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Young Geoffrey

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Violence Against Women Is Not a Problem [Dec. 7th, 2004|06:22 pm]
Young Geoffrey
(I originally posted this last night, but deleted it due to an "irrepairable mark-up error" which I have since repaired. No way I was going to have Sidra chastising me for my lousy HTML again!

(But onwards.)

Seeing as my friends' list is almost entirely female, I won't be surprised if tomorrow finds that several of you have decamped to sunnier climes, or, at least, that you've decided to yell at me a lot. (On the other hand, I won't be surprised if none of you have - I don't know, which is part of what makes life interesting).

As most (and maybe all) of at least my Canadian Gentle Readers know, 15 years ago a mess of a man named Marc Lepine gunned down 14 engineering students at l'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. All 14 were women and that was no coincidence.

Lepine hated "feminists" and this was his revenge.

Ever since then, feminists with whom I usually agree and feminists with whom I seldom do have come together to celebrate memorialize this anniversary.

As an example of sexism.

As an example of patriarchy.

As a totem to the evil that is Violence Against Women.

* * *


I've never worn a white ribbon, and don't intend to.

I fear the over-simplification that comes from turning a historical crime into an icon; I distrust using that icon as a metaphore for many (or all) of society's ills. And I think using Lepine to stand in for undeniable, day-to-day sexism that does still exist in our society is a good way to blind us to the root cause of violence - which is not only expressed with firearms, but also with road-rage, with vicious words and even with the still-present (though mostly forgotten) threat of anhielation under which we have all lived since 1945.

Violence against women is not a problem.

Violence against women is a symptom.

Recently, Laura posted about this "anniversary" in which she quoted some statistics:

In 2002, 28, 953 women were victims of domestic violence.
67 were murdered
38 were victims of murder attempts
514 were sexually assaulted
21,774 were assaulted.


Horrifying statistics, no doubt. But I think it is important to remember that in that year, according to Statistics Canada, though 206 women were murdered in Canada, so were 376 men.

If being murdered is your criteria, it is better to be a woman than a man in this society. And I am not aware of any blue-ribbon campaign to remember the men who have been victims of violence.

* * *



Yes, I know: The vast majority of the murderers were men. I really do know that. But that's my point - or, at least, it serves to illustrate it.

Since 1989, the enrollment of women at engineering schools has more than doubled. Women are now a majority in Law and in in other fields.

Since that day, thousands of heroic women have voted, with their tuition fees, and said, "I will not give in to terrorism."

And, I suspect, the vast majority of those women also say, "I am not a feminist", though in their actions they declare that they are. (Which confuses me and is the topic for another post.)

The point is not that most murderers are men. Or that a significant minority of victims are women.

The point is: violence is a problem.

* * *


For many years now, I have used two observations - one statistical, the other not - to determine the level of civilization of any city I have spent time in.

The first is the murder-rate. In any kind of society that works, that statistic is the least amenable to manipulation by political interest groups, or the fact that a lot of people don't trust the police. A body is a body and someone has to count it.

The second is much more subjective: How many women do I see walking the streets alone at night?

The fewer murders, the better; the more lone women, the better. (Toronto stacks up pretty damned good for North America, but my girlfriend still tries to get a ride home from the subway station after 9:00 o'clock or so. This city is very far from perfect.)

* * *


Yes, most of the women who are murdered are murdered by men; and yes, most of the men who are murdered, are murdered by men.

What does this mean?

If more men are murdered than women, does it mean we do not live in a sexist society in which women are valued less than men? Well, not necessarily.

Does it mean that we live in a hierarchical society in which the weak are preyed on by the strong? Well, maybe a little, but most murders are committed by people who know the victim, male or female.

What does it mean, then?

* * *


My problem with the White Ribbon Campaign is not that it is trying to help female victims of violence, or that it is working towards gun-control.

My problem with the White Ribbon Campaign is that it offers up cartoon in place of a schematic.

Most men don't rape, don't beat, and don't murder their partners. Most men don't get into drunken brawls and murder the asshole who dissed them at the bar.

My problem with the White Ribbon Campaign is that it uses the image of Marc Lepine to stand in for a myriad of very complex social problems. It is a way of making us feel good about ourselves without addressing the real (and much more difficult) problem of violence itself.

The problem isn't that (some) (individual) men kill women. The problem is that (some) (individual) men (and a much smaller number of women) kill.

