Male Victims Don’t Matter
An interesting article on National Radio’s “Nine to Noon” today about dangers to tourists in Thailand. (The article will be available on internet for a week, but I have a copy if anyone is interested after that.)
Following the murder of a Swedish woman on a beach in Phuket, the Thai Tourism Ministry is giving female tourists whistles to blow in case of an emergency, among other measures. According to Kathryn Ryan of Nine to Noon, “women travellers in particular are being warned to be safety conscious” in Thailand. She went on to interview the honorary Australian consul to Phuket about the problem. He described various assaults and crimes against tourists, more of his specific examples involving male than female victims. However Ms Ryan’s interest (of course) was in sexual assaults against females, asked questions only about sexual assaults, spiking drinks and so forth, and in response to the consul’s description of a case in which a NZ man was subjected to a common form of violent extortion, she immediately replied “Sexual crime though, how widespread is that…”
The article highlighted widespread apathy towards victimization of men compared with women. In most countries men are murdered and seriously assaulted in much greater numbers than are women, yet only violence against women is usually seen as worthy of any concern or comment.
No information was provided in the article about how many men had been murdered, robbed and/or seriously assaulted in Thailand, but I expect that the number will be considerably higher than for women, just as it is in other countries. Yet only women are advised to be safety conscious and are provided with some gesture to assist them in that regard. What, are men expected just to handle it, left to face all dangers, to be strong and brave enough not to hurt much when assaulted or murdered by a gang of thieves and heavies?
National Radio demonstrates blatant sexism by following the same trend, seeking to expose only sexual crimes against women while deliberately ignoring and minimizing the importance of equally or more serious crimes against men. How long will we accept this in our society that has legislated to bring about equality between the genders? How can feminism, a philosophy claiming to seek gender equality, lead people to show such callous disregard for harm suffered by men?