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Sep 20 2013

Nagging: No laughing matter

NORMAN: THE MOST NAGGED MAN IN BRITAIN

So runs the headline on The Sun’s front page this morning. It refers to a court judgement in which Julie Griffiths of Staffordshire has been spared jail for breaking the terms of her anti-social behaviour order imposed last December for shouting and screaming at her husband at such volumes that it persistently disturbs the neighbours.

The story goes back to 1999 when she was first served with a noise abatement order. She was fined £500 when she breached it  in 2010. Environmental health officers installed monitoring equipment in a neighbour’s home in July last year.She then breached the noise abatement order 47 times between July 4 and October 22, 2012. Last December magistrates imposed a five-year ASBO after she pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of the notice. Since then Griffiths, the court heard, has continued to disturb her street with shouting, swearing and slamming doors while berating her husband Norman, 63.

A Daily Mail report, from the time of the Asbo last December, said:

Neighbours yesterday said living next door to Griffiths had ‘been hell.’ One, who did not want to be named, said: ‘Everyone in the street is sick to the back teeth of her. ‘Everyone just feels so sorry for her husband Norman who is the sweetest man you could ever meet.  ‘He must have the patience of a saint.’

According to the Daily Mail today Councillor John Williams, cabinet member for stronger neighbourhoods, said: ‘Ms Griffiths’s neighbours continue to suffer from her dreadful behaviour despite the Anti-Social Behaviour Order but we will do all we can to see that action is taken to stop it happening in future.

Now I can’t be the only person to be rather disturbed by the reporting of this. Her repeated offence is annoying the neighbours, as if they are the primary victims here, The case is being treated identically to someone who insists on playing Metallica CDs at full volume, morning and night. But she is not just making noise. She is, by all accounts, persisting in severe and persistent verbal partner abuse. It would appear to be textbook coercive-controlling abuse, by any of the definitions of domestic violence applied by all agencies,

Now it could well be that her husband has no wish to take any steps himself to change her behaviour or find any kind of protection or relief from her bullying. That is entirely his right, and if he does not want to do anything about it I would not for a moment advocate prosecuting her for domestic abuse or seeking to break up the household.

However I do take exception to the language and vocabulary used to recount the sordid story. Not only does the word ‘nagging’ have an ugly history as a misogynistic slur, it would appear to be grossly inaccurate description of what is happening here. Nagging is when you tell someone to take the bins out, they don’t do it, so you keep at them until they do. Nagging is not yelling, screaming and banging doors so loudly that the council noise abatement team repeatedly prosecute you.

it has taken us a long, long time to lose the euphemisms attached to domestic violence. Police, for the most part, do not dismiss partner assaults as “just a domestic” (or not publicly, at least.)  We no longer talk about an abusive husband as having a “strong hand” or a male victim as a “henpecked husband.”

It’s more than high time that we dropped this particular N-word too.

 

44 comments

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  1. 1
    johngreg

    Well, yes and no.

    We all need to be careful in proscribing individual words, lest we end up moving into Room 101.

    Words, unto and by themselves, do not really contain any power. We, the users, bequeath power to words through our imagination; our connotative and denotative prescriptions. If anything in the world of diction contains power it’s context, intent, and general usage.

    Perhaps it would be more effective, or accurate, to focus on usage. I mean, people do nag each other; wives nag husbands; husbands nag wives; parents nag kids; kids nag each other, etc., etc., etc. Let’s just be more aware about accuracy in usage in diction. And of course, accuracy in diction, while once a primary focus of journalism, has long since been sunk and abandoned in the drive to editorial demand for instant content, and executive demand for circulation, profit, and the CEO’s latest Rolls reno.

  2. 2
    abear

    Are we going to ban words like “nag” out of political correctness? Unlike “bitch” nag is gender neutral and refers to an old or useless horse.
    According to your post some time ago on baby boomers you don’t find ageism to be wrong so that can’t be the reason.
    Why should nag be banned?

  3. 3
    Ally Fogg

    No, even if I had the power to ban words, which would put me in a very strange position, I have absolutely no wish to do so.

    But it is reasonable to argue where and when I believe a word is the appropriate one to use.

  4. 4
    johngreg

    “But it is reasonable to argue where and when I believe a word is the appropriate one to use.”

    Absolutely. I wouldn’t say otherwise.

