This is a comment by Archy on the post “The Retributive Nature of ‘Girl Power’“.
“The Guardian article also goes on to address men in the women’s movement.The author and I agree that men belong in the women’s movement, but I go another step further: Women belong in the men’s movement.”
Omg, someone gets it! I could kiss you!
Too often I feel people see boys as privileged without realizing they’re also at high risk. Bullying is at high levels, violence is NORMAL in schools, and as they age the fights get more risky. Once they’re men, especially in young adulthood, they’re at the top risk of violence.
Men have struggles, boys have struggles, women, girls, everyone has struggles but too often I’ve seen an attitude of “men have all the power” so people focus on women first, and when women are hunky dory O.K, they will focus on the men. The Grrrlll power movement was good but the retribution of it, the acceptance of women hitting men, hell anytime I hear a legitimate concern about men with equality I hear the automatic “Women have been oppressed for thousands of years”. Do we have to wait thousands of years before we give a shit about men?
Then we get the good ol white ribbon campaigns, political office for women and equality, “violence against women” or if you really want to appeal to the heartstrings “violence against women AND CHILDREN” (Nice way to garner more support and “other”ize men). Gee, I wonder why more men aren’t in the women’s movement? I recently saw articles asking this question, and I sense this expectation that men are supposed to help women and their issues, even pledge to never harm a WOMAN and stand up against those who do (Note, not harm a human, not harm a man or woman). Yet what do I hear when men ask for women to help the men’s movement? “Women have done blah blah for x amount of years, campaigned, rallied, yadda yadda, men need to do it themselves”
From the article – “As Alan Greig has so eloquently put it, it’s not about bringing men in by talking to them nicely and making sure they’re not put off: it’s about naming male privilege, and getting men engaged in holding other men to account.
Around the world, we’re seeing work that’s inspired by an agenda for change that doesn’t leave boys and men out of the equation – mobilising men to stop violence against women, and challenging and changing men’s attitudes to intimate relationships and fatherhood. By tackling deadly ideals of masculinity and opening up alternative ways of being a man, these initiatives are transforming boys’ and men’s intimate and interpersonal relationships and creating the basis for greater equality.”
It’s men’s fault! Men have to step up and work at it, men have to call out other men. Do women not have any responsibility there? I call bullshit, it’s everbody’s responsibility, not just 1 gender.
Why aren’t there more men advocating for women’s issues? 1, Men are blamed and pushed with the responsibility to change too often, 2, Men are told to sit down, shut up privileged male and can’t voice an opinion at times, 3, When we hear the word equality yet this major focus on violence against women with very little spoken on men’s victimization ESPECIALLY when the majority of violence is against men, we start to question whether equality means for all, or for women only.
I don’t mind helping women out, but if they aren’t willing to help men out why the hell would I bother? Are my tears not worthy? is my wound not bleeding? It really can sound selfish, and seem like entitlement when there is an expectation for men to help out women. When’s the last time you saw a massive campaign to end violence against men? I can’t think of any here in Australia, the closest would be an anti-binge drinking ad yet last year men here were asked to pledge to never abuse a woman and stand up to violence against women. In a country where victims of violence for a 12 month period in 2005 were 443,800 women and 808,300 men. (1)
From what I see of violence discussions in feminism, gender equality areas, etc it tends to be violence against women. Violence against women is terrible, I hate it, but it’s not the only violence in existence! In 2004 Violence killed ~3.8million women and ~17.9million men, War and civil conflict killed ~1M women and ~6.3M men, self-inflicted injuries ~7.8M women, ~11.68M men (2). Men were 3-6x more likely to die from violence, yet where are these violence against men campaigns? Where is our white ribbon for men, where are the campaigns calling on women to speak out against other women who abuse, rape, harm their partners/men. The stats are out there, it’s proof there is significant levels of violence against both genders, even domestic violence and rape between the genders, yet we only really talk about the women.
HOW the hell do we expect to stop violence as a whole when we ignore an entire gender (women as perps, men as victims for instance). Can someone logically tell me the reason we should only have campaigns to end violence against women, and why there is no male equivalent of the white ribbon campaign? Why are we so obsessed with helping women that our men suffer in silence? Is it the last acts of chivalry and male self-sacrifice? I cannot logically understand why we have stats showing stupid amounts of violence against both genders, yet we talk about one gender the most and it’s the gender with the lesser number of victims (although still extremely significant!!!). I’ve heard people justify rape campaigns as male perp, female victim simply because male victims were the minority so male victim, female perp posters etc didn’t exist. If we used that logic then violence against women would never get airtime because the sheer size of male violence, but how the hell would that help?
Thank-you hugely Joanna, I am extremely impressed and hope a lot of people read this. We need the support of everyone to tackle the major equality issues, violence, etc, and we need to support everyone in that quest. Pain is pain, no matter the gender, we all feel it, we all suffer, men are not immune to the effects of violence!
(1: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]nsf/Lookup/by+Subject/4125.0~Jul+2011~Main+Features~Victims+of+violence,+harassment+and+stalking~5110)
(2: www.who.int/entity/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/DALY6 2004.xls )
Photo credit: Flickr / alexisnyal