidance of important information, but as you say, It’s a cultural and social phenomenon that has become “institutionalized” rather than a widespread effort on the part of feminists in general, although I would use a phrase like “commonly accepted” instead, because it isn’t nearly at the same level as, say, racism in America in the 50s. But institutionalized is as good a word as any.

  132. Lucy says

    @Sid

    “Eve “good rape” Ensler wants to make Valentines Day about heterosexual men’s violence against women and girls.”

    That doesn’t answer my question though.

    Ally Fogg has said that sometimes the anger displayed by men (presumably the kind of anger we most often see on the internet) is justified and is effective in the case of domestic violence. What anger and what effect is he referring to? Who are they meant to be lobbying? For what ends? And who are these lobbyists?

    Because it sounds to me like he is corralling disparate, random, spiteful, dishonest and disingenuous voices from across message boards, to a cause they have neither signed up to or been effective in. I’m not even sure what the cause in question is and therefore how we are meant to measure its success. From what I’ve seen over many years online, those voices aren’t interested in better presentation of the DV facts or treatment of male victims, they’re interested in obscuring the facts and worse treatment of female ones.

    Is this article a reference to the phenomenon of arresting men for suspicion of assault in female-on-male DV incidents, for further investigation? Is this situation changing? Likely to change? Should it?

  133. jcarr says

    And what about Obama’s Father day’s speech (not this year), which said essentially that men ‘needed to step up’?

    I’d have to read the speech to make sure you are accurately reporting the the President’s message, but how does that translate into a societal exercise in transforming Dad into a deadbeat for Father’s Day? As I said, the sentiment I find in the public is that it is a day off for Dad, not a celebration of a loafer. What information do you have to the contrary?

  134. Schala says

    From what I’ve seen over many years online, those voices aren’t interested in better presentation of the DV facts or treatment of male victims, they’re interested in obscuring the facts and worse treatment of female ones.

    Over many years where? Radfemhub? Iblamethepatriarchy? gendertrender?

  135. Schala says

    I’d have to read the speech to make sure you are accurately reporting the the President’s message, but how does that translate into a societal exercise in transforming Dad into a deadbeat for Father’s Day? As I said, the sentiment I find in the public is that it is a day off for Dad, not a celebration of a loafer. What information do you have to the contrary?

    Instead of celebrating good fathers on this day. He prefers to spit on and bash the few bad ones, but since he has no counterpoint message to pat the good ones on the back – it’s the ONLY message you can take out – fathers suck and don’t do their part.

  136. jcarr says

    @Schala

    That’s the second time you’ve ducked my question. You claimed that society has turned Father’s Day into a celebration of deadbeat dads, and to justify that opinion you offered me a random comment made by a President.

    I hear you. It’s your personal opinion. Okay, thanks. I just found it an interesting opinion, and I was curious about what led you to that conclusion.

  137. says

    Curiously enough, SYABM @ 125, I have never denied that men experience domestic violence and that they need support services.

    And I never claimed you did. I implied that it’s a bit premature to say men need separate treatment when they’re not getting much of any treatment at all. Silverman started a men’s shelter, and still found it a Sisyphean task. So much so, in fact, that he was eventually crushed by it.

    I have yet to meet a man, though, prepared to work with me as an equal on addressing the issue.

    So what? What is preventing you from doing it yourself? What about the women working on these issues? It almost seems you care more about whether they respect you than whether they’re trying to help victims in an effective manner.

    By contrast, I run into persons by the truckload who tell me that it is all my fault, that feminists should not have been allowed to address an issue which affected women in a particular way and that they can tell with certainty what I think on subjects A, B, C just by guessing the configuration of my genitalia.

    I’d be a wee bit more sympathetic if I hadn’t just linked you to a Jezebel article doing pretty much all of that, just with men. In fact, one of the issues I have with many mainstream feminist concepts is that they often presume to know what men are thinking, with little to no evidence of actually asking them.

    Also, note my complete lack of doing any of that up to this point. Neither has Tamen, IIRC.

    Again, this still isn’t “silencing”, unless they actually try to silence you. Saying feminists should not have been allowed to say X, or disagreeing with your phrasing of X is not the same as saying feminists should not say X, and unless they actually try to stop you, that still wouldn’t be silencing. Silencing would be breaking the fire code on three separate days to stop talks about men’s issues, which feminists have done. But do I generalize to all feminists from a few dozen at U of Toronto? No, I don’t. That would be prejudiced.

    There’s also been quite a lot of criticism of feminism’s general tendency to strictly regulate language. Control the terms, and you control the debate.

    When domestic violence shelters were first being set up in the UK women faced a specific set of problems which included a lack of access to cash, an unwillingness of the police to intervene, and unwillingness of local government to be involved, so secure shelters became one of the top priorities.

    Erin Pizzey received death threats from that era’s feminists for trying to talk about male abuse around that period, BTW. Threats against her, her publisher, and family. Someone killed her dog.

    Those are all the same problems men who were abused faced, and still do. Except that cops aren’t just unwilling to intervene, they tend to arrest them.

    Things have changed to some extent but we are talking about the time when I, earning a good salary, could not have got a mortgage without a suitable man to countersign my application. Yes, things change but they change because people organise and exert pressure.

    That’s how politics works and this is politics.

    Are you planning to acknowledge, at any point, my or others’ claims that there is a systemic bias against male victims that may hinder advocacy for them? I’m not even asking you to agree with it. Just acknowledge that you saw it.

