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Friday, April 13, 2012

What's left unsaid

I recently saw a girl wearing a t-shirt that said "Stop violence against women" on one breast, with the same message in Spanish on the other.

It's always interesting how t-shirts position their messages to draw the eye. (It reminds me a little of that t-shirt from 30 years back with a picture of a radio with two dials, with the message, "Don't touch the knobs!")

It was certainly a courageous stance to take: this girl was against violence against women -- as opposed to all the others who are for it.

The other thing that struck me about the message was its narrowness of focus. Why not be against all violence? While men commit the vast majority of violent crimes, they are also the victims of over half of them. Yet the t-shirt this girl wore almost seemed to imply that it's okay to ignore violence against men -- the majority of violence.

I have a similar reaction when I see people holding placards saying, "Stop black on black violence." What about black on white violence?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has that thought.


Gilbert Ratchet said...

I have never liked the concept of violence "against women." The self-righteousness of it has always turned me off. It's as though violence is bad, but if directed at women becomes extra super duper bad. Never mind that a man is far more likely to be a victim of violence than a woman is, that most men have been conditioned never to hit a woman, that the sort of women who go back to abusers have some serious psychological problems, and that female violence against men is not unknown. Nope - the minute a man hits a woman it becomes a social problem of which everyone must be aware and work together to overcome. The phrase itself suggests, "You boys can beat each other up all you want, but the minute you lay a finger on us there will be hell to pay." This was most graphically illustrated to me when I was at the University of Toronto, and one of the student papers published a joke issue whose conceit was that the entire staff had been slaughtered. The picture on the front page showed the entire staff lying dead in pools of blood. The reaction on campus was that this was a bad thing, because a woman was shown among the dead.

John Craig said...

Gilbert --
You just said it far better than I did.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same about the term "hate crime". Isn't crime, crime?

John Craig said...

Anonymous --
Exactly. The implication of hate crime laws is that some murders are committed with absolutely no malice at all.

Brian Fradet said...

John--We live in such a messed up society. There is a networking group that meets in NYC called "Asian Professionals" which does not allow any other races. They meet monthly. It's supposed to promote and support Asians. I told the guy that this would be no different than if I started a group (like the KKK) that only allowed Caucasians, which would probably make the papers. Back to your point with women, more of the victim mentality which only breeds more of same. Sort of like group socio pathology. Also, white men, apparently, are not that important. Thanks, Brian

John Craig said...

Brian --
Making such comparisons is the simplest way to point out double standards, but most people have been brainwashed to the point where they are unable to ee them, or even comprehend them when they're pointed out to them.