This is no longer where my blog lives, please go to www.hannahnicklin.com to view my current one

(you can view all of my old posts there too)

4.3.09

I am annoyed. Please read.

Please comment on this if you have read it, you don't have to talk about it, I just honestly want to know if anyone reads these things. I know it's long. But this is important to me. And I hope to you too.

First off I think I should say that I'm posing a question, but I don't want a debate. That's pretty sucky of me I know... but I kind of think that people, once reading the facts, and the links, will have an opinion either way, and that almost always, you wont be able to change that. My experiences on many message boards, blogs, and comment threads have proved this. You have trolls, and you have stalactites and stalagmites, one refuses to let go of his/her ill founded beliefs, nitpicks at semantics, and the other uses strength of argument, and generally credible rhetoric, but has an opposing view. I have never seen anyone change their mind through force of argument. however well substantiated. I write this, instead that it reaches people who have not yet made their minds up. If this does not convince you, further discussion certainly wont.

Posted here: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/04/amnesty-uks-internat.html was a short piece asking for support for the 1 in 10 campaign being run bby Amnesty, which aims to raise awareness about violence against women, and the severe lack of provision for support. The comment thread is the essay part. Largely consisting of people dismissing that 1) statistics prove anything 2)that male violence against women is a problem because men are subject to violence too 3) that because of this, gendered violence should not be campaigned against, because it is 'divisive'. and 4) that 'violence' is considered by statistics to count silly little things like arguments and verbal abuse, oh and the evergreen 5) it's bad, but men evolved that was so what can we do about it?

This is what I posted.

The website the campaign links to, map of gaps, lists the following as it's definition of 'violence':
* domestic violence
* rape and sexual violence
* forced marriage and 'honour'-based violence
* trafficking and sexual exploitation
* stalking
* sexual harassment
* sexual abuse of girls
* female genital mutilation

And the leaflet at http://www.mapofgaps.org/docs/map_of_gaps_summary.pdf actually provides a lot of answers RE why specialist services are necessary etc.

I would also add I don't think that this discussion has been 'divisive' in a negative way- rather a demonstrative one, it appears (I could be wrong) to have split down quite even gender lines, ie the only voices criticising have been those defending male privilege - deflecting by mentioning violence against men etc. (though men have defended also)

As @13strong and others have pointed out better than I shall, different and malign forces deeper in society cause gendered violence. And besides, there are plenty of campaigns against football violence, racism and violence, homophobic violence, and young kids knifing themselves, these things cannot all be solved by the same methods, but no one ever calls them on their 'divisive' attitude by criticising their lack of focus on other forms of violence do they?

Oh and the guy using evolution to justify male violence, you helped me fill in another bingo square
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d98/sabotabby/evopsychbingo.jpg

Statistics are an important way of communicating information, and unfortunately (I feel) have an unjust reputation for fakery. Check the source, if it's a large body, their methods are sound, and they are honest about their facts, trust them to a sensible degree I say.

So here's a statistic I just researched, and their sources: say you have a class of 30 girls. In their lives 10 will be subject to gendered violence.

sure by using the 'young girls' image I am inviting ideas of innocence, vulnerability etc. But that's just good campaign tactics. How else are you to get people to listen?

Let's try it differently then.

1 in 3 females in the UK will be subject to gendered violence in their lifetime.

The 1 in 3 figure I used was a 2% rounding up of the addition of the 23% of women who experience (and report) sexual assault as an adult and the 5% of women who experience (and report) rape. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/Sexual-violence-action-plan The rounding up was just to get a easily divisible figure, and should be very easily exceeded by the puported amount of un-reported assult/harrassment (40% of adults who are raped tell no one about it - http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/myths.html).

The 1 in 10 is a current figure being run for international women's day by Amnesty International from a campaign by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the End Violence Against Women coalition http://www.mapofgaps.org/ and http://www.oneten.org.uk

I think it's drawn from the 6-10% women per YEAR who are subject to violence(as of 2002)statistic found in the supporting evidence here: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-articles.asp?section=00010001002200410001&itemid=1280&itemTitle=Statistics%3A+how+common+is+domestic+violence

The lifetime statistic is 1 in 4.

Oh and the male figures are provided there too:
"45% women and 26% men had experienced at least one incident of inter-personal violence in their lifetimes. (Walby and Allen, 2004) "

so surely, demonstrably, it is a problem?

I'm hoping that all of those links etc. make my point transparent - there is real evidence that this is a problem. Yes other problems exist. But this is one too. so why not give it your support?

Once, in discussion about the appalling state of gender inequality in this country someone used the argument 'well yes, if you're going to use *facts*, *facts* can prove anything' against me. If your criticism denies substantiated statistics there's no debating with you. You're never going to know all of the method of the information gathering. How else do you suggest we prove something needs tackling?

That's going to be all I say on this matter, sorry if it's seemed meandering. These kind of things normally get me unduly stressed and upset because there seems to be such a ridiculous and unfounded resistance to anything that talks about gender-based injustices. Yes that gives you little way to enter into dialogue/redress. I'm sorry. I just think that perhaps agreeing that violence against anyone is A Bad Thing. And supporting a campaign aiming to help a group of victims is not.

Over and out.

My post got deleted. Could have been a mistake, or my unwillingness to debate.


Why am I posting here? I don't know. I bloody care about it. And I find it odd that seemingly logical people deny that gender inequality, object culture, and that violence against women either occur, or are a problem in comparison to other things.

In the UK

one in three women will be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime

one in ten women are subject to seriously sexual or (physical) domestic abuse every year

For every £1 of income received by the average man, the average woman receives 54p (2004)

Just over 5% of rapes reported to the police in 2004 ended in a conviction.(this figure was 33% in 1975)

women make up only 20% of MPs

And the UK was severely criticised last year for its treatment of and discrimination against women: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/un-says-sexual-discrimination-is-rife-in-britain-915800.html

(facts not substantiated above are sourced from here: http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/Fawcett%2030%20years%20full%20-%20low.pdf)

Sure there are other issues out there. but this is one too. I also campaign against human rights abuses and for the environment and I find that people rarely accuse their causes of using fabricated statistics, or of making a big deal about nothing, or of concentrating on one problem, when many others exist.

Why is this?

No comments: