Archive for December, 2013

Hands up who used to watch Thomas the Tank Engine when they were younger? To say it’s a programme that started in 1984 (I was born in 1986) it should probably have been on my radar growing up. I knew it was on, and I think I might have watched an episode or two, but I definitely don’t remember it being one of my favourites. When I grew up I was into Transformers, Thundercats and, later on, Power Rangers and Spider-man. Even at the grand old age of 27 I still watch the odd children’s cartoon, not because I have kids of my own (I don’t) or any nephews of godchildren (I don’t) but because they offer a sense of nostalgia. In the last couple of years there have been new versions of Thundercats and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, while Power Rangers has steadily been churning along for nearly 20 years now. So why the focus on Thomas?

Well:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10532989/Thomas-the-Tank-Engine-needs-more-female-trains-Labour-MP-says.html

Apparently, the much loved tales of the blue tank engine are massively sexist and, as normal, are damaging and exclusionary to young girls. This boils down to the idea that it’s harder for women to break into more ‘male oriented’ due to overwhelming discrimination and hatred of women. It couldn’t possibly be down to the fact that women choose not to enter these professions because, shock horror, they don’t actually find them interesting.

The whole idea of women (and men, though we don’t like to mention that dirty word when talking about discrimination) being forced into gender roles is something the feminists absolutely love to get into a fit about. If it’s not ‘boys club’ professions like banking and law, then it’s gender neutral toys or TV programmes enforcing sexist stereotypes. The things that  I find laughable about the whole thing is that, once again, there is absolutely no consideration for why more men are in the train profession, or why certain toys are marketed to girls and boys. It never seems to occur to these people that, perhaps, there are more men in the railway industry because more men simply choose to be there. For whatever reason men and women simply enjoy different things. There will never be a day (or at least I hope not) that every job profession will be split 50/50 between men and women. People like different things, it’s as simple as that.

A lot of what goes into making these programmes is appealing to the audience that is likely to watch them more. Despite what feminists say there is a lot to be said for biology. Studies have shown that girls and boys naturally go to stereotyped toys. It’s nothing to be worried about, absolutely nothing to be worried about. Biology has a big part to play in the way people grow up and develop, despite feminist claims to the contrary. A little tidbit of information about me – I still, at the grand old age of 27, spend money on statues and action figures. Admittedly, they are very expensive statues and action figures, but still, I consider myself a collector. I don’t do it because I was forced into it as a child, I don’t do it because I feel like I need to do it to reaffirm my masculinity, I do it because the items I buy look fucking awesome. Actually, my hobby is looked down on by a lot of people, it’s still seen as childish, still seen as buying ‘toys’, despite the fact these pieces can cost 10 times the price of a child’s toy. I can count on one hand the number of women I know personally who share my hobby. I’ll give you a big clue, it’s zero. Going online was the only way I even knew there were women who shared my hobby.

The point is, people enjoy different things. The things I buy are marketed towards an extremely male audience, an older, mature audience with disposable income, those who can afford £100+ on a single item. 90% of the people in my hobby are men. What on Earth would be the point of making the stuff I collect gender neutral? There wouldn’t be a point, it would simply be change for changes sake. And for those who have just spat their tea (how English!) all over their screen at the thought of spending over £100 on a ‘toy’ tell me, honestly, you’ve never spent that much on a pair of jeans, or a bag, or a pair of shoes, or even spent that much on 3 pairs of jeans, or spent that on a meal with your other half or spent it on a night out drinking. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, my money goes on my collection, it makes me happy and makes my living room look fucking awesome!

Anyway, back to the point. Thomas the Tank Engine is not sexist. It caters to an audience, an audience that is likely to watch it and enjoy it. Enjoyment of a programme doesn’t necessarily influence career choice, if it did I would either be a Power Ranger, a Ninja Turtle or would have attempted to irradiate a spider and then let it bite me a long time ago. If it does influence career choice then that’s fantastic, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that that career will definitely happen. I remember when CSI first started I wanted to be a SOCO (scene of crime office here in the UK), then I looked at the requirements and saw that I was in no way scientifically minded enough to become one. Sometimes, life sucks. Sometimes, no matter how much you want something you just can’t have it. I’m 5’8, simply due to genetics there are some things I will never be good at. Some things I can’t do because of my height, no matter how much I want to. That’s just something I have to live with. Yeah, it sucks a big one, but I can’t do anything about it, so I just have to accept it, accept it and move on. Life isn’t fair.

But what’s this got to do with that sexist pig, Thomas? Sometimes, professions just happen to be done by a larger percentage of one gender. There are loads of reasons you can apply for this being the case, sometimes it’s simply down to preference. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with preference. I prefer to listen to metal music because I enjoy it more than pop music. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy some pop music, it just means that, given the option, I’d rather listen to metal.

To make it more specific, I listen to certain subgenres of metal, namely tradition, 80s-era heavy metal and European-inspired power metal. Again, I don’t mind other subgenres, but most of the enjoyment I get from metal comes from those two subgenres. The danger comes when people try to force everyone to like the same subgenres equally. It’s not surprising that Iron Maiden can fill an 80,000 seat stadium in Chile while an underground Norwegian Black Metal band play sold out clubs to 100-120 people. Trying to force 80,000 people, who don’t necessarily want to be there, to enjoy a type of music they don’t want to listen to is pointless. If people don’t want to be there, then they simply don’t want to be there, you can’t force people to do what they don’t want to do.

So, how does all this relate to Thomas? Well, it’s simple, maybe, just maybe, there’s a lack of women in the railway industry because they choose not to go into that profession. Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t women out there who do feel like they can’t go into the profession due to internal (read: family) and external (read: friends) pressures, but to try and change the entire nature of a programme because of some perceived injustice seems pretty counter-productive to me. If you want to try and get more women in to the railway profession then that’s absolutely fine, perhaps focus on the fact that there are already 1000 women in that profession. Perhaps use that 1000 as some sort of campaign to try and convince women it’s ok to join a profession that is mainly male. Forcing cartoons like Thomas, cartoons that already feature female characters, to change their ways because you think it is stopping women from entering the profession is forcing a scapegoat on to a situation that should be easily rectified.

I will compare this particular story to the nursing profession. According to two articles I found there are around 600,000 registered nurses in the UK covering many different disciplines.

http://www.ask.com/question/how-many-nurses-are-there-in-the-uk

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_nurses_are_there_in_the_uk

 Around 9% of those are male, only 5% more than the amount of women in the railway profession. The number of male nurses in the nursing industry has been growing, and a lot of that has been put down to male nurse Charlie Fairhead in the English TV show Casualty, but I doubt we will ever see the day when we see complete parity between men and women. It would be interesting to see if the number of female doctors in the UK has risen with any correlation to the number of female doctors shown on Casualty (as far as I’m aware there have been far more female doctors on Casualty than male nurses).

The thing is, male nurses have increased over the past 30 years, yet I don’t remember seeing one single statement from an MP declaring any show as sexist because it didn’t include male nurses. The change has been gradual and not forced, men have come round to the idea themselves.

One other areas that really needs developing is male teachers in Primary schools. I’ve already done a blog on the number of male primary teachers (12%) and come to the conclusion that, once again, change is happening, but at a gradual pace and, once again, it didn’t need the over-emotional rantings of an MP to put that change into motion. I’m a secondary teacher, I chose to become a secondary teacher because I didn’t want to teach kids that young, I wanted to challenge myself a little bit, teach kids who had a bit more development about them and could counter what I was trying to teach them. As much as we need more male secondary teachers, we can’t force men to become them. We can’t force people to do an important job if they don’t want to, no matter how much we need them. Sometimes, it just isn’t that easy. Again, male primary teachers have increased, but it’s been slow and has come about without too much hysteria in the media.

So where does this leave our beloved tank engine? To be honest I have no idea. There are other TV shows that deal with railways, Thomas already has female characters so it’s not like they’ve been completely dismissed. Try putting a female engine in there, if it works, brilliant, but don’t expect the percentage of women in the railway industry to ever hit 50%, you can’t force people to join a profession just because you think they’re under-represented.