    It is interesting how you seem to have shifted from “men have to work on their own issues” to “men need to present their issues in the right way instead of just whining” to “men have to respect me, personally”. You disregarded a great deal of my post entirely, it seems.

    As for my shifting responsibility “out of the system” I cannot do that because I am part of the system, as are you, as is everyone else.

    That’s…rhetorically persuasive and logically worthless.

    The current system of mores, laws and policy addressing domestic violence in the West generally assume a perpetration model where men abuse women. Those wishing to advance claims contrary to those mores (EG “women abuse men in significant numbers”) will usually find themselves struggling to gain recognition in said system, regardless of the manner in which the argument is presented or who they are.

    Forty years ago “the system” did not recognise the extent of either domestic violence or of rape.

    And it still does not, despite 40 years of feminist advocacy. Some argue it’s gotten worse for men. That’s kind of the crux of the complaint here.

    In fact it fought hard not to be informed and as you say yourself it was rich men who refused to fund Erin Pizzey’s shelters for men.

    The era’s feminists also turfed Pizzey out of her own shelters in a bid for legitimacy.

    Because they were rich? Because they were men? Because the captains of industry lived in fear of marauding feminists? Who knows?

    I’m just gonna take a stab at at and say that they were influenced by a system of gender roles that discourages everyone from acknowledging male victimization, including the victims themselves.

    What central point are you trying to make here? You seem to be meandering a bit.

  138. says

    130 @ Maureen:

    Add to that the fact that none of the work done by feminists, very loosely defined, has been done in secret. That includes everything from high-powered academia to the most local of grassroots activism. We are not the Illuminati! What has been done has been done openly and has always been available to be criticised.

    Well, let’s see the reaction when a speaker, specifically Dr. Janice Fiamengo, criticized women’s studies earlier this year – oh, wait, that was one of the aforementioned “feminists broke the law trying to silence it” protests I mentioned. People who criticize feminism are often decried as “misogynist” and “anti-feminist”, and have been banned on several university networks and by antivirus companies as hate sites.

    Some of it has stood the test of time, some we recognise with hindsight as a passing fad or a clever slogan without much to back it up. But that is true of every set of ideas there has ever been.

    Really? Because the impression I get is that most feminists would like to forget that the more extremist parts of mainstream feminism exist. That is, when they’re aware of them. Few seem willing to talk about their possible influence on modern feminism, though.

    So, if there is a body of work which will stand up to the same criticism, which is non-feminist rather than anti-feminist, which I really ought to be studying, then where is it?

    See, that’s the problem; you’re pre-emptively dismissing anything negatively critical of feminism. That’s precisely the opposite of the expected behavior from someone secure in their beliefs, who thinks they’ll stand up to challenge.

    After all, I have books on my shelves which have impacted feminism with publication dares in the 1790s and 1890s. Where is the corresponding work which acknowledges the changes yet tells a totally different story?

    Warren Farrell springs to mind. Again, one of the people heavily protested at U of T.

    Also, why is it imperative to “acknowledge the changes”? What’s wrong with criticizing feminism as it is today, or when the book in question was written? Do you want it to be not-anti-feminist, or to “acknowledge the changes”? Or both? Your criteria seem to have shifted over the course of two sentences.

    131 @ jcarr: You talked about the possibilities. What does the current reality actually reflect? What evidence do you have that the increased numbers of male victims coming forward is something that has happened because of feminist advocacy, rather than in spite of it?

    Because last time I checked, mainstream feminism generally referred to abuse as an example of “violence against women”. Sometimes “-and girls” is added, but there’s a term called “Intimate Partner Violence” that is specifically meant to exclude domestic abuse of children.

    @ Schala 141: Or You-Know-What? The M-word? That one website?

    Lucy, have any of those websites mentioned Earl Silverman? The guy who struggled for years to get recognition for male victims in Canada, trying to get funding for the one men’s shelter, and ended up killing himself when he eventually failed? If they did, did they mention him before he died? What about biased Predominant/Primary Aggressor policies, did they talk about those?

  139. jcarr says

    I’m just gonna take a stab at at and say that they were influenced by a system of gender roles that discourages everyone from acknowledging male victimization, including the victims themselves.

    This is broadly true, and it is the real core of the problem, although those of us who work in trauma and abuse have usually acknowledged male victimization….when men would actually come in for help. It is remarkably telling that when men actually DO come in for help, they are worried about how they will be perceived by other men. They aren’t particularly worried too much about how women might feel about them.

    That’s why in the previous thread I referred to this particular men’s issue as a self-inflicted wound. As men, we seem to have a very difficult time shedding our perceived gender roles, heavily influenced by cultural and social norms, of course. On the internet, we can run in circles about what men could, should, or can do, and blame feminists all we want, but in the trenches (where I work), none of that matters. A male victim of abuse still tends to fear the reaction of other men to his abuse, and actively tries to hide it, no feminist involved, just an emotional perception that decades of immersion in our society has instilled.

    Feminism has forced society to recognize the extent of abuse. Now it is up to men to come forward and take it the next logical step, whether there are feminists opposed to this or not.

  140. Maureen Brian says

    There are activists in the men’s rights movement who seriously hate women. They may be very few but they exist.

    There are people who just tuned in to the fact that social change is under way: some of them have been known to want absolutely everything to stop until they have been brought up to speed.