Leaving aside the minority of those murderers who are clinically insane - who murder because a leprechaun on their shoulder tells them to - what we are dealing with is a problem of violence.

Marc Lepine hated "feminists". He could just as easily been one of those kids in Columbine who hated their classmates. Marc Lepine has very little to do with the residual sexisms that poisons our society and a great deal to do with a significant subclass in our society who see no obtion but brute force when frustrated.

I am a man. I feel it myself. When I get frustrated, or insulted - "dissed", if you will - I want to throw a punch, or worse. How much of this has to do with the fact I have a cock instead of a cunt, I don't know; I suspect most of even my mostly well-controlled violent feelings come more from nurture than nature (words can be a remarkably effective sword, but that too is a topic for another post), but I don't know.

* * *


I don't wear a white ribbon because I believe that symbol does more to separate us than it does to unite us. That it makes the assumption that women are not individuals, but members of a (oppressed) group. That it fosters an us-against-them mentality that leads "both" sides to forget the real issue - that fucked-up people are killing other people - in favour of a group-think (men are perpetrators; women are victims) that ignores the fundamental fact that we are all individuals and that, even worse, ignores (what I think is) the fact that the problem is violence, not violence against women.

Arguments (but not ad hominem attacks) are welcome. My opinion about this is strong, but not impregnable.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: colinmarshall
2004-12-08 01:30 am (UTC)

Very good points; most people I talk to about this sort of thing can't quite make the problem/symptom distinction.

Fun fact: Statistically, men are actually many times more likely to fall victim to violent crime than women.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-11 06:08 pm (UTC)
Fun fact: Statistically, men are actually many times more likely to fall victim to violent crime than women.

While that is worth keeping in mind, it's also important to remember that a lot of serious crimes - like rape, as opposed to the time a "friend" took a swing at me after a few too many beers - go unreported.
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[User Picture]From: stolen_identity
2004-12-08 01:34 am (UTC)
today i'd like to advocate violence against men. particularly one man. fucking men.
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[User Picture]From: justred
2004-12-08 01:37 am (UTC)

I think I'm agreeing with you:

Sexism is still a problem. On both sides. I am so tired of hearing that men are evil. You are right, there are more complex issues at play than the demonization the white male will solve. There are women who rape, women who murder and women who abuse. Not just other women, but men as well. And yet how many abused men's shelters do you see out there? How many victims of assault crisis centers market towards men?

Never more is the division of the sexes more apparent than in society's treatment of the victims of specific violent crimes. Violence and bigotry are human traits, not just male. Women are not gentle and docile, men are not brute and stupid.

What society needs to focus on instead of the gender of the victims, is the victims themselves and the crime involved.

I am a feminist. But I am part of the new wave that believes that while the genders will always be different (because of certain biological factors), that we should celebrate and enjoy the differences. That we should laud both genders as beautiful and precious. That we should work against the hatred and violence against PEOPLE.
/soapbox
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-09 02:21 am (UTC)

Re: I think I'm agreeing with you:

Never more is the division of the sexes more apparent than in society's treatment of the victims of specific violent crimes. Violence and bigotry are human traits, not just male. Women are not gentle and docile, men are not brute and stupid.

What society needs to focus on instead of the gender of the victims, is the victims themselves and the crime involved.


(Obviously) I agree with you, except for the last bit. If we (society) really want to solve the problem, we need to focus on the perpetrators, rather than the victims. It's true that some women commit rape and murder (even more true, is that women are very good at domestic violence; but it is most often expressed verbally rather than physically), but it is most often men who kill.

In order to stop men from killing, we need to figure out, first, why they do so and, second, what we can do to stop them from doing so.
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[User Picture]From: fromaway
2004-12-08 02:33 am (UTC)

this comment got very long.

Honestly, I too have some trouble with the connection of this event to domestic violence, just because it was so extraordinary, and because the man was obviously mentally ill, and because the women he shot were strangers to him.

But the statement — "I hate feminists; feminism has ruined my life" — that for me is an important symbol, even if this was an extraordinary crime.

Horrifying statistics, no doubt. But I think it is important to remember that in that year, according to Statistics Canada, though 206 women were murdered in Canada, so were 376 men.