One interesting thing that I did notice in the article is the possible reason why Mary Creagh felt so strongly about the railway industry in particular. I mean, why not focus on the fashion industry? Why not claim shows like Bratz were misandrist as there were no main male characters? Why not say a show like Totally Spies that focused solely on 3 teenage girls? Why not create a campaign to increase the amount of male nurses or the number of male teachers? I think it boils down to this one line – “often highly paid and highly skilled jobs”

So there we are, after everything I’ve just said about not being able to force people into jobs they don’t want to do, about it being simply about choice and wondering why other TV shows weren’t focused on, it all boils down to money. Train drivers are highly paid. Basically, what that says to me is that Mary Creagh wants more women in higher-paying jobs, whether they want to be there or not. She wants this, presumably, to try and close the wage gap. The wage gap that, numerous studies have shown, is nothing to do with sexist discrimination and more to do with personal choice. You know, personal choice that Creagh is now trying to alter. It’s a big roundabout of confusion. Women choose to do lower paying, part-time jobs which contributes to the wage gap. Mary Creagh wants more women in higher paid jobs in order to close the wage gap, which takes the choice away from women, a contributory factor to the wage gap Creagh possibly wants to close. Confused? Yeah, me too.

But that’s not all. Mary Creagh “also said that mechanical comprehension tests taken by prospective train drivers could discriminate against women.” This is where the article descends in to absolute farce. She thinks that a test you are required to do in order to competently drive a massive train could be discriminatory?

She said: “You don’t need mechanical competence to drive a train any more. Previous research has indicated that it could be a disadvantage to minority groups, so the question is why is it still in there from a legal point of view, because it could amount to indirect discrimination.”

Oh my, what tomfoolery is this?! You don’t need mechanical competence to drive a train anymore? Those great big, long, heavy things that travel at over a hundred fucking miles an hour? I wonder how far you’d get trying to drive a car on that pathetic excuse. Scratch that, I wonder how far you’d get trying to drive a moped on that pathetic excuse. There’s a reason we have tests before driving a car or a bike. I don’t claim to know the inner workings of my car, but I damn sure know when the washer fluid needs changing, or when my tyres need filling with air. But that’s not even the most idiotic thing she says! This is:

Previous research has indicated that it could be a disadvantage to minority groups, so the question is why is it still in there from a legal point of view, because it could amount to indirect discrimination.”  

So because some people won’t be able to pass the mechanical competency test and because some previous research, though absolutely no links or sources are provided, suggests that minority groups might not be able to pass them. What kind of idiotic, fucking stupid reasoning is that? So because a certain group of people might not have the competency to pass a required exam, and because you’ve decided from some previous study, that you provide no evidence of, that that exam is not needed anymore, you decided to implement the buzzword discrimination and, rather than admit the fact, however fair or unfair, some people just aren’t good enough to do a certain job, you hide behind the mask of discrimination, effectively shaming anyone who can actually recognise the truth of the situation. It’s a low tactic to use, trying to justify your biased campaign by accusing others of sexism and discrimination and, perhaps even more implicitly, racism.

It’s ridiculous arguments like this that are going to put people’s lives in danger, simply for the cause of ‘equality’. What happens if a women, or a ‘minority’, is in control of a train, having not passed the mechanical competency test, and something goes wrong? How many lives would needlessly be put in danger due to ‘equality’? How would Mary Creagh explain to the families that the woman, or minority, driving the train didn’t even need to pass a required test in order to drive the train that killed their mother/brother/sister/father/wife/husband, etc?

It’s ridiculous notions like this, in the name of ‘equality’, that lead to the watering down of entry requirements for other important jobs too, like the fucking Marines:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/29/marines-delay-3-pullups-requirement-women/

Life isn’t fair, not always. Some people just aren’t capable of doing certain jobs, no matter how much they want to. If they can’t pass the basic entry requirements then they should never be allowed to do the damn job, no matter how much that hurts the feelings of the person involved. What would you rather happen, one person has their feelings hurt, or numerous people die? Because that’s what’ll happen. By constantly lowering entry requirements in order to appease the vocal minority who claim it’s ‘unfair’ that certain people can’t pass the existing entry requirements, you are essentially placing people’s lives in danger. How would you like that resting on your conscience, knowing that your attempts to include people who just weren’t good enough, because of the feels, have resulted in more damage than you could ever have imagined?

Man, I’ve rambled on for pages and I’ve barely even scratched the surface of idiocy coming out of this particular MP. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that this MP can be this stupid, or the fact that the British public voted for her. Twice! So basically, when it comes to the railway industry and the lack of women that work within it, it’s absolutely nothing to do with recruitment drives, nothing to do with competency or ability to pass entry requirements, nothing to do with desire and passion of the people who actually choose to work in that area and nothing to do with the hours that train drivers worked (which I’ve not even mentioned in this entry), but everything to do with a children’s cartoon about a little blue tank engine?

Thomas, look what you’ve done, you sexist piece of shit!

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So it’s Christmas Eve and this will be the second entry today. The one I put up a few hours ago should have gone out yesterday, but time got away from me. I spent most of yesterday with family and by the time I got back to my flat I was too knackered to turn the computer on.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster 4 months. I don’t need to mention, again, the reasons for this blog starting. The first entry was posted on August 25th this year. I realised, pretty quickly, that without some form of promotion the blog would simply sink under the weight of every other blog out there. That’s the reason I created the Facebook profile as well, as a way to promote this blog every time a new entry was put on it.

In order for the Facebook profile to work as a promotional tool I needed some friends. To that end, I spammed the fuck out of the recommendations Facebook made. I think I have 120 ish friends now, some of whom have added me, which is pretty cool. I can only imagine how weird it must have been for those who I sent the first few requests to, trying to figure out who the fuck the bloke was with 3 friends and no pictures. But, all that aside, they did respond and I’m thankful that they gave me the chance. Since then, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of Facebook under the John Salmon pseudonym, to the point that I’m actually logged in more to this account than my other account.

Even with all the friends on Facebook I wouldn’t have got anywhere without the constant support of some of the groups I follow. I make no secret of the fact that every time my blog is shared on I Don’t Need Feminism, Exposing Feminism or Anti White-Knight Coalition the traffic spikes quite considerably. I don’t think the blog would ever have made the impact it has without their support, so for that I am extremely grateful. So, to all the groups who have constantly promoted this blog

Jessica at I Don’t Need Feminism:

https://www.facebook.com/idontneedfeminismbecause?fref=ts

Bretto and the gang and Exposing Feminism

https://www.facebook.com/ExposingFeminism?fref=ts

Sparty, Aurora and the crew at Anti White-Knight Coalition

https://www.facebook.com/AnitWhiteKnightCoalition?fref=ts

I say a huge thank you for everything you’ve done in the promotion of this blog. Your tireless efforts have made this disillusioned cynic regain some of the hope and optimism I once had.

Special mention must also go to Men’s Rights News for sharing my blog and creating this awesome meme:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/johnsalmonmeme_zps83b3bfeb.jpg

But, for all the help I’ve had with the promotion of the blog, it’s you people who keep reading it. The positive messages I’ve been getting, both on Facebook and on here, are overwhelming and humbling. I was in a dark place when I started this blog, I had no idea if anyone shared my ideas, had no idea what to expect when I started the blog. To see so many people with similar views read, share and comment on the blog is more than I ever thought would happen. So, again, a big thank you to everyone who has read, and will continue to read John Salmon’s World, and I hope you continue to share it.

So, Merry Christmas. I hope everyone has a brilliant time doing whatever you do. I’m signing out for a few days to go and spend Christmas with my family. I’ll be back with another blog entry sometime before the end of the week, but until then I will be enjoying some relaxation time, eating to excess and generally having a good time.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, I thank you, genuinely, from the bottom of my heart. Feel free to add me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/john.salmon.7906), or even send an e-mail (johnsalmonworld@Hotmail.co.uk).

You are all, beautiful bastards!

And so we go, round and round and round again. It’s Christmas and here I am, sat at my computer writing another blog about gender violence. I am now moving away from the ‘domestic violence’ tag because this is now becoming such a prevalent issue that it transcends the boundaries of relationships. Obviously, domestic violence is still a big part of it, and will make a big part of this blog entry, but gender violence is now becoming such a big part of society that it does it a disservice to only stick to that abuse that happens in relationships.

