Don’t leave me this way…

So, it’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been busy, doing all the stuff you gotta do in life, even if you are obsessed with reforming family law. Perhaps, especially.  I’ve been keeping my eye on the ball though. The ball being male entitlement.

One of the best places to get information on the ongoing war on women and children is, of-course, the internet, most specifically internet groups set up to highlight aspects of the conflict. They are easy to locate. All you need to do is type a few choice phrases such as ‘domestic violence’ ‘child endangerment’ ‘sexual crimes’ into a group search and you will instantly find hundreds of cyber spaces, filled with victims, eager to share their truth, desperate for reform. I’m a member of several groups. I’m an ex member of several more.

Anyone that moves in these circles will know, as a general rule, they are compromised almost entirely of women. To give you an example, one such group, with the very specific aim of protecting children from violent parents, has over 1,600 members. Of these, 53 have verified male identities. This group, I would consider atypical. In truth, I have never stumbled across a chat room interested in child welfare and violence reduction, where women don’t overwhelmingly outnumber men in members.

Now, me, I never stay in one place for very long. Sometimes I get thrown out. Sometimes I jump, before I’m pushed. Always, it’s the same bone of contention. Here’s how it goes down. I join a group. Things are rocking along just nicely. I’m liking this post. Pinning an angry face on that post. Occasionally posting. It’s all very civil. Then one of two things happen. Either, some bloke posts a ‘I’m not being taken seriously enough as a male victim of domestic abuse’ link or, some woman shoves up a begging letter for her male relative, friend or partner, who is a victim of domestic abuse, and too afraid to post themselves. Either of these eventualities then prompts a storm of reassuring responses, as women fall over themselves trying to accommodate both scenarios.

‘Abuse is abuse.’ One will say. ‘Gender has nothing to do with it.’ Another will echo. Warm invites will be issued to all men everywhere, who may have suffered at the hands of a violent woman. It’s only a matter of time before an admin will get involved ‘This group recognises the gender neutrality of domestic violence. Anyone not promoting this line should perhaps consider finding themselves another group…’ They might write.

And that’s always my cue to enter the conversation. Knowing that this group, like all groups I’ve encountered, will be overwhelmingly populated by women I will ask ‘How is it possible to reasonably argue gender neutrality, if we accept that all of our members are literate and can count?’

‘Course as soon as I pose this question, conflict ensues. Always, a few brave women will acknowledge I’ve got a point, but mostly I’ll be shouted down by people that wish I hadn’t. I get fully why women want to take the gender out of domestic violence. It levels the playing field. It makes us feel safer. If we are not been targeted, just because we are women, then the world is less perilous. And, if it’s not a gender issue, but a human issue, then we can join forces with men who claim domestic abuse and fight the concept, not each other. Everybody knows that men’s opinions have more weight in society than women’s. (For those unsure, check the disproportionate number of men in positions of power across the globe, and the universal truth that men earn more money than women, in almost every field.) It therefore makes sense to pitch our tent next to theirs and focus on this abstract thing called domestic violence, that any of us, are equally as likely to fall prey to, regardless of our sex.

Only it’s simply not true. Men are more violent than women. Don’t believe me? Look at your history books. Turn on your TV.  Log onto to your internet. Head to your local city centre and hang round outside a club at ten to closing. Buy a season ticket for a favoured football club. Do a google search for famous serial killers and see how many were men. Repeat the process for all serial killers. Repeat the process for all murderers. There are an infinite number of ways you can verify this theory. In reality, it’s a lot more difficult to pretend it isn’t so.

What a coup for the patriarchy that we have lost sight of the roots of domestic control? It’s under fifty years since the first women’s refuge opened, and as women’s refuges close, up and down the country, we’re locked in never-ending cyber debates about the rights of abused men.

In some ways, it feels like nothing changes. But things have. Fifty years ago, a bloke didn’t have to do much in the way of defending himself, if he was accused of domestic violence. For a start, it was barely a crime, and one easily explained away with the caveat ‘She deserved it’. Rape didn’t merit an explanation, because it wasn’t a crime, and kiddy fiddling…we all now all little attention was paid to that crime. Now, all the above are clear and recognisable legal and moral aberrations.

When the predator’s landscape changes, then the predator must adapt or die, and ladies, they ain’t dying. Instead, they have created a new defense. ‘I was driven to it,’ has morphed into ‘I was protecting my person, She is the violent one.’ And the perpetrator becomes the victim, because what’s the alternative? That, he holds up his hands and admits he’s the dangerous one. Said no psychopath ever.

To be very clear, I’m not saying all men who claim to be victims of domestic violence are lying. I’m saying some are. As women, we should probably remember, that they denied us our victim hood for most of history. Perhaps, we should exercise some caution, as they now lay claim to a status that did not exist until we’d named it.

 

 

 

 

 

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