Two things occur to me here: 1) I don't know the specific circumstances under which all these murders occurred, and I think that's relevant. It's not just how many people were murdered, but why, and by whom.

And it may be a fine distinction — after all, dead is dead. But I think it's relevant to any discussion of what those statistics mean.

2) I'm not sure considering murder in isolation is the most fruitful way of determining the relative extent of violence against men and violence against women.

The point is: violence is a problem.

Yes. Unfortunately, I don't think we can discuss that problem fruitfully without discussing the specifics — not just of rape and domestic violence against women (and a minority of women raping and battering does not make rape and domestic violence equal-opportunity problems), but of hate crimes of all types, of gang-related murders, of all the specific situations in which violence occurs.

When I read feminist blogs I come up against this again and again in the comments — the attempt to gloss over the specifics, either to generalize to the point of platitude or to throw up anecdotal counterexamples that somehow "prove" that such-and-such a problem does not exist or is not worthy of discussion.

I catch myself doing that on other issues. I will pay more attention when I catch myself doing that in the future, because what I see when I read that women rape men too, or that our real problem is our inability to get along with people who are different, or whatever, is discomfort with the concrete reality of what's being discussed. Yes, women rape men too — but in much, much smaller numbers than men rape women (and I am in no way saying here that all or even most men rape — it is a small minority, but the minority of women who rape is even smaller). Yes, domestic violence is perpetrated by both sexes — but systematic, severe, even life-threatening domestic violence is much more commonly male-on-female than it is female-on-male.

I have sympathy for male victims of domestic violence, and I believe they absolutely do need their own shelters and their own sources of help. But when people bring those men up only when women are trying to discuss female victims — and not at any other time — I don't see a serious discussion of the issue going on. I see an attempt to obfuscate, even to silence.

Most men don't rape, don't beat, and don't murder their partners. Most men don't get into drunken brawls and murder the asshole who dissed them at the bar.

That's true, and the universal-male-guilt aspect of the White Ribbon campaign is something I'm not comfortable with. But I am personally more used to seeing people of both sexes wear the ribbons and the buttons, as a gesture of commemoration and sympathy.

Marc Lepine has very little to do with the residual sexisms that poisons our society and a great deal to do with a significant subclass in our society who see no obtion but brute force when frustrated.

This is also true, and honestly I think Marc Lepine is a problematic example because I believe he was severely mentally ill, not a sterling example of patriarchy.
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[User Picture]From: fromaway
2004-12-08 03:35 am (UTC)

continued

I don't wear a white ribbon because I believe that symbol does more to separate us than it does to unite us. That it makes the assumption that women are not individuals, but members of a (oppressed) group.

That's because we are. There are people out there — sane people, more or less — who hate women as a group, who believe (and say) that we are all whores, that we are not entitled to say no — to sex, to childbearing, to a conversation. I have met those people in my daily life. Some of them are very powerful. The laws have changed but those attitudes are still expressed in the courts and in the legislatures and in the newspapers and on the Internet. A lot of our battles were won very recently. Even to have attention paid to domestic violence, to marital rape, to sexual harassment — we haven't had that for very long.

We are individuals. But we are also a group. We do not all like each other (goodness, there are some women I detest) and we do not all agree on what our interests are, to say the least. But as long as there are people treating us as a group, punishing us as a group, we are a group.

I forgot, for a moment, but now remember — Marc Lepine actually ordered all the men out of the classroom before he started shooting. He shot the women in the classroom because they were women. And he was insane — but he was hardly the only person who's ever hated women as a group. That is why the event has such symbolic value.

It's not women against men. It's very unfortunate when it becomes women against men. It's women against patriarchy, which hurts women and men, but hurts women more.
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[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2004-12-08 04:28 am (UTC)
I'll bite.

Some of what I think was expressed rather nicely by fromaway; the massacre can't be linked to domestic violence or violence against women in general. That's not how most women experience rape. That's not how most women experience abuse. That's not how most women experience the everyday crushing violence of poverty. That's not how female prisoners are separated from their children. I'm okay with having a day to commemorate violence against women, but let's not fetishize it, please.

Whenever I see a guy wearing a white ribbon I get a bit suspicious, 'cause except for immediately after the shootings (when almost everyone I know wore one), it tends to be worn by guilty liberals who think that they can score points with the ladies that way. I have much more respect for a man who treats women with respect the other 364 days of the year and doesn't feel the need to advertise it.

