Monday, July 10, 2006

No need for feminism ?

The issue of women's rights seem to keep slipping down the agenda on the left. In the mainstream media there are many articles discussing how young women do not relate to feminism, seeing liberation in Jimmy Choo shoes , porn star t-shirts or lap dancing lessons .

A report just published shows that far from it not being relevant, it is now more than ever.
The Crime and Society Foundation, at King's College, London, says ministers should focus on tackling root causes of crime, such as poverty and sexism.

"There was also a great need to tackle some men's attitude to women, it said.
It quoted one survey from 2000 which suggested 40% of men believed it would be acceptable to hit their partner for sleeping with another man and 20% for neglecting their children.
"Much violence suffered by some of the most vulnerable in our society will not begin to be addressed until the systemic misogyny and sexism of British society is confronted," the report said. "

Women's Aid have the following figures :

"Domestic violence is very common with 1 in 4 women experiencing it in their lifetime and between 1 in 8 to 1 in 10 women experiencing it annually. Though less than half of all incidents are ever reported the Police, the Police still receive one call about domestic violence for every minute in the UK. "

They also state that 2 women a week are killed in domestic violence. Much like the hysteria about abuse of children and the focus on the stranger, the media and govt ignore the real hidden abuse in the home, reluctant to look at the realities of the family as an institution.

I am not downplaying that it also happens to men, but in far fewer numbers :

"British Crime Survey found that there were an estimated 12.9 million incidents of domestic violence acts (that constituted non-sexual threats or force) against women and 2.5 million against men in England and Wales in the year preceding interview (Walby & Allen, 2004). "

And the left is not immune from "systemic misogyny and sexism". Men on the left also need to look at their behaviour and attitudes to women and who they choose to defend and support. Sorry , but the personal is political.