And they are on blogs and forum posts and in IM telling us we are wrong because we are supporting One Billion Rising in Second Life, an event about women.
So let’s get a few things clear.
Why is this event not acknowledging the fact that violence is far more likely to occur against men than it is against women?
Because it is an event that focuses on violence against women. There are other events that focus on different issues, and we give active support to some of these too. At the moment we are supporting an event that focuses on violence against women.
Later in the year we will be focusing on an event that is about cancer. That doesn’t mean that we don’t think heart disease and strokes are problems too. But we have chosen to get involved with an event about cancer.
Why can’t you change the event to make it more inclusive? It’s anti-men!
One Billion Rising is a global event. In the real world, there are events associated with it going on in many, many different countries. I’m in the UK, and today I had an email from an MP saying how she and other MPs want to raise the issue in the UK parliament, using One Billion Rising as an occasion. A group of us decided to bring the event inworld to Second Life – as part of this huge global thing. We are a part of the global event now. Men are very welcome to join in – we have men on the team pulling the event together in a variety of roles. In addition, some of the artists you will see will be men, so will some of the performers. This is not a men-hating event, any more than an event about cancer would hate the healthy.
Why are you supporting an event which favours one gender and provides no support for the other? This event is one-sided!
Supporting One Billion Rising is s a choice we have made. Violence against women occurs. It should be stopped. We quite agree that violence against men should be stopped too. But supporting a campaign against one isn’t a denial of the other.
If we chose to support a campaign to raise awareness of prostate cancer, that wouldn’t mean we were ignoring breast cancer, or saying that prostate cancer was the more important issue or or that more people are affected by prostate cancer than breast cancer, or that resources should be directed to one and not the other. We would be choosing to raise awareness of prostate cancer, and another time we might support a campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer or epilepsy or kidney disease.
Wanting to support a particular cause at a particular time is, actually, rather sensible – of course you could have campaigns that oppose all violence, everywhere, just as you could have a campaign against all forms of illness. But, historically, it has proved more fruitful in terms of raising funds and raising awareness, to focus on aspects of an issue.
If people know of a campaign that is holding an event against violence against men, let us know. We’d very likely be interested in lending our support. And we wouldn’t complain that it wasn’t including women or children or elders. We’d support it as a campaign against violence against men.