Friday, October 31, 2008

There's a lot going on this week

Okay I've been reading Womanist Musings for several months now. I haven't agreed with always seen eye to eye but I have to say that I'm feeling a lot of what she says:

The Oppression Olympics are a damn waste of time.

She questions why European style hair is the norm and deviating from the norm can lead to a racist confrontation.

Proclaims that she will not be ashamed of her naturally occurring bodily functions.

Gets the word out on missing children(and she also has a small gadget on her site that that a displays alerts on missing children.

But like I said I don't always see eye to eye with her.

Recently in the Dallas area the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus system began running an awareness campaign on domestic violence. I would like to say that most people would agree that DV is wrong no matter who the abuser is and who the abused is but I don't think that is the case.

On a daily basis you can find stories about people who are attacked by their spouses/significant others and the media will dance around the term domestic violence. Some of those victims are men. Some of those abusers are men. Some of those abusers are women. Some of those victims are women. Sadly when people try to bring attention to certain stories they get attacked.

One of the people trying to bring attention to that ad campaign in Dallas is Glenn Sacks. Why is he bringing attention? Because so far but ONE of the ads (and that one is about suicide) portray men as abusers and women as victims. Thats right according to this "awareness" campaign all DV abusers are men and all DV victims are women. Well given that Glenn Sacks is an MRA (men's rights advocate) he has a problem with this and is encouraging people to contact DART about such misleading ads.

So what is Renee's reaction?

Well it should come as no surprise to anyone that Mr.Sacks (I won't link to him) is continuing on with his misogynistic attacks against women. In his teeny little world, it is all about the penis, and if you don't have one your story does not deserve to be told. We certainly cannot have a world where women speak out against the violence and the oppression that they face at the hands of men, that would be far to threatening to patriarchy.

She starts off with accusing him of making it all about men when it is indeed about men and using this as a chance to back up her personal attacks against MRAs.

This is a series of ads that are raising awareness about DV by starting off with the assumption that only men commit DV and only women can be victims of DV. No one questions that more women are targets of DV than men but for some reason trying to say something about female abusers is "silencing" female victims.

One of the commentors is actually making some sense:

I agree with you that that's exclusionary and hurtful to male victims of intimate partner violence, Danny. What I'm saying is that a guy for whom that was the real issue would mount a campaign to get ads depicting male victims up there, too--not to have the existing ads removed.

Now it would be constructive to start a campaign to focus on male victims and female abusers (since there are a LOT of people who refuse to admit that either exist). And in fact Glenn has done quite a few posts on men who were abused by women but the article he would be speaking of would often call it everything but DV.

So I have to admit trying to put focus on male victims and female abusers would be a viable option rather than ending the campaign.


The only people who find this offensive to fathers have a vastly lower opinion of most fathers than I do.

Not so. I would say that the people who find those ads offensive to fathers have a low opinion of the masses upon masses of people who buy into the all abusers are men and all victims are women nonsense. Call me cynical all you wish but agencies know that they can use misleading ads to fool the masses.

Well it looks like some effect has been made. One of Glenn's posts on the subject has links to before and after versions of the "Signs of an Abusive Relationship" page at The Family Place site.

Yes this post is muddled. I started it at like 1am and I've been sleep deprived for the last week. But I felt it important to get these down before lose them.