  5. 5
    Ginkgo

    “Not only does the word ‘nagging’ have an ugly history as a misogynistic slur,”

    Nagging is passive-aggressive behavior. The real problelm is not only the term amounts to misogyny, but why that is – that passive-aggressive behavior is assciated with the traditional femininity, which is one of several thinngs that are toxic about it btw, perhaps because it is tolerated in women perhaps more than men. (I am quite aware that this is entirely a matter of culture. In some cultures the men are horrifically passive -aggressive. The British tolerance for sarcasm comes to mind.)

    The reality the term describe it isat least as unacceptable as the tem to describe it is.

    I still agree with you that “nagging” is an unacceptable term. The right term will stigmatize the underhanded, sneaky nature of the behavior.

    “Nagging is not yelling, screaming and banging doors so loudly that the council noise abatement team repeatedly prosecute you.”

    Yeah. It trivializes the behavior.

    This women is what Erin Pizzey calls an emotional terrorist.

    By the way, this kind of emotional terror is part of the stereotype of the tyrannical patriarch, and that stereotype exists for a reason. It would be an interesting study to look for thrends across generations as tot how this behavior is gendered. But that’s really a side issue, because I don’t really think gender determines who become an emotional terroist, I think it varies by childhood. What’s interesting and gendered is the response – he legal, social, insitutional repsonse to this behavior.

  6. 6
    Paul

    Ally

    The word ” nagging” doesn’t even begin to describe what this woman put her husband through. And as you say her main offence was the effect her behaviour had on the neighbours rather than her husband because i’m assuming he didn’t complain . So why didn’t he complain ? Did he think he wouldn’t be taken seriously if he did ?And supposing after years of abuse he’d snapped and either killed or seriously injured her ?. How would the case have been reported then? This case raises a number of issues.

    I’m not sure i agree about dropping this particular N word but i do agree that context is all important. And whilst the language that’s used to describe acts of domestic violence is now more likely to reflect the seriousness of the crime than was once the case i still think that male victims don’t get taken as seriously as female victims. Which probably explains why the case of Julie Griffiths and her husband was reported in the way it was.

    .

  7. 7
    peicurmudgeon

    I was ‘nagged’ for the 16 years by my then wife. It took me that long to recognize that what was happening was actually verbal and emotional abuse. Afterwards I had friends and family ask why I stayed for so long. Simple answer – it wasn’t until I changed jobs and got some external validation that I realized I I even had options. Nagging? Not even close.

    I have, since then, really resented the terms henpecked and nagging. They are just a way of demeaning abused men.

  8. 8
    mildlymagnificent

    You’re right. Nagging is about passive-aggressive, relentless “dripping tap” behaviour. The sort of thing that casual observers might not even notice with some people, it’s the repetition and the persistence that turns asking/ telling/ demanding into nagging. And even casual observers can see the difference when asking/ demanding/ nagging is becoming overt bad temper or a “blow-up”.

    This woman isn’t a nag. Emotional terrorist is a good description, I’d forgotten that expression. The very first thing that struck me about this story is how differently people, and police, would have regarded the exact same behaviour from a man. The neighbours say he’s a saint. The other way around they’d be saying she must be terrified of him. There’s no way for any of us to know whether he is or isn’t a saint nor whether he’s scared at all. But this is not, and never was, a matter of personal relationships or communication styles that many people would go to a therapist to “find better ways” to relate to each other. It’s about someone with no regard for any civilised standards of household or any other behaviour. Let’s face it. If even the suggestion came to me of a complaint to police about our family’s behaviour disturbing the neighbourhood – again – I’d be mortified. As would most people.

    I’m not sure what anyone can do about her behaviour if she’s continuing to breach the ASBO. But one thing the media can do is not to trivialise it. It’s not personal, it’s not private /intimate, it’s not nagging. It’s terrible.

  9. 9
    mildlymagnificent

    peicurmudgeon. Sorry, I didn’t refresh before hitting the button.

    You’re right. Nagging and related manipulative behaviours can be soul sucking abuse in their own right. The “nagging” word should be reserved for parents of untidy, homework-avoiding children and teenagers – and bins.

  10. 10
    Ally Fogg

    thanks for the comments everyone. Glad it’s not just me.

  11. 11
    kacyray

    However I do take exception to the language and vocabulary used to recount the sordid story.