    There are people who want to roll back all the social change but, of course, keep the smart phones and the flat screen tellies.

    And there are the sids of this world who treat the whole discussion as some playground ritual where repeating slightly rude mantras is the sole purpose of human existence.

    And then there are people like you and me, SYABM, who actually want to do something about it and could probably work together if we were not hampered by the way this discussion has been set up as two inevitably opposing factions which must fight to the death.

    The reasons I’m not doing anything right this minute about male victims of domestic violence are as follows – I’m 71 years old and my legs are a bit dodgy and, though I have been aware and supportive of dv work forever, my hands-on expertise is in other areas.

    And, yes, I have been silenced. My experience of life has influenced who I became just as it must have done for you. So, why are we arguing again?

  141. jcarr says

    What evidence do you have that the increased numbers of male victims coming forward is something that has happened because of feminist advocacy, rather than in spite of it?

    I’m speaking from experience as a professional who has worked with victims of abuse for quite some time. Feminism was the catalyst for making the public much more aware of abuse. As you’ve pointed out, it was far from perfect, but it made the subject accessible, and that was the important point.

    At the clinic here, we’ve haven’t actually seen a rise in male victims coming forward, but I’ve heard from colleagues of slight increases at other facilities around the country. I can tell you from personal experiences that many of these men, both past and present, primarily fear the reaction of other men in their social circles, not women, and try to keep a lid on their issues. But as discussion of abuse became more acceptable, some men began to feel more comfortable seeking help. In traditionally conservative areas, like the deeply red states of the U.S., (which, I might add, are areas that tend to be hostile to feminism) the numbers of men seeking help for abuse are still abysmally low, but in other areas without excessive hostility to feminism there seems to be an increase.

    That’s a correlation, of course, not a causality, but it is certainly suggestive that feminism is NOT an impediment to men coming forward.

  142. Sid says

    Jcar

    >That’s a correlation, of course, not a causality, but it is certainly suggestive that feminism is NOT an impediment to men coming forward.

    Research shows that in the US general society is more supportive of male abuse victims than the established victim support service system.

    “Results indicate that men who seek help for IPV victimization have the most positive experiences in seeking help from family/friends, and mental health and medical providers. They have the least positive experiences with members of the DV service system.”

    http://vc.bridgew.edu/socialwork_fac/9/

  143. Schala says

    That’s a correlation, of course, not a causality, but it is certainly suggestive that feminism is NOT an impediment to men coming forward.

    Then the women’s group of India who pushed to keep the definition of rape as “a male raping a woman his his penis” (ie no female perpetrator possible, no male victims possible) were not feminist?

  144. carnation says

    Jcarr

    I’m curious if you could offer your thoughts on my hypothesis that men in abusive relationships with women need support that is different from women in abusive relationships with men? Shelter provision is the thing that gets MRAs (even more) angry, but like most everything they say/do, is totally misguided.

    @ the MRA faithful. It’s truly hilarious watching you try to defend the indefensible. The managing editor of AVfM, someone paid to advocate for men’s rights, openly states he “doesn’t give a fuck about rape victims”, whilst laughing, and then says he would ignore and not stop a rape in progress.

    This is your leadership. And still you slavishly hang onto every word they say and regurgitate it. It’s actually quite incredible to watch.

    Here’s some other words from the same man: MRAs are “nearly universally despised”

    I wonder why…

  145. jcarr says

    @Schala

    I was referencing western society, as should have been clear. Random injustices in India or Africa aren’t exactly relevant. If we start doing that, then we’ll be engaging in compiling lists just so we can say, “SEE?!” triumphantly to each other.

    “See? In Borneo, women are forced to wear bones through their nipples.”
    “See? Men in Bolivia suffer dysentery more than women!”

    You’re comment doesn’t make sense, either. I made a point showing how the number of male victims of female abuse are still very, very low in conservative areas that tend to be hostile to feminism, which suggests that feminism isn’t an impediment to male victims coming forward. In response, you bring up an issue in India and insinuate that I wouldn’t call the women’s group that pushed this policy as “feminists?” That doesn’t make any sense at all.

  146. Sid says

    Jacar

    >which suggests that feminism isn’t an impediment to male victims coming forward. In response, you bring up an issue in India and insinuate that I wouldn’t call the women’s group that pushed this policy as “feminists?”

    Research shows that in the US general society is more supportive of male abuse victims than the established victim support service system.

    “Results indicate that men who seek help for IPV victimization have the most positive experiences in seeking help from family/friends, and mental health and medical providers. They have the least positive experiences with members of the DV service system.”

    http://vc.bridgew.edu/socialwork_fac/9/

    And feminism have been been covering up the truth about male victims for three decades.

  147. Schala says

    @jcarr

    Feminism pushes for a man-bad woman-good, man-perpetrator woman-victim model since the 1960s.

    It barely even recognizes female perpetrators even exists.

    If you mention rape, there’ll be a LOT of feminists, quick to mention the false statistic of 99% male perpetrators.

    Don’t tell me feminism has worked to help bring male victims forward. It has worked to make male victims more angry, because instead of just being spit on by the dominant narrative, now they’re also vilified as being the only sex prone to doing evil acts (like rape, or DV). By who? By people who want to liberate him from his gender roles. Feels like a fucking betrayal.

    I can understand why some/many men feel betrayed.

