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The Forum > General Discussion > White and Silver Ribbon day

White and Silver Ribbon day

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I've been trying to work out how I want to deal with White Ribon Day.

On the one hand I'm very happy to take a stand against DV. I think that we do need to get the message across that DV is wrong. The issues around male violence against women have been well canvassed and probably don't need repeating here.

On the other hand I'm disgusted by the continued lack of recognition of the plight of male victims of DV.
- I'm disgusted by the fairly widely accepted viewpoint that when the victim is male "he must have deserved it".
- I'm disgusted by the marriage counsellors and others who told me "she's smaller than you so she won't really hurt you" when confronted with my former wifes habit of punching me.
- I'm disgusted that we still see add's on television which portray female initiated DV in a positive light.
- I'm disgusted that when I see stats talking about the proportion of women who will suffer violence at the hands of a male partner I never hear the equivalent rates for men.
- I'm disgusted that I continue to hear about protecting women and children from men while the stats on substantiated child abuse, neglect and death are very clear that women are at least equally involved if not more so as the perpetrators of harm to children.

I'm considering getting myself a silver ribbon and wearing it alongside a white ribbon on "white ribbon" day.

A statement that I'm against all domestic violence regardless of the gender of the perpetrator or victim.

I'd rather just wear a white ribbon with the organisers saying that all DV is wrong but they seem unwilling to make that point.

Posted by R0bert, Wednesday, 15 November 2006 8:41:39 PM
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I'm not being sarcastic or mean, but do you really have to "deal with it" at all?

I have no time at all for sensationalist campaigns like the one using really creepy commercials about domestic violence; and I was more put off than usual to find that a game show host is involved. The worst thing is the father jumping in front of a bus with his daughter watching. Really disgusting!

I understand and share you hatred of domestic violence but, unless it affects you personally, there is nothing at all you can do by worrying about how "deal with it". Best to reserve your mental energy for things you might be able to change, I think.

I empathise with your other points, but there's not much we can do about them either. I was something of a mess until I learned how to switch off things I had no control over. Sometimes you have to be hard and aloof to survive, with all of the crap - some real and serious, some not - that is rammed down our throats by strangers.
Posted by Leigh, Thursday, 16 November 2006 10:11:43 AM
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Female domestic violence is just as damaging to children as male domestic violence and on that one count alone must be addressed. As long as female violence goes unrecognized, it will go on unrestricted.

I have been trying for years to get any media outlet at all to canvas the issues of female violence within families and I have found that there is a media blackout on female violence. No-one will publish anything about it. It doesnt matter how relevant or compelling your sources, eg the following meta-study summarized studies covering more than 164,000 participants and found that women were just as physically violent as men but no media wanted to know:

The just released Personal Safety Survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that over 30% of all criminal physical assaults in the home between opposite sex partners were cases of women attacking men. Australian figures, brand new, controversial, absolutely impeccable source, culturally vital - everything a news item should be but no-one would touch it.

There is an extraordinary attitude among women to violence against men. A trailer for new movie called Holiday featuring Cameron Diaz featured the heroine elbowing her partner in the jaw and then kneeing him in the groin. This behaviour is presented not only as acceptable but admirable. The double standard involved when 'there is never any excuse for a man to use physical violence against a woman' is obvious. Murray Straus found in a survey that, "More than half of women questioned at a Glasgow university said they approved of wives hitting their husbands."

Personally I think that female physical violence is the tip of the iceberg as women tend to use emotional weapons like relational aggression to destroy people much more frequently and more deftly than they use physiucal violence. I doubt that there will ever be effective legislation over the subtle forms of violence that women use so effectively - women must abandon these forms of violence voluntarily based on the realization that violence within families, any kind of violence, is bad for everyone.
Posted by Rob513264, Thursday, 16 November 2006 11:26:02 AM
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Rob, well said. Any thoughts on the use of an extra ribbon as a means to draw some attention (even if small) to the DV that official outlets don't want to touch?

Leigh, thanks for the feedback. I expect that I will have to deal with it on some level. I expect that my walk from the train station to my office will involve people either trying to sell or give me a white ribbon (not sure which way that is being approached). Yes I can say "no thanks" and brush past but that isn't portraying how I feel about DV.

It's quite likely that the office will have some kind of recognition of the day happening.

I've got female friends who have been on the end of violence and seen and read enough not to willingly dismiss the harm done to women by DV.

I've been on the recieving end of DV in the past and felt the powerlessness that comes with having nobody else taking female initiated DV seriously. I've talked to enough other men who've been in the same boat to know how harmfull the current denail of female initiated violence is. I'm a single dad who may in the future have to deal with court systems and relationship centers (or whatever name they go under) obsessed with male initiated DV. I've seen the way the issue is played by the mothers groups to oppose shared parenting.

It's not an issue that I feel I can ignore. I don't know if I will manage to change anything but do hope that enough of us keep saying that "no DV is OK" the tide may eventually turn.

Someone in a place of power may eventually ask themselves why their campaigns have to specify "violence against women" rather than speaking against all violence regardless of the gender of the victim(even if they do think that men constitute a very small proportion of the victims).

Posted by R0bert, Thursday, 16 November 2006 11:53:30 AM
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Robert, agree with the need to universalise the message to all inclide all violence, be it domestic or otherwise. Wear that ribbon mate and do your best to help when you can, its all we can and should do. Just know that there are many men and women who support your views. The more often we say no to violence the more it (non-violence) becomes part of our social norms. One voice is as important as many.

"Non violence means people in action. People have to understand that with non-violence goes a hell of a lot of organization."
Posted by Rainier, Thursday, 16 November 2006 9:14:09 PM
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I feel that white ribbon day is a necessary campaign, and I totally agree with you that it is disgusting that only men are associated with DV.
It should be a day to condone domestic violence regardless of which sex is being the aggressor.
It's important to draw attention to this- the campaign should not just focus women as victims.
The ribbon should be a unisex ribbon; anyone should be able to wear it; we need a ribbon against ALL DV.

In fact, I have just decided to wear the ribbon in support of male victims- people might ask me why I, as a woman, am wearing this ribbon and I will tell them that I don't condone DV by women.

Women can be just as violent as men. They are even more likely to throw things, bite, punch, pull hair, kick and squeeze, and use weapons to attack with.
Yet, only men are seen as aggressors.

The message which the campaign posters are presenting is clear: women are not aggressive or violent, merely scared and sad. Itís the men that behave violently, usually against women and children, and sometimes against other men.

Rob is right; this attitude is reflected in movies.
And we all know the (funny) cartoons in where a usually big, fat woman attacks her usually smallish, wimpy husband with a fry pan. Imagine if the roles in those comics were reversed and it was the man bashing up the wife with a weapon for the sake of a good laugh! People would protest rather than laugh about these comics.

In the past, men were publicly ridiculed when they dared complaining about the violent wife! It was shame on patriarchy, a sign of weakness on the male part.
Would that be the reason why men hardly ever report DV? Do they still feel that others would see them as weak wimps that should be laughed at?
Men must be encouraged to report DV.

Because DV against men still seems to be taboo, all the more reason for including this problem in the campaign against DV
Posted by Celivia, Friday, 17 November 2006 12:25:59 PM
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