Teaching children that domestic violence is bad is...bad?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Words can hardly express how much rage this piece in today's Daily Mail has caused me. Throughout today I've seen a number of disgusted Tweets from people who, like me, just can't believe what they're reading. I know it's too much to expect that the Mail (for some reason, the most popular newspaper with female readers) might one day believe in equality for all and I could write a post every day about the latest anti-woman tripe featured on its website but this is truly horrendous:
Pupils as young as five will be taught about the evils of 'wife beating' and the need to form healthy relationships.

The lessons are part of a controversial drive, unveiled today, to reduce violence against women and young girls.

They will include teaching boys that they must not beat their partners or any other female.
And this is a bad thing, HOW exactly? As if we couldn't have guessed what was going to come next, the Mail dishes out its usual dose of 'what about the poor menz?!':
... the new classes will not cover violence against men, who are far more likely to be the victims of violent crime

Despite the fact that 89 per cent of people who experience repeat incidents of domestic violence are women, despite the fact that two women are killed every week by a male partner or former partner, despite the fact that one in four women will experience domestic violence and that it accounts for between 16 per cent and one quarter of all recorded crime, the Mail reckons schools shouldn't teach children that it's wrong, clearly because it's part of an insidious feminist agenda which wants to see men removed from society altogether.

The story goes on to point out that 'young women are becoming more aggressive', a point which seems to have been picked up by several people commenting to say something along the lines of 'men are more likely to be attacked by women now anyway', as if this makes domestic violence perpetrated by a man somehow more acceptable or forgivable.

With classic DM vitriol, it continues:
In a document peppered with the language of Miss Harman's equalities-agenda, the Government says the first ever Violence Against Women and Girls strategy is in production by departments across Whitehall, and will be published this autumn.

It declares: 'Our vision is a society where women and girls feel safe and confident in their homes and communities so that they can develop fully, live freely, contribute to society, and prosper in their daily lives. We want to overcome women's and girls' fear of crime and the gender-based violence that they experience.'
I'm not sure why it's so outrageous that a politician should desire that half the population live freely and prosper; all we need now is a reference to 'feminism going too far'. Jill Kirby of the Centre For Policy Studies helpfully weighs in with:
'It is young men who are most likely to be the victims of violent crime. It is a distortion to suggest otherwise. It appears that everything must be viewed through the prism of 1960s feminism.'
Oh no! Not 1960s feminism! And so endeth yet another woman-hating story from the Mail (sadly they failed to tick all the usual boxes as I don't think 'bra-burning' was mentioned but I'm sure this was just an accidental omission). I haven't read through all the comments because the selection I read earlier this morning made me so angry that I couldn't carry on. More on Harriet Harman and what she's been up to this week this week here and here.


Anonymous said...

They are such utter morons.

I don't see why they keep producing papers, all they need to do is a produce a poster to hang in all shops which used to sell it saying: "Women are evil, We love Diana, XYZ causes/doesn't cause cancer and Chuck out the filthy immigrants!" and it would save an awful lot of trees.

(Oh, and btw your link to the story doesn't work...)

laura-ann said...

I just blogged about this other at Subtext and the piece supports several of your points but also looks at the other side. Comments would be greatly welcome!

Hannah M said...

Totally agree Arrianne, it never fails to sadden me that it considers itself a real newspaper (or that so many people buy it and believe everything it says).

I fixed the link, by the way!

Laura-Ann, i've had a read and commented, thanks for the heads up :)

Sophia said...

The one positive thing I can find is that 55% of people voted in the poll that children as young as five should be taught about domestic violence. Was it hi-jacked by non-Mail readers like myself?

PALS said...

Children does not have any intimate relationship yet. Why do they need to teach them about relationships? Their still kids. Well, it might end up teaching kids how to go into relationship at such an early age.

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