I will state here, once again, just in case people haven’t read previous blogs, I am completely against any form of violence, from a man towards a woman, a man towards a man, a woman towards a woman or, especially as this blog demonstrates, a woman towards a man. That’s why I use the term ‘gender violence’ instead of domestic violence’. It would seem that, in all the years we spent deploring men who hit women, demonising men who hit women, all the work done to highlight the issue of domestic violence, and violence in general, against women and try to reduce it we’ve forgotten to address one very important thing – female violence towards men.

This isn’t the first entry I’ve written on the idea of violence towards men, but the fact I have to keep writing blog entries on it is slightly worrying. Every time I write an entry I think we’re making progress, every time I see something that seems to condemn female violence towards men I think we’re making progress. Then I see something that puts me firmly back at square one. I wrote in a previous blog how there are 3 domestic violence campaigns currently running that present women solely as victims and men solely as aggressors. We get this one sided, biased view of domestic violence, to the point that, for most people, female violence towards males doesn’t even exist, or exists at such a small fraction of the regularity of male violence towards women as not to be worth mentioning.

Well, I found two more adverts all about gender violence and, surprise surprise, they both present women as victims and men as aggressors. That, so far, equals five campaigns, mass media campaigns, that show men solely as aggressors and women solely as victims. Is it any wonder that people think the issue is so skewed? Yes, there are videos on the internet that highlight the mass double standard of gender violence, but how many people are going to see them, really? I mean, they may get 2 or 3 million views on Youtube or Daily Motion or whatever, but the campaigns on TV are shown during programmes that regularly pull in 8/9/10+ million viewers. It really is no wonder that we have such a limited view of gender violence when we are only ever presented with one side, when numerous studies, from reputable sources, show that gender violence, especially in relationships, is on a very even footing.

The campaigns in question, both British and both seen regularly on TV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c44bFif6dKs

http://youtu.be/RzDr18UYO18 

Both aimed at young people, both portraying women as victims and men as abusers. I have no problem with highlighting the issues faced by young people (operative word being people), but campaigns like this, while well-meaning, are extremely damaging to young men. It would appear that every domestic violence campaign is determined to paint them as the aggressors, determine to tell them they’re just one minute away from being an abusing piece of shit. When you’re constantly telling young men that they are monsters, constantly telling young men that the majority of societal problems are down to them, constantly telling young men that they need to change their ways, is it really surprising that they become disillusioned? Is it surprising they fail at school? Is it surprising they get into trouble with the law? By showing no appreciation or acknowledgement of the troubles they go through, by showing no compassion to the struggles they face, by using buzzwords like ‘patriarchy’ and ‘privilege’ to somehow justify the constant demonization we are telling our young men that their lives are worth nothing, that they are worth nothing.

And by not showing an appreciation of the troubles men go through, particularly in the case of domestic violence, we breed a culture of violent women who believe they can throw their weight around without fear of repercussion, we breed a culture of women, both young and old, who believe that violence towards men is not only accepted, but promoted and justified, because men deserve it. Even those men who don’t deserve it for anything they’ve done themselves, deserve being hit because men, generally as a sex, are scum. Natalie Portman’s ridiculously short-sighted comments about her slap in Thor 2 attests to that. When women think they can abuse one man as retribution for some perceived ills that other men have committed it proves there is something wrong with our society.

As I said in a previous blog when I addressed Portman’s ignorant, crass comments I have been rejected by women, I have been badly treated by women, but in no way, not now nor ever, does that justify me slapping a random woman as retribution for the ills I have faced.

The problem is, the people who do see through this facade, the people who do realise that we have bred a culture of violent women who believe themselves to be untouchable, are such a small minority that the mass population will continue to believe the messages we’re force-fed on TV. There are people out there who see the inherent hypocrisy in the way we view gender violence these days, but even when that section of society makes their voices heard, as with the recent Avon for Women domestic violence campaign, they are shot down with some unbelievably ignorant comments (see the blog Domestic Violence: The War Rages On for Avon’s response). Until that voice becomes the majority we will continue to be invisible to the masses.

Often, online, I see the argument ‘what has that got to do with feminism’. It’s a defence used by feminists to try and reframe an argument, to deflect attention away from the issue being discussed and onto something else. Yes, domestic violence happens towards men, but what has that got to do with feminism, yes, men get raped but what has the got to do with feminism, yes, some women falsely accuse men of rape but what’s that got to do with feminism?

 It’s got everything to do with feminism. It’s feminism that allows this culture to continue. It’s programmes like Loose Women and BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour that perpetuates these myths, it’s programmes like that that endorse the campaigns we see every day, that buy into the propaganda that the majority of men commit domestic violence. It’s people like that that are so blind, or so unwilling, to see the truth that they don’t realise the damage they are causing. It’s the fact that programmes like Loose Women are absolutely dripping with misandry, wrapped up in the lovely, comforting bubble of women’s talk, that allows men to think they are the problem, to think that the suffering they go through is somehow deserved, that no matter what the woman did to start the violence they are automatically a lesser human being for retaliating.

I present you this picture, and if this doesn’t make your blood boil then you are part of the problem:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2789_zpsb76c6c89.jpg

But, you argue, those women might not be feminists! That’s precisely the point. By not speaking out against these vile, one-sided campaigns, by not raising a voice, by endorsing and accepting the misleading ‘facts’ that state women are always the victim and men are always the abuser you further the idea that women are beyond reproach. You feed the victim mentality, you allow it to thrive, you convince women that, no matter what, they are not to blame, that the man must have deserved it.

Patrick Stewart once gave a speech where he stated police were always asking his mum what she did to his dad to make him hit her. He ended by saying there’s never a reason to hit a woman or something to that effect. That’s actually a statement I disagree with, there are plenty of reasons to hit a woman, same as there are plenty of reasons to hit a man. Having a reason to do something isn’t justification enough to actually do it, though. That’s the difference. There are plenty of reasons to do things, it’s whether or not we decide to act on those reasons that decide the outcome of the situation.

What that picture so wonderfully demonstrates is the outright hypocrisy that feminism breeds when it comes to domestic violence. There’s never a good enough reason to hit a woman, but if a woman hits a man well then if a man ACTUALLY gets a girl THAT MAD, he’s just as much of a blame. Woeful lack of grammatical accuracy aside, this is the kind of woman we have bred. Cassandra admits she caused some serious damage (made his face swollen and fucked up his jaw) and yet instead of condemning her, as they surely would were Cassandra a man, they actively endorse what she did, justify it by convincing her he had it coming. Never a good enough reason to hit a woman, but, Goddamn, if a man rubs you the wrong way just fuck his jaw up and he’ll soon learn.

If reading that conversation doesn’t make your blood boil then, yes, you are part of them problem. In fact, you aren’t just part of the problem, you are the problem. As with anything, reverse the genders and see how acceptable it would be for a group of men to try and justify their friend fucking up his girlfriend’s jaw. Can you imagine that playing out very well? If you can’t, well, welcome to the world I live in. Welcome to the world I inhabit that constantly allows women to get away with the most violent of things because we are so busy ‘educating’ young men that we completely forget the other half of the population.

But what’s this got to do with feminism? Because feminists actively decide to suppress that statistics that show how prevalent this is, because women will automatically believe any propaganda that shows them to be the victims, because companies are not willing to adjust their one-sided campaigns despite the protestations of people who know the truth. Feminists claim they don’t hate men, well they have a funny way of showing it. They claim they are for men’s rights too. Well, they have a funny way of showing it. No, feminists, you are not for men’s rights! You are for anything that allows you to maintain your stranglehold on the victim culture you love to embrace. You are not for men’s rights, the only time you are for men’s anything is when you present them as monsters that you can re-mold in your image, monsters that you can manipulate, shame into being the version of them that you want them to be. You decry masculinity; demonise male strength and virtues of maleness, tell us we’re privileged and that we benefit from a system that caters to our every demand.

You are not for men’s rights; I barely think you are for women’s rights. You’re poison. You further your own rotten cause only as it benefits you, not as it benefits society as a whole. You want to free women, yet shame those who don’t conform to your ideals, you present men as monsters yet fail to condemn the women that commit the crimes you hate. You ignore the truth about issues like domestic violence, you allow women to feel like the victims, you actively endorse the idea of women as victims, you insult the very people you claim to help and, in doing so, allow the one-sided promotion of gender violence to continue.