  148. says

    146 @ jcarr:

    A male victim of abuse still tends to fear the reaction of other men to his abuse, and actively tries to hide it, no feminist involved, just an emotional perception that decades of immersion in our society has instilled.

    I believe feminism, by perpetuating the perception of abuse as M>F on a societal level, generally contributes to that.

    Feminism has forced society to recognize the extent of abuse.

    I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on that. Any benefit arising to men, I feel, is at best accidental, and far overshadowed by the damage done by the larger movement.

    152 @ carnation:

    Shelter provision is the thing that gets MRAs (even more) angry, but like most everything they say/do, is totally misguided.

    That certainly is another vague, unbacked series of assertions about MRAs which you don’t support in any way.

    @ the MRA faithful. It’s truly hilarious watching you try to defend the indefensible. .

    I clearly said I’m not an MRA (and I actively criticize them too). I don’t think Tamen IDs as one either. Questioning your claims WRT to JTO is not the same as defending him.

    The managing editor of AVfM, someone paid to advocate for men’s rights, openly states he “doesn’t give a fuck about rape victims”, whilst laughing, and then says he would ignore and not stop a rape in progress.

    Which doesn’t make him representative of AVFM or MRAs in general any more than the EIC of the New York times represents the general opinion of NY papers or New York in general. Or the opinions of, say, Jill Filopovic represent all feminists.

    You’re also assuming Hembling is actually being entirely sincere. Like I said, there’s plenty of evidence of feminists doing bad things, but I wouldn’t generalize any single one to all feminists. There’s a video of a feminist literally singing about how little she cares about male suicide back in April. Is she representative? Clearly not.

    And, please, at least have the dignity of addressing me by name instead of dehumanizing me.

    Unless, of course, you’re doing it so you can “address” my post and those of others without directly acknowledging the bits that contradict you or are inconvenient to your position, like pointing out that your “source” about Silverman was biased.

    This is your leadership.

    No, it’s not. I’m the only one here who’s responded to that post, IIRC, and I’m not an MRA.

    IIRC, Hembling claimed to have become desensitized to rape due to feminist efforts (which usually gender rape as M>F), which is quite different from saying that it’s right to not care about rape. He said he was emotionally incapable of doing so.

    Incidentally, JTO is the EIC. Paul is still his boss.

    And still you slavishly hang onto every word they say and regurgitate it. It’s actually quite incredible to watch.

    I am literally asking you to prove that what he says is widely accepted among MRAs. Your response is to mock me, strawman me, say I’m an MRA (despite my direct and unambiguous claim otherwise), and say I and other MRAs agreeing with him (which I never said and do not say either), all without having the intellectual fortitude to do it directly.

    Here’s some other words from the same man: MRAs are “nearly universally despised”

    I wonder why…

    Given that you seem to be addressing some imaginary version of an MRA which actively contradicts objective evidence, one stuffed with straw, I’m willing to hazard a guess.

  149. says

    153 @ jcarr:

    Random injustices in India or Africa aren’t exactly relevant.

    Western Feminists were talking about the new Delhi rape case only months ago. Some even cheered the new, stricter laws over there, without realizing the male rape erasure thing.

    …I certainly hope they didn’t realize.

  150. jcarr says

    @carnation

    I’m curious if you could offer your thoughts on my hypothesis that men in abusive relationships with women need support that is different from women in abusive relationships with men?

    Yes and no. Human response to abuse and trauma is relatively universal. That’s why we see such amazing similarities in behavior between a female victim of constant sexual abuse from her father, a returning combat veteran, or a survivor of Hiroshima. In that sense, no, psychological treatment for both genders would be roughly consistent, modified for the context and circumstance.

    In terms of support, however, there are certainly differences, but these are generally a result of social norms that get in the way of honest appraisal of the situation. In this sense, it is better not to think of it as “different for men and women,” but rather think of it as situational. There is too much overlap to think of it otherwise.

    I can’t really get on board with your hypothesis because there are just too many variables that derail that idea. A good analogy, I think, would be to think of a bridge. We can paint it pink or blue, but regardless, the point of the bridge is to help us cross. In treatment, we start with an unadorned (i.e. gender-neutral) bridge, and then add extra support where and if we need, depending on the strength of the water flowing under it.

  151. jcarr says

    All I can say to you, Schala & SYABM, is that your assertions in this matter fly right in the face of my experiences of the last twenty years. I truly wish I could bring you down here to the clinic and watch the reactions of the therapeutic staff as you try to make these points. I can just imagine how well it would go over if you tried to insist that male victims of abuse aren’t coming forward because, you know, feminism.

    That’s like arguing that white victims of racism aren’t coming forward because, you know, civil rights advocates.

    I haven’t argued that feminism hasn’t had a negative influence in some respects. However, I reject the notion that it must bear the lion’s share of the blame, because the evidence and my own personal experiences in the field of abuse tell me otherwise.

  152. Sid says

    Anyone see this story from someone that tried to work inside rape crisis centers while advocating for male victims?

    “I was receiving threats of violence: they were going to burn my house down, hurt my babies, mess with my car so I would wreck. I don’t know who they were, the police never found that out.I received letters taped to my front door, where they called me a C___ and said that I was harboring men “who are the real offenders” and promoting “rape culture”. The tires on my car were slashed, and windows were broken.”

    http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/xolx3/iama_former_rape_crisis_advocate_who_provided/

  153. jcarr says

    To be clear, this comment of mine:

    I was referencing western society, as should have been clear. Random injustices in India or Africa aren’t exactly relevant.

