Yesterday we posted a link to Ally Fogg’s latest blog piece on domestic violence – here – and the comment stream has been interesting, as usual. He attacked me in one of his comments; a number of people, including Paul Jackson, had pointed to the iniquity of men paying 72% of income tax in the UK, but fewer than 1% of DV refuge places being allocated to them. I’d have been disappointed if Ally hadn’t attacked me over something – it would be like I hadn’t been doing my job right.
A number of commenters have defended feminist groups against charges of bigotry. Karen Straughan (‘GirlWritesWhat’) has just submitted a comment, which is reproduced below in full. The only small error is saying Erin Pizzey was ousted from her charity in 1982; in fact, it was 1972. Over to Karen:
“For all of you in the comments defending these women’s groups against accusations of bigotry, I just want to present a quote from the head of one of them (a man, ironically), published in the Guardian article:
‘We provide domestic violence outreach services, children’s services and perpetrator programmes,’ he says. ‘My personal view is we shouldn’t need refuges anymore, we should be dealing with the cause, which are the men.’
The cause of domestic violence is ‘the men’.
Feminism is the voice of authority on this issue. They planted their flag in that soil in 1982, when they voted to oust Erin Pizzey from the charity and movement she founded, and they have given not an inch of ground since. They claim moral, social, legal and academic privilege on the topic. They are the people who run the shelters, administer the funding, provide the training materials for police, social workers, counsellors, friends of the court, judges, lawyers and guardians ad litem. One commenter claimed that feminist groups are somehow misguided by their use of different data sets, etc, which means they should not be considered bigots. However, this assertion should lead people to ask who, precisely, is producing these different data sets. The answer? Feminist academics, researchers and advocacy groups, almost entirely.
Feminists essentially own the entire enterprise. And yet in the 30+ years since people started asking men about their experiences of partner abuse, which oddly enough is the 30 years since gender symmetry was first demonstrated, they have accomplished almost NOTHING for male victims. Many of them refuse to countenance the idea that male victims of female perpetrators exist at all. Indeed, the mere idea that female victims of female perpetrators and male victims of male perpetrators made them so icy at the 2012 national NOW conference in Baltimore that a lesbian domestic violence activist had to concede to the almighty Duluth model (“I’m not saying domestic violence isn’t GENDERED…. Of COURSE it’s gendered…”) to not be frozen out of the room. You really had to be there to appreciate how entrenched this prejudice is among feminists. Even their solidarity with the lesbian community wasn’t enough for them to tolerate discussion of female perpetrators and male victims–the entire audience literally looked like they were being forced to eat bird droppings until the speaker finally offered them the “of course it’s gendered” concession.
The problem is “the men”. They will countenance no other point of view. And they would rather stop helping female victims if any condition is placed on them to also help those men they believe are the cause of it all. I mean, even look at how they’re framing this: even when men are not the problem that causes domestic violence, they are a problem that prevents female victims from getting help. And they are being “forced” to cut services to female victims because they refuse to stop discriminating against male ones–again, even when men are victims, they are the villains, not feminists’ own prejudices and decisions. Not only are men the only “real” abusers, they (not the decisions of DV groups to continue discriminating) are also the reason women “can’t” get help. Even a male victim is, in their minds, a victimizer.
This is a feminist abuse of power and authority that impacts real victims on a daily basis, and somehow people think we should not be hostile toward feminists, or we should give them a free pass on their prejudice because their bigotry was taught to them rather than self-acquired? Or because some self-identified feminist somewhere said something like, “while men are a tiny minority of DV victims, we shouldn’t discriminate against them”?
I’m as disgusted as Ally by the attitude, but I’m not willing to give any of these ideologues a free pass. They ARE bigots.”