    The case is being treated identically to someone who insists on playing Metallica CDs at full volume, morning and night. But she is not just making noise. She is, by all accounts, persisting in severe and persistent verbal partner abuse. It would appear to be textbook coercive-controlling abuse, by any of the definitions of domestic violence applied by all agencies,

    Yes yes yes!

    It’s more than high time that we dropped this particular N-word too.

    No no no!

    It’s simply not the case that every gender-particular euphemism is misogynistic (or misandric, or what-have-you). My wife routinely says stuff like “I’m gonna nag you until you do it!”. Unless you want to argue that my wife hates herself and all other women, this is pretty clear evidence that the term is used lightheartedly and playfully at least as often as it’s used maliciously. This means it’s no different than just about any other word in the language.

    Would you agree that there is such a thing as oversensitivity where language is concerned? In other words, would you believe there is a reasonable limit to just how delicate we should reasonably be expected to be when we’re engaged in casual conversation?

    If so, what would you say the limit markers are? How much effort should one reasonably be expect to expend in the endless quest to never offend a single soul whenever they open their mouths?

    (I can’t preview this so I hope my tags are correct)

  12. 12
    mildlymagnificent

    kacyray.

    What I, and I think Ally too, want to say is that the word “nagging” is only appropriate for the sort of thing you’re talking about and my reference to nagging children.

    Using that same word to describe behaviour that is so completely outside normal family and social interaction as to attract an ASBO – and then to frequently repeat the behaviour in breach of the ASBO – trivialises what this woman is doing. It also trivialises the effects on her family and her neighbours. She’s not a nag. She’s a walking blight on the lives of all within earshot.

  13. 13
    kacyray

    What I, and I think Ally too, want to say is that the word “nagging” is only appropriate for the sort of thing you’re talking about and my reference to nagging children.

    See, thing is… I agree with what you’re saying. But I don’t think that’s what Ally was saying. I think he was suggesting that that, like the word “nigger”, the word “nag” has no legitimate slang usage. What worse, I think that by calling it another “N-word”, he was suggesting that it is comparably destructive and damaging.

    If i was wrong… my bad. If i was right though… I would suggest that the word “nag” is relatively innocuous. Particularly compared to “the other N-word”.

    Using that same word to describe behaviour that is so completely outside normal family and social interaction as to attract an ASBO – and then to frequently repeat the behaviour in breach of the ASBO – trivialises what this woman is doing. It also trivialises the effects on her family and her neighbours. She’s not a nag. She’s a walking blight on the lives of all within earshot.

    Absolutely correct.

    I hate screaming. People who scream, I mean. I hate it in movies. I hate it in real life. There are a few good reasons to scream, but very few. But screaming just to scream… I hate that so bad that words cannot describe it. If someone screams while I am driving, I will pull over and invite them to get out of the car. I will not tolerate screaming in any realm I control.

    With that said… it sounds like this woman is a bit of a tortured soul. Anyone who screams that much cannot be anything short of miserable 100% of the time. I can’t help but imagine the hell that her life must be. Screaming is energy-intensive. It’s not fun. It makes people not like you. It’s a social dysfunction. There’s nothing positive about it. It’s indicative of a dysfunctional life. This woman’s life must be hell on earth.

    Just looking at her picture… good lord. She looks like one of the most miserable people I’ve ever seen. I actually feel bad for the poor miserable wretch. Still, I would not put up with that sort of nonsense for one second.

  14. 14
    carnation

    This is clearly a dysfunctional and destructive relationship. Across the road from me is an almost identical arrangement, except sometimes I hear tearful female words back (in a foreign language). On several occasions the police have came to my door asking if I heard a disturbance, I assumed there had been violence, but perhaps it’s a noise issue instead/additionally.

    I have commented before that the only way of reducing relationships like these ones is through education.

    What does a controlling person look like? What is abuse? What motivates the aggressor? Why do victims stay?

    I am a firm believer that most abusive personalities are deeply miserable individuals. No excuse, but I further believe that some want help. This woman has an abusive personality. Her husband should be supported.

    Here’s a very interesting story of domestic abuse and redemption:

    http://www.asafeworldforwomen.org/global-news/europe/uk/138-janeygodley.html

  15. 15
    carnation

    Just re-read my comment, it sounds like I’m saying “Norman” needs help for his abusive personality – that’s the opposite of what I believe.