We are constantly told violence against women is wrong. We have numerous ad campaigns that show women as solely the victims, and men as solely the aggressors. By not rectifying this damaging trend we allow women, like Cassandra, to go around thinking they aren’t to blame when they physically assault a man. We allow people like Chelsea, Megan, Fanny and Zoe to truly believe they can justify the violence, we allow them to think that a man being hit deserved it, we allow them to switch a situation to make the abuser out to be the victim, and we breed a society in which that abuser readily accepts all the excuses and believes that they are, in fact, the victim and were pushed beyond their merits. I have one wish, that for every time we see something like the conversation above we are able to reverse the genders and ask ourselves the question is it ok if it was the other way round? If the answer is no, then you might finally begin to realise the problem.

Feminism, get your head out of the sand (or your arses, whichever is more fitting) and see the real problems. Actually start acting on your ideological promise of equality for all. Stop your poisonous demonization of men; stop your poisonous victimisation of women. Until then, you will always have an enemy in me. And, trust me, I’m not alone.

Merry Christmas.

Sometimes I feel like I’m going round in circles with this blog. It seems every time I write an entry about one particular topic and move on, something else crops up on my Facebook feed that puts me right back at square one. I’ve already done 3 blogs about domestic violence, 2 on feminist victimhood and 2 on rape culture. Well, now make that 3 on rape culture. You see, something I never even realised became apparent to me today – according to English law (or, at least, law as much as I could find) women are actually allowed to rape with impunity.

Yeah, you read that right, I’ll get to the specifics in a minute, but first I’ll explain how I came to find this out. On Facebook someone posted this image:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/IMG_2771_zpsa9e4d726.jpg

I’ll get to the complete lack of compassion and empathy from Luke in a minute, but I was struck by what he said. ‘The current law in the UK does not see sexual assault from a female to a male as rape.” Wait, seriously? I figured that couldn’t be right, I figured it must be some outdated law he must be referring to; after all, the FBI recently changed their definition of rape after 80 years, so the UK can’t be that backward, surely? Then I remembered that the FBI’s new law, despite claiming to include male victims, actually still excludes men who are raped by women, so I decided to do some research on the subject as I was baffled as to how a woman could get away with rape.

Trust me, it wasn’t easy to find, in fact I found more newspaper articles dealing with rape than official pages. 20 minutes and about 6 different word combinations later I managed to find legislation.gov.uk that appears to be an official government website. Well, what I found was not only sickening but entirely too predictable The definition of rape was changed in 2003, yes 2003, 10 years ago, and is so fucking backward and out of date already it proves that no-one really gives a fuck about men, especially when it comes to rape. Actually, that’s a lie, people do give a fuck about men, but only when they can portray and depict them as animalistic, Neanderthal, monstrous, evil crime-committing fuckwits who are, quite clearly, the sole abuser out there. Yeah, it made me very angry.

The definition of rape:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/section/1

The definition of Assault by Penetration:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/section/2

The definition of Sexual Assault:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/section/3

My country is fucked up. Honestly, it’s beyond comprehension that an act passed in 2003 still panders to the notion that only men commit rape and sexual assault. I recently wrote a blog entry on my experience at my work’s staff Christmas party. A woman who works at my school tried to kiss me three times. If I were a woman and a man had tried to kiss me three times I would, under the laws outlined above, be able to complain of sexual assault (if I decided the kissing constituted ‘touching’ and was ‘sexual’ in nature, which it was). However, I’m a man and, according to the rules above, I CANNOT claim I was sexually abused. That’s right, English law actually EXCLUDES women from committing any sort of sexual assault.

Let’s look at the wording for all three of the outlined laws above:

A person (A) commits an offence if he…

HE!!! There’s absolutely no mention of SHE. The three laws that deal with rape, sexual assault and assault by penetration in my country actually discount the ability of women to commit any of those crimes. Why such a clear, gendered description? This is the law that we live by, a law that, by its use of a gendered pro-noun, pretty much allows women to get away with three of the most talked about crimes in the UK today. It’s no wonder people think the majority of rapists are men, that’s because, technically, according to this fucked up law, they are men. They are men because women cannot legally rape, sexually assault or assault by penetration. A man can rape or assault another man, they included that in the wording, almost as if to say ‘look, we’re including men too’ but they decided to cut out women completely, because women, apparently are so fucking innocent.

I’m waiting for someone to tell me I’ve got this wrong, I really hope I’m wrong, because if I’m not this is fucking disgusting. I never realised the law actually precluded women from its wording. I’m waiting for someone to tell me I’m wrong, that there’s been an addendum to the law since 2003 that has corrected what is an unbelievable oversight in the way our country is governed. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to recant all the stuff in the previous paragraphs, I’d never be happier to be wrong again.

Anyway, back to the picture. It’s a brave man who recounts a story of being raped (yes, he was raped!), even in the face of a justice system that is so massively against him. A man, who was abused twice when he was 8 years old, has held on to the hate and suffering inside for 50 years. 50 damn years, and what happens when he finally decides to come clean, to admit what happened to a government initiative that was supposedly set up to help men like him, set up to allow victims to come forward and tell their story? What happens? He gets told ‘actually, it’s not rape.’

Are you fucking kidding me? What the fuck kind of response is that?! A man who has waited 50 years, holding on to some of the most unimaginable pain and hurt, not being able to let go, a man who had to go through a life change in order to forgive himself and understand what happened, a man who, by his own admission, realises his childhood was robbed. Can you imagine being 58 and realising your childhood was taken away by some sick fucks who decided they had nothing better to do than rob you of what should have been some of the best years of your life? I can’t. My childhood was brilliant, I had friends, I had a loving family, I had a good education, I had good chances, I had it all. I cannot imagine the torment this man went through for 50 odd years.

And what compassion does he get? What kind of loving, caring response? What level of understanding did he get? Fuck all. Thanks to Luke, he gets a great big fuck all. After 50 years all he can get is some conceited response about why his suffering isn’t real, about how, according to the wording of the law, he wasn’t raped. Fuck the fact that he was raped, raped in all but the wording of the law, no, fuck that, discard it, dismiss it, cast it aside, instead focus on the fact he wasn’t raped, tell him that ‘actually what you suffered was sexual assault’. Actually, Luke you fuck face, according to the law he wasn’t even sexually assaulted. According to our wonderful justice system sexual assault can only be committed by a ‘he’. So yeah, according to the law you just have to suck it up and deal with it. You weren’t raped, you weren’t even sexually assaulted, you must have enjoyed it, you must have loved having your childhood taken away.

And what next? Luke then decides to patronise the poor man by saying it doesn’t lessen his trauma or the extent of his suffering. Why fucking mention it then? Why on earth, if you don’t want to lessen the experience of someone, if you don’t want anything to take away from the trauma of what happened, would you mention the fact he wasn’t raped. What possible help is that? How does Luke think that is going to aide in the recovery of this man? Seriously, if someone tells you they were raped, and they’ve suffered for 50 years, acknowledged that their childhood has been torn away, that they’ve spent their life trying to find a way of coping, the last you thing you should be doing is saying something as patronising as ‘sorry to hear your story, but, wahey, good news, you weren’t raped, now go and enjoy your day.’ How very helpful.

This is the problem men face in my fucked up shit-hole of a country. It’s not enough that domestic violence towards us is papered over, ignored, dismissed, even encouraged, it’s not enough that our humanity and intelligence is being slowly eroded through our portrayal as idiotic, bumbling, oafish Neanderthals on TV and in film, not enough that marriage has become a simple way to cripple us financially and keep us from our kids, not enough that our health issues are being massively underfunded compared to similar conditions in women, not enough that we are constantly demonised and dehumanised and blamed for our role in the insecurities women face, not enough that we will be sent to prison for longer amounts of time than women for comparable crimes, not enough we get shamed for earning more even though we work more dangerous jobs and work more hours, now we can’t even get the law to fight our corner. We can’t even get some government-initiated programme to accept that what we went through actually matters and that, perhaps, the law needs to be changed to suit that. No, instead we get patronising, insulting responses like the one Luke gave, that, despite his best intentions, take away from the experience, that lessen the experience because, according to a few words, that experience doesn’t count.

Luke ends this particular conversation by recommending phoning Survivors UK for a chat if ever required. I say, to every man who finds themselves in the same situation as William Lloyd, going to Survivors UK is the last thing you should be doing. Find a better alternative, find a place that will listen, that will accept your story and admit the law needs changing. Don’t phone a company who are so intent on sticking to the letter of the law that they are willing to downplay your suffering in the second fucking paragraph of a response.

