I’m embroiled in a bit of an interblog flame war with some of the feminists over at Alas. I don’t want to involve CD or its readers in all that, but part of my latest post addresses some substantive issues, so I’ve decided to post an editted and expanded version here.
Check it out. Right next door, Daran is going on and on about “feminist apartheid” and how men simply must horn in on everything women do for women because “that’s where the money tends to end up.” Tends to. It just falls in our laps like free milk and cookies in fucking kindergarten. Truckloads of free milk and cookies, and how meeeeeeean of us not to give him any just because he holds out his hand. Sweet jeebus.
Let’s have a look at what I said right next door
What kind of space are you talking about? I don’t want a homeland for male survivors. I don’t want reserved seats at the back of the bus or separate but equal provision. I want inclusion.
there are male-created survivor spaces. But it’s the female ones that get the lion’s share of the resources and recognition.
Many years ago, I was an administrative support worker of a group for both male and female survivors. We had a funding application rejected on the grounds that the funder was supporting the local Women’s Aid Centre, and therefore there was no need to support us. Set aside for a moment the fact that the services we offered to women were complimentary to and non-overlapping with those of the WAC; what this episode illustrates is the complete invisibility of male survivors, despite our efforts to centre them in our campaigning material.
I’m asking for access to public resources. I’ll take no lectures from Ms_xeno about the hand-to-mouth existence of many of these little groups. I was there. I was doing it. Fundraising was part of my job. And yes, I do feel that sexual abuse/domestic victims in my half of the population are entitled to be heard by public bodies, and to a share of the public resources intended for victims. But I wonder how it feels, as ms_xeno apparently does, for her half of the population to be entitled to all of it.
Unfortunately ms_xeno is not a lone voice. There are many within the survivor movment with similar views to hers, who actively seek to place obstacles in the way of those who try to access and develop resources for male survivors.
Let me give an example. The following account is not my experience. It was told to me by one of the two female founders of the survivor group I used to work for. She had no reason to lie and I’ve no doubt she was telling me the truth.
The two members, both women, went as delegates from the group to a conference for female survivors in the south of England. When they arrived, (having paid their fees in advance, and having incurred travel expenses from Scotland) they were told by the organisers there was a problem. Some of the other delegates were objecting to their presence. The group qualified to attend as a survivor group for women, (and of which women were the majority of members) but because it was a survivor group for men as well, this offended the sense of gender-purity of some of the other delegates. Eventually their objections were put to a vote, which was defeated, but there was a substantial minority who voted to exclude our delegates.
These are the attitudes that we’re up against. Whatever privileges might attach to maleness in other contexts, there are none in the context of abuse-survival. Rather “privilege” is a magic word used by ms_xeno and her ilk to justify her bigotry and prejudice.