Rob asked a question but my reply was so long I decided to write a post. This is a bit jumbled…apologies..
I did read Waters column. He comments on a book by a chap who worked at the Rape Crisis Centre for years and said that he was shocked at the attitude of the women he worked with who appeared to confine their work to investigating and condemning sexual crimes against both women and men, provided the assault was carried out by a man. If it was a woman, they weren’t so interested. By coincidence I think it was Matt Cooper who a few weeks ago interviewed a woman who argued that male paedophiles were jailed where female paedophiles were offered counselling.
Waters also commented on the piles of ads, outdoor and radio, about domestic violence and “Women’s Aid”.
So what do I think? Well, a few things. I am guilty of believing that most domestic violence and sexual crimes are carried about by men, and I don’t think that’s wrong. Female paedophilia IS extremely rare, but I wouldn’t support the principle that female criminals should be treated differently. In fact the woman Cooper interviewed said that the victims of the female paedophiles are often made to feel like they co-operated with the sexual activity which is most unfair. As for a grown woman raping a grown man…putting aside non-reporting, I think any fair minded person would agree this has got to be pretty rare and one would have thought, technically unfeasible…
On the issue of domestic violence, I know Waters was giving numbers some years ago that claimed that men and women were equally violent at home, but I could just never quite buy into that. Intuitively, and I know that’s no evidence, I just find that hard to believe. I’d really have to look into the figures more before I’d be convinced of that. If the figures did back it up, then obviously, I’d change my mind.
HOWEVER having said that, I was uncomfortable for the last few weeks seeing those ads of women with “end the silence” on them. There ARE men whose wives are violent. They should’ve done an ad with a man on it. But then its the Women’s Aid campaign and let’s face it, a lot of women have had need to flee to shelters because they had the crap beaten out of them. And many women had to go back to those same husbands because they had nowhere else to go. So organisations like Women’s Aid arose out of an actual historical need and not a manifestation of feminist’s imagination. They should probably change the name and start including men.
HOWEVER, the big mistake Waters makes is that while there is an argument to be made that ads about domestic violence should feature male victims, he loses potential supporters by language like this:
“This time of year it can be risky for a man to pick up a newspaper, there being a good chance that therein he will find himself defamed.
The run-up to Christmas is when women’s aid groups make their big push for funding. Thus, the candle-light vigil in memory of “women killed by men” or “women killed as a result of domestic violence” is a set-piece of what laughably passes for journalism. The number of such female victims – usually about a quarter of murders in the selected period – is underlined by way of accusing men in general of complicity in often unspeakable crimes. The other three-quarters of the statistical dead, being males, are airbrushed out. The not-so subliminal messages include: only women are murdered; only men murder women; “domestic violence” is coterminous with “violence against women”; such violence is intrinsic to “patriarchal society”: all men are guilty.”
See, the other 3/4 of male murder victims are also murdered by men. Well, the Scissors Sisters and other notable exceptions……..And no one is saying anything about all men being guilty, just that mostly, men are the ones doing the murdering. Women do it, but much more rarely. And the men aren’t airbrushed out, we hear about them in great detail..like the assassinations of the male drug barons, the beating to death of Paul Quinn by 12 other men and the fact that a woman and five children who died in a housefire in Omagh were not buried with the father for rather obvious reasons.
If I was a man who wanted to organise a campaign raising awareness of domestic violence against men by women, I wouldn’t start out by complaining about women’s aid organisations. I’d just start producing the facts to make people aware that there is a problem.