Saturday, July 29, 2006

Behind The Accusation of Sexism Against Those Who Fight Violence Against Women

As soon as I finished my last post, For Those Who Don't Believe A Man Can Rape His Wife, I thought about why some people assume those of us who fight sexual violence and all forms of violence again women are anti-male.

It has very little to do with logic.

One of the places I've seen for this assumption reinforced comes from a typical interaction over this subject. When it's face to face, it can go something like this:

Man (marching up to woman who advocates for victims of domestic violence or rape): Men are victims just as often as women. Why won't you admit that half of all women who make rape allegations are bold-faced liars?

Woman: While some men are victims, the statistics and research show that women are the victims in nearly 3 out of 4 murders committed by intimate partners. As for the number of false--

Man (cutting her off mid-sentence): You're sexist. Admit it.

The conversation usually gets worse from there or it ends abruptly.

On anti-violence blogs, men who make similar assumptions often come across as trolls. These men rarely get a friendly response to their claims that speaking out against sexual violence equals sexism. Quite a few of these men assume they are getting an unwelcoming response simply because they are men rather than because they said or did something offensive.

In most cases the unwelcoming response occurs because the man's words make him sound like just another in a long line of bullies attempting to silence and blame women while minimizing the harm violent men inflict on women and children.

The same pattern can develop in non-gender specific ways. Religious people who blame rape victims for luring their rapists may believe the backlash is caused by the blamers religion (Christianity, Islam, etc.) rather than bias so deeply entrenched that it might as well be a religious belief.

Whenever entrenched beliefs collide with attempts to permanently change the status quo, there will be conflict. The only thing we can control individually is how we deal with that conflict.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:03 AM   3 comments links to this post


At July 29, 2006 11:52 AM, Blogger Holly Desimone said...

This is very true Marcella, personally I know speaking out can be very difficult. We have to educate societies around the world.
We are against violence, being degraded, raped, and abused.
We need to deal with the conflict, and that does mean both genders. To stop the violence against both genders!

At July 29, 2006 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking Anonymously,

As a man that was sexually abused as a 9 year old by a older 17 year old male and also falsely accused of rape by a jealous/hateful x-girlfriend trying to exact "ruin" upon my life...For awhile, I retained alot of anger about the abusive occurences, Yet, I still learned to forgive both assaulters...Violence, whether it is Sexual or Emotional is pretty fucked up...I can only hope that others can overcome their anger(which often clouds rational thought/and often aids in the continued alienation and polarization of differing points of view) and channel that energy into loving/caring compassionate discussions about controversial issues such as Sexual Abuse. As far as I know, most people don't like to have their opinions to be generalized and lumped into something like "She's just a Feminazi Bitch"...or "He's just a Misogynistic Dickhead"...Often, people expend their energy "preaching to the choir"...Whether intended or not...One has to ask is that the intended audience?

At August 05, 2006 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A NURSE is raped by a colleague in Delhi, the capital of India. The case in point is of a girl, working in a Delhi hospital as part of the paramedic team. On the fateful day, the colleague raped her and threw her in the hospital’s bathroom. The accused had been, reportedly, stalking her since a long time. He got the chance when Ruby (name changed) was working on the night duty. He brutally beat her up & raped her. Thereafter, he dumped the woman in the hospital’s bathroom.

After a long treatment, the doctors could save her but Ruby had lost an eye and mental stability by that time.

Now, she needs encouragement and moral support to get up and fight back with situation. As Puja Priyadarshini has taken a step to encourage, you can also support Ruby by your encouraging words. So lets all lift up the girl’s spirits in her darkest hour.

Click here to support >>>


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