  16. 16
    abear

    In the good old days before the patriarchy was under attack Norman would have had a remedy of sorts.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scold%27s_bridle

  17. 17
    Paul

    @abear

    Personally i think it would have proved to be more effective if Julie Griffiths had been given a spell on the ducking stool rather than an asbo. And would have saved a lot more money as well.

    http://bernews.com/2010/05/ubp-senator-dunked-for-nagging-in-st-georges/

  18. 18
    RainbowSlushie^.^

    The case is being treated identically to someone who insists on playing Metallica CDs at full volume, morning and night

    Oh god, not one of those people (rolleyes) =/

  19. 19
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    kacyray #13

    I don’t think that was what Ally was saying in the OP, particularly as clarified in post #3. Incorrect usage (such as the hyper-understatement portrayed by the Sun), as well as usage laden with misogynist baggage or direct misogyny, should be avoided and corrected or called out for what it is.

  20. 20
    Adiabat

    A quick google search has resulted in zero domestic violence shelters in all of Staffordshire that will accept men. There’s a men’s helpline that will ‘signpost you to services from other providers in your area’ yet I can’t find any services offered to men by any other providers at all; I dread what to think the advice will be for any man calling this helpline. Oh and the men’s helpline is only open every Tuesday from 4.30pm-6.30pm. Very useful. (The women’s DV helpline seems to be open 24hrs 7 days a week)

    Staffordshire borough councils’ website spouts the lie spread by ideological researchers for the last 30 years that “the vast majority of cases involve violence from men to women”. We’ve discussed here before Ally that the figures we have indicate that it is much more equal than that. Not that there seems much of a will to even find out how many men suffer from Domestic Violence; we’ve covered the Scottish Governments commissioning of a study (the Gadd study) to discredit the idea of male victims because they ‘didn’t want to provide funding for Male Victims’.

    Shelter advises men in the area who are suffering abuse to ‘talk it over’ because they only provide shelter to women and children.

    The Staffordshire Family Services directory points out the helpline and a ‘face-to-face’ service which seems to do no more than the helpline due to no actual services been offered in the area. At least they can offer a hug I guess. In fact most of the page detailing DV services for men in the Staffordshire area is taken up by a “Male Prevention Programme” where men seeking help are told to “Recognise your abusive actions and behaviours affect the whole family”.

    It’s sad to think that if Norman was to seek help from those that provide DV support in Staffordshire there’s a good chance he’ll first be told that he needs to ‘recognise his abusive actions’ and that he should ‘talk it over’ with his wife – while she’s free to scream at him of course. The actual help he’ll receive is negligible.

  21. 21
    Ginkgo

    carnation @ – “This is clearly a dysfunctional and destructive relationship. Across the road from me is an almost identical arrangement, except sometimes I hear tearful female words back (in a foreign language). On several occasions the police have came to my door asking if I heard a disturbance, I assumed there had been violence, but perhaps it’s a noise issue instead/additionally.”

    This absolutely sounds like the same thing. As I said, “By the way, this kind of emotional terror is part of the stereotype of the tyrannical patriarch, and that stereotype exists for a reason.”

    Note how in both cases the abuser counts on the victim’s isolation, of one kind or another.

    carnation @ 15 – No, you were clear the first time and it didn’t sound like victim-blaming at all.

    “This woman has an abusive personality. Her husband should be supported.”

    But part of that support is counseling to get him to stop making himslef available for this abuse. As Adiabat points out, he has almost no resources to fall back on, but there may still be things he may be able to do. Abusers can’t abuse without victims. I at this distance have no idea what those might be though.

  22. 22
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    Good research. It indicates a dire need for credible, robust, reliable and energetic advocates to address this issue.

    It is truly a pity that none exist at present.

  23. 23
    Lucy

    It’s pretty soul destroying and emotionally exhausting having to cojole a passive person too. I used to have a boyfriend who was practically inert, I did plenty of door slamming and shouting I can tell you. Interspersed with talking, listening, encouraging, ignoring, resigning, apologising, agonising, detaching, trying, crying, diary writing, confiding, researching, running, standing, thinking, leaving. I think it’s emotionally abusive to be passive in a relationship.

