Gender violence: it’s all too predictable.

Posted: May 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Yes, this blog is about gender violence (for the umpteenth time) but I need to preface it with something that, possibly, will seem irrelevant but, ultimately, is not.

I started this piece a few days ago, actually before the last entry on rape culture. I stopped writing it because the ideas weren’t coming freely enough. I had a page of writing but it didn’t seem like I’d actually addressed anything I wanted to address, it was irrelevant waffle, nothing that was of any interest to me and, therefore, to you.

Then, I awoke yesterday morning (it’s currently Tuesday night in the UK) to see the story of Elliot Rodger had exploded on the internet. Elliot Rodger killed and wounded a number of people before killing himself. Theories as to why he did it range from male entitlement to misogyny to loneliness to the MRM. It lead to the trending of the #yesallwomen topic, followed by #yesallpeople. I have a lot of thoughts whirling round in my head about this incident, thoughts that I might try and put down on paper at some point. For now, let’s just say we have one more tragic incident to think about, that resulted in some families losing their children. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only thing people should be talking about.

So, why bring up a spree-killing in a blog entry about gender violence? Well, because it’s caused me to scrap the page of stuff I had already written a couple of days ago and start from scratch.

I’ve written about gender violence before but, unfortunately, not a great deal seems to have changed. Yes, male victims of gender violence are starting to get recognition, but it’s still something that the majority don’t seem to embrace. I use the term ‘gender violence’ instead of ‘domestic violence’ for two reason – 1) I keep misspelling ‘domestic’ whenever I write it, which bugs the fuck out of me when I have to go back and correct it. 2) ‘domestic’ makes it sound like something that happens in the home. It’s not. Gender violence happens everywhere, to both men and women, in public and in private.

It’s no secret that gender violence, as with most other crimes, is seen as almost exclusively male perpetrated. There are thousands of shelters across the world for female victims of violence at the hands of males but very little, in some cases none, by way of support when it comes to men being victims of women.

Why? Because patriarchy. That is, if you listen to modern feminists. We still live in a society where it’s patriarchy that stops men from being seen as victims because we see women as incapable of committing violence. What they don’t seem to want to admit is that it is the feminist movement that is as much to blame. Much like their ‘no women ever lie about rape’ rhetoric, they present one sided ‘facts’ to support their argument – a woman is abused every 9 seconds in the US, 2 women die per week at the hands of their partner, etc. Do I believe these claims? No. Does that mean I deny the existence of gender violence? Of course not. So why do I think that feminism is to blame for the under-reporting of male victims?

Well, this certainly doesn’t help:

Barbara Ellen should be a name familiar to you all. She is, after all, the woman who wrote the article that was the subject of my last blog on rape culture:

I mentioned in that blog how Ellen’s thinking amounts to ‘men have no problems, women have them all.’ Nowhere is that more apparent than her. If we take the sum total of 2 of her articles (and bear in mind that she’s been a Guardian columnist for over 5 years) and boil it down to the essentials, it basically comes out as this:

Underage boys who are raped are not really victims; men who are beat up by women are not really victims.

It does lead one to one rather pertinent question: at what point does Ellen consider men to actually be victims? Or, as I fear, is she of the opinion that men can’t be victims be ‘the oppressor can’t be victimised.’?

Now, I’ve noticed a trend recently where I’ve begun to use the word ‘cunt’ more often. I used this particular word to describe Barbara Ellen in the aforementioned blog on rape culture, but I think it’s worth repeating here. On a line of its own. In bold:

Barbara Ellen, you’re a cunt.

I’m fully aware of the ramifications of that insult, and I’ll be sure to expect some kind of notice from a highly-regarded (note: invisible) doctor claiming my insults have given Barbara Ellen PTSD or some other bullshit, but it’s a risk I’m prepared to take.

I was going to focus solely on that article but, really, I don’t have the energy, and I certainly don’t want to waste energy, on that vacuous waste of space. Instead, I thought it would be a good idea to just draw attention to how gender violence is still seen when the victim is male.