    …should have read “aren’t exactly relevant TO THE POINT I WAS MAKING.” Three separate posters took issue with this comment and used it as a springboard for rhetoric and tangents. I thought it was clear what I meant, but obviously it won’t over a few heads.

    I’m also still trying to understand how I could write this:

    In traditionally conservative areas, like the deeply red states of the U.S., (which, I might add, are areas that tend to be hostile to feminism) the numbers of men seeking help for abuse are still abysmally low, but in other areas without excessive hostility to feminism there seems to be an increase.

    That’s a correlation, of course, not a causality, but it is certainly suggestive that feminism is NOT an impediment to men coming forward.

    …and get THIS as a response:

    Then the women’s group of India who pushed to keep the definition of rape as “a male raping a woman his his penis” (ie no female perpetrator possible, no male victims possible) were not feminist?

    There is a real disconnect in the dialogue, folks. Some of us just aren’t listening….

  154. says

    159 @ Jcarr:

    . I can just imagine how well it would go over if you tried to insist that male victims of abuse aren’t coming forward because, you know, feminism.

    I am asserting that male victims are discouraged from coming forward because of social standards around abuse which areperpetuated by feminism. Not created. I said so in 156.

    That’s like arguing that white victims of racism aren’t coming forward because, you know, civil rights advocates.

    Actually, many “anti-racists” now use a definition of racism that eliminates racism against white people (in the West) entirely, revolving around “institutionalized power+prejudice”. They tend to get real quiet when you point out all the countries where white people do not have institutionalized power, and real angry when you point out that no one uses their definition but them and a few sociologists.

    Naturally, some feminists use a similar definition of “sexism” that erases misandry. Their arguments in defense of it tend to be similarly illogical.

    Also, your argument would work a little better if you didn’t compare civil rights advocates (who actually worked towards equality for all, and whose most famous work, MLK’s Dream speech, literally says the end goal is equality for all) to a movement which advocates almost exclusively for the benefit of one group of people, and not only seeks to preserve that groups privileges, but often to create new ones.

    I haven’t argued that feminism hasn’t had a negative influence in some respects. However, I reject the notion that it must bear the lion’s share of the blame, because the evidence and my own personal experiences in the field of abuse tell me otherwise.

    I said feminism, all told, has resulted in harm to male abuse victims (by perpetuating society’s sexism around abuse) that is greater than what little good it may have done by “bringing attention to abuse”, your incredulity notwithstanding.

    If the majority of feminist efforts around abuse ignore or erase male victims – and they do – and reinforce the very gender roles that discourage men from coming forward – and they do – then any benefit to male victims is in spite of feminism, not because of it.

  155. carnation says

    I just literally “lol’d” at an MRA using an uncortoborated Subreddit as evidence of wrongdoing.

    Another day, another inane and ridiculous offering from an MRA. Priceless.

  156. jcarr says

    I said feminism, all told, has resulted in harm to male abuse victims (by perpetuating society’s sexism around abuse) that is greater than what little good it may have done by “bringing attention to abuse”

    Are you suggesting that men would have been better off under the status quo of the “old way,” in which abuse wasn’t even discussed, let alone treated? That abused men would be better off today had feminism never reared its head?

    … your incredulity notwithstanding.

    It is not incredulity, it is practical and personal experience as a professional who treats abuse victims, mostly children, but frequently adults of both genders as well. You really seem to want to overlook that. I’m not google-searching for links or tossing off opinions without foundation here, mate. Over twenty years working with abuse victims. On what basis do you draw your opinions about abuse?

    If the majority of feminist efforts around abuse ignore or erase male victims – and they do – and reinforce the very gender roles that discourage men from coming forward – and they do –

    It is in no way established that the MAJORITY of feminist efforts ignore or erase male victims, although that might certainly be your unsubstantiated opinion. There is no question that some feminists have done so, and that their focus is on women’s abuse (understandable), AND that society has cultural and social norms that marginalize male victims of female abuse, but there are far too many factors involved in this to lay primary blame at the feet of the entire feminist movement.

    then any benefit to male victims is in spite of feminism, not because of it.

    Feminism brought abuse to the fore, even if it was imperfect. Scapegoating feminism as a whole because of the misdeeds of a few is the same thing as blaming every Christian for the KKK.

    I hate to break this to some of you, but we don’t have a feminist cabal in our clinic that insists we dismiss male victims of abuse, and we don’t have a mindset that ignores men who are suffering. We help everybody. When men come in and say they don’t want their buddies to know about their wives kicking their butts, we don’t blame feminists. The faults of feminism are one cog in the overall machinery of social and cultural norms regarding abuse, not the direct cause.

  157. says

    There seems to be some talking in circles here. Is it a correct summary of the complaint that the mainstream feminist movement treats male victims of DV and rape like the LGBT community treats the trans community: They work for goals that may broadly benefit them and say supportive things, but will throw them under the bus for political expediency?

  158. Schala says

    They work for goals that may broadly benefit them and say supportive things, but will throw them under the bus for political expediency?

    If you add “every time it might even slightly hinder gender roles favoring women” I’m in.