I don't even know how accurate statistics can be. Even in today's enlightened society, few rapes and sexual assaults are reported, few cases of domestic violence are punished. (Granted, I'm a prison abolitionist, but what I mean is that when the woman manages to get away from an abusive situation, she generally ends up in a shelter and he gets off with a slap on the wrist, if anything.)

Of course, sensational events are always going to get people going; people care about young, educated women being gunned down at school than they do about the First Nations abuse survivors rotting in our country's prisons. But the problems are systematic. Patriarchy (and that word does make me cringe) turns men into dehumanized aggressors just as surely as it turns women into victims incapable of fighting back. This is violence. All genders (and let's not say "both genders") need to combat it.

Don't know where I'm going with this. Except that I do have a cunt and I throw punches when I'm angry enough.
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[User Picture]From: kakodaimon
2004-12-08 05:07 am (UTC)
Yes. I loved what you said here and agree, first and most shallowly about the throwing punches, but also about the First Nations point---is that ever true, as well.
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[User Picture]From: kakodaimon
2004-12-08 05:05 am (UTC)
What fromaway said was lovely, and I won't say it again. I will add, however, that if someone had shot up a school, targeting only black students, and blamed the civil rights movement, few would disagree that it was a racist attack.
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[User Picture]From: easilyirritable
2004-12-08 10:33 pm (UTC)
That was pretty much the point I was going to make. By the logic espoused in the leading post, cops shooting Amadou Diallou to death was merely an instance of a few bad cops going too far, and not emblematic of more ingrained racism in the police force, or even society at large.

Not every woman hater is going to take a gun into a school and shoot the female students. However, a woman hater will call all women sluts, will disrespect his girlfriend and sisters, or will mistreat sex workers. It all comes from the same issue that needs to be addressed. Posts like this make me wonder why the poster is so afraid of addressing such issues that he has to build up walls of academic justification in order to continue his self-imposed blindness.
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[User Picture]From: amaaanda
2004-12-08 10:11 am (UTC)
I agree. No embarking to sunnier sides.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-09 12:47 pm (UTC)
This is way too cryptic.
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[User Picture]From: viewpoints
2004-12-08 05:16 pm (UTC)
One of the most well written pieces I've read in a while. I'm always amazed by your grasp on situations and how well you 'pen' them.
I'd like to metaquote this- I think more people should be reading you. ^^ Do you mind? It does pretty much gaurentte a whole bunch of people dropping by and poking at you with the I agree/disagree stick...
metaquotes
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-09 03:08 am (UTC)
I said I was going to sleep, but not yet. Thank you for your very kind words. And - please! - feel free to set the metaquotes dogs on me.
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From: patriarch420
2004-12-08 11:16 pm (UTC)

*claws your face*

For some reason, I knew without actually *knowing* (or having asked you) what your take on the issue would be... and how right I was!

Geoffy- do you think violence against women is a problem elsewhere in the world?

Geoffy- were men opressed by women for the last 3000+ years?

Geoffy- how many female presidents/prime ministers have their been?

Geoffy- how much have women influenced philosophy? Or many other aspects of acadamia for that matter (prior to this century).

Shall I continue or... no?

By the way, what is the average income of a female doing the same job as a male, anyway? Higher than the male? lower? equal?

...I think you know the answers to these questions...
Having posed these questions, I should probably explain them (although I'm pretty sure my point has come across pretty strong at this point)

WOMEN ARE AT A LARGE DISADVANTAGE WHEN COMPARED TO MEN!!! Women are less violent (as your statistics have shown), weaker (physically), and still very much not-quite-human 2nd-3rd class citizens in other parts of the globe!

There still exists (in some households) the very stereotypical female place in the family. Stay home, cook, clean, wash clothes & dishes etc, pump out the kids, blah blah fucking blah.

No, women are not very hard done by in Canada or much or North America.

Yes, women do have the advantage in Universities, and other fields of various (previously male dominated) professions because they are now being "politically correct" in giving a female the job to balance it out. And no, I don't think that should be happening- particularly if they are not adequately qualified for the occupation.

I realize I just wrote a lot without actually saying much. But I'll get to the point now.

At no point in history (to my knowledge) have women dominated men or had all the wealth or power.

And I'm spent.