The above link is referencing something very recent – a quite brutal attack by Solange Knowles on Jay-Z:

It’s an interesting story because it’s a high profile man being attacked by the sister of his high-profile wife (I have to admit I had no idea Beyonce even had a sister, but that’s irrelevant). Now, we’ve seen cases of high-profile women being beaten before, Chris Brown and Rihanna for example, but the reaction to this particular is hypocrisy central. When Chris Brown beat Rihanna, indeed when Charles Saatchi was seen choking Nigella Lawson in public, we got articles that examind the ‘pandemic’ of violence towards women and how ‘it can happen to you’:

Did we get the same feeling of repulsion when Jay-Z was the victim? Did we fuck! Quite apart from Barbara Ellen’s rather ridiculous article above, a quick scan of Google reveals the extent of the sympathy we feel towards male victims:

Yeah, rather than newspaper articles sympathising, worrying for the male victim, rather than exposes of ‘abused men are too afraid to report it’, we get ‘what did Jay-Z do to deserve being beaten?’

The feminists have a buzzword for that, it’s called victim blaming and, according to them, it’s something that only matters when it’s being done to women.

Apparently, when men hit women that man’s an arsehole, when a woman hits a man the man’s an arsehole and probably deserved it.

Think that’s harsh? I don’t. It’s been proven time and time again that when a woman hits a man, especially in public, people just assume it’s because he deserves it: (the video title in this one is particularly cruel)

“That’s all well and good, but those videos are old,” I hear you say, “surely things have changed? I mean, when Tyrone was beat up on Coronation Street calls from men to domestic violence hotlines tripled!” Yeah, and that’s a massive step forward which needs to continue.

Unfortunately, we haven’t come as far as we think, if this video is anything to go by. It was recorded in the middle of May this year, 2014, on a busy London street:

I’m not saying this is gospel, I’m not saying that there aren’t places where some people would help and intervene on the man’s behalf but we can only go on what we’ve seen and, internationally, the videos all seem to show the same outcome – people really don’t care when men are abused. At least, not enough to actually intervene and do something.

And it’s not just the people in the videos, the comments sections are quite eye opening. The victim blaming is immense and seems to boil down to two arguments:

  1. The man could easily defend himself because he’s stronger.
  2. The man should stop being a pussy and just walk away.

Unfortunately, what they both fail to take into account is the simple fact that, when it comes to women, physical violence often comes after the man has taken a verbal battering. Notice how she berates him loudly first, then puts her hands on him, then attempts to choke him. There is no way we can even begin to comprehend what his mindset is when he’s in that situation, yet people still try and claim the know what he should have done, as if they knew what actually was going through his mind as he was being verbally berated and then physically assaulted. I’m not going to even pretend I know what he felt like, but I will say this: I have been publically embarrassed before and it was the worst feeling ever. I couldn’t have defended myself even if I wanted to. The shame, the humiliation, it coursed through me like fire, it burnt into every fibre of my body. I was completely powerless. If I felt that powerless, imagine how this man feels.

This video has made its way onto various internet sites. My other Facebook feed being one of them, Imgur being another.

Sadly, some of the responses are all too typical of why there seems to be no progress made when it comes to gender violence and male victims.

‘There’s no reason to hit a woman’ is something that is hard-wired into a man’s brain. It’s something that is beaten into us from a young age, something we are told ‘real men’ don’t do. Meanwhile, I see women being actively encouraged to take out their frustrations physically on a man. He cheated so he deserved it, he looked at another woman so he deserved it, he said something I didn’t like so he deserved it.

Despite the fact that numerous men told their stories of being abused:

People still managed to shame the men for ‘allowing’ themselves to be victimised and ‘defend’ those who stood by and did nothing:

Men are stronger, they can push women off. That doesn’t take into account the aforementioned hard-wiring of ‘you don’t hit a woman’. It doesn’t take into account the fact that the abuse directed at men by women, as seen in the video, often starts out as verbal, insulting, belittling, before becoming physical. By that point, it doesn’t matter if you’re 5 foot or 6 foot, you’ve already been ground down, beaten mentally and now beaten physically. Plus, there’s the risk that if, or when, you do strike back there’ll a nice mob of people to ‘help’ you out by adding another layer to the violence and beating you again.

To questioning how ‘manipulative’ the editing was:

To spinning the conversation round to focus on women or suggesting that focus on men’s rights isn’t that important:

There was one particularly fitting comment though. It highlights a rather pertinent point:

Why don’t men help other men? It’s a question that I’ve yet to see an acceptable answer to, in all the videos posted above. Why don’t men help other men?

Of course, one of the most disturbing responses was this:

That’s why I mentioned Elliot Rodger at the start of this piece. Simple because, a discussion about men being the victim of domestic violence not only gets derailed by victim blaming, excusing the bystanders who did nothing and twisting the conversation to still make women the victims, we manage to someone lessen the need to focus on male victims because one male did something abhorrent with a gun in California.