I’m waiting for someone to tell me the law I quoted is wrong, I’m waiting for someone to tell me it’s been updated in the last 10 years. I’m waiting for someone to provide a better, more recent link that removes the gendered pronoun ‘he’ from the legislature and recognises the fact women can, and do, rape. At the moment this country, this wonderful country I call home, allows women to rape and sexually assault without fear. I’m going to say it now, by the letter of the law, if I were a woman I was sexually assaulted at my staff Christmas party. As a man, I have to live with the fact there is, apparently nothing I can do, no complaint, no objection, nothing. I am woman, hear me roar? I am woman, watch me rape this man and get away with it! I’m waiting for someone to tell me I’m wrong. If they can, I will write the biggest, most fucking heartfelt apology I’ve ever written, I’ll post a picture of myself on bended knee begging forgiveness for being so ignorant and short sighted as to miss what I was looking for.

Until then, fuck this country.

I was in the middle of writing a blog entry on explaining the victimhood feminism loves to entrench itself with. I ended up scrapping it because I went way off point and spent two pages rambling on about something that was in no way related to victim complexes. Maybe I’ll turn that blog into something more salient in the future, but before that I have to address something I saw about 30 minutes ago. Sometimes I’m stuck for blog ideas and have to go looking for stuff, today this gem landed in my lap:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ellie-slee/durham-university-feminism_b_4438952.html

So, I’m friends with a guy called Mike Buchanan on Facebook, he’s the leader of a new political party called Justice 4 men and boys, and the women who love them. He fights for, funnily enough, justice, particularly in the family courts with regard to custody. Facebook is a great tool, for someone who created a false profile (that’s me, in case I haven’t mentioned it enough), it’s unbelievable that I managed to randomly add someone like Mike, whose blog presents some outstandingly good stuff.

In the article above, which is painful reading, his party is woefully misinterpreted, probably on purpose, by the author who spouts some of the most predictable, outdated feminist claptrap you’re likely to see. The mention of the gender wage gap should automatically rouse suspicion.

And, I don’t want to dwell on this because it will derail the thread, but the article she links to in order to justify the gender wage gap is horrendous. It compares median wages, which we all know is an apples to oranges situation, and then outright states that “Full-time pay for men increased by 1.8% to £556 a week and went up by 2.2% for women to £459.” So it actually shows that wages for women increased more than men, yet still use a misleading system to compare overall wages!! It leaves me speechless. I didn’t read the whole article because it just seemed to utterly full of victimhood. Maybe I should, maybe by not finishing the article I’ve missed the cast iron proof that shows women are discriminated against in pay just because they’re women. Just one example of feminist victimhood.

Anyway, back to the point, Mike’s party is deliberately misrepresented by the author. This is the sort of victim complex I’m talking about, they take something that, in context, actually presents a pretty decent point and, rather than try and actually have a sensible, adult debate about it, take it massively out of context, add a heavy dose of editing and then present it as stand-alone truth in order to show how much men hate women. Victimhood 101, it’s something that is a pretty common tactic. Again, the problem with it is that the article linked above will have such a rabid base of confirmation-bias-loving-chip-on-their-shoulder feminists that they will accept the quote as verbatim with no desire to actually go and research for themselves. If feminists were bothered about actual research they wouldn’t harp on about the wage gap, or accuse all men of being rapists.

But that’s not even the worst thing. She links to a ‘beautiful ode to contemporary womanhood’ in the form of a poem. Normally, these blog entries are pretty long, often maxing out at 2000 words or so. Not this time, I’m pretty much going to finish here. I’ll develop the ideas of feminists victimhood on another blog, another time, but for now I would like to post that ‘beautiful ode’ to womanhood, and then I’d like to post something I wrote, a re-wording as such which presents the view of the world as I see it. As I’ve said in previous blogs, I have no problem with highlighting problems women face, I do have a problem with treating them as if they are the only problems that matter, or even the only problems that occur. For every problem a woman faces, I can think of a problem that a man faces that either receives little or no recognition in comparison. I’ve tried to reflect that in my poem, situations that men have faced that if the reverse were true wouldn’t have gone unnoticed.

The ‘beautiful ode’ is written from a gender swapped perspective, imagining if all the crimes against women were happening to men and how we would feel. I’ve taken a slightly different tack in that I write about problems that men do face but that are completely untouched or unrecognised, just to try and show that men do face problems. The thing I take umbrage to about the ‘ode’ is that, typically, it presents such a one sided view, it fails to take into account all forms of discrimination or double standards and only focuses on women, as if their suffering is worth more. Victimhood 101.

Anyway, I present For The Men Who Still Don’t Get It by Carol Diehl

What if
all women were bigger and stronger than you
And thought they were smarter
What if
women were the ones who started wars
What if
too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos
and no K-Y Jelly
What if
the state trooper
who pulled you over on the New Jersey Turnpike
was a woman
and carried a gun
What if
the ability to menstruate
was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs
What if
your attractiveness to women depended
on the size of your penis
What if
every time women saw you
they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands
What if
women were always making jokes
about how ugly penises are
and how bad sperm tastes
What if
you had to explain what’s wrong with your car
to big sweaty women with greasy hands
who stared at your crotch
In a garage where you are surrounded
by posters of naked men with hard-ons
What if
men’s magazines featured cover photos
of 14-year-old boys
with socks
tucked into the front of their jeans
and articles like:
“How to tell if your wife is unfaithful”
or
“What your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate”
or
“The truth about impotence”
What if
the doctor who examined your prostate
was a woman
and called you “Honey”
What if
You had to inhale your boss’s stale cigar breath
as she insisted that sleeping with her
was part of the job
What if
You couldn’t get away because
the company dress code required
you wear shoes
designed to keep you from running
And what if
after all that
women still wanted you
to love them.

  

And I present my counter poem For The Feminists Who Still Don’t Get It by John Salmon

 

What if

All men were demonised for their strength

And told they were stupid

What if

Men were shamed into dying in wars by women

What if

Too many boys were raped by women in the guise of teachers

And no justice done

What if

The correctional facility worker

Who was supposed to rehabilitate you

Was a woman

Who sexually abused you

What if

The possession of a vagina

Was the sole reason for getting a job, the 41%

What if

You’re attractiveness to women depended

On the size of your wallet and your penis

What if

Every time you approached a woman for a date

They accused you of harassment and had you arrested

What if

Women were always making jokes

About how ugly un-circumcised penises were

And how circumcision is a non-issue

What if

You had to explain how you were groped

To a condescending woman with a grudge

Who laughed at you

In a room where you are surrounded

By certificates handed down by feminised Universities

What if

Online newspapers featured articles

On how to train your man like a dog

With comments from women

That laughed and agreed

Or articles like:

‘are all men rapists after all?”

Or

“Are men obsolete?”

Or

“Gynaecologists forced to stop treating men.”

What if

You were a man with breast cancer

And were turned away from treatment

Because you weren’t a woman.

What if

You had to inhale your boss’ overly sweet perfume

As she laughed at you

For claiming you were sexually harrassed

What if

You couldn’t get away because

You had to pay thousands

In child support

Io a demanding ex-wife

Who spent it all on herself and not the child

And what if

After all that

Women still wanted you

To love them.

 

If you ever needed a reason why I dislike feminism, why I dislike the poisonous movement that breeds discontent and hatred, that breeds a one-sided attack on society as a whole, that breeds victimhood everywhere it’s grubby little fingers touch, that breeds uncertainty and fear, that breeds injustice and discontent, that stays silent on issues that it can’t defend, that misdirects arguments and quotes out of context, if ever you needed a reason, I’ve just given you one.

This is the 5th time I’ve started this entry. That very rarely happens. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend not to waste too much time in getting these written and published. I had a bit of ‘writer’s block’ recently (I use inverted commas because it was mainly tiredness that stopped my creative juices flowing) and struggled to write one blog entry (which ended up being about marriage). That’s understandable, it’s something that can be explained.

