Sunday, March 25, 2007

Violence against men

We are forever hearing about domestic violence against women, and millions and millions of pounds are pumped into charities each year which ostensibly seek to help such women (although most of them actually have a feminist, man-hating agenda) - but when do you ever hear about domestic violence against men? The research shows that women are more likely to use violence against men than vice -versa, and a significant proportion (something like 40%) of people killed by their partners are men (and probably a higher proportion of boys in cases of children killed by a parent). Yet when do you even hear about this on the news? It seems to me that the ratio of male to female victims of domestic violence in real life, overall works out to be about 50:50, yet in the news its more like 0:100.

One way this is achieved is by the fact that we have all been conditioned by two phrases:

'Female victims of domestic violence'


'Women and children'

The continued repetition of the first phrase helps to lock into people's minds the idea that, by definition, domestic violence is something that only harms women. The second phrase, rather sneekily, uses children as a sort of Human shield for women to use to gain resources and victim status for themselves (i.e. don't be unkind to women, because that would mean your being unkind to their children too, and give generously to single mothers, because this means you are giving to children too).

Of course, like almost all men, I don't support being violent towards women, and would want society to help any woman who is genuinely being abused; but this issue is far more complex than that. For starters, its often the SAME women who cry abuse again and again, some are making it up, some are being nihilistic by seeking out abusive men for relationships again and again (i.e. refusing to take personal responsibility for how they bring the violence upon themselves). Equally, many so-called victims of domestic violence bring it upon themselves by winding the man up to the point where he can't take it anymore. Given all this, and given how women very rarely show ANY sympathy towards male victims of violence, I find it hard to believe that the domestic violence charities are deserving of donations.

Men are naturally more protective and sympathetic towards female victims than women are towards male victims. Yet the feminist pressure groups (including the domestic violence charities) have pushed into people's minds the idea that men are naturally violent towards women. That women are, by definition, unsafe with a male partner. Such charities and pressure groups have also pushed for an ever-expanded definition of domestic violence towards women, such that if the man even raises his voice, looks at her in a disproving way, or does anything which in her interpretation harms her self-esteem, then he is deemed to have committed a serious act of domestic violence towards her.

Yet, interestingly, similar actions committed against children or husbands by the wife are never labeled domestic violence. For example, this week in the UK there was a news story about a young boy that was shouted at by his mother and then hanged himself. Yet absolutely no blame was laid at the feet of the mother, even though it was clearly HER actions which led to the boy killing himself. Now, I am not suggesting that we should make people legally accountable for their actions if they lead to another person killing themselves, because it was almost certainly blown out of proportion in the boy's mind, but the fact is that if a husband had shouted at his wife and it led to her killing herself, there would be an outcry, and the debate would rage on in the media for days. Or if a woman working in an office heard even relatively minor comments made by male staff which she didn't like, she could claim they made her feel depressed and claim tens or even hundreds of thousands in compensation. Yet with the life of a little boy, it is simply swept under the carpet.

Equally, this week there was a case of a depressed man who hung himself live on a webcam broadcasting to a chat room of people who had, moments before, been egging him on to kill himself. If it had been a female victim, again, there would have been a far bigger outcry, I'm sure of it.

People, even many MRAs, are blind to how little value we place on the lives of men compared to those of women. I think a lot of it is genetic (in the past, childbearing was far more crucial, and since one man can impregnate many women, an individual woman was viewed as more valuable than an individual man), but just because something is genetic doesn't mean that we should accept it. Yesterday I went to see the movie '300', about an ancient Spartan battle. The cinema was packed, with people of all ages, and particularly with young men and their girlfriends. And we all sat there for two hours seeing hundreds of almost naked, highly muscular men slaughtering eachother with swords, knives, spears, axes; often in slow-motion as the blades entered the flesh, or severed limbs, or as heads were sliced off bodies. It was clearly a case of the slaughter of men being fetishised. But this is something that people love to watch, and are now totally immune to feeling anything about. The research into media violence shows that it doesn't force people into copying it, but it does DE-SENSITIZE people to seeing violence. People are now more likely to laugh than be appalled at seeing a man's head chopped off. The only case of a women suffering in the film is when one had sex with a man she didn't like in order to gain his political support, yet this was merely a set-up for later in the film when she then killed him, as though the act of a woman agreeing to unwanted sex was worse than the taking of a man's life. Typically it was one of those moments in which the audience was supposed to cheer. And, typically, the women in the film were shown to be 'strong'.

Many of the people who watched that film would then go home and play on video games in which they are slaughtering men like so many animals. And I have already pointed out that there are far more Internet porn sites which depict men in pain and degradation than there are of women. Yet the consciousness of society is now not only de-sensitized to pain against men, but is blind towards how such media and game depictions are FAR more prevalent than those against women (of which huge amounts of fuss are made).

If you are a man who believes in men's rights and wants to see more consideration and value placed on the lives of men, yet you love and support such films, I'd ask you to seriously think about the contradiction of your position. What I see happening is that many men are increasingly angry and frustrated, due to feminism, yet their rage is being directed towards other men, particularly in the material that they use to feed their imaginations (movies, video games etc). I'm not suggesting that such media should be banned. What I am saying is I'd like as many men as possible to wake up and have a bit more self-awareness about it.

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