January 11 2014, 6pm
What's your take on domestic violence being almost equal between men and women in the US? With only 5% shelters being for men? With lesbian violence at 5 times the rate of hetero (love that one)? What's your take on 90% of homeless people are men? What's your take on men's suicide rates being 4 times higher than girls? What your take on divorce courts giving women the authority of the children 95% of the time?What's your take on a higher % of women going to college than men?I could keep going
Sigh. Another litany of out-of-context statistics being proffered as male oppression by an MRA without even the courage to do so non-anonymously. But okay, if you want “my take” on your bullshit stats, let’s do it:
Domestic violence is not “almost equal between men and women.” Even a preliminary web search shows the opposite. For example, the American Bar Association (not exactly a radical feminist organization) collected a number of statistics on the issue, including the following:
"[N]early 25% of women and 7.6% of men were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime[.]"
“Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.”
“In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims.”
“84% of spouse abuse victims were females, and 86% of victims of dating partner abuse at were female. Males were 83% of spouse murderers and 75% of dating partner murderers. 50% of offenders in state prison for spousal abuse had killed their victims. Wives were more likely than husbands to be killed by their spouses: wives were about half of all spouses in the population in 2002, but 81% of all persons killed by their spouse.”
There’s a whole lot more, but I think you get the idea. Does any of that sound “almost equal” to you? And of course, the response to that supposed statistic makes obvious the response to your “5% of shelters are for men” statistic: women have more shelters because they need more. That, and the fact that traditional views of masculinity inhibit men from showing weakness and asking for help, so opening or even visiting a domestic violence shelter can be anathema to their sense of self. I’m not even going to address your “lesbian violence” thing, because it is so obviously ridiculous.
Okay, on to your “90% of homeless people are men” claim. The National Coalition for the Homeless (an organization with much more authority and credibility than whatever MRA scab you picked to get your numbers) says that the homeless population is about 23% families with children, 51% single males, and 25% single females. Again, your statistics are WAY OFF. But even if you were right, even if men made up a much larger portion of the homeless population, what do you suppose that proves? MRAs love to toss out (bogus) statistics, unaccompanied by any context or even any substantive claims, in the hopes that some kind of “oppression” of men can simply be inferred or absorbed through the ether. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. Homelessness is the result of a confluence of many factors, including race, socioeconomic status, sexuality, etc., and gender plays an incredibly minute role, if it plays one at all. Even if your numbers were correct (and my are they ever not), they wouldn’t say what you want them to say.
As for males dying by suicide more often than women, that is well known, but it is also well known that women attempt suicide at a rate of about four times that of men, but men use more lethal means and therefore die at a higher rate. So, again, what are you trying to prove with these numbers? Just as with homelessness, suicide is a complex issue informed by a myriad of factors, with gender sitting WAY down on the list. But let’s play MRA for a minute and ignore all context and common sense, and say that gender is the only factor. If you’re trying to prove that a higher death rate means men are more oppressed than women, you still fail, because if that were the case, why are women trying to end their lives at a rate four times higher than that of men? No, if gender were truly the determinative factor, all it would prove (or suggest, rather) is that traditional gender expectations prevent men from seeking help.
As for “divorce courts giving women the authority of the children 95% of the time,” you are once again flat-out wrong. By a lot. To save time, just take a look at this post, or this post (which cites this study), or even what I’ve written on this subject. The short version is this: no custody bias exists in U.S. Courts. Men seek custody/parental responsibility at a rate significantly lower than that of women. But when men do seek custody, they receive it at a rate of better than 50%. If men want to see their kids, all they have to do is give a shit.
And lastly, education. True enough, college attendance by women is slightly higher than that of men. But again, you’re not actually saying anything with these numbers. Once again, you’re ignoring the myriad of factors that go into these numbers (race, socioeconomic status, etc.) and focusing on the least important one. But even if we once more slip on our magic fedora that strips important issues of all relevant context and focus only on gender, what are you trying to prove here? That women have it better than men somehow? That they have more opportunities? If that were true, women wouldn’t be shut out of the top positions in most major corporations, the military, the government, etc. At the very least, they’d be getting paid the same money for the same work.
So, what have we learned here? We’ve learned that most of the statistics used by MRAs are straight-up and demonstrably false. And even the ones that are technically correct are either twisted and stripped of all context to make some unsupported claim, or are simply used without thought or explanation in the hopes that an uncritical audience will make the unsupported claims for them. In either case, their arguments continue to be intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt.
Good primer for people looking for resources that explore the facts behind the bullshit claims MRAs make.