Feminists often moan that men derail threads about violence towards women with ‘what about teh menz’ cries. Well, it’s because we’re pretty sick of being made out to be the sole perpetrators of these crimes when, quite clearly, it happens to men too, in comparable numbers.

In fact, sometimes the numbers aren’t comparable:

The above study is from 2007, I hardly think the numbers will have changed since then. I always harp on about needing to take statistics with a pinch of salt. But it’s hard to dismiss them altogether in this case, as the videos show quite clearly that female on male violence is a real problem, not just because it happens but because we are still so blasé about the way we react to it.

I bring up Elliot Rodger because he inadvertently set off a bit of a firestorm on Twitter. The #yesallwomen trend exploded after his killings were made public, with numerous feminists wasting no time in aligning him with the MRM and telling us, almost gleefully, that his spree was the result of ‘male entitlement’ and ‘extreme misogyny’. I’ll shortly be writing a piece on Elliot Rodger, but this isn’t the time to go into it.

The point is that, quite rightly, men on Twitter were a little annoyed that, once again, feminists were demonising men and claiming to speak for all women:

despite numerous women coming out and publically declaring they disagreed with the trend.

 If statistics show that 40% of men are victims of gender violence, and 70% of incidents are perpetrated by females, it’s understandable that men would seem a little ostracised by a trend that only seems to focus on the victimisation of women.

It’s even more galling when the real suffering of men, at the hands of women, is cast aside because women don’t like being called darlin’:

The fact is, that statistic at the end of the video is not the whole picture. We are constantly told that 90% of rapes are unreported due to women fearing they won’t be believed. If that’s the case then it’s not beyond the realm of possibility to think that that 40% figure offered in the video is lowballing, an idea of just those brave enough to report their crimes.

#yesallwomen – feminists complain that men always turn discussions around to them, but they fail to consider the fact that feminists are the ones who continue this one way discussion when it comes to issues of rape and gender violence. Is it any wonder men have started to get sick of being demonised when it’s becoming clearer and clearer that men suffer at similar, if not more in some cases, rates that women do.

The fact that the #yesallwomen trend became #yesallpeople was a disgrace to feminists because, apparently, it was a way of silencing women. I’m sorry to say, but women have been the sole victims for far too long, now it’s time to stop the politicising of gender violence and focus on the only people who matter, the victims, regardless of gender.

You want to know why men are pissed at feminists, why men are pissed at #yesallwomen? Because it blatantly drives their suffering underground. When a trending topic is focused on particular crimes but is primarily dealing with only one gender it pushes aside every other piece of suffering, it implies, sometimes blatantly states, that the only suffering that matters is those of women. When feminists scream misogyny because men are trying to get their voices heard, when the shaming vocabulary of ‘privilege’ comes out, when a hashtag trend demonises men and paints every last woman on the planet as a victim it casually dismisses the fact that men are suffering, and suffering in a way that some women can’t even comprehend.

Is it any wonder young men are snapping and becoming violent when they aren’t receiving the treatment they need, when their problems and their agony is being pushed aside because some entitled little shit is complaining about not being able to wear spaghetti straps in hot weather? What message does it send when a hashtag devoted to women becomes ‘important’ in the discourse on violence, but a hashtag that tries to be more inclusive is derided as misogynistic?

What does it say that men are constantly silenced, that rape of men, in the UK, isn’t even classed as a crime, that we live in a ‘rape culture’ that only seems to effect women, while journalists can sit on their arses and write articles about how women who rape underage boys shouldn’t be sent to prison, a culture where feminists listen to a story about a woman raping a drunk man and then cheering it as if it was some sort of lesson in empowerment, a lesson where we’re told that it’s ‘not the same’ when a woman hits a man as it is when a man hits a woman?

Fuck those men who are being beaten by their partners, fuck those men who are suffering at the hands of those who are supposed to love them, fuck those men being raped, fuck those boys being taken advantage of fuck those boys being slaughtered for getting an education, fuck them all, nobody cares about you, nobody cares about you because you’re scum, you’re nothing, you’re evil, predatory, bigoted, sexist, dehumanising, objectifying, raping, beating, violent pieces of dirt who don’t deserve any attention whatsoever.

No, fuck you feminists. Fuck you and your constant demonising of men, and of women who support men and don’t buy into your ideals. Want to know why more and more people are shunning you? Because you’re pathetic, your attempts at perpetual victimhood are no longer working. People are seeing the truth, that the role of ‘abused’ is no longer solely the realm of women, it is the realm of humans. Trying any trick in the book to hold onto your victimhood is beginning to wear very thin. People are waking up to your hypocrisy, people are beginning to realise that you are nothing but professional victims.

