I Am Annoyed, Please Read.

Please comment on this if you have read it, you don’t have to talk about it, I just honestly want to know if anyone reads these things. I know it’s long. But this is important to me. And I hope to you too.

First off I think I should say that I’m posing a question, but I don’t want a debate. That’s pretty sucky of me I know… but I kind of think that people, once reading the facts, and the links, will have an opinion either way, and that almost always, you wont be able to change that. My experiences on many message boards, blogs, and comment threads have proved this. You have trolls, and you have stalactites and stalagmites, one refuses to let go of his/her ill founded beliefs, nitpicks at semantics, and the other uses strength of argument, and generally credible rhetoric, but has an opposing view. I have never seen anyone change their mind through force of argument. however well substantiated. I write this, instead that it reaches people who have not yet made their minds up. If this does not convince you, further discussion certainly wont.

Posted here was a short piece asking for support for the 1 in 10 campaign being run bby Amnesty, which aims to raise awareness about violence against women, and the severe lack of provision for support. The comment thread is the essay part. Largely consisting of people dismissing that 1) statistics prove anything 2)that male violence against women is a problem because men are subject to violence too 3) that because of this, gendered violence should not be campaigned against, because it is ‘divisive’. and 4) that ‘violence’ is considered by statistics to count silly little things like arguments and verbal abuse, oh and the evergreen 5) it’s bad, but men evolved that was so what can we do about it?

This is what I posted.

The website the campaign links to, map of gaps, lists the following as it’s definition of ‘violence’:
* domestic violence
* rape and sexual violence
* forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence
* trafficking and sexual exploitation
* stalking
* sexual harassment
* sexual abuse of girls
* female genital mutilation

And the leaflet at map of gaps actually provides a lot of answers RE why specialist services are necessary etc.

I would also add I don’t think that this discussion has been ‘divisive’ in a negative way- rather a demonstrative one, it appears (I could be wrong) to have split down quite even gender lines, ie the only voices criticising have been those defending male privilege – deflecting by mentioning violence against men etc. (though men have defended also)

As @13strong and others have pointed out better than I shall, different and malign forces deeper in society cause gendered violence. And besides, there are plenty of campaigns against football violence, racism and violence, homophobic violence, and young kids knifing themselves, these things cannot all be solved by the same methods, but no one ever calls them on their ‘divisive’ attitude by criticising their lack of focus on other forms of violence do they?

Oh and the guy using evolution to justify male violence, you helped me fill in another bingo square.

Statistics are an important way of communicating information, and unfortunately (I feel) have an unjust reputation for fakery. Check the source, if it’s a large body, their methods are sound, and they are honest about their facts, trust them to a sensible degree I say.

So here’s a statistic I just researched, and their sources: say you have a class of 30 girls. In their lives 10 will be subject to gendered violence.

sure by using the ‘young girls’ image I am inviting ideas of innocence, vulnerability etc. But that’s just good campaign tactics. How else are you to get people to listen?

Let’s try it differently then.

1 in 3 females in the UK will be subject to gendered violence in their lifetime.

The 1 in 3 figure I used was a 2% rounding up of the addition of the 23% of women who experience (and report) sexual assault as an adult and the 5% of women who experience (and report) rape. Source. The rounding up was just to get a easily divisible figure, and should be very easily exceeded by the puported amount of un-reported assult/harrassment (40% of adults who are raped tell no one about it).

The 1 in 10 is a current figure being run for international women’s day by Amnesty International from a campaign by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the End Violence Against Women coalition: source and source

I think it’s drawn from the 6-10% women per YEAR who are subject to violence(as of 2002)statistic found in the supporting evidence here.

The lifetime statistic is 1 in 4.

Oh and the male figures are provided there too:

“45% women and 26% men had experienced at least one incident of inter-personal violence in their lifetimes. (Walby and Allen, 2004) ”

so surely, demonstrably, it is a problem?

I’m hoping that all of those links etc. make my point transparent – there is real evidence that this is a problem. Yes other problems exist. But this is one too. so why not give it your support?

Once, in discussion about the appalling state of gender inequality in this country someone used the argument ‘well yes, if you’re going to use *facts*, *facts* can prove anything’ against me. If your criticism denies substantiated statistics there’s no debating with you. You’re never going to know all of the method of the information gathering. How else do you suggest we prove something needs tackling?

That’s going to be all I say on this matter, sorry if it’s seemed meandering. These kind of things normally get me unduly stressed and upset because there seems to be such a ridiculous and unfounded resistance to anything that talks about gender-based injustices. Yes that gives you little way to enter into dialogue/redress. I’m sorry. I just think that perhaps agreeing that violence against anyone is A Bad Thing. And supporting a campaign aiming to help a group of victims is not.

Over and out.

My post got deleted. Could have been a mistake, or my unwillingness to debate.

