The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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4:13pm on Thursday, 19th October, 2006:
I was invited to sign a petition this morning at the university, with the subject "violence against women" (it was against it).
I'm always suspicious of special interests that are too special. Of course I'm not in favour of violence against women, but I'm not in favour of violence against men or children, either. Why couldn't it have been a petition against domestic violence? Domestic violence is woefully overlooked in the general category of violence-against-the-person, so I'd have signed that happily. Why were this lot only aiming to tackle violence against women, though?
Listening to the students canvassing for signatures, it was actually more specific than that: it was domestic violence against women by their male partners. Gay couples didn't get a look-in, either as victims or perpetrators; mothers beaten up by their teenage children weren't included either. Are the needs of women beaten up by their male partners so specific that the way they must be addressed is wildly different from those that would help victims of all the other kinds of domestic violence? Should I expect to see students next week asking for me to sign a petition for men beaten up by their mothers?
As a student, I was once asked to sign a petition to "save the whale". I asked them why it was only whales, not dolphins, and was told, "We don't care about dolphins, only whales". OK, so perhaps whales were a more pressing case than dolphins, but saying you outright don't care about dolphins seems rather blinkered...
Still, if you follow these special interests too far, that's the kind of thinking you can get.
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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).