The problem I’ve had with this one is slightly different – it’s very personal and relies on me revealing a lot more about my personality than I perhaps would normally. The anonymity of this blog has afforded me the privacy to talk about topics I would never be able to raise elsewhere, it’s allowed me to express a side of my personality I had kept suppressed for so long, so it’s only fair I lay everything bare. If I can talk about things that annoy me about others, things that annoy me even though they don’t directly affect me then I need to talk about things that affect me directly, no matter how difficult that is. I can’t use this blog as a platform to attack things that annoy me without putting some of myself back into it. But before I get on to the subject of this blog, I need to paint you a picture. An intimate picture of John Salmon.

I’m an introvert. I don’t need to go in to all the details of what an introvert is (look it up), but it’s important to know in regards to this particular story. I love my own personal space. Aside from my family, who I love very much, I have 2 people who I would call close friends. I have lots of ‘acquaintances’, people who I can talk to when out in public, but only 2 people who I would ever phone and talk to, or ask to the pub. I’m fine with that, I really am. I’m not a ‘people person’, if anything I’m a people watcher. I can sit and people watch for a long time without saying or doing anything. If I don’t say anything for a while, don’t assume I’m bored, I’m happy to just sit and watch the world go by. It’s very, very annoying when people say ‘cheer up’ as if I’m miserable. I’m not miserable; I’m just waiting for the right conversation to crop up. When it does I’m perfectly happy to engage. Small talk? Not a chance.

However, along with the introversion I am also pretty shy. I do like to go to places I feel comfortable with, and I can interact with people, but my social skills are pretty limited. I find it impossible to tell if women are flirting with me, and if a conversation isn’t about something I’m interested in I’m pretty useful at interacting with people.

I’ve been told people think I’m arrogant or aloof. Nothing could be further from the truth. My ego is limited because my anxieties don’t allow it to inflate. For every nice thing someone says about me, I can dream up a hundred reasons why they’re wrong. I detest it when extroverts say shit like ‘well, I’m shy really, I just appear loud as a cover.’ And everyone goes ‘aww, I think it’s really brave, you shouldn’t be scared about being who you are.’ In that situation, all I can think is ‘fuck off, try being me if you want to know what shy feels like.’ It means I often don’t read social situations very well.

Well, that lasted longer than I thought, but I shall move on the point of this blog. Last night was the staff Christmas Party at work. I might be an introvert, but I do try and break my anxiety by going to social functions if they seem like they could be fun. This one seemed like it could be fun, it was in the food hall at work so I knew it well, it was with other staff members so I would be surrounded by people I knew, and most of my department were going.

But, after I left and got into my car to come home, I wrote this status on Facebook, a brief one, about my experience at this party:

“Staff Christmas party tonight and I’ve been molested twice. I’m not even kidding. Two older women with their hands all over me, playing my hair, trying to get me to dance, trying to kiss me on the lips, etc. for someone like me, who is a people watcher rather than an interactor, it was very, very uncomfortable. I tried enjoying it because, hey, at least I was getting some attention and any ‘normal’ person would love it, but I didn’t. So screw you feminism and your one-sided everyday sexism project, cos it happens to men, too!”

That was 25 and half hours ago. I wrote it about an hour after the second incident. It’s not the greatest status I’ve ever written, it’s a little misleading and a little confused. It was two separate incidents, reading it back it looks like they were both after me at the same time, they weren’t.

It’s confused and a bit of a ramble because I was confused. What I describe in the status actually happened, I’m not making it up, but every time I’ve sat down to write this particular entry since I got home from the party (I actually started draft 1 as soon as I got home, draft 2 and 3 were this morning, draft 4 was a few hours ago and this is draft 5) I can’t help but hit a stalemate.

Every time I sit down to try and write I keep getting one question constantly racing through my mind: What actually happened? I don’t know what stance I want to take. Was I actually abused? Or were these two women just being sociable, completely unaware of how awkward it made me feel? In order to really explore it I need to write out the incidents in full, even now, just over a day later, I can feel my brain trying to re-wire my memories, trying to block everything out, I can feel my stomach tighten, almost as if I feel sick, but I don’t know why.

So, from the beginning. I was sat at the table, there were at least 5 or 6 other people there who saw all this. We were right next to the dance floor and a few people were dancing. I hate dancing, it’s not something I like doing, I’m a terrible dancer, I’m very self conscious and I don’t want people looking at me embarrassing myself. The first woman (we’ll call her Woman A) came over and tried to get me to dance. I said no, in as friendly a way as possible. She tried again, with a little coercive ‘c’mooooon’, again I declined. I should mention at this point that she had one hand on my shoulder, the other on my arm, already something that was making me uncomfortable. I don’t like to be touched without being asked, I’m not a tactile person, I don’t hug or touch other people and prefer it if they don’t do it to me, unless I feel ok with them doing it. But she went straight in there with the touching. Her face was really close to mine as well, which, again, made it feel very close and intimidating. She then decided that, if she couldn’t get me on the dance floor, she would sit on my knee. So, sit on my knee she did, with her back to my chest. Then, she grabbed my hands and started ‘dancing’ with them, in time to the music that was playing. Whether by accident or not I ended up glancing her breasts at least twice, all while she had hold of my wrists. Then the song finished and she let go of my hands.

To be fair to her, at that point she looked at me and, probably because of the look on my face, said “was that a bit heavy? Sorry.” Which I kind of appreciated. It was at this point she tried to kiss me, fully on the lips. I managed to turn my head so she only got my cheek but it was pretty embarrassing and I honestly didn’t know where to look. After that, I had a couple of minutes peace, so I went on my phone and just checked around on Facebook. That peace was interrupted by the same woman grabbing my chair and pretty much tipping me out of it to get me stood up. I was wearing a t-shirt underneath a zip-up fleece. She immediately tried to take the fleece off. I managed to keep it on and, because I thought it was probably the ‘social’ thing to do, went on to the dance floor with her. Despite the fact there were a lot of other people on the dance floor with us she was only dancing with me, she had my hands again and got in pretty close. At the end of the song she tried to kiss me again, this time managing to get some of my lips. I went to sit down and she went off somewhere else. A few minutes later she came back to say goodbye, her taxi had arrived and she was leaving. That was when she went in for a third kiss. This time, I kissed her back, for the simple reason that I had no idea what else to do, she was already pretty close in and I couldn’t see any way out, so I kissed her back. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t something I would have initiated.

After she was gone I went back on my phone, surfing the internet. I don’t think I looked up for another 5 minutes. At one point I thought I was going to burst into tears. I honestly don’t know why. I don’t know what I felt. It hadn’t been entirely atrocious, the fact that she wanted to dance with me in the first place was kind of flattering, but I had felt so out of my comfort zone, so out of depth and so willfully ignorant of what to do that I didn’t know how to react. Did that count as sexual harassment? I mean, she did try to kiss me 3 times, but I’d kissed her back on the third time. She did have her hands all over me, including in my hair (I have long hair which I always tie back for work, so it would have been the first time she’d seen it down) but I’d got up to dance with her?

The second incident happened not long after, and this is where I say my Facebook status is a little misleading. Another woman came up to me and asked if I was dancing. I said, politely as always, no. She had her hand on my shoulder, too, much like the other woman, and her face was very close to mine. She again made the little coercive ‘c’mooooooon’ motion and again tried to get me up. Again, I said no. She then tried to guilt me into getting up with her: “are you turning me down?” I said, polite as ever, yes. She then said I would make her upset, that I should get up and have a dance because I looked so lonely sat on my own (there were 4 other people on my table at that point, they just weren’t say next to me) ad that it was a Christmas party, I was supposed to have fun. This is where being an introvert bites me in the arse. No-one ever seems to believe that I’m perfectly happy sat on my watching other people. I was perfectly content sat there on my own; I was still recovering from the previous incident so I didn’t particularly want to go through it again with a different woman. This time, although she kept pestering me, the encounter wasn’t as intimidating as the first one. She stayed very close to my face and kept her hands on my shoulder and arm. I wasn’t ‘molested’ this time, but I was harassed and intimidated, and shamed and guilted and all manner of other things.

The second incident fizzled out pretty quickly after she realised I wasn’t going to change my mind; she went and danced with other people, but again I was left wondering why I felt so odd, why I felt so strange, why I had a massive know in my stomach that I thought was either going to end up with me crying or throwing up.

