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13 August 2010 @ 08:31 pm
Male-on-Male Violence  
Another issue that comes up when women write or talk about violence against women is that men are assaulting and killing each other. Yes, yes they are. It's a problem that should be solved, too. I don't think it's up to women to solve that one, either. We might help in whatever projects are created to address it. But I think, again, that men need to spur that effort.

My own energy is always going to be prioritized towards meeting the needs of women and children. I think that's a valid position. There are a gazillion world problems and we can't all tackle all of them at once. We have to pick a spot and brighten our corner, so to speak.

I just don't see why men have to interject, whenever we talk about violence against women, that men are victims too. Yes they are, and so please go work on that. Don't expect me to stop my conversation about violence against women as if it's not valid to talk about that.
(Deleted comment)
Tapatitapati on August 14th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Oh...me too. :)
(Anonymous) on August 18th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
It's about controlling the verbal space.

As a former Domestic Violence shelter worker, and someone who has spoken in front of groups of men about women and children being abused, I feel compelled to speak up.

Often men would do this when we spoke, talk about men being abused. And then we would say yes, that's true. However 95% of the calls to domestic violence hotlines are from women. And 80% of police calls after dark are for police to go to a house where a man is verbally abusing a woman or worse.

I created a post on the wheel of power and control, and other issues that may come up with vocabulary when we speak in public about violence against women. We need to start giving women the VOCABULARY to speak about abuse, but also speak about reactions to the telling of abuse. Here's my post. I hope this is helpful to you.

When men feel their supremacy and control being threatened, as we come out with the truth, they want to abdicate their feelings of guilt. They want to make it okay that women are beaten, because "men are beaten too." Sorry guys, that's not gonna cut it.

In much the same way, when a black woman talks about racism she has experienced, in front of white people, there can be some white person going off about how "I'm not racist" and "Some of my best friends are black people," and "Let me tell you about one time when i saw a black person experiencing racism and why I didn't do anything about it." etc, to try to abdicate feelings of guilt, again, trying to take over the linguistic or verbal space so they don't have to feel their painful feelings.

Thanks for opening the discussion about this, I think more women need to see this interruption for what it is. And we can interrupt them right back!

Tapatitapati on August 18th, 2010 11:00 am (UTC)
Re: It's about controlling the verbal space.
Yes, it is about deflecting their sense of guilt--and I feel like that guilt is unnecessary anyway--dudes, if you are not abusing anyone, why feel guilty? Why not just focus on what you might do to help us solve the damn problem? Or if you can't, get out of our way while we try, at least!

In the same vein, I've always been surprised when people find out I'm a vegetarian and then launch into an impassioned defense of their own meat eating, even though I haven't said anything critical about it. (I don't go around talking about it all the time but if we have a meal together it comes up.) I always figured that if they were comfortable with their own choice they wouldn't feel a need to do that. I'm not a proselytizing vegetarian by any means.

Thanks for the link and for your wise comments.