  159. Tamen says

    @Jcarr:

    I know that the abstract of the paper Douglas, Emily M.; Hines, Denise A. (2011). The Helpseeking Experiences of Men Who Sustain Intimate Partner Violence: An Overlooked Population and Implications for Practice. Journal of Family Violence, 26(6), 473-485. has been linked earlier on this thread. Here is a link to the complete paper:
    http://www.clarku.edu/faculty/dhines/Douglas%20%20Hines%202011%20helpseeking%20experiences%20of%20male%20victims.pdf

    The sample was 302 US male victims of DV (physical assault by their female partner within the last year) who had sought outside assistance/support.

    As well as a link to a presentation (which sums up some of the findings) held by one of the authors Denise Hines on the 22nd Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science in May 2010: http://www.clarku.edu/faculty/dhines/APS%20Boston%20May%202010%20Male%20Victims%20and%20Media%20Portrayals.pdf

    Slide 24:
    23% of the sample had tried to seek help from a DV hotline.
    68.7% reported that the helpline was not at all helpful.

    The most common reasons given for the DV hotline not being helpful were:
    Said only helped women: 78.3%
    Referred to batterers’ program: 26.1%
    Gave phone # – turned out to be batterers’ program: 23.9%

    Slide 25:
    44% of the sample had tried to seek help from the local DV program.
    65.2% reported that the local DV program was not at all helpful.

    The most common reasons given for the local DV program not being helpful were:
    Gave impression that they were biased against men: 95.3%
    Said they don’t help male victims: 78.2%
    Suggested that he’s the batterer: 63.9%

    Slide 26:
    46% of the sample had tried to seek help from the police:
    56% reported that the police was not at all helpful.

    Here’s the breakdown of what the police did:
    Arrested no one: 49%
    Arrested helpseeker: 26%
    Arrested partner: 17%
    Arrested both: 8%

    Clearly there is a long way to go. It’s just appalling how many male victims reported that the DV services tried to refer them to batterers’ programs. And not to speak of the fact that if a male victim calls the police for help there is a 33% chance that he’ll be arrested.

    What I’d like to ask you jcarr is what do you think is the reason why so many helpseeking men report poor help from DV hotlines and llocal DV programs? What do you think are the main obstacles for more DV hotlines and local DV programs to change and become more helpful towards male victims? How would one go ahead to try to improve the services towards male victims?

  160. Sid says

    @Jcarr

    Can you prove your claims by showing us the sort of statistics and promotional information that the service you claim to work for proliferates?

    As it stands, all you are doing is repeatedly making claims that run contrary to a large body of credible evidence. If its true feminist victim advocacy outlets exist that do not promote the violence against women / woman as victim male as perpetrator model along with misleading statistics, you should be able to provide some evidence of it.

  161. Adiabat says

    Jcarr (138): “Agreed. Unfortunately there are far too many people like Sid that call it exactly that: a conspiracy.”

    I may be wrong and can’t be arsed to go back through the thread to confirm :), but wasn’t the term first used by a feminist on here attempting to discredit the position that feminism has contributed towards silencing discussion of Male DV victims?

    “Thank you for your response. You’ve summed up exactly what I’ve been arguing for two threads now. There are indeed instances of suppression and avoidance of important information, but as you say, It’s a cultural and social phenomenon that has become “institutionalized” rather than a widespread effort on the part of feminists in general”

    I don’t think we agree that much unfortunately. My view is that it is institutional and Feminism is a big part of that. Rather than the opposition towards recognising DV victims for the last 30 years being a secret cabal of plotting Feminists, it has instead been the result of a program of heavily biased research run along ideological lines, and a model of DV proposed and promoted by Feminists. This was very much part of the DV industry, and therefore the opposition was institutional rather than conspiratorial. I wouldn’tbe surprised that they believed in what they were doing, as that is part of what makes it institutional, rather than it being intentional. Unfortunately that doesn’t excuse it.

    I do agree that this has been achieved because it aligns with pre-existing cultural and social attitudes, what you may call “patriarchy”, but the people who have been reinforcing and adding to those patriarchal attitudes are feminists. Their support of “the patriarchy” is one reason why they have been so successful.

    And as nice as it is to hear about your own services, it is just one data point and I don’t think you can extrapolate that to all or even a majority of services, especially when the figures disagree with you.

  162. Sid says

    @Adibat

    re. “conspiracy”.

    I was using Jcarr term.

    He said thought it was more to do with society than “a wide feminist conspiracy” (referring to the 30 year cover up of domestic violence data in favor of patriarchy theory).

    I don’t call it a conspiracy myself, even though there most be both collusion and efforts to keep what happened it secret.

  163. Sid says

    edit

    re. “conspiracy”.

    I was using Jcarr”S term.

    THEY said THEY thought it was more to do with society than “a wide feminist conspiracy” (referring to the 30 year cover up of domestic violence data in favor of patriarchy theory).

    I don’t call it a conspiracy myself, even though there mUst HAVE beEN both collusion and efforts to keep it A secret.

  164. Adiabat says

    Sid: “I was using Jcarr”S term.”

    I thought it wasn’t you who first used the term. Bad move to copy them though; that’s the kind of thing that will be quote-mined to discredit you so they don’t have to answer all the studies etc you’ve been providing which show that they may be wrong in their views.

    “I don’t call it a conspiracy myself, even though there mUst HAVE beEN both collusion and efforts to keep it A secret.”

