- Kathryn Patterson
Why I'm Not A Feminist, Pt. 1: Domestic Violence
that most men sexually harass or rape women
that society encourages such behavior
that men don't work or don't work hard enough to earn their income
that all men are responsible for the behavior of those who commit violent acts
It's almost unconscionable, how all men are being portrayed as evil and all women as victims. Someone actually have to make a hash tag #NotAllMen to combat the attitudes found within the #YesAllWomen tweets.
Today, I am ignoring all the ranting about rape, harassment, and wages. I will cover those topics next week. Today, though, I want to discuss domestic violence, otherwise known as intimate partner violence (IPV).
If a woman becomes a victim of IPV, she has several options. There are at least 2,000 shelters for her to turn to, found from a plethora of websites. There are several hotlines for her to call to get the same information, as well as programs to help her obtain housing, legal advice, clothes, furniture, and whatever else she needs to get out of her abusive relationship and start over. She can even show up at a fire station or police station, and receive help finding a shelter.
But if a man is a victim of IPV... I want you to try something. Go to Google and search for "find a women's shelter". The search returned a list of women's shelters in my area, all of them for women who are victims of domestic violence.
Now search for "find a men's shelter". Go on, I'll wait.
This search brings up information about homeless shelters. There is not a single hit for helping a man who has been abused. Not one.
You might think that we don't need men's shelters, but according to the CDC, in 2011 more men were victims of IPV than women. Yes, you read that correctly. About 5,365,000 men were victims of IPV, while only 4,741,000 women were victims of IPV.
This is not a singular phenomena either. Unless you define "domestic violence" as being violence against women (which some people do), then men make up anywhere between 40% and 55% of domestic violence victims in the United States alone.
But women have society backing them and protecting them. Women have the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 that provides funding to investigate and prosecute violence against women. Where is Violence Against Men Act?
Society doesn't even see violence against men as a problem sometimes. Watch this video to see how people react differently when a man versus a woman gets publicly bullied.
You see, society tries to protect a woman from abuse, but laughs at a man who suffers from virtually the same abuse. In terms of domestic violence, I am definitely not a feminist because this is not a women's issue. It's not a men's issue. It's a societal issue, and it's past time to treat men with the same respect that we treat women.