Remain civil at all times, otherwise you will hurt the sub's cause.
Many of you may know Jessica Taylor at VictimFocus, best-seller author, self-proclaimed radical feminist and chartered psychologist. You may not recognize the name just yet, but stay with me.
Note: For those who still don't understand why her self-proclaimed feminist affiliation is even mentioned. It is simply because her claims are in conflict with her actions. If you are afraid that highly influencial people like her will be framed as representatives of feminism, maybe you should join me in calling them out. The reason I write about her is not her feminist affiliation but her misandristic statements and questionable research practices.
She knows that - by law - women can't rape men. Of course she uses that knowledge to
call out the inherent misandry spread the belief that the only ones ever responsible for a rape are men and that it is inappropriate to phrase statements as if female rapists could exist. Here are the quotes:
(Jun 25, 2021) Rape is committed by a male with a penis as per the law
(Aug 4, 2021) Only males can commit the act of rape by law. Whilst we may have differing views on gender, it doesn’t change the fact that a male needs a penis to commit the act of rape and we will make zero progress in prosecutions and justice by obscuring this.
She's not technically wrong, but the way she uses that knowledge is disturbing and dishonest. It is essential to point out the problem of misandry within laws. What is not essential, is to use it to justify this:
(Aug 4, 2021) To be CRYSTAL CLEAR: The only person responsible for rape is the man who committed it. No one else, ever.
It is almost like a deja vu, KOSS I could swear someone has made similar statements at some point. If only I remembered who that was...
Also see the poor soul in the comments who believes the FBI definition to be "the law" and to be inclusive of men... Not only is it not inclusive regardless of the made-to-penetrate question, it would also need someone to have gone out of their way to deliberately make it ambiguous for the very population that needs it the most to be clear, thereby continuously silencing them whilst telling the public that they are totally included though. It does not matter if it is "technically included". If you need a confirmation mail from the FBI to settle debates on it, then the definition is flawed and claiming feminists to have fought for it does not make them look less misandristic. A definition that is unable to produce statistics that can be assumed to adhere to a common understanding of that definition makes not just the definition but also the data published under it completely useless. There is no way to interpret it. This useless change is used to silence real change for male victims as people accepted this "definition" as inclusive.
As we have seen with other influencial self-proclaimed feminists, she has a problem with male feminists:
(Nov 9, 2021) I feel like I’ve let it go for long enough, and now it’s really grating on me. Maybe these men should simply be sharing women’s words and women’s work instead of building themselves a platform saying the same stuff feminists and women have been saying but in man-voice.
And what is this?:
(Oct 27, 2021) It’s such a symptom of misogyny that lesbians would be the first group to be coerced into ‘widening their dating preferences’ and being called bigots, phobic, hate filled, prejudiced, exclusionary etc whilst gay guys have been left the fuck alone
(Oct 27, 2021) I accept that happened and don’t question it, but I don’t think this narrative is being publicly aimed at gay guys at all. The mantras, the lesbian erasure, the hatred, the refusal to call lesbians lesbians - I just can’t see it for gay men
The hatred... you can't see it? Am I missing something?
Now, at first I planned to address more of her at times blatantly misandristic statements, but it just resulted in a tweet compilation. She has some pretty "interesting" ideas, though rarely any idea about what her opponents' arguments are (straw men...) whilst providing no evidence for most of her claims. You remember this weird list of very specific items that was meant to prove that misandry does not exist? That list came from her.
She also absolutely can't be a misandrist, because she has helped set up a men's mental health centre (more on this at the end of the post). I won't further question why all domains on it lead nowhere. See https://theeatonfoundation.uk/ and https://theeatonfoundation.org.uk/. They are registered though, so whatever. I am sure the men there would love her tweets. Or not, who knows. Anyway, I don't care if she talks about men's issues - unlike those whom she's trying to address in that post. In fact, given her questionable and at times harmful takes, I'd rather have her not talk about it than spread misleading statements.
So why make a post about her? Unfortunately, some use women's issues to silence men and attach their PhD to it.
She is one of the many people who push the ideas that reddit's feminists then need to walk back on:
(Nov 4, 2021) When talking about misogyny, injustice for women, & VAWG, we often say ‘the system is broken’. But you know what? The system isn’t broken, the system is working exactly how it was designed to work by men. The system was designed to oppress & harm women. It’s working perfectly.