    The same effect could’ve been caused by them being so ‘deep’ into the ideology that they believed that any studies that contradict them must be wrong. The suppression could have come from an attempt not to “confuse” the issue by, you know, allowing any alternative viewpoint. After all, from their point of view, it was obvious that there view of the situation was The Correct One.

    Therefore it could be caused by being blinded by ideology rather than genuine collusion. Not that that excuses them of course.

  165. Sid says

    @Adibat

    I’m sure you are correct and some were not consciously covering up abuse and they were being driven by ideological, misandric and traditionalist beliefs that it was largely gendered. it would be a stretch to say all.

    For anyone’s that interested, here is what it looked like in the past, prior to feminism’s involvement in policy, data connection and training law enforcement and judges.

    http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.ie/search/label/Domestic%20Violence

  166. Adiabat says

    Sid: “For anyone’s that interested, here is what it looked like in the past, prior to feminism’s involvement in policy, data connection and training law enforcement and judges.

    http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.ie/search/label/Domestic%20Violence

    Also check out the centuries old custom of Charivari. Essentially wife-beaters were forced out of the village through social disapproval.

    Women who battered husbands were also shamed, read the section of ‘Riding the Stang’. In this regard we have actually gone backwards.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charivari

    “Shivaree has been practised in much of the United States, but it was most frequent on the frontier, where communities were small and more formal enforcement was lacking. It was documented into the early 20th century, but was thought to have mostly died out by mid century.”

    This stuff certainly puts to rest many of the false feminist claims about how people thought about DV “before feminism sorted it all out”. Lying about history seems to be a big problem for feminism.

  167. says

    @JCarr

    Are you suggesting that men would have been better off under the status quo of the “old way,” in which abuse wasn’t even discussed, let alone treated? That abused men would be better off today had feminism never reared its head?

    Yes, I am saying that the general situation for men would’ve been better if not for feminism. As I pointed out, before, they were largely ignored. Now, they’re actively punished, under the assumption that they’re the primary abuser. That is, legally, instead of the occasional lynch mob.

    It is not incredulity, it is practical and personal experience as a professional who treats abuse victims, mostly children, but frequently adults of both genders as well.

    Personal experience is generally useless in assessing societal-level trends.

    You really seem to want to overlook that.

    Yes, because it’s worth very little when assessing a general societal trend. Which you, in turn, keep overlooking.

    I’m not google-searching for links or tossing off opinions without foundation here, mate.

    No, you’re repeatedly gainsaying the evidence-supported opinions of myself and others based on nothing more than “personal experience”, . Curiously enough, I don’t think you’ve ever explained how you know, with such assurance, that these men are more likely to come forward in response to things feminism has done.

    Over twenty years working with abuse victims. On what basis do you draw your opinions about abuse?

    Actual evidence of societal level trends, which I and Tamen have provided actual sources for. You, by contrast, seem to be basing your opinions on your personal experience and nothing else. Which is a tad bit odd; see below.

    It is in no way established that the MAJORITY of feminist efforts ignore or erase male victims, although that might certainly be your unsubstantiated opinion.

    That’s not quite saying I’m wrong, I note. Please, prove that the majority of feminist discussions about abuse address male victims.

    There is no question that some feminists have done so, and that their focus is on women’s abuse (understandable), AND that society has cultural and social norms that marginalize male victims of female abuse, but there are far too many factors involved in this to lay primary blame at the feet of the entire feminist movement.

    Which I have literally never done, as I have said time and time again. I said feminism is perpetuating said societal standards. I literally said so in the post you are quoting. I also said that I had already said so.

    Given your repeated use of that and other straw men, even in the face of direct contradiction, I can no longer argue in good faith with you. I’m done, after this post.

    Feminism brought abuse to the fore, even if it was imperfect.

    Imperfect in that it basically ignored all other abuse but M>F. Just look at the highly-popular Duluth Model, for pete’s sake. They openly admit to doing so in the FAQ on their website.

    Scapegoating feminism as a whole because of the misdeeds of a few is the same thing as blaming every Christian for the KKK.

    You have provided no evidence that only “a few” feminists are perpetuating these mores, and, gosh, that would be well outside of the scope for your 20 years of experience, given that DV became a major concern of the feminist movement about 40 years ago. And given that there are thousands of shelters in the US and Canada, your personal experience has even less probative value in a discussion about societal trends. In fact, most, if not all of the claims you make about feminism in general cannot be supported by your personal experience in DV.

    Either you’re speaking generally, in which case your personal experience is just anecdata, or you’re speaking about your experience, in which case you have no basis on which to contest assertions about feminism in general.

    Why are you trying another simile, when your last one failed so dismally? As I pointed out, feminism has always been primarily in favor of women. The bulk of the actions of feminists in the realm of domestic violence have been to benefit female victims and, even if inadvertently, further marginalize men. Not once have you asserted that feminism directly helps men, and I suspect you would be hard-pressed to provide even a single significant example of a feminist initiative mainly or even equally to address “violence against women men”. Also, the sacred text of Christianity basically says “don’t be racist” while the most referenced tomes by feminists repeatedly gender oppression as something men, in the form of “the Patriarchy”, do.

    I hate to break this to some of you, but we don’t have a feminist cabal in our clinic that insists we dismiss male victims of abuse, and we don’t have a mindset that ignores men who are suffering. We help everybody. When men come in and say they don’t want their buddies to know about their wives kicking their butts, we don’t blame feminists.

