It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
Throughout 2015 several domestic violence organizations decided to open their doors to male victims New organizations dedicated to helping male victims were created. There are even shelters for male victims in the works. Again, all of this happened over the course of the last year.
Something rarely mentioned in any of the articles about these changes is this: why did it take so long?
Again, it is 2015. Not 2005, not 1995, not 1965. Why did it take so long for people to finally consider domestic violence a serious issue?
Better yet, why do we need specific services for male victims? Are there not existing services? Why can we not use those services for men? Is there some double standard at play?
One person decided to ask a similar question to the gang at r/AskFeminists. Thomas_222x asked the snarky question:
Isn’t it hypocritical when feminists say they oppose gender stereotypes, when they perpetrate those stereotypes talking about domestic violence.
Feminists say they oppose the gender stereotypes of men being strong and women being weak.
But they also justify excluding men from domestic abuse services by saying men are strong and women are weak.
Why isn’t this hypocritical?
The primary reason feminists ignore male victims has nothing to do with “weakness” and “strength.” It is about the narrative that domestic violence is a toll men use to subjugate women. That narrative cannot function is domestic violence is something women do to men on a regular basis.
Thomas is slightly correct that the feminist argument is that due to male physical, economic, and social power they are “stronger” than women, therefore in the unlikelihood that men are victims of domestic they will face less harm than women. That is a rather absurd position, yet it is the most common refrain from feminists regarding the issue. The second most common refrain was offered by tigalicious, who stated:
I’ve never heard of men being excluded from domestic abuse services by feminists. Can you find a source to back up that claim before we discuss it further?
I replied on the subreddit:
As a victim’s advocate and someone who has spent almost 15 years around male victims of physical and sexual violence, I can say I hear about these situations at least twice a month from men and boys I meet. The number jumps to two to three times a week if I count articles and online comments. I find it improbable that anyone frequently working with male victims has never heard of men and boys being turned away from services.
You mentioned that you volunteer at a feminist-run crisis center that does provide services to men, but the services are underused. What are the “resources specifically for male victims” you mentioned? Does the center advertise to let men know they are welcome? Does it do any outreach for male victims? Why do you think male victims do not use the resources (aside from your assertion that men are discouraged)?
As for your request for sources, I have written about this frequently. Here are some of the most egregious examples:
Those were general examples. Here are specific instances in which feminist-run organizations refused to help male victims:
CA Appellate Court Says Excluding Men from Domestic Violence Programs is Unconstitutional
Women’s refuges told they must admit men
When asked to service male victims, domestic violence support team pulls plug
Here is one more unrelated to domestic violence, but I want to include because seven years later I still find it absolutely stunning: South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre kicked out of the national Rape Crisis network because they offered services to male victims.
Again, I do not know how anyone working with male victims would be unaware of this. That is not an attack; it is a observation. I do not know anyone who has worked with male victims during the last 20 years who said they never heard of male victims being turned away. Dr. Richard Garnter wrote about it in his 1996 book Betrayed as Boys. Glenn Sacks talked about it on his show a decade ago. The CEO of Mankind UK, a support group for male victims of sexual violence, conducted a small survey about this issue. The Canadian government found the same problems. It is unfortunately a very common problem, which is why we see groups in 2015 stating that they are accepting male victims for the first time in their decades long history.
I am not sure what feminists like tigalicious expect to gain from arguing that they never see feminists do any wrong. Not only is it rather easy to prove them wrong, but it also demonstrates a blindside to their view of the situation. Tigalicious stated that they volunteer at a feminist-run crisis center. Can one imagine how tigalicious’s attitude would play out in that situation? If a man said he had been turned away from every other shelter, how would feminists like tigalicious respond?