Underneath the statement of Moran that followed, the following exchange occurred: “I admire you candour and courage in addressing this” said one woman, “this should be an end to the matter”. The man responded: “Would you say the same if she was a man?”
This is the reason this particular incident, even though it happened about six years ago, has been a major topic across the internet, causing my back to bow like a cat walking across broken glass. What can we do to discuss violence against men in as to support male victims, but acknowledges that violence against girls and women across the globe is a more widespread culturally and historically rooted problem?
Let’s begin by saying that any form of intimate partner violence is unjust. A third of domestic violence victims are males and, according to BBC, “Police in England and Wales recorded 149,248 incidents in 2017 – more than double the number reported in 2012”. I reported the incident to one of my friends “I 100% know women who have slapped their partners when they are drunk” she wrote. I remember one of my friends who would throw a crockey around out of the blue in anger. If a male had done this to her I would have informed her that it was a red flag , and an extremely serious storm of violence as well as control could be on the way. But I didn’t say anything to her, because she’s female. I listened, and then made our tea again.
Moran admits to feeling “threatened” – a passing hint that she was acting as self-defense. In the end, it would be foolish to deny the fact that men tend to be more powerful and larger and the threat to them is usually a real one. A woman who hits an individual in the face is often a symbol of humour. Think about EastEnders and Dallas. There’s a high-octane, pantomime-like spectacle; the male usually “deserves” it, the woman who is slammed gets angry. In spite of those who want to be seen as progressive, we hold deep-seated notions about masculinity for instance, a woman shouldn’t harm an individual, the man is able to “take it”, men aren’t prone to vulnerability. These beliefs are harmful and should be exposed for the gender stereotypes that are not good for any person. It is essential to begin with the belief that men are victims and then be able to respond accordingly.
Yet, to say that this is a crime that is committed in equal proportion, regardless the gender is to deny the facts. It’s not to be aware the fact that there are two women who die each week in the United Kingdom due to the actions of their former or current male partner. It is not to consider the fact that 7.9 percent of females (1.3 million) in the UK are victims of violence, in comparison to 4.25 percent (695,000) males. It is to overlook that females are more than four times as likely have been victims of sexual assault by an intimate partner as well as women who are victims of abuse tend to be the victims of other forms of abuse too like emotional or financial. While these numbers are showing the magnitude of the problem it is not uncommon to find cases where both the justice and police systems consistently do not meet the needs of women repeatedly time. Last week, the Centre for Women’s Justice submitted an extraordinary complaint against HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for inability to safeguard victims of sexual assault and rape. This isn’t just a game of one-upmanship. It’s a matter of fact that violence is a problem that kills women regularly and we must try to learn more about it to stop it from happening.
The extreme instances of violence against girls and women also gives a wider picture of women’s role within society. While I’m not doubting that women can be abusers as well, determined to controlling their environment and capable of causing enormous psychological and emotional harm when they want to Women are part of an environment that is not in their favour. being under-represented and unpaid, they are remain a burdened by the majority of household and caregiving duties. Women’s inability to attain social, economic and cultural influence makes them vulnerable. This is why the history of violence against women has been accepted, brushed aside or ignored, and in certain instances even becoming in some cases, even deemed to be inevitable. Remember the days when we called”wifebeaters” in the white vest? Remember the days when police couldn’t respond to calls due to it being “a domestic”? Just recently, the game on video called Rape Day, which users were urged to commit sexual assaults to get eliminated. The world is constantly bombarded by messages that glorify sexual violence and violence against women in a way which we do not see in males. Sexual violence against women is a crime that doesn’t only occur among two people, but an representation of the power of men in society.
The confession of Layla Moran is significant as the violence that men commit is real and is something that must be dealt with seriously. Also, the increase in males reporting crimes suggests that because of a more compassionate and open-minded society, they are more willing to admit the things that have happened to them in private. But this discussion should not be used as a way to undermine the efforts to prevent female violence or diminish the fact that it is a crime that is gendered. There’s a lot to lose.