But seriously, I think part of the big pattern of violence against women is that it is often perpetrated by men who are, given the chance, violent to everyone…
So, there are some people who have genuine self-control issues and are violent pretty much indiscriminately.
But. Most abusers are bullies. They are ONLY violent towards people they perceive as being weaker than themselves - children, women, non-Masculinity-Box-conforming men. They are only violent in circumstances where they feel there won't be consequences - in the privacy of their own homes, or in a social situation where they feel people are on their side. That last is vitally important. The higher they perceive the odds being of someone speaking out, the less likely they are to abuse. These people have ENORMOUS self-control. They exercise violence in a culture that supports them doing so.
Also, let me say, there are things I write about because they're "my" things, and things I don't because they aren't. I don't feel, for instance, that it's my place to write on Trans* issues, because they're not MY issues. I did feel it was my place to write on the higher levels of abuse that bisexual women suffer, and when I did that, nobody was all "But what about straight women?"
Male victims, particularly of sexual and domestic violence, are frequently and sometimes deliberately erased. If anyone wants to write on that, because it's "their" thing, I would happily publish that here, anonymously if necessary.
Relatedly, I'll put my hand up and say, I am the person Lilith is talking about with the dating thing. When I go on a first date with a new guy, I:
- choose the venue. Some bars, like Pomeroy's and The Twisted Hop, are Safe Places. Others, like Aikman's, are not. I will only go somewhere where, if my date turns out to be a Problem, the staff will back me up and help me out.
- get there first. I have a table chosen with good sight and exit lines. I have bought myself my own drink.
- let a select few people know everything I know about the guy, all the identifying details, in case I don't make it home.
These are the "sensible precautions" I feel I need to take in order to lessen my chances of being raped or killed when I go on a date. Let that sink in.
A while back, I asked people for their humorously awful dating stories, so I could do a column about it and conceal which stories were mine. After a bit, I specifically asked for stories from men, because I was only getting tales from women. I got two stories from men. In the meantime, the stories from women just kept getting more and more horrible, and less funny. A woman who let a man drop her home after their first date. He broke into her house and attacked her. I have a couple of dozen of these.
Last year, I went out with a guy for four months. After we broke up, I politely asked him to please stop contacting me. He did not. For seven months. (I eventually got him to stop. If you want to know how, contact me privately, and I'll tell you.)
So yeah, not all men. I know that, I've never said otherwise. Many of my best friends are quite literally men. But,as has already been pointed out, I cannot, simply cannot, afford to assume that any new man I meet is not one of Some Men.
Why make such a strongly gendered argument about it? What are you wanting to achieve?
Because, in this case, I am addressing a gendered problem: the different social expectations of male and female behaviour. Because the two incidents that sparked it, the Chiefs' debacle and the Kuggeleijn trial, were men attacking women, and people were all 'boys will be boys' and 'what was she expecting'.
How do you stop the “not all men” without making the ones who try feel like shit – and give up.
The feeling like shit is OK, women suffer much more so feeling like shit is part of the deal – it’s the giving up.
Okay, so. You don't have to fight every battle. You can't: you get exhausted and you quit. It's okay to let one go, which is what I'm trying really hard to do today.
#notallmen is a derailing tactic. Stay on topic. If you feel up to it, point out that they're not disagreeing with anything that was actually said, therefore you can assume that they have no argument.
Also, I'm a big fan of Thomas Jefferson. "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." Mock them. "OMG, #notallmen! I am totally defeated by the freshness and originality and impeccable logic of your argument! You so smart!"
What I can't deal with is the women. The women who think Tony Veitch is a pretty good guy, and strippers are just asking for it, and what do the stupid slags expect if they're going to dress like that and drink like that and stick their arms in the shark tank. I can't fathom what's going through their heads.
Sadly the dudebros won’t.
Here's the weird thing. Okay, it's not weird, it's entirely predictable, but still.
I've never had a column as widely-shared as this one has been. Someone went to all the trouble of going over to The Isis Knot to donate money because she needed to read this so much. I thought this column was going to get me piles of shit, but it's been forty shares on Facebook and twenty new Twitter followers.
One guy, one guy got all "not all men!" on Russell's FB link to the column, and the amount of mental energy I've put in to composing replies I'm smart enough to not make is just ridiculous.
I’m having trouble thinking of a reason why the two are assumed to be mutually exclusive
Because of sexism, I guess. Was it really that hard to imagine a scenario involving sexism?
Yeah, when I was seventeen I was told, by my biology teacher, that if I wanted to be taken seriously, I should have a breast reduction operation. There are studies which indicate that both men and women perceive the same woman with larger breasts to be both friendlier, and stupider.
Que? What? Can someone take pity on a person stuck with primarily US media sources who has, therefore, missed whatever is being mentioned there and point me towards some good overview coverage of whatever that is referring to, pls?
So I just went and looked for the clip, and TV3 has archived it. There are a number of clips of Paul Henry's interviews with Michelle Dickinson on youtube, but not this one. Here's how the BSA described it:
During The Paul Henry Show, Paul Henry interviewed a scientist, Dr Michelle Dickinson, about her research. At the end of the interview he asked about her recent experience staying with Richard Branson, a well-known businessman, and referred to a photo of the two of them in which Mr Branson had his arms around her. He then asked: ‘Now when I see this – and you’ve got to realise I am something of a sceptic, you know, I look at things and I read things into them – I’m looking at that [photo] and I’m thinking, did you have sex with Richard Branson?’
I realised, that only I can make the decisions on whose show I choose to go on and my reasons for doing that. Until we can get funding for a prime time dedicated science program accessible to all, scientists like me will keep having to throw in our 5 minutes wherever we can because we feel its important to talk about science. I know that my comments will mean that others will write negative things about me and my lack of self respect and lack of feminism values and that’s OK, because I’m doing the best that I can with zero budget and nothing but a passion for positive change to drive me.
I was really interested to note that the advisory for Roots specifically mentioned context – that words that would otherwise have been unacceptable were used because of how they had been used in that particular setting.
Yeah, this is something I think is really important: depicting something doesn't mean approving of it. It's not the actions or the words, but the way they're used and shown.
Would he have asked Professor Sir Peter Gluckman if he’d fucked Richard Branson? It demonstrated a level of contempt he has for all women and this amazing woman in particular – all while smiling and pretending to treat her as a guest.
Yeah, three of the complaints used (one upheld, two not) were things that would absolutely only ever have happened to women. They were sexualised bullying.
There seems to be a vogue for ‘Timaru noir’ these days what with the release of Amanda Newall’s new film The Hoover Diaries
Thanks, Ian, I hadn't heard of that, and now I MUST see it. I went to school with Steven Hartley. This was a few years where people in Timaru got murdered for stupid reasons - some pork, a dog, the boy next door to us was literally stoned to death because he was disabled...
Um. Anyway. Best not bum anybody out.
The first thought that occurred to me on my enlightenment was that modern dance would be the ideal medium to make the story more widely known – particularly the all-important role of the drainage boards, and, of course, the issues with street alignment in the two halves.
What it lead me to contemplate is a musical version of the sinking of the Ben Venue, about which, as it turns out, Thomas Bracken wrote a poem.
I can all too vividly picture this production.