How many times have you brought up sexual violence against women in the Middle East when arguing with a feminist, only to be told, “Just because someone else has it worse, that doesn’t mean we should ignore injustice here at home?” Never mind that said “injustice” will usually be confined to nonsensical “microaggressions” like breathing too loudly on the subway (#manhaling, trend it), but don’t you often wonder if they’d hold the same standard when talking about real forms of injustice?
Like, for instance, let’s say a nontrivial amount of domestic abuse happened to men. Would it be okay to complain about that, even if someone else has it worse?
Well, according to Canadian feminists, the answer is — surprise, surprise — NOPE:
The billboard shows a man cowering and covering his ears as a woman stands above him shouting aggressively.
The text on the billboard claims half of all domestic abuse victims are men and also claims there are no domestic shelters for male victims of domestic abuse.
The billboard is the work of a group called the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) which, at a news conference on Tuesday, said it wants to “shine a light” on the male victims of domestic violence. […]
But that stat is based on self-reported violence. And the same study found women were more than twice as likely to report injuries, and that women report more serious violence — being sexually assaulted, beaten, choked or threatened with a gun or knife.
“Women are more likely to experience violence in an intimate relationship [by] many, many times,” said Todd Minerson of the White Ribbon Campaign, a group that organizes men and boys to take action against violence against women.
The group says CAFE’s billboard is misleading.
“Women are more likely to experience more severe and, in fact, far more likely to experience fatal violence,” Minerson said.
Yup, suddenly when the victims of the injustice involved aren’t women, now we can talk about whether the injustice is bad enough to warrant attention. Funny how that works, huh?
RELATED: 20 Stupid Feminist Questions For Men Answered
Look, if you want to oppose domestic violence, that’s great, more power to you, but if you don’t want others to delegitimize your suffering by pointing out someone has it worse, here’s a simple trick: Don’t pull that argumentative tactic on someone else. And if you want to make the case that, given limited time and resources, you want to focus on the biggest instances where your help is needed, don’t be upset when someone calls you out for being excessively myopic. This isn’t about ideology, it’s about consistency. As the head of CAFE puts it:
“Initiatives to combat violence against women are necessary and praiseworthy,” said Trottier. “But policies should be built on facts rather than bound by ideologies.”
And make no mistake, violence against men definitely happens. The poll in question shows men being about three times as likely to be kicked, bitten, or hit with an object. But wait and see if anyone on the feminist side calls efforts to combat violence against men “necessary and praiseworthy.” Pro-tip: Don’t hold your breath. You’ll end up asphyxiated, and not in the sexy way.