I think the thing that concerns me most about anti-feminism and the MRM is that the examples they use about “men can’t get raped” or “men never experience domestic violence,” aren’t comments I actually see coming from feminists. From what I see of feminist activism around me, no one…
As additional question to OP, do you think discussion about domestic violence and rape isn’t already dominated by women’s issues?
All victims of rape and domestic violence face a varied level of erasure. It’s a highly gendered issue, existing within a patriarchal power structure. The gender roles/stereotypes/pressures that are produced by such patriarchal power structures can negatively affect people of any gender in relation to rape and DV. It’s because of this that I wouldn’t begin to argue against any of the evidence put forward by any of the people who commented above.
I support the use of gender neutrality in legal definitions, court systems and government bodies, but acknowledge that it does not always exist. I also acknowledge that there are feminists who present the opinion that men can’t get raped or experience DV, usually because of the argument that it doesn’t constitute a systematic oppression. While I don’t support this opinion, it is really a fancy way of saying that despite the patriarchy negatively influencing both genders, the challenges faced by women are far more prevalent and likely to occur, as “Women between the ages to 15 and 45 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.” (See http://www.halftheskymovement.org/campaigns/gender-based-violence) I think the lack of gender neutrality that’s emerging in laws, courts and support networks for rape victims is a response to the growing recognition that violence against women and rape are endemic.
It’s with this in mind that I would say, yes, discussions of rape and DV are mostly dominated by women’s issues because it is most often a women’s issue. This isn’t an attempt to erase male victims, it is a statistic. In Australia, according to current report rates, 1/3 women will be affected by DV or sexual assault in their lifetime. I would say that because of this, it is important to have discussions and spaces that are for women.
One of the most common additions by MRA and anti-feminists in such spaces that I see is “But men get raped too.” While no one here is denying this, and it’s no less problematic or horrific, it diverts away from the intended purpose of women creating a safe space for themselves. It’s comments such as these, and people sarcastically “quoting” feminists saying “men can’t get raped or experience DV” that I see as the most frequent additions. And while I acknowledge the limits of what “I see,” I don’t believe we should overlook the examples that I do. The original post was an attempt to acknowledge that, not make an overarching extrapolation or declaration. Essentially, I’m trying to say that the contributions of MRA and anti-feminists into safe spaces and discussions for women that I see seem to neither support the challenges that women face or actually shed any light on those faced by men.