This is not a plea for sympathy, but I very rarely get attention from women at parties or in pubs. There have been times when drunken women have wanted to touch my hair, or been a bit free with their hands, but generally I can look past it. This was different, it was like everything I hated, everything I’d experienced in the past x10. I left about 20 minutes after the second woman left me alone, I went straight to the car and just sat there for about 5 minutes. Then I wrote that status. I don’t know what state of mind I was in, I was struggling to come to terms with what had happened, to rationalise what had happened.

The one thing that kept playing on my mind was a very simple question: Why had I disliked it so much? I had a woman all over me, showing me affection, trying to get me to dance, trying to kiss me, what was there not to like? They were both older than me (older women are a turn on for me), not sure about being married or not, and they were both attractive. What’s wrong with me? Other men would kill for two women to just seek them out of the blue for a dance and bit of a kiss, what kind of moron am I for turning that down? What does the second woman think of me for turning her down? Am I suddenly not a real man? After all, what kind of real man would turn down a dance from an attractive older woman? That makes me weird, right?

I think that’s what was so confusing about the whole situation, I couldn’t seem to think of a reason why I didn’t like it, I just didn’t. There was nothing massively untoward about the whole thing, yeah I copped  a feel of some breasts and there’s a chance her hand brushed my groin, but it wasn’t overly sexual. So why was I ready to cry? Was it just because my introverted nature had been pushed to the limit, or was it something worse?

It’s taken me a day, and that knot in my stomach is here right now as I type this, but I think I’m slowly coming to terms with it – I don’t feel like I’m supposed to think of it as abuse. I tried to think about a reversed situation, where a middle aged man would try and kiss a 27 year old woman 3 times. It doesn’t matter how affectionate, or how much in jest, it was, there isn’t a feminist in the country that wouldn’t claim that as sexual harassment at the least, possibly even sexual abuse or some form of rape. And yet, here I was, two incidents in 30 minutes that left me incredibly uncomfortable and intimidated, and wondering why I felt so bad about it.

Feminists spend so long talking about how sexual abuse and harassment towards women is this daily occurrence, something that every woman goes through in her life, something that needs to be stopped, and yet there is never any mention, aside from a cursory mention here, a token re-tweet there, that the same thing happens to males. That’s because males love the attention. Men are sex fiends, if a woman tries to kiss them well men love that, men think about sex every 6 seconds so if a woman is ready and willing to kiss them then it’s time for sex. Men can’t be intimidated by women, women can’t cause real damage, only wimpy men are damaged by women, a real man can’t ever be abused by a woman.

I’m here to tell you otherwise. I think I was abused. I think I was harassed. I feel so stupid saying that. I feel abused because a woman wanted to kiss me while we were dancing, because a woman wanted to get me up on the dance floor. What kind of idiot thinks of that as abuse? I spoke to my mum and sister today about it. I chose to omit the part about her trying to kiss me because I felt so stupid saying it, but I included the rest. My sister said “I don’t think that counts as being felt up” (I told her I was felt up and not molested), my mum simply laughed and said that it should have been “the highlight of [my] year, surely?” I don’t think they understand the effect it can have on men. They know I’m introverted, they know I’m shy, so attention from a woman is good, no matter how close it lie to assault.

Whist I’m pretty sure what I went through could be labeled abuse, and if I were a woman telling this story I’m sure it would be unequivocally defined as so, I don’t feel there was any malice behind it. The women were drunk, but I expected people to be drunk as I knew I was at a party, they were just trying to show some affection, to show how fond they were of me. They may have gone overboard but they were being nice, just having a good time. That’s why I’m so torn about it, yes I didn’t enjoy it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see how well-intentioned it all was. Do I want to cause a fuss over something so innocuous and good-natured? I don’t know.

What I do know is that, for all the feminist crowing about how women can’t hurt men to the same degree men hurt women, or how harassment is worse for a woman because there’s a bigger sense of intimidation and danger, I say Go Fuck Yourselves. I’m 5’8 and 16 stones; I have long hair and, currently, a pretty thick beard. I’m not one who should be intimidated by women half my size and 5 inches shorter. But, let me tell you something loud and clear – I was uncomfortable, I was intimidated, I was way out of my comfort zone. Yes, it may seem like a rather innocent situation, a rather innocuous occurrence that any other man that night would have given his right arm to experience. Not me, I don’t believe what I went through was any less abuse because other men would have enjoyed it. Just because the women were smaller and lighter than me, it doesn’t mean what I went through was any less traumatic. It still sounds stupid me saying that word. I’m sure other men, and other women, will laugh: “haha, you didn’t like the attention from 2 women, what kind of loser are you!”

I still don’t know what happened to me last night. What I do know is that I read things all the time about how women are harassed on a daily basis by people saying stuff like ‘hello’ or, god forbid, asking them out for a drink. What they effectively say is ‘we acknowledge things happen to men, but it’s not as bad as what happens to women, so it’s not the same.’ What does a woman have to do to be guilty of sexual assault or sexual harassment towards a man? If the genders were reversed I’d say what happened to me was either of the aforementioned terms and all I’d have to do is go to Everyday Sexism on Twitter for a good round of sympathy. Being a man, where do I turn? Who’s going to listen to a 27 year old man who rejected female attention? Where’s my twitter account? Where’s the account I can go to where I don’t feel ostracised, or outcast, or ashamed.

And before you start, this is nothing to do with Patriarchy, it’s to do with the double standard of women being able to pretty much do what they want when it comes to contact with the opposite sex because of the perception they can’t intimidate a man, or the perception that all men are sex-obsessed beasts who can’t wait to get their cocks out at a moment’s notice. If I’d touched a woman’s shoulder when she didn’t want me to I’d be in a whole heap of shit if she complained,
and yet I have a drunken middle-aged woman trying to kiss me three times on the lips and I’m hesitant to call it abuse because I don’t feel there’s a support network in place that would take me seriously? How fucked up is that.

So yeah, at my staff Christmas party I was the victim of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Where do I turn?

I don’t know why, but I quite like the phrase ‘the war rages on’, it’s one of those turns of phrase that just conveys everything you want it to convey. It’s adaptable as well, really the only important part of it is ‘rages on’, you could pretty much prefix it with anything if you want to create an image of an ongoing conflict.

Truth is, I don’t see domestic violence as a ‘war’, I mentioned in a previous blog, I don’t see the gender differences as a ‘war’ at all, and hate the complete misuse of the word by feminists. By assigning the word ‘war’ to the petty differences that feminists do, it totally undermines the very real horrors of actual war. Soliders getting blown up in the desert is not comparable to somebody’s feelings being hurt because a nasty man said something mean. Boo hoo.

While I don’t believe there is a war, I do believe there are certain things that are extremely one sided. The fact that this is my third blog about domestic violence (fourth if you including my article on www.mhro.ca), or at least gender-violence in general, it should come as no surprise that I think domestic violence is one of them. When I was growing up I was constantly told ‘you never hit a woman’ over and over again, ad infinitum. I saw violence towards men every single day, on TV, in films, at school, etc, etc. Yet, the mantra was that women were never to be touched. Any time a man got punched on TV, well he probably deserved it. Anytime a woman got hit, well, all hell broke loose and everyone did what they could to support her. Violence against women in TV shows is taken seriously and treated as the sensitive subject it is. Violence against men is treated as something comic that we are expected to laugh at.

It’s one of those things that, due to the overbearing nature of our media, you’d think is pretty one sided. Whenever domestic violence is brought up in discussions, on tv, film or even among friends, there’s always a qualifier to justify why the conversation is skewed towards female victims – “There are male victims of domestic violence, however, the overwhelming majority of victims are women.” Well, that’s an outright lie. Countless, countless studies have shown that intimate partner violence occurs at similar levels when it’s reciprocal, and when it isn’t women instigate it more. The discrepancies occur when you take in to account the damage done. Women require hospitalisation more often than men, but women are more likely to use weapons. When all is said and done, it’s a horrible thing that affects both sexes on a fairly equal basis.

And yet, all the focus is on how we can stop violence towards women, with little to no consideration of men. Any time male victims are mentioned, they are soon dismissed and relegated to the backseat. Very rarely are the true stats mentioned, it’s still very much a one sided affair. A one sided affair that silences the thousands of male victims affected by this issue. What kind of shit storm would be created if stats showed women to be equal victims of a particular crime, yet they were always marginalised or cast aside to focus on men? Yeah, it’d be a pretty big one.