Love you Geoffy

*kiss lix*

-laura-
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-09 12:17 pm (UTC)

Re: *claws your face*

As you already know (damn that Alexander Graham Bell anyway!), your subject-line cracked me up. But anyway ...

...- do you think violence against women is a problem elsewhere in the world?

As part of the larger problem of violence, definitely; as a result of both cultural and political problems (which, as I've realized through to this discussion, are different - though related - things), absolutely.

...- were men opressed by women for the last 3000+ years?

Yes, but almost everyone lived in a constant state of oppression in every civilized society. When there were queens, nothing changed. (Did women on the whole have it worse? Yes.)

...- how many female presidents/prime ministers have their been?

In Canada? One - and she was a sacrificial lamb, I suspect. But what does that have to do with December 6th?

...- how much have women influenced philosophy? Or many other aspects of acadamia for that matter (prior to this century).

Very little. But that is changing because our culture has changed and continues to do so, for the better.

By the way, what is the average income of a female doing the same job as a male, anyway? Higher than the male? lower? equal?

Very close to equal (except probably at the very highest levels - eg, CEOs, where men may be perceived as more prestigeous). A female auto-worker makes precisely what a male auto-worker does; a male secretary makes the same as his female counterpart.

The oft-quote statistic that women earn - I think - 67% of what men do mostly reflects the fact that women tend not to enter high-paying fields and, when they do they tend to work fewer hours.

This begs the question: why? Is there a systemic bias against women? Maybe. Certainly fields like law frown on young lawyers taking time off to raise their kids. Is this sexism or a result of a society that doesn't value children? A man who chooses to take time off from his career to raise his children (and there are some) will suffer economically also.

I think this is a problem, but not one of sexism. Rather it is that our society is dominated by an ethos that values material success above all else. Arguably it is historically a "male" value, but it is expressed just as much by those women (and there are some) who insist on "marrying up" as it is by those men who think that making their kids breakfast on Sunday mornings is all that being a father entails.

In some ways, our society is an anti-human machine. Fix that, and a lot of our problems will go away. (Though what the people who like working 70+ hours a week will do in my Utopia is an open question.)

...WOMEN ARE AT A LARGE DISADVANTAGE WHEN COMPARED TO MEN!!! Women are less violent ... weaker (physically), and still very much not-quite-human 2nd-3rd class citizens in other parts of the globe!

I agree. But I still don't think that fetishizing Lepine is a solution.

There still exists (in some households) the very stereotypical female place in the family. Stay home, cook, clean, wash clothes & dishes etc, pump out the kids ...

Yes, and that isn't always a bad thing. One of the smartest, strongest, most self-possessed women I know (my aunt Viv out Victoria way) did just that - while also being a part-time farmer - and is justifiably happy and proud of the choices she made.

Yes, women do have the advantage in Universities, and other fields of various (previously male dominated) professions because they are now being "politically correct" in giving a female the job to balance it out ...

At the risk of sounding like I'm arguing for the sake of arguing, but how much is that actually happening in this country. I know there are a few examples around, but I don't think we have gone for actual quotas very much in Canada (I hope I'm right!). Mostly, I suspect it is individual women who have decided that they want to be doctors, rather than nurses, etc.

At no point in history (to my knowledge) have women dominated men or had all the wealth or power.

You're right, but how is that relevant? (Well, some feminist scholars will tell you that Crete had such a civilization, but that's based on pretty flimsy evidence.)

I love you too, Lauree.

(Shit. Too long. Must. Edit. Post.)
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From: patriarch420
2004-12-09 12:55 am (UTC)

*Mauls your eyes*

Ra ra misogyny, that's what makes life good for

geoff-o-ry

^.^
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-09 12:35 pm (UTC)

Re: *Mauls your eyes*

Not my eyes, darlin'! I, I need them to see!
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-09 12:42 pm (UTC)
This is kind of like asking what I'm doing to reduce green-house gas emmissions when I already ride a bicycle year-round, isn't it?

I treat women with as much respect as I do men; I (only sometimes, I admit) speak up when men say stupid/sexist things in my presence.

If you're asking whether I'm involved in some sort of activist group, the answer is no, though I'm contemplating the possibility of getting involved with the NDP (shudder; I loathe group-politics). Political, economic and social issues are all inter-related.