  24. 24
    carnation

    @ 23

    Personally, I really don’t understand why anyone would persevere with the vast majority of relationships. As a singleton, I have more friends, activities, space, sexual partners, sex and holidays than (most of) my married/attached friends. Relationships and monogamy are just another two cultural norms I deconstructed and rejected, along with patriarchal attitudes, whilst at university.

    On a more serious note, Lucy, I disagree absolutely with your comment. Your behaviour was overtly aggressive and unacceptable. Inertia is many things, but it won’t frighten a person deliberately.

  25. 25
    Ginkgo

    Lucy @ 23 – Inertia? Who was the one failing to communicate there? Who was it really who wasn’t listening? It seems to me his inertia was saying volumes. Apparently you just chose not to respect that.

    And it’s interesting that you spin his behavior as abusive to excuse yours.

    You sound as if you felt he was failing in some kind of obligation to you, that you were entitled to have him be a certain way and to behave a certain way.

  26. 26
    B-Lar

    Lucy,

    I agree with you in the sense that extreme passiveness is a kind of abuse (emotional negligence?), but responding to that with behaviour as you describe doesn’t address the underlying problem or consider the nuance of the situation. Consider the possibility that disengaging can be a defence mechanism* – It provides a comforting illusion of control in a situation where the optimal move is difficult to discern, or if there is a danger that responding in the moment would have bad results. If this was true for your partner, then your behaviour could be making him even more passive in a mighty negative feedback loop.

    Talk about it. If you don’t reach agreement, then asses whether you are being fulfilled by the relationship as it stands. If so, then you have to find your own way of dealing with it (but you cant expect the other to change if they still think that they are entitled to behave in such a way – this is true for both sides), but if not, then leave and find someone who cares and engages to the level you require to be satisfied.

    *I do this, because the alternative is snapping. When I snap, I become incredibly erratic and potentially dangerous. I must not permit myself to snap.

  27. 27
    Adiabat

    Carnation (22): I don’t know about specifically Staffordshire but there are a few national organisations that would fit the description you gave. I believe we’ve discussed AMIS before for example.

    Even if there weren’t any orgs like this we have the Equality Duty which requires existing DV organisations to provide services for men. What is really needed is for this to be enforced. Because it isn’t we’re seeing is groups such as Women’s Aid spreading misinformation about male victims, in effect abusing them all over again just to avoid fulfilling their obligations, and groups, such as Staffordshire borough council, who think that a helpline that is open for just 2 hours a week at a very strange time is sufficient to meet their obligations. There’s also Refuge that screens male victims calling their helpline with the aim of redefining them as perpetrators, something they don’t do for female victims. Enforce the equality duty and these issues should go away and men should get the services they need.

    These problems aren’t persisting due to a lack of groups that are trying to solve them, but because they are going up against existing ideological behemoths that have cornered the area of DV and whose interests seem directly opposed to helping male victims. These behemoths can also rely upon a seemingly inexhaustible supply of internet gender-warriors to denigrate and attack anyone who tries to raise men’s issues.

    I suppose we should also be asking why existing movements that claim to care about equality, movements that have experience in campaigning for DV services, aren’t doing anything about it. This is about as close as you can get to a modern equality issue yet all we get is silence. Why do you think that is?

  28. 28
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    Why do I think that is? Because they don’t accept that the problems are comparable? You would need to ask them. Of course, since you argued that Women’s Aid “abuses men” they might dismiss you as a tinfoil hat wearing buffoon.

    If you and some others started a service that was utilised by abused men and then applied for stste hekp, you would most likely find yourself listened to.

  29. 29
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    I strongly suggest you research the terms and conditions of setting up a charity and which orgs are covered by the equality duty act.

  30. 30
    Adiabat

    carnation: In the areas where Women’s Aid are performing a public function, and receive funding from the public purse, they’ll be covered by the Equality Duty. This includes much of the DV support provision.

    In practice, because of lack of enforcement, Women’s Aid are taking two tactics to avoid having to help men. One tactic involves trying to claim that, even though they receive public money their services are not a ‘public function’. If they are right then I don’t see why they should get public money to do it. The other tactic involves taking advantage of clauses allowing single sex services such as “a women-only support unit for women who have experienced domestic or sexual violence can be set up, even if there is no parallel men-only unit because of insufficient demand” (http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/advice-and-guidance/public-sector-equality-duty/faqs-on-the-equality-duty/). They take advantage of these clauses by spreading misinformation about the extent and needs of male victims of DV. It is unlikely that this misinformation is accidental, or an honest mistake, but instead is a concerted attempt to justify providing little or no services to male victims. And of course other organizations affected by the duty such as local councils, who aren’t “experts” on DV, look to Women’s Aid for advice and accept the stats as valid without looking further into it. This magnifies the harm they are doing to male victims (and should also be seen as a failure to adhere to the equality duty by the council).

