Saturday, May 11, 2013

Why I No Longer Consider Myself a Feminist: Part Three

Men Are Victims, Too

There are three issues that seem to be the primary concerns of current feminism: Reproductive Rights, The Fair Pay Act and The Violence Against Women Act (which goes hand in hand with all the recent talk of rape culture). I plan to write more in depth posts on each of these, but the one that really contributed to my decision to abandon feminism is the Violence Against Women Act.

Who could oppose that, right? Surely you'd have to be some kind of monster to oppose a bill that protects someone from violence.

I really hope that it's already obvious that part of my issue with it is the simple fact that it doesn't include men. If it isn't obvious, then I am genuinely concerned that people are actually being brainwashed by feminism.

How would people (read: feminists) react if there was a Violence Against Men Act? It's not a crazy idea; men are far more likely to be victims of violence. Yes it's true that this is often because men get in fights with each other; men are more likely to be aggressive and thus open themselves up to retaliation, and they are more likely to be associated with gangs. A Violence Against Men Act would probably be something to help men escape gangs, or possibly something that would give them support when they know there is a target on them.

Can you imagine what the feminist consensus would be on such a bill? It wouldn't matter that men are more likely to be gang victims; women still need to be included. So why does it matter that women are more likely to be victims of rape or domestic violence? Isn't it in fact contradictory to feminism to say that women need extra protection? 

I believe that people matter on an individual level. If only one man in the history of the entire world was raped, he should receive just as much support as a woman. I believe that things like this bill are indicative of an underlying misandry (wow, even spell check doesn't think that exists): men are perpetrators. Do individual men lose the right not to be victimised because of other men who victimise others?

If anything, the fact that it is less common for men to be victims of rape and domestic abuse means that they are the ones who should have their own bill. There are so many support options for female victims, and even with that there are so many women who are too ashamed to reach out for help. Isn't the shame multiplied for a man because it is so uncommon?

Men are victims of domestic violence. Men are victims of rape (and it's not always men who are the perpetrators). There is not one single reason that the Violence Against Women Act should be the Violence against Women Act, and I certainly hope that, despite the name, male victims aren't excluded from the protection that it offers. It may just be a name, but calling it that only reinforces the taboos that make male victims so hesitant to reach out for help.

I can't support a movement that claims to be about equality when it has not problem with a bill that only supports the interests of one gender. It's a movement that says "Women and men are inherently the same, but women need more protection", and "Women and men need equal rights, but men don't need these particular rights".

I think it's time you stopped telling me to look up the definition of 'feminism' and looked up 'equality' yourself.

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