And yet, that is the exact situation we face with male victims. Constantly told they are not as important, constantly told their suffering doesn’t matter, constantly acknowledged then ignored, constantly brushed off as a minor irritant in the bigger picture, constantly downtrodden, laughed at, scorned, abused, ridiculed, accused of being weak. Is it any wonder men don’t speak out about domestic violence when no-one gives a shit?

In the last few weeks this one sided nature has become more and more apparent. It doesn’t matter what the campaign is, how well natured or well intended, how gender-neutral it tries to be, it always, always present women as the majority victims. I’ve got 3 different campaigns I want to draw attention to here, all of which mention men as victims, but relegate them an asterix, an anomaly that isn’t worth the focus.

The first is an Australian advertising campaign I became aware of on Facebook:

http://www.cfmeu.asn.au/news/real-men-dont-abuse-women-cfmeu-launches-anti-violence-campaign

Seems like a worthy campaign, real men don’t hit women. A construction union that targets the tough men in the construction industry. A worthwhile cause, don’t get me wrong. But I want to compare that another campaign and just show you that, no matter what, men can’t catch a break.

The Avon Foundation for women:

http://www.avonfoundation.org/causes/domestic-violence/seethesigns/#.UqoT19FFD5o

Another well meaning, well intentioned campaign that tries to highlight the signs before it gets too far.

The problem is, both of these campaigns present men as the aggressors. Admittedly the Avon campaign does have some gender-neutral pictures, but they are ambiguous and can be applied to both sexes, mostly it’s explicitly dealing with spotting the signs if a male is abusing a female. Very little consideration is given to highlighting male victims outright, only ambiguous pictures that could be interpreted either way.

All that aside, the one thing I do want to highlight that I think absolutely highlights the way we look at the whole issue of domestic violence is who exactly makes up the audience of those campaigns. The Australian campaign has this to say: “As a union with a large percentage of male members, we are in a unique position to communicate with men and we feel that we have a responsibility to stand up and speak out on this issue.” So basically, because a large percentage of the unions members are men, it’s about time we reached out to men and implored them to help stop domestic violence, it’s about time they took a stand and did everything they could to eradicate this terrible crime against women. With it being a union full of men, do you not think it would be an excellent chance to educate people al all forms of domestic violence? Even the type that victimises their fellow gender? What better way to educate people to the plight that men face than by appealing to a union full of men, what better way than to let a union full of men know that one of their colleagues may be suffering at the hands of a woman, what better way to finally break the stigma, stop demonising men as the only aggressors and highlight the real issue of female-perpetrated domestic violence! But no, predictably the campaign focuses on how men can stop violence against women, not eve na cursory look at male victims. In a profession as butch and macho as the construction industry this is a huge opportunity missed, and further sidelines male victims into the ‘we don’t give a fuck’ category.

Ah well, not to matter, it was entirely predictable. Maybe the Avon campaign will be better, I mean, they at least give a cursory nod to male victims with some gender neutral posters. Well, you’d think that but, actually, if their Facebook page is anything to go by, that didn’t go down very well. Instead of drawing attention to domestic violence as a whole, people actually got very annoyed at Avon’s one sided campaign, and weren’t shy in letting their feelings be known:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=546976822055591&set=a.247356905350919.62973.216741958412414&type=1&theater

Honestly speaking, they have a point. It wouldn’t have taken a lot to change the pronoun ‘he’ to ‘they’. Yeah, it’s still gender neutral and can be taken to mean either sex, but at least it’s more of a neutral campaign that can easily be applied to both sexes. Instead of making explicit examples of female victims and only inferred examples of male victims it could have drawn attention to violence as an entire, gender sweeping problem, instead of the narrow focus it has.

You’d have thought that, being a big company like Avon, it would have taken the comments on board and perhaps edited their campaign to be little more reflective of the numerous studies available. But no, they didn’t, they came out with this crass statement instead:

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/y472/johnsalmonworld/avon_zps77aaed70.png

Interestingly, that reply was posted 8 days ago, and has only received 1 like. I take that as a good sign, that people are seeing through their bullshit, predictable, callous response to genuine anger and frustration at such a misguided campaign. The wording of the text is completely dismissive of every genuine emotion and feeling put in to those comments by followers of the page.

Basically, what it boils down to is this: most of that Facebook page is women, therefore we will appeal only to women, and as women make up the ‘overwhelming majority’ of domestic abuse victims we will only focus on them.

That’s how short-sighted it is. It peddles outright lies to justify it’s one sided crusade to portray women as the victims 100% of the time. Then, when it’s called out on its bullshit, it tries to pass it off by saying that it’s playing to the majority audience.

That’s what pisses me off, men can’t win. There’s absolutely no situation in which men get the focus of these campaigns. In Australia, we have a construction union made up mostly of male members. Instead of highlighting the issue male victims face, or even acknowledging that male victims exists, it decides to come from the angle of men being able to stop violence against women. When a company like Avon, with a predominantly female following, also takes the same tack in trying to get women to recognise the signs of abuse, with some ambiguous neutrality thrown in there as well it just shows how little male victims are thought of. Men are taught not to hit women, women are taught to see the signs of an abusive man. Where are women being taught not to hit men? Where are men being taught to see the signs of an abusive woman? It’s sickening.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I saw this advert on TV the other night:

http://s1276.photobucket.com/user/johnsalmonworld/media/IMG_27531_zps1d24ec4b.mp4.html

Every single little sound bite mentions ‘she’, which leads the MTV generation to believe that domestic violence is solely made up of female victims. Again, not even a consideration, a cursory mention of male victims. What are people supposed to believe when TV campaigns mention only female victims and completely miss the opportunity to address male victims? What world would accept a campaign that completely ignored female victims of a crime in which they suffered as equally as men? Not this one!

The website for the Call It Out campaign does a slightly better job of promoting domestic violence as a gender neutral issue, replacing all the ‘she’s with ‘your boyfriend or girlfriend’, but you only have to look at the contact numbers at the bottom for another glance at how male victims are treated.

The ‘National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline’ is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence. Yep, that’s right. The National helpline for domestic violence only caters for women. If you’re a men who’s suffering you have to call a different helpline, Respect. So, a helpline with the world National in it, which, any sane person would assume, is an official helpline for everyone in the nation is a women-only helpline for female victims. Men have a completely different phoneline, no mention of national in there literature.

So there you have it, if you’re a woman then you have an entire service dedicated to dealing with your needs, yours is the comfy room with all the mod cons, the comfy chair, big screen tv, cosy fireplace, the room that is deliberately created to look as appealing as possible, to show outsiders that everything is being done to make sure you feel comforted and safe from the abuse you’ve suffered. If you’re a man, your room is the old store cupboard, with no tv, a rickety old bed and a filled in fireplace, a way to hide you from the outside world like the embarrassment you are.

A war on women? Don’t make me laugh. What kind of ‘war’ caters to the enemy’s every demand? What kind of ‘war’ allows the enemy to wallow in comfort, while making its allies suffer out in the cold. There is no war on women, particularly in the case of domestic violence. It happens, I get it, I’m not denying it. But how on earth you can claim that women are oppressed or marginalised when there are 3 different ad campaigns that are presenting you as the victim, doing everything they can to stop abuse towards, setting up national helplines that cater only to you I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense.

Any time these campaigns appear, the well-intentioned but woefully misguided campaigns that promote female suffering over male suffering, they only succeed in driving men further and further away. If you were an abused man, how would you feel if every single domestic violence campaign you saw told you how women were the victims and men the oppressors, if every single campaign you saw told you how you could stop violence against women, without any consideration of the suffering you’ve been through, if every time someone raised a concern about how one-sided a campaign was they were shot down with some of the most appallingly blasé attitudes towards your suffering that they could come up with? Would it not simply create the idea that your suffering is not important? That your suffering is worthless? That your suffering, perhaps, isn’t even real? That your suffering is simply invented, made up, fabricated and that the violence you are encountering is just a woman fighting back against the oppression she has suffered her entire life?

So, the war rages on, with little sign of slowing down. Is there an end in sight? I can’t see it. There’s too much money to be made from keeping women scared. Too much money from keeping women scared of their husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, friends, etc. Too much money to be made from allowing women to believe they are always the victim, and allowing men to believe their suffering means nothing.

Yeah, let’s just pretend for a second there is a war on women, who exactly are the ones waging it? I know where I’m putting my money!