    How do you describe behavior from someone who knows that people need help but instead does all they can to prevent the fact that they need help to be recognized? I consider that behaviour to be abusive towards victims in the same vein as the criminal justice systems treatment of rape victims is often called a “second rape ” by feminists. I suppose we can debate the applicability of the word if you wish, but no-one can deny that it’s a shitty, even evil, thing to do.

    If you and some others started a service that was utilised by abused men and then applied for stste hekp, you would most likely find yourself listened to.

    Like I said, we don’t need new organisations to set these up, we just need to enforce the obligations that existing organisations have. These orgs are free to refuse public, taxpayer money if they insist on not providing services they would be obliged to provide. That money can then be freed up to fund organisations that want to set up these services.

  31. 31
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    Has what you claim been confirmed by legal experts, or is it your opinion!

    My understanding is that charities can be set up for basically any cause. If I decided to set up SSPAF to raise money in Scotland for grizzled Scottish journos and bloggers in need of farm fresh Irn Bru whilst living the wrong side of the border, I could. You can’t force a charity to change its mission statement.

    You are indulging in fantastical theorising. Real world activism will help, armchair lawyer dramstics won’t.

    (hopefully no grizzled Scotch Guardian journos living in London were hurt by this comnent).

  32. 32
    Ginkgo

    Adiabat @ 30 -”Like I said, we don’t need new organisations to set these up, we just need to enforce the obligations that existing organisations have”

    Let me jump in here and back carnation up – the way you get existing organizations to straighten up and fly right is the threat of repalcement by new organizations that are doing that already. Competition gets people’s attention like nothing else.

    And even public orgnaizations compete. Government agencies contend constantly over mission areas – “turf wars’ – and publicly-funded entities contend for funding. Where there is a fix in – personal networking, etc. – you can easily expose that, and it’s amazing how even one scandal will get a whole community to lcean up.

    There is an old saying – “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”. That’s a form of activism that catches on and spreads quickly. Everyone wants to beleive the worst of people in power already anyway.

  33. 33
    Adiabat

    Carnation (31):

    Has what you claim been confirmed by legal experts, or is it your opinion!

    From our good friend Dempsey (2013), of the School of Law at Dundee university:

    While it is unclear to what extent the statutory Equality Duty will impact on charities there are at least two possible routes through which the Duty can impact private bodies in a legal or regulatory manner. The first is the effect of s.149(2) of the Equality Act 2010 (see below) which requires bodies which are not public authorities but who exercise public functions to have regard to the Duty

    As for your “understanding is that charities can be set up for basically any cause” you are right. The exception is when they start taking public money to perform public functions, then the Equality Duty would apply to them. But you’re right that the extent that charities will be affected is still being looked at. The link in my last post from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the organisation that enforces the duty, seems pretty definite that it does affect organisations such as charities that perform public functions with public money.

    But, unlikely as it is, let’s say that it’s found that charities receiving public money to do public functions don’t have to care about equality, you’re forgetting that the ones dishing out the money do have to. As Women Aid do not comply with the equality duty local councils and government bodies will be unable to provide funding to them (if, as I’ve argued, the Duty was properly enforced):

    The second and, for the time being more certain, route is through the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): OSCR is subject to the Equality Duty as it is a public body and, whether or not charities themselves are subject to the duty, the duty will impact on all charities registered with OSCR through the requirements imposed on individual charities by OSCR’s regulatory regime (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator 2012).

    (England and Wales have their own body similar to the OSCR, and the local government who dish out money also are covered by this.) Unless, and here’s the kicker, unless Women’s Aid spread misinformation about about the extent and needs of male victims of DV. Then the public bodies who fail to check their sources can use the same exception I described before. In order to keep their slice of the pie Women’s Aid seems willing to perpetuate the abuse of victimized men all over the country.

    I’m surprised any of this is news to you, doing what you do. Surely you’ve seen the reports in the news media and in the field generally about these charities and how they’re panicking about this duty?

