Monday, 3 August 2009

Political correctness still mad, claims Mail

The Daily Mail seems to think it's hit the 'PC gone mad' mother lode today with this gem: Women's refuge closed by 'politically correct' council as it does not cater for abused men.
Supporters of a women's refuge were 'shocked and stunned' to be told it is being closed - because it does not cater for men.
Only the Express and the Mail so far are covering this at a national level, so information is hard to find, but the best source I've found is the Dorset Echo, which makes the same hilarious claim, but later admits that really it's because of "funding shortages".

What interests me is why the Mail, and the Echo, take this claim at apparent face value. The Echo's stance in particular is interesting, because the article includes the following:
At present the group funds three Dorset refuges with £82,780 spent annually to run the Weymouth refuge [the one which is to close], £127,794 to a West Dorset refuge and £165,516 to a North Dorset refuge.
If either paper truly believed that this decision was rooted in political correctness, and that the elites had suddenly started deeming women's refuges anachronistic bastions of rampant misandry, why aren't the asking why the other two, presumably larger, refuges aren't closing? Ultimately it's because the truth doesn't make for good headlines. Reading between the lines you can glean that Dorset's Supporting People service doesn't have a great deal of funds, and has come to the conclusion that the best way to meet its obligations is to close its smallest refuge (which houses up to six families), and use the money to help victims of domestic violence, some of them possibly male, in a different way, by increasing the number of outreach workers (of which they currently have three).

Now clearly, this isn't ideal, and my knee-jerk reaction as a bleeding-heart liberal is that more money ought to be put in, in order to keep the existing refuges and expand outreach if necessary, but then I'm a lay person with very little information about the intricacies of Dorset County Council's finances, the schemes they have in place, and the demand for it. The sad reality of government is that there are a huge number of competing demands for the available money, and tough decisions have to be made. What's most depressing though is that the Mail isn't remotely interested in this story from a women's welfare point of view, it's using it to score cheap points and add another chapter to its ever-expanding bible of PC myths, which credulous twats will be bringing up in an argument in five years' time. "Did you know that in Dorset they banned women's refuges on the grounds they were sexist?", they'll say, in much the same way as they talk about Christmas being renamed Winterval or how you're not allowed to say 'gingerbread man' any more, all as part of a depressing conversational foreplay leading up to a gag about how the current Premier League champions will one day be renamed 'Personchester United'.

However, the story actually puts Mail readers themselves in an awkward position, since, as much as they hate political correctness, the anti-PC brigade does harbour a fairly large contingent of misogynists who reckon women are probably asking for it, reckon men are actually the most discriminated-against group in society, and love to cite statistics about woman-on-man violence to distract from the issue. Now, I'm not saying this commenter is such a misogynist, but, well...
Note this statement below

"The women are there because of what men have done to them and their children. When people suffer from domestic violence they need an immediate escape and that's being taken away"

They never talk about their par in it how they provoked the man to deliberately sabotage the relationship in order to get the house and his wealth using this plot and ploy of domestic violence that they instigate.

Good job, its a stand for "true" equal rights and their discrimination coming full circle and creating a self induced smacking in the face for devious long term lies.
- THe lie exposed, UK, 3/8/2009 3:17
(Italics mine, to distinguish a quote from the guy's opinions). So there you have it, battered wives are in fact "devious" masters of psychological manipulation, cleverly coaxing their men to smack them in the face so they can "get the house and his wealth". Evidently this plan hasn't worked well for the women who ended up in women's refuges rather than laughing it up in their husbands' houses, but I guess they were just the unlucky ones, eh? James in Brighton shies away from calling them liars and takes a different tack:
As a man I find this very funny, womens issues are rammed down our throats all the time and when the worm turns women still complain.

- James, Brighton UK, 3/8/2009 3:49
Another commenter shows that the Mail doesn't do a great job of explaining things:
Crazy.Ludicrous. Idiotic. Incomprehesible.Yet another example of the world gone mad. When is common sense going to make a come back? If there are battered men with children then provde facilities for them in another refuge,somewhere else.
- Christine Young, Brisbane,Australia, 3/8/2009 4:46
Let's be clear here; no-one is planning to put men in women's refuges, at least not in this instance. The actual story is that a women's refuge is being closed, and that these women will, hopefully, be put in other women's refuges. They're not replacing it with a unisex refuge. This is always the problem with trying to tell complicated stories through such wildly unrepresentative headlines though; people are going to get the wrong idea because you lead them there. There's a real story here, but sadly in the Mail's case it's been buried under a thick layer of distraction, turning a potentially serious debate about the proper allocation of funds and the best way to serve victims of domestic violence into some eye-rolling "look what the PC brigade are up to now!" flippancy.

UPDATE 3/8/09: the post above by 'THe lie exposed' seems to have been removed now.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, it's been an even more depreesing week for people trying to help women escape violence than it ususally is.