Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good looking out Barbara Kay

(I'm talking about domestic violence. Tread carefully.)

Okay as we know when it comes to domestic violence two of the prevalent schools of thought is that "men can't be victims" and "women only get violent in self defense". Despite the fact that there are more than enough cases of DV that would disprove those two loads of bull said loads of bull still persist. Barbara Kay talks about a counseling service that seems to believe them.

Merge is counselling and education services center in Ontario, Canada. And boy are they serving the bull.

First off look at the statement on their main page.
MERGE believes that violence is a learned behavior. Violence against women, children and teens is a social problem requiring
change at the individual, cultural, and institutional levels. (Emphasis mine.)
So as you can see from the get go Merge has already decided that violence against men is not that big a deal.

Going on into the site itself we see there are three pages offering services for women, teens, and men. Let's take a look at the services for men and women.

Take a look at the opening messages and how they are different. On the women's page:
MERGE Counselling and Education Services addresses the needs of women to examine their anger issues. Not only do unhealthy anger choices jeopardize her happiness and stability, but also that of those around her.

Women feel tremendous stress and pressure to succeed. In an attempt to cope, anger can easily become self-destructive and have negative effects on people in her life. However, we believe that women can use anger as a powerful tool in achieving safe, positive behaviour.
On the men's page:
MERGE offers group counselling for men who have verbally, mentally or physically abused a spouse / partner. Many men who abuse their partners have abused their children as well. The program also addresses the connection between spouse / partner and child abuse.

Our experience shows us that once a man begins to abuse in any way, he has a problem that won't go away, and will must likely get worse. Men often apologize after an abusive incident, and promise their spouse / partner that they will change.

Unfortunately, we have found that men do not stop being abusive without outside assistance.
Notice how from the get go women have anger issues that are unhealthy and could harm those around her (but can be used as a tool for empowerment) while men are abusive to women and children that have a problem that cannot be dealt with without outside assistance. So from the start this center has already given women a free pass on the abuse they commit namely by barely even calling it about (the word "abuse" appears on the women's page twice at the very end while its used five times in the opening statement on the men's page) while condemning men as violent brutes.

Then you have a list of possible indicators (for women they're indicators of anger issues while for men they're indicators that they have a problem with abuse).

For women:

If you feel attacked or criticized or shamed, or if you find yourself on the defensive a have an anger problem.

If you find yourself not able to listen or if you find yourself shaming another person have an anger problem.

If you are raging about what is going on .... you have an anger problem.

If you feel you are pushed to the point that you must "take control", verbally or physically .... that is an anger problem.

If you are in a relationship with somebody who has an anger problem, you also have an anger problem.

If anybody is being touched or controlled or dominated, if any abuse is being forced against the will of another, there is abuse going on ... it is likely to be violent... it is an anger problem.
For men:

Have you cheated on your partner?

Have you ever hit, pushed, grabbed, threatened, frightened or intimidated your partner?

Does she complain about you controlling her life?

Has she told you that she is afraid of you?

Are your children afraid of you?

Do you frequently insult her, call her names?

Say things that make her uncomfortable?

Do you often pressure her to do things your way, even she doesn't want to?

When you treat her badly, do you consider it her fault?

Do you blame it on alcohol, stress, or family problems?

Have you ever been accused of mistreating your children?

Has your partner complained about jealous or possessive behaviour on your part?
See the difference?

On the page for women look at how the indicators are mostly things happening to her whereas the list list for men are all things that he is doing to her. Also look at how the list for women is kept gender neutral but the list for men goes straight to labeling the abused partner as a woman? There is a very clear bias at work here. By the literature of this center men just come into relationships already angry and hating women and they are just looking for a woman to abuse while women are perfectly serene creatures that know no anger until someone comes along and pisses them off. I also see where those indicators for women seem to almost want to set up a revenge situation so that, a vigilante sort of way, she should be allowed to commit her violence and then get counselling.

Its double standards like this that are keeping people from confronting domestic violence and dealing with it. Both pages are pretty much screaming, "Its all his fault."

I really feel sorry for any men going there for counselling and I especially feel sorry for any male victims of women that go there for counselling.

Shoutout to Toy Soldier.


Meticulous Mouser said...

I am so sick of seeing women portrayed as these weak, frail, gentle creatures, and men portrayed as these angry, savage, brutes. I don't get it. Everyone has moments of both, and no one is always one thing. Places like this only add fuel to the fire, and keeps the men who are being terrorized by females stuck in bad situations.

While I'm not exactly the best way to represent the female gender, I can be the first to say females can be just as angry, wrathful, and plain out mean as the double standard says men are, and I have had the pleasure of knowing many wonderfully sweet guys who wouldn't dare raise a hand to anyone without just cause.

I've always hoped people, certain females in particular, would open their eyes and see that men aren't the enemy just because they are men.

Danny said...

I agree Mouser. This double standard is getting in the way of real progress.

Meticulous Mouser said...

I keep hoping that, one day, the standard will change. We're all just people. We all have our faults and flaws, and we all have our strengths and beauties