Sunday, 5 June 2011

"He's my boyfriend, I can hit him if I want to"

The quote in the title is from this story, in the Guardian of all places.

No one working for that newspaper is going to question where the attitudes of this girl come from (prevalent attitudes towards men, differences in perception of violence towards men and women), though many lines of print are written there on which attitudes towards women lead to violence.

I'd like to ask anyone reading this to think about why this was said - why the girl thought it was ok to say this. Here are some guesses:

a) the knowledge that she will probably escape a prison sentence (now where oh where did I read that someone wanted to empty women's prisons because they are too nasty? Do let me know)

b) common representations of men as more expendable in the media.How many times have we heard on the news that "women and children" were amongst those hurt" in some disaster, natural or otherwise. Hurting a man is represented as more or less ok, and frequently justified, if you watch BBC dramas.

The fact that we are (probably) hard-wired to have a little more sympathy for women and children doesn't mean we can pretend violence towards men is morally any different. Or we can, only if you are ready to disregard everything that is said about gender equality being for the greater good. You will also have to ignore anyone who claims that attitudes of 'men' towards 'women' are the cause of rape/violence. Some examples of this from our favourite rag:

I wonder at how easy it was for me to come up with those examples...

Yet if you say this to feminists, they look mystified. They simply cannot see how, if "attitudes towards women" cause violence, there can be any such phenomenon involving blatantly obvious attitudes towards men, and the fact that it is men who are sent off to die for their country, commit suicide more often than women, are treated unequally by the law etcetc.

It's slightly annoying :(

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