Any time a discourse is opened on male victims, it would appear some women so intent on being victims that they cannot bear to share the victim spotlight with anyone else.

It’s time to stop pretending that men aren’t victims, it’s time to stop treating male victims as if they were invisible. It’s time to stop pretending that hashtags like ‘yesallpeople are misogynistic and actually think about what it’s implying. What’s sexist about ‘people’? Is it because it’s not solely about women? Newsflash for you, that line of thinking is sexist.

Who were the main complainants of the development of #yesallwomen into ‘yesallpeople? Yep, feminists.

Time to drop the victimhood, sisters. No-one’s buying your shit anymore.

  1. Chris Holt says:

    Can I just point out a couple obvious facts?

    You are a white man. Your blog title is amazingly accurate; it truly is your world. I laughed out loud when you said you had yet to feel any privilege from being white. It’s kind of like saying you’ve never seen gravity.

    Nobody was worried about Jay-Z because he was not in danger, aside from his bodyguards he is a 6′ 2″ man and Solange is a 5′ 8″ woman. Unless she has a weapon she poses no physical threat to him.

    And to repudiate this fact you say that public humiliation was the “worst feeling ever. The shame, the humiliation, it coursed through me like fire, it burnt into every fibre of my body.”

    I literally just read an article where you told fat people to get over other people’s teasing because “words hold as much power as we give them”. Come on, John.

    i don’t want to discount the experiences you’ve had that have shaped your outlook but your logic is just so shortsighted.

    I agree that when it comes to gender violence there is probably more coverage of domestic abuse perpetrated by men than that perpetrated by woman, but it’s the same reason that there is more coverage of racial discrimination against black people than the other way around, even though they both happen.

    Woman are victimized, brother. There is no way around that. They are treated as less-thans to men on a day-to-day basis. That doesn’t mean you aren’t going to find examples to the contrary, but pointing out an instance of discrimination in one direction doesn’t negate the dozen instances in the other direction. There are gender roles and norms that were put in place before either of us were born that favor men over women. That favor whites over minorities. You come from UK, right? Maybe woman’s rights are at more of a deficit in the US. But as someone from UK, given your countries history of colonization, don’t you see how we are just now coming out from that long shadow in terms of equality for people other than white men?

    You obviously are a thoughtful person to spend so much time putting your thoughts down, does any of this resonate with you?

    • johnsalmon86 says:

      Whilst I take your point about my ‘privilege’ I could flip it back and say the exact same thing about blacks, latinos, Asians, women and other such ‘oppressed’ groups. If ‘privilege’ is something that we don’t acknowledge because we don’t see it ourselves then I can say that, conceivably, any group can have their privilege used against them in arguments by me. And no, it’s not the same as gravity. Everyone benefits the same from gravity, supposedly not everyone benefits the same from ‘privilege’. I don’t deny it’s a valid concept, but the idea that my life super-duper easy just because I’m a white man makes me laugh out loud.

      You’ve pretty much just reiterated what I said – no-one cared about Jay-Z because he was bigger. That’s not the point, a smaller person can kill a bigger person, size is irrelevant. not saying Solange was trying to kill Jay-z, but to say he wasn’t in danger is ridiculous.

      Where did I make the comment you’ve quoted? I genuinely don’t remember. And, if you’ll go back and read that blog I did on fat shaming I say that it’s as much my fault as theirs when I let comments like that have an effect on me. Yeah, people can be cunts but it’s up to me to not let them tear me down. If you read all of what I’m saying that should have been clear.

      The fact that you bring up colonisation as a way to try and discredit my writing, or insinuate I’m cherry picking stories to elevate the cases of violence against men is ridiculous. You’ve read, what, two of my blog entries? You somehow missed all of the comments I linked to in this very blog? You somehow missed the countless other entries I’ve made on this blog about the way male victims of violence and assault are treated? I’m not cherry picking anything and, again if you’d read anything more than a couple of pieces, I’ve never said I don’t believe women go through any of this shit. In fact, whenever I write about rape I always, always mention that I’m not trying to diminish the experiences women go through. Why? Because there’s usually someone like you who thinks simply acknowledging issues men face is somehow dismissing the issues women face.

      The fact you’ve chosen a blog about male victims to make a comment that tries, again, to spin the narrative into ‘come on, women still have it worse’ is exactly why I started this blog in the first place.

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