By the way, are you saying there is something wrong with "arguing with feminists"? One of the marks of friendship is to tell a friend when you think they are being an ass.
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[User Picture]From: karma_aster
2004-12-10 02:50 am (UTC)
You're right. Violence against women is only a symptom of a society that still devalues women in hundreds of little ways and a society that still doesn't really teach that it's not okay to prey on those who are weaker or different from the norm. There are deeper societal problems, and we should be addressing them rather than just dealing with the symptoms.

Very well-written. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-10 12:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks - though I hasten to add that we need to also deal with the symptoms; battered women (and men in significant numbers, as I have recently learned) need to be protected from those who assault them.
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[User Picture]From: twistedangel81
2004-12-10 05:47 am (UTC)
That was supremely well written.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-12-10 12:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

(le purr, le purr)
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[User Picture]From: katryxx
2005-01-10 08:51 pm (UTC)
I will strongly disagree with you that violence against women is not a problem. It is.

But I will agree with you that it falls under a much larger heading of Violence in General.

I actually watched and read several films and articles during my previous semester, and the point was brought about under the larger discussion of socialization of children, particularly boy children. We provide images of macho and tough (the film was called Tough Guise), and a complete dearth of sensitive male role models, and yet expect our boys to figure out (a) that they are emotional creatures too, and (b) how to deal healthily with those emotions.

So all this violence, both by men on women and men on other men, stems from a lack of positive child-rearing techniques, and the lessons that are learned mostly come from Hollywood themes of what it is to be male and masculine.

I'll give you all that.

Unfortunately, I think I still disagree with the majority of your post. Women are still members of an oppressed group. Women are still fighting against the Boy's Club in many areas. And women still compose 99% of the victims of sexual violence. Men seem to have the corner on what it is to "rape". And in my (female) mind, this is still an area that needs to have attention (and action, such as better teaching for our boy children) paid to it.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2005-01-12 12:26 am (UTC)
I will strongly disagree with you that violence against women is not a problem. It is.

Fair enough. In truth, I don't believe the statement myself, not taken by itself - but I thought it made for a good (read: provocative) headline.

But I will agree with you that it falls under a much larger heading of Violence in General.

Which was the point I was trying to get across: until we get a grip on the culture of violence, violence against women (and men, and children, and people of different races or religions, et fucking cetera) will continue to be a problem.

I have no problem with you if you focus on female victims in particular; I do have a problem with you if you deny other aspects of the issue (which, I hasten to note, you didn't do).

I actually watched and read several films and articles during my previous semester, and the point was brought about under the larger discussion of socialization of children, particularly boy children. We provide images of macho and tough (the film was called Tough Guise), and a complete dearth of sensitive male role models, and yet expect our boys to figure out (a) that they are emotional creatures too, and (b) how to deal healthily with those emotions.

I'm not convinced the media is that significant a factor. The western world (even including the United States) is probably the safest, least violent group of societies the world has ever known (did you know that hunter-gatherers had a homicide rate of about 30%?). Whatever our flaws (and they are legion), the First World is the best time and place to be a woman or a man in the history of humanity.

Unfortunately, I think I still disagree with the majority of your post. Women are still members of an oppressed group. Women are still fighting against the Boy's Club in many areas. And women still compose 99% of the victims of sexual violence. Men seem to have the corner on what it is to "rape". And in my (female) mind, this is still an area that needs to have attention (and action, such as better teaching for our boy children) paid to it.

I won't question your statistics. As was pointed out elsewhere in this thread, there is almost no data about the number of men who are raped - and, so far as my thesis is concerned, it doesn't matter what the numbers are. One rape victim is one rape victim too many.

I wonder how much our perspectives differ because of where we live.

As measured by homicides, Canada is a much less violent society than the United States. It is also a society in which women - I think - have a significantly higher (though not yet equal) status. We've had a female Prime Minister; the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court is a woman and 4 of the 9 members are women; women have full legal equality (unlike the US, where the ERA was defeated back in the 70s); gays have just about achieved full equality under the law; one of our national television networks just broadcast a movie-of-the-week about Henry Morgentaler, who is largely responsible for the fact that women have an almost unquestioned right to choose on abortion in this country.

That said, I don't disagree that most rapes are committed by men, that most rape victims are women, and that it "is still an area that needs to have attention". I don't agree that treating men as a group (of perpetrators) and women as a group (of victims) is a good way to go about doing it.
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