… the equality reason:
(c) 2015, Davd
It’s the first of the month, and at Angry Harry’s earlier suggestion, i’ll take the occasion to ask, again, Is there any good reason why i am a more legitimate target for violence, than a woman of my age, size, or strength? I asked this question last November 14, and stated my intention to follow-up with some specifics. Let’s start with equality.
Today, women have equal or better access to jobs and education. There are affirmative action programs for girls and women—even though university students are more like three-fifths female, than half (never mind fewer than half.) The school culture still favours girls over boys. More than half of young professionals are women. Except for jobs requiring large-muscle strength, of which men have significantly more on average, women have equal or better1 access to high-paid work.
With that access, comes access to the excitement and dangers of going out in public. If women be sequestered, their protection is both far, far easier, and also consistent with a “balance of inequalities”: Men have less safety, women have less adventure. I detailed this “balance” in my reflection on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and in my very first “blog”, and stated explicitly, the obvious fact that women’s exclusion from adventure was a thing of the past, a thing seen only in “backward countries” in this 21st Century.
A balance of inequalities can work out to approximate overall equality. A situation in which one sex has her traditional privileges and the other sex has lost his, works out to overall inequality. Protecting women from violence without traditional sequestration, is one of several Feminist demands which are evident—but subtle—demands for privilege.
Men have been shamed for not tolerating abuse against us, for which women could demand redress and get, at the least, sympathy. That might have had some justification when most women were sequestered and danger and adventure were men’s business; and that pattern has parallels in the ways hunting-and-gathering societies usually were organized. As i also wrote in my first, Titanic+99 years blog, one of Feminism’s chief double games has been to demand equality where men were advantaged, but not where women were.
When any Feminist, or any vote-begging politician, condemns violence against women; she or he, by omission, implies that violence against men isn’t so bad. Izzat so? … or more academically, when might that be so, and why? … and when is it not so, and men therefore the denigrated second-class sex in the 21st Century?
I am more likely, personally, to be a victim than a perpetrator of violence. When i was in my thirties, that was hard for many people to believe2. Now that i am in my seventies, it ought to be easy, because old men are not so strong, not so fast, not so well coordinated as young. There are millions of women who could ‘beat me up’, now that i’m old.
(My main point in the November blog was that opposing violence against only one sex, implicitly tolerates, or even approves, violence against the other—against my sex—including against me.)
So does my lack of ovaries entitle that 10%-20% of women, who readily can, to actually ‘beat me up’, because i’m male?
(I do oppose violence against anyone—and then, like most people, i make exceptions, of which the most common, for me and i believe for most people, is self-defence. So if you do come to exercise female privilege and do me violence—i’m not the easiest of targets, but at my age, i’m not the ‘hardest’ of targets, either—i might defend myself, even by violence.)
When i asked, Why is violence against a middle-aged or younger woman, worse than violence against me? Why is violence against any woman, worse than violence against me? Why is bullying a teen-aged girl, worse than bullying a teen-aged boy?—the only equality based answer i know, is: “It’s not worse.” Male humans have as much right to freedom from attack as female humans. I’m not trying to justify that, because it is the equality answer. Anyone who wants to contend that women have a right to assault men while being privileged against self-defence, has a burden of proof to bear—not me, and not men.
And we should say so. If a man is arrested or charged for hitting a woman who hit him first—we should defend him on principle. (If both are arrested, we should give some attention to what happens next.)
If someone accuses this blog of advocating violence against women, we should question the accuser’s sanity… or honesty, or both.
We should not, especially not, tolerate nor approve violence against men and boys, by omission.
1. Better access? Yes, where jobs are subject to Affirmative Action (Nathanson and Young, 2010: x, 99, 112, 119-120, 311, 313, Appendices 7, 12) or require advanced education to which girls have better access due to both Affirmative Action and the
2. When i was in my thirties, the reason i was more likely was my reluctance to do violence to others; now that i am in my seventies, the more obvious reason is my age (the reluctance still holds.) I wrote approve in the title line, rather than tolerate, because—thanks to luck, a little Judo, and a part-Wolf companion dog—i have not lately suffered violence.