Originally posted on November 28, 2014
I take a simple position on discussions about sexual violence: leave out the politics. Politics make an already complex issue more complicated. They lead to bias, bigotry, and favoring the protection of political stances over addressing the problem. This is particularly true when feminists are involved in the discussion.
It appears many feminists are incapable of discussing sexual violence without resorting to “who has it worse” arguments. Advocates for male victims and men’s rights activists frequently challenge feminists on those arguments. Feminists usually respond by dismissing the challenges as “misogyny” or an attempt to silence women.
Yet there is good reason for people to persist in those challenges, and that is because when such arguments are left unquestioned, they lead to rather ugly statements. For example, Kaelyn Polick-Kirkpatrick wrote in The State Press:
[…] men’s rights activists and skeptics alike raise questions about feminism’s tactics. For instance, why not include everyone in conversations about rape given it’s such a prodigious problem? Well, conversations that include men do need to happen — everyone has a role to play in mitigating rape culture; but these conversations do not necessarily need to happen within the feminist community.
Feminism provides a safe-space for women to cope with and fight back against the oppressive society in which they live. It exists because oppressed people often need support from others who can empathize with their struggles — men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes. For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.
That impressive inane statement could only have come from a feminist. No one else possesses such contempt for men to state without irony that male victims of rape are too privileged to empathize with female victims.
Likewise, Polick-Kirkpatrick’s justification for this claim is something only a feminist would declare. No one who knows, works with, or treats male victims would ever state that it is unlikely that a man would be asked what he wore or told he deserved it because of his behavior. They would know those comments happen often.
Yet most despicable aspect is the tacit assertion that male victims are complicit in “oppressing” women, ergo they do not belong in feminist spaces:
When men insist upon participating in feminist conversations about sexual violence, they make women feel uncomfortable by taking up much-needed space in their community. While it is undeniable and incredibly unfortunate that anyone falls victim, the fact that women are the primary targets of sexually charged crimes, and men carry them out most often, demonstrates a systemic problem that the feminist community is trying to address.
When men want a space in this feminist conversation, it indicates the already prevalent patriarchal desire to control how oppressed groups fight their own battles. When one comes forward to report and discuss the atrocities they have experienced, this should not mean they take up the space of others in the same conversation, even within the feminist community.
The notion that acknowledging male victims silences female victims is a common feminist argument. So too is the notion that women are so “oppressed” that allowing men to speak in feminist spaces is simply a continuation of female “oppression.”
This is precisely why feminists and feminism have no place in discussions about sexual violence. Feminists are incapable of talking about these issues objectively. They must inject their politics into the discussion at every point. While this situation reveals the depth of feminist hatred of men, it does nothing to help male victims. It only worsens the situation by creating an adversarial dynamic and ultimately silences abused men and boys.
Polick-Kirkpatrick attempts yet fails to salvage what is left of her decency:
Ultimately it is undeniable that many men are victims of horrifying crimes. Hopefully, networks of support that bridge gender gaps will come about in order to offer support to all who need it; but currently, the desire of men’s rights activist to belittle the experiences of women in the name of their own is unacceptable.
Accusing men’s rights activists of belittling women’s experiences for mentioning male victims does not make it seem that Polick-Kirkpatrick wants abused men to receive support. It makes it seem that she does not think what happened to these men is wrong, criminal, or worth discussing, let alone worth addressing.
Feminists wonder why people do not like them. This is a perfect answer to that question. This is what feminists do when they think no one is looking. This is what they say when they think the door is closed. This is how they think and how they respond to people who do not agree with their purulent views. Why would anyone like such a person?