Gender 'norms' & comparisons...
Without even bringing the societal expectations of the male gender and the concept of masculinity into play, it appears that as much as statistics can sway the outreach provided by charities, programmes and the government, doesn’t that mean that these campaigns can also sway their responses depending on their outreach? It’s a fundamental rule in advertising to understand and address your ‘target audience’. Why would a male call a helpline that is clearly labelled to support women and children? Yet, that is the support the male is initially given on his government’s official website. Doesn’t that reduce the likelihood, even just slightly, of him seeking the help he needs? However, a woman can find advice for herself easily, using any of the many links provided on the first Google search page. This is an amazing thing – for women. Men deserve the same opportunity. This should not be an issue of gender, it’s simply an issue of seeking safety in these relationships and every gender deserves the same ability to seek advice, guidance and help.
The fact that discussions like these become a gender vs. gender topic is a colossal flaw in itself. As almost every blog I’ve written for this campaign states – a victim is a victim, no matter the gender. We shouldn’t be comparing it.
“My survey says *this* happened more to x gender”
“Oh really? Well my results say that, but *this and that* also happened to y gender”
No one should care. Everyone in causes like these should be striving for one goal – to end domestic violence, or at least offer every ounce of support and guidance possible, regardless of gender.
So why is it that men have to look harder to find the resources that should be a basic right to their safety?
It seems to be an age-old idea in society that men act one way, women another. However, there is a clear movement against these ideas and concepts of the ‘norm’. With remarkable movements in LGBT+ societies, rights and ideas of gender are being put into question as society is moving into a new era of gender constructs. These theories have been in play for years, but as the media and internet covers these topics, conversations grow - Piers Morgan delivers a loud and passionate monologue on TV, people listen, and awareness has grown.
In the context of domestic abuse, it is my belief that concepts of gender ‘norms’ and masculinity are dangerous to all genders. It comes back to the statistics argument, if you are addressing a majority based on a concept that is in today’s society being disproven and reconstructed, why should a serious issue like domestic abuse be following these very ideas? The N.D.A. Helpline website singles out men as abusers and women as victims. Not only is this unfair, even if they disclose a single sentence to state that it can happen to anyone, but by generalising a majority, you are accusing and excluding a minority, which statistically can only silence them or at least minimise their likelihood to come forward, as the concept of masculinity comes into play.
Gender ‘norms’ and the very comparison of gender in circumstances like these have to stop – and fast.