    Composition fallacy. “Well, my clinic isn’t influenced by feminists to ignore men, as far as I know, so any trend in the system to do so can’t be the fault of feminists.”

    The faults of feminism are one cog in the overall machinery of social and cultural norms regarding abuse, not the direct cause.

    Your needless sarcasm/straw man aside, then it’s a whacking great cog, what with them pushing for the Violence Against Women act and all, which was originally based on the highly biased Duluth model. That, and similar laws and policies in other countries. The dominant voice on domestic violence issues in western culture are feminists. Also;

    http://www.onebillionrising.org/pages/about-one-billion-rising
    http://manupcampaign.org/
    http://thefeministwire.com/2013/03/feminist-anxiety-about-domestic-violence-against-men/ Even some feminists are admitting feminists are biased.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/jackson_katz_violence_against_women_it_s_a_men_s_issue.html? Katz is clearly gendering violence as something inherently male, with a focus on female victims, barring extremely tokenist mentions of other victim-perp combinations. This is a TED talk, for pete’s sake, meaning he was considered enough of an authority on the subject to speak in front of the whole world.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHkGZvC0z4I

    You can literally Google or Bing or Yahoo! or whatever for feminism and domestic violence and most results are going to refer to it as violence against women. Look for talks by feminists.

    You asserted, originally, that men are coming forward about their abuse because of feminism. Then you backpedalled to “feminism isn’t actively impeding them”. Then you backpedalled even farther to “it’s the Patriarchy’s fault if feminism is imperfect”, with a refrain of “I am right because of my experience” (Anecdata fallacy).

  168. says

    >Please, prove that the majority of feminist discussions about abuse address male victims.

    Correction: “majority of feminist discussions and/or efforts” about abuse”. This is an entirely rhetorical question, given that I’ve left the discussion, but others might benefit.

    > I can no longer argue in good faith with you.

    Correction: I can no longer argue under the assumption that you are being intellectually honest. I do in fact believe you have good intent, but are biased.

  169. says

    PS: Erin Pizzey, who was mentioned elsewhere in these comments, has claimed that the domestic violence industry is dominated by feminists, and erases male victims.

    She has forty years of experience.

    You’ve got twenty.

    Here’s your petard.

  170. Neb says

    “I’ve long abandoned arguing about the exact proportions and numbers of male and female victims or the nonsensical concept of symmetry.”
    Wait… Why is the concept of symmetry nonsensical? Partner A abuses partner B causing partner B to abuse partner A. Partner C does not abuse partner D so partner C is not abused by partner D.
    Nonsensical? Even if there are such relationships where partner C is abused by partner D without having been abused by partner D, the reciprocal scenario is probably far more common. Why is it nonsense?

    Sometimes all it takes is one sentence to expose an author who doesn’t know what he is talking about and doesn’t have the reader’s best interest in mind.

  171. edrowland says

    I can’t express how much it means to me, as a man, to see these kinds of opinions being advanced in a public forum, in a calm and reasoned manner.

    I went through a difficult divorce about fifteen years ago. We were both fortunate enough to be very successful in our careers. And I had actually left a job of lifetime to move to another city, and stayed at home with our very young children so that she could take advantage of an excellent career opportunity. (In Canada, about 15% of males in my generation have done that for at least part of their lives).

    Having grown up with, and lived the principles of gender equality, the biases and prejudices of the family law system came as a complete surprise to me. The implicit assumption that men aren’t really interested in (or capable of) raising children was, at the time, a firmly entrenched principle of family law. And, after having been a stay-at-home father, the constant assumption that men don’t really want to see their children any more often than every other Wednesday was… soul crushing is the only way I can describe it.

    The months that followed, while we tried to work out a reasonable separation agreement were the worst months of my life.

    Interestingly, I don’t think I could have survived had it not been for the fact that I discovered an online divorce support group, consisting pretty much exclusively of women, that welcomed me, and kept me sane, acted as a sounding board, and made me laugh when I needed it most during a very difficult time.

    Had I stumbled upon a male support group instead, I think the experience would have been completely different. Horrifying stories. An atmosphere of complete powerlessness. And a constant undertone of anger — much of it justified, I think — but one always the uneasy feeling that anger of the worst kind may be lurking very near the surface. Just not a healthy place to be when one is under enormous personal stress.

    I do want to make it clear that I was one of the very lucky ones. A miraculous last-minute reversal, a complete act of mercy, allowed me to participate pretty much equally in the raising of my two beautiful children who are both off at university these days. I’ve never actually asked my ex what made her completely change her mind.

    However, the stories I have heard from other men in similar situations… oh the stories I have heard.

    I just wanted to share a bit of why this subject resonates personally with me. And I just wanted to say thank you.

  172. Lucy says

    @Schala

    “Over many years where? Radfemhub? Iblamethepatriarchy? gendertrender?”

    British, American, Middle Eastern, S.E. Asian press and media comment sections and social media networks mainly.

    Where are these justifyably angry men winning the DV day? Can somebody point me in their direction?

  173. Sid says

    Lucy@183

    Where are these justifyably angry men winning the DV day? Can somebody point me in their direction?

    We have been in comments sections of news paper articles blogging and all over the internet publishing the truth for years now. The internet works like a 24/7 street protest for men telling the truth about DV, comments sections of mainstream news paper work like banners. And the story is slowly getting though to the masses.

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