Friday, 17 April 2009

Little Sayings

The Daily Telegraph has been running a campaign for "Women's Justice" and has proudly written about some of its accomplishments. I for one am happy to hear of some of them. their campaign has mainly been focused on getting justice for rape victims and how they are treated in court.

This article talks about how they have managed to get a law passed so that rape victims are advised of certain documents before they are subpoenaed so they are able to stop them being subpoenaed if they may contain certain information such as medical orpsychiatric information.

Now, I have nothing against the campaign.

What interests me is how the campaign is run and the article is written - the term "rape victim" is pretty much interchangeable with "female rape victim" - in fact, the whole air of the campaign is outrage at how women are treated, women have a terible time in court, women are raped and brutalised by men and are demeaned by them and they must fight for justice.

I am wondering whetehr the people who fought for this law even paused to consider that men exist out there who have been raped - of course, far fewer male rape victims than female rape victims - and that these people suffer trauma also and also deserve to be treated respectfully, have the same rights, and that people ought to be oputraged by any humiliation suffered by them also?

Instead they are sidelined and treated by the article as if they don't exist.

For someone to say "Oh yes ... they exist but since there are so few of them we decided to write the article only mentioning females but the men will able to access the legal rights too" is pretty insulting - it's demeaning because it says we might give you the legal rights but we really just don't care enough about you to even use inclusive language in our article to recognise you or even imply we recognise you.

I've received extremely over-the-top politically correct pamphlets about discriminatory language before - "don't say 'handicapped', say 'person diagnosed with a disability'! Don't say 'disabled toilet', toilets are not disabled!" (this was a govt pamphlet. I work in a govt building and the toilets are labelled "disabled toilet, female toilet, male toilet" I don't think the toilets have eiither disability or gender, but I think the govt is too tightass to spend money on changing the labels to follow its own strict PC requirements. I'm going to say 'disabled toilet' until they roll out the cash and follow their own rules, not "toilets accommodating people diagnosed with a disability")

however I think that the whole rape victim = female rape victim is much more demeaning and sidelining than saying "disabled toilet". That's a personal assessment, though I really do not know 'objectively'.

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