The White Ribbon Day observed in New Zealand on the 25th of November made me take a fresh look at my own stance on the issues of family violence and gender equality. Let me start by saying that outside the realms of law enforcement and national defense I oppose violence in all its forms. You might think that this makes me a natural supporter of the White Ribbon movement but not so fast. In the White Ribbon’s Key Messages posted online we read that:
Violence towards women is never acceptable
The campaign aims to change men’s attitudes and behaviours, predominantly through men talking to men.
The White Ribbon Pledge we are asked to take includes the following definitions of non-physical violence:
Standing over her, yelling or screaming
Destroying things precious to her
Threatening to hurt her, or someone close to her
Constantly criticising and putting her down
Using fear or guilt to control her actions
Controlling and monitoring her money
Using the children against her
Does it not strike you that, according to the White Ribbon crowd, “using the children against him” is not violence? The above missive implies that all violence is perpetrated by men or that only violence against women and children is worth mobilising the public opinion against. Both statements are demonstrably untrue. As reported in the research papers quoted on da-boss before:
More surprisingly, women are also just as likely as men to express hostility—in this case physically—in the context of a romantic relationship. The popular stereotype of a domestic abuser is a man who habitually hurts his female partner. Yet research by Archer and sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire calls this scenario into question. Surprisingly, their analyses demonstrate that men and women exhibit roughly equal rates of violence within relationships; some studies hint that women’s rates of physical aggression are slightly higher.
The present study indicates that at least as many women as men are violent toward their partners.
From this perspective the White Ribbon movement takes a manipulatively narrow view by attempting to combat only violence against women but not violence against men. This is part of the hard-nosed feminist agenda which aims to improve the material and social standing of women with no regard to gender imbalances tipped against men. This approach is often disguised as fight for “equality” but does not actually strive to make both genders equal in all aspects of social life. You will never find feminists protesting the fact over 80% of child custody judgements go against men or lamenting that men live, on the average, 4-5 years shorter than women. No, just like family violence committed by women, these problems are not on their agenda because feminists are not committed to equality but only to the interests of their own gender.
This is why I do not support the White Ribbon campaign. What I support is equality in all aspects of social life. This makes me an equalist, rather than a feminist or masculinist. But even the concept of equality has been twisted by social engineers and can these days mean two different things. My next post will cover this issue in more detail.