Why am I posting here? I don’t know. I bloody care about it. And I find it odd that seemingly logical people deny that gender inequality, object culture, and that violence against women either occur, or are a problem in comparison to other things.

In the UK

one in three women will be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime

one in ten women are subject to seriously sexual or (physical) domestic abuse every year

For every £1 of income received by the average man, the average woman receives 54p (2004)

Just over 5% of rapes reported to the police in 2004 ended in a conviction.(this figure was 33% in 1975)

women make up only 20% of MPs

And the UK was severely criticised by the UN last year for its treatment of and discrimination against women:

(Facts not substantiated above are sourced from here)

Sure there are other issues out there. but this is one too. I also campaign against human rights abuses and for the environment and I find that people rarely accuse their causes of using fabricated statistics, or of making a big deal about nothing, or of concentrating on one problem, when many others exist.

Why is this?

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One Response to “I Am Annoyed, Please Read.”

  1. Elizabeth Layton November 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Hi there. Powerful stuff. I linked to this post through an article link you placed on Twitter and will whole heartedly be re-tweeting that often. I don’t have a blog yet but may start one! I recently trained as a counsellor due in fact to my past experiences. I personally have experienced both domestic violence and sexual abuse, harressment and rape all of these things in more than one relationship and by strangers. It’s also fair to say that those women who experience any gender based violence will experience it more than once, I’m not sure that’s taken into account. I agree with the fact that even the good guys say hang on…what about ALL violence and violence to men etc. Even my lovely husband who has cried with me and got angry with me and wholly supports stopping violence against women will get defensive on that one. They just don’t get it. Yes we care about ALL violence and in an ideal world we should all be working towards ending ALL violence. I would happily and without judgement work with both female and males who have experienced abuse and violence. But I feel the point is, that stopping violence against women is a whole separate issue, one that is huge and still overlooked, played down, is it really that bad…YES IT IS! Unfortunately it’s getting worse. Those that condone it through ignorance, excuses….it’s always been that way etc etc well bollocks to that is all I can say. I remember the Government making promises to help take away the veil of ignorance, create more opportunities for better training amongst police, more rape crisis centres, campaigning on the tele. I think in the last several years I’ve seen two anti domestic violence campaigns. The culture of gender based violence is deep rooted but has recently seen a resurgence. I am aware of young girls..that should be enjoying their first ‘puppy love’ and instead getting something far different. What worries me even more is the apparent acceptance of it..that somehow this is the normal way to behave in a relationship. This is just plain wrong. It frightens me. I still hear people say things about honour based killings etc…it’s not as bad or as often as they say, does it really happen? Blimey. Trouble is it’s not very nice to think about, people would rather not talk about it, they don’t like it and hope it will go away by itself. Being silent is almost as bad as committing the act. We live in an ‘oh dear’ society. While we refuse to face it, it will be allowed through silence, through apathy, ignorance and lack of education to continue.

    I sent a petition a while ago along with Amnesty to ask for change to ‘no recourse to public funds’ for those women who arrive here and are not allowed status and therefore not allowed any help. The letter I received back at the time was to be polite vague got best. I’m hoping now it’s starting to urn in the right direction, although we still have such a long long way to go. There is a definite vibe going round the country at the moment with regards to violence and rape against women. I hope we can hold onto that and swell our ranks and keep pushing the message home and start to change things. When I was researching something for domestic violence I discovered to my horror that the law allowing exemption for rape in marriage (and relationships) wasn’t overturned till 1991…I had thought it was quite a bit earlier. Says a a lot about just how far along we’ve come as a society…or not.

    There is still an attitude cultivated amongst women too. Yes, there’s those men who keep perpetuating the myths that it’s our fault when it happens, they way we behave, the way we are, the way we dress etc. We as girls and young women are practically conditioned from birth about how we should behave in our gender role, some of it is good some of it very negative. We are taught to be submissive, we find out quickly that if we apologise and blame ourselves that we can avoid being hit or verbally abused, that men expect sex and we should yield. Hmm…but some of this rubbish comes from women we know, women we trust, women we learn from. Sometimes when we have experienced violence we tell our trusted companions, our mothers even, just to receive a second wounding. Comments like, well you’ve made your bed…, oh I’m sure he didn’t mean it…, men will be men…, what are you doing wrong…., I’ve had worse than…., can’t you kiss and make up you’ve got to think of the kids…oh the list goes on and on. So the woman goes away feeling confused, doubting herself and thinking she may be wrong after all…just like her husband/partner says she is. I worry about my two girls growing up what they may encounter, but I’m doing my best to educate them.

    Apologies for my rant! You have my support as do the organizations and people working towards stopping this cycle of violence.


    Elizabeth. Twitter – eal_counselling

    http://www.ealayton.co.uk info@ealayton.co.uk

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