To day beautiful readers I will do something shockingly dangouse. I am going to do it without the aid of a safty net.
I am going to debunk a feminist myth used sinse (at least) 1995 on posters all over the UK to promote women's issues. I shall use a personal story of my encounter with that myth and then shoot the crap out of it with some honest to goodness truth and facts taken from the source they claim to have gotten theirs from.
Are you sitting comfirtably?
Then I shall begin.
The poster proclaimed that:
I should point out for the metaphorically impaired that this is:
It was the prejudicial language that offended me first. It caught my eye in a family centre on the edge of a government housing estate. I was there to attend a Parental Focus Group Meeting to provide feedback on how these people were helping (or not helping).
I was there under protest.
I had no particular interest in being near this women's stronghold.
They call it a family centre but in actual fact it is simply an expensive women with children centre.
I said very little on my first few monthly visits but at last I felt that something had to be done. There was something inherently wrong - man bashing wrong - about that poster. It struck a chord and alarm bells rang.
I am aware that most men would not have stayed so long as to identify what bothered them before leaving and never coming back, claiming "I felt too uncomfortable", or "it's not my scene" and possibly quoting a general distaste for "mothers meetings". The irony is that the staff are genuinely confused as to why no men ever turn up, it is after all a community centre.
I returned to the poster and took notes. It claimed to get its shocking statistic for the UK home office. There could be "no higher authority" on the number of people effected by crime.
The poster claimed to use 1995 statistics.
I visited the home office website. I found the 1993 statistics and had a look. The poster could not be further from the truth. less than 1 in 200 women suffering from domestic violence I guess was not sufficiently shocking and you couldn't attack men in much the same way. I also discovered a few other things. The home office has never published its statistics as such figures as 1 in 4 (bookmakers odds) but as the number out of all the people interviewed.
This means that this women's poster quotes processed statistics on the subject of living in fear (non-specified criteria) while the home office publishes statistics in the raw state with specified criteria.
The posters statistics are worse than untrue, they are deceptive and meaningless quoting out of date sources.
Confident that I had gathered everything I needed I look forward to the next Focus Group. I waited through some dull as ditchwater topics ready to say my peace and make a change for truth, justice and human rights.
I did at last get my chance and speak up I did. I gently made my points and asked to have my offence at the poster officially recorded. This went down well. Next I set into the content. I made a point of saying how the issue was important and I agreed with the need to raise awareness. I thought I had covered my bases and began to unfold the debunking facts. The statistics were unreliable. The source was out of date. The year was the worst for crime on record. The real figures were tiny and the poster used prejudicial language.
The official response was simple. It didn't matter that the figures were out of date because the important fact was that it was raising awareness.
The poster was to stay; man bashing sentiments and all.
They did however agree to put up another poster high-lighting that the most at risk group was in fact men aged 18 to 21.
It was a small and hollow victory.
It would seem that women are magical and mystical and it is ok for their support groups to tell lies as long as it raised awareness.
Perhaps these buildings should come with a warning;
UK Population: 59,787,000
1:4 ratio of women (50% of population) gives us 7,473,375 suffering domestic violence. (They give no definition of living in fear but as the poster is one for domestic violence one must assume something).
2003/04 incidents of domestic violence was 501,000 even if we double this for 1995 "crime wave" we get 1,002,000 victims both male and female so how do they get 7.5 Million women in fear when the home office shows 1 Million at an imaginative push?
2,781,000 Violent crimes in 2003/04 (double to give benefit of the doubt to 1995 figures) we get 5,562,000 total victims. That is still only 5.5 Million including all forms of violence to both genders so where do they get 7.5 Million
With a fall of just 35% from 1995 to 2003 doubling the figures should have easily accounted for any unreported crimes.
Violent crime has fallen by 35% since its peak in 1995, and has remained relatively stable since 2000.
It can also be pointed out:
That's almost 50:50 so we should not double but half our estimates. This means despite multiplying the figures to four times that which they have ever been we still can't get up to the huge figures quoted.
In 2002/03, 4.1% of people experienced a violent incident, approximately half of which resulted in some injury.
If we assumed that all that was domestic and all that was women getting attacked (a plainly absurd idea) we get just 1,225,634 people (Just over 1 Million) the poster claims that this figure should be 7 Million just for the women.
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