MALE VIOLENCE, NOT “GENDER-BASED” VIOLENCE
There is a new trend. It stems from queer theory. Like other queer theory approaches, it attempts to obscure the fact that men, as a class, systematically oppress and exploit women, as a class. And it leaves the door wide open for MPAs (Male Privileged Agitators) to come bursting into the feminist domain.
MPAs (Male Privileged Agitators) are a tiny minority of men who formally organise to express their hatred of women, and particularly, feminists. They present themselves as being reasonable and a “human rights” group. In this liberal world where the rhetoric of fairness and equality saturates beyond meaning, they steal the language of social justice to argue that, far from being a class of oppressors, men, in fact, are the victims. They say they are victimised because it is really women, particularly feminists, who have the true power in society and that they, alone, must stand up to those (almighty, all powerful (radical) feminists) who wish to destroy and murder the male sex.
Here, I won’t refer to the mass of evidence which shows the systematic societal abuse towards women by men because others have produced overwhelming research and statistical analysis demonstrating it consistently. Nor will I cover the inconsistencies and flaws in the ludicrous, but dangerous, arguments of MPA groups where they declare war on women, particularly feminists, whilst disguising their intent by pretending they are victims of (female) aggressors. Again, others have it covered http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/a-war-on-women#.Ua_3hsjnBR1 It is a rhetoric which blames women, particularly feminists, in a series of bizarre reversals, for seeking to name and end male violence against women.
The language we use matters. “Gender-based” violence is a neutral term. It implies that violence, based on gender, can come from any source, male or female. It fails to name the “agent”. It masks male violence, neutralises it and makes it safe. It takes away the truths named by radical feminism over decades. If we talk about “gender-based” violence, we give MPAs a space for legitimacy in which to peddle their hatred of, and lies about, women.
Let’s name male violence, always and forever, until the system of male supremacy is overturned. It pains me that so many fantastic feminist projects are neutralised by being called anti “gender-based” violence. We must never fail to name our truths. If we cannot name who is doing what to who, we cannot hope to put an end to it.
Women against male violence against women. There. It is written. And there is power in the writing of it.