    P.S Out of curiosity why do you instantly jump to these insults whenever someone says something you disagree with? We’ve had a few productive discussions on here in a few threads and by now I’d think you’ve learnt that I’m not just making stuff up. We just disagree is all, yet the insults still come.

  34. 34
    carnation

    @ Gingko

    I agree wholeheartedly and would support any organisation providing direct, client facing services to DV victims snd related education programmes. I would not donate to a charity that did this whilst pursuing pointless policy lobbying (thinking of WA’s interest in prnography). For the same reason I would not support an org linked to The Spearhead, for example. I would support AMIS.

    Adiabat, please, a single legal opinion will change nothing unless it is someone charged with changing a law. You

  35. 35
    Ginkgo

    @ carnation – Spearhead? The reason you give and a load of others.

  36. 36
    carnation

    @ Gingko

    Or Elam, his blog or associated blogs. I include in that Erin Pizzey.

  37. 37
    Lucy

    God save me from the piety of the message board commenter.

  38. 38
    Adiabat

    Ginkgo (32):

    Let me jump in here and back carnation up – the way you get existing organizations to straighten up and fly right is the threat of repalcement by new organizations that are doing that already. Competition gets people’s attention like nothing else.

    But a new org setting up a shelter for men wouldn’t be a threat of replacement for existing providers as they’re providing a service existing providers simply don’t want to provide. What’ll happen is that the shelter would be set up and struggle to get funding because of the lies spread by groups like Women’s Aid to preserve their funding. It’ll be an impossible battle for the new org, fighting lies and smears all the way; just look at how ready carnation is to dismiss any group that doesn’t do things in exactly the way she demands, with these arbitrary reasons for writing people and groups off as nutters. And this will be required again and again for the thousands of cities and towns across the UK.

    But there’s a more fundamental fact that you are overlooking. The women’s shelters that are set up across the country aren’t there because of grassroot activists setting up shelters off their own back. What happened was people like Erin Pizzey did it in a couple of places and then the government stepped in and funded dozens more every year until we have the current situation of shelters for women in every town. Women’s Aid has grown only through this government funding, in fact it was created to receive this government funding, pushing actual activists who set up shelters off their own backs, such as Erin Pizzey, out of the picture and co-opting their work.

    I don’t think the same funding approach will happen for men’s shelters, not solely due to cultural attitudes of male disposability but also because the government has already decided how it’s going to provide shelters for men: through placing an obligation of current providers to provide equivalent services for all groups, via the equality duty. All that needs to happen is to follow their decision through and enforce it.

  39. 39
    Adiabat

    Carnation (34): I’ll ignore the goalpost shifting for now, as it should be obvious to anyone reading this. But do you even realise that the legal opinion you’re dismissing, the one pursuing the enforcement of policy that already exists (so not pointless lobbying) was written by Michael Dempsey who is also the Chair of AMIS, who you apparently would support?

    The problem isn’t with these groups, it’s with you. You’re inventing these arbitrary reasons for not supporting these groups (while ignoring things such as all the ‘policy lobbying’ that groups like Women’s Aid does). It seems to me that you’re just making these reasons up as you go, as well as these “correct” ways that activists have to do things to get your support. The fact that you seem willing to overlook dodgy practices by groups providing shelters for women while demanding that groups for men have to be absolutely perfect raises questions about just how much you care about male victims, despite your claims otherwise.

  40. 40
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    The problem is with me? What power/influence do I have over anything to do with this?

    The problem is with you, more so than me. You refuse to turn your outrage into action. I point out that online pontificating is a waste of energy. I point out that action helps people, other people notice, provision develops.

    Look at WA as a way of doing things, not as an “abusive” entity.

    Stop blaming others for your own failures. It’s pretty pathetic.

  41. 41
    carnation

    @ Adiabat

    Where did I dismiss people as “nutters”?

  42. 42
    jemima2013

    He is a victim of domestic violence, in a world where DV is still seen as acceptable. I see huge parallels with the sexual abuse of boys. People see certain things as morally wrong, but when it is men/boys they get extra stigma for “allowing” it to happen

  43. 43
    inappropriate

    Early Metallica? Could be worse, the mix isn’t exactly bass-heavy.

  44. 44
    Jokie X Wilson

    So, what terms are being suggested to replace ‘nagging’? I think OCD is what this scenario sounds like, obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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