This is the type of conspirational worldview that less influencial figures then claim to be nothing but an outlier seen in "feminist debunked" youtube videos.
She subscribes to the idea that public shaming of criminals is totally the way forward and that male victimization would not be connected to male violence:
(Nov 25, 2021) More & more violent men and their defenders are twigging that they can use trauma, ‘ACEs’ and their own experiences of abuse to justify their violence against women & girls. We must not let this narrative succeed or become accepted in practice, theory or legislation
"We must not let this narrative succeed or become accepted in practice, theory or legislation" - spoken like a true scientist in search of the truth. /s
And some of her tweets make it hard to tell if she is actually serious:
(Nov 25, 2021) If it was true that victims of abuse and male violence went on to be violent criminals themselves, the majority of all violent offenders would be women and girls. As victims, they outnumber men, but men make up 97-99% of all violent offenders.
First of all, a high proportion of criminals have been victims, but very few victims will become criminals - this has been known forever. If you look at the differences in perpetrators of violence among victims and the general population, the proportions will be small in both. If you look at the differences in victims among perpetrators and the general population, you will find huge differences. Similarly, looking at the differences in sexual victimization between sexual offenders and non-sexual offenders (but still offenders), you will again find substantial differences in victimization with sexual victimization being multiple times higher among sexual offenders. Does correlation imply causation? Absolutely not. Is investigating such substantial effects a conspiracy to justify male violence against women? No, it is not. She also ignores how violence aginst men and women differs (especially looking at more severe outcomes like injuries and hospitalizations (and that is despite men being misandristically pressured to hide/downplay injuries and be reluctant to attribute them to violence) - see violent injury data for men and women) and how societal misandry influences the effects of and reactions toward violence against men (see this and this, for example). To believe that someone's path into violence may be attributable to a single factor or that said factor would adhere to whatever definition of violence you used to make women the majority of victims is not what people are proposing either. Being stared at may be uncomfortable, yet lightyears away from being beaten into the hospital and even suggesting otherwise is insulting to all victims of severe violence, among which men are a substantial majority. Violence against men - and especially the normalization of violence against men is just one factor on men's path into criminal behaviour and your comment falls apart completely in that context, regardless of your ignorance to everything else I mentioned. "Men bad" is so brazenly unhelpful that it may be seen as insulting to the future victims who rely on researchers to go beyond that in order to uncover the clear patterns seen in the histories of criminals. "We must not let this narrative succeed or become accepted in practice, theory or legislation" is unscientific and disrespectful to anyone who trusts "scientists" to do better. Putting your personal comfort first whilst violence prevention comes second is not what society would want if you were transparent about it.
Unfortunately, you weren't transparent toward yourself (if you actually believe the things you write) and I would love you to change. I don't think you are just evil. It is not that simple. Still, you made a mistake and that should be acknowledged. Maybe one day you will reconsider your values and beliefs... until then, people should know about the way you conducted research as you continuously put people at risk who rely on research to address violence. And if this is the quality of evidence they want their safety to rest on, so be it. If "men bad" is the intellectual peak of how we should think about violence and criminality, so be it - but I don't.
Let's go into the infamous "99.7%" report.
A) The intention.
(May 2, 2021) I am actually so tired of answering this - the study isnt about generalising, none of my work is, we haven’t generalised any of the findings and this is an irrelevant criticism. All information, reports and graphics pertain only to the sample.
(Apr 30, 2021) Just to be absolutely clear to all the sudden stats experts out there - we aren’t seeking to generalise or extrapolate to the UK population from our study so I know you’ve learned some cool new words but could you stop accusing the study of doing things it doesn’t do? Awesome.
The fact sheet says:
Our aims were as much about gathering accurate data from women, as they were about what we could do with such a comprehensive dataset. The first aim was to present a clear picture of how much violence women and girls in the UK are subjected to, broken down into types of violence, how many times they had been subjected to it and who committed those acts of violence against them.
Understanding the true scale of violence against women and girls in the UK. We found that 99.7% of our sample had been repeatedly subjected to violence including assaults, harassment and rape. Only 0.3% of women had only been subjected to one violent incident or less.
Our findings in this report suggest that current statistics of the prevalence of violence against women have been underestimated for decades, and instead, it is likely that every woman and girl will be subjected to violence, abuse, rape or harassment.
It appears from this sample that violence and abuse against women and girls is a universal