(wherein I end up writing over 700 words about it anyways! ha!)
With eloriane being away I’ve been trying to post enough to keep this blog regularly updated. This has been challenging as not only do I work full time but I have a wicked case of writer’s block. I had started a blog about two years ago because I thought it might be a means of working through that block when my grades and livelihood were not dependent on it. Eloriane has assured me that writing gets easier with time, that sometimes I’ll just need to click “publish” and stop worrying about good writing, covering all the bases, or even just making sense! How fun for you, our readers! You get to be the victims recipients of my efforts! But this past weekend I’ve had the flu and even when I was feeling better I just felt completely writ out. I could post a comment or two, and did try to write more, but haven’t been very successful. Even the easier blog-a-rounds seemed out of reach.
Which leads me to today’s post, ahem. Yup it’s small blog-a-round! Not a fun blog-a-round but one that gives lie to some of the MRAs’ most beloved myths. What’s an MRA you ask? It stands for Men’s Rights Activist. Or, as some have referred to them, Men’s Rights Assholes. These are the guys that appear to be concerned with father’s rights (as if fathers don’t get preferential treatment in family court when they sue for custody) and men’s rights in general (as if men don’t dominate every social, political, religious and artistic institution). But what they clearly are really interested in is sticking it to their ex’s and being rape-apologists.
So for my I’m Too Spent To Blog Blog-a-Round, I’m linking to two great posts about favourite MRA myths.
First up, the irrepressible Heart has a great quote from Lundy Bancroft about the oft-repeated myth that women abuse their partners as often as men do. They don’t. The study that suggested they did did not take into account, amongst other things a) the differences between hitting first and shoving in defense, b) the differences between a small person (a woman for example) slapping a bigger person in the face and a large person shoving someone down the stairs. Not. The. Same. Thing. When women are battered they are more likely to end up in hospital, they are more likely to suffer from broken bones, they are more likely to flee their homes in fear for their lives. Bancroft describes nicely why this myth has not proven to be true, even when factoring in how many men might be ashamed to come forward about their abuse.
And men are abused too, make no mistake. And women rape too, make no mistake. It bothers me a bit to have to mention this but I really want to be completely clear. While women’s abuse of others does occur, they are very much in the minority of abusers. This does not lessen the impact of the abuse on the victim. Rape is rape is rape, no matter the sex of the perpetrator. What I’m trying to do is keep the larger picture in mind as well. As feminists we remember how the personal is political; we must remember who has power, socially, and who does what to whom. In this case, men make up 97% of the sexual abuse perpetrators according the the FBI. In this case, men make up a great majority of the domestic violence perpetrators as well. Violence, by men, against women, in particular women with whom they are having or have had sex, is epidemic. It is a huge issue and is routinely minimized in mainstream culture. I have no desire to minimize or make invisible the female abusers out there, certainly not! I just wish to keep our minds on how abuse functions on a class level, on a larger social level, not just on an individual level.
The second post I’m linking to can be found at Shakesville. Sunless Nick has a great post about the MRA-ish myth that women either routinely lie about being raped, or that accused rapists suffer more than the woman making the accusation. Here he turns things around and discusses how men who have been falsely accused would be treated by society if they were treated the same as women who make accusations of rape are.
Both are great posts. Go read.
(Be forewarned, Women’s Space is not for those still working through Feminism 101 – try to read carefully and try to see what she’s trying to say. As my feminist theory prof used to say “read it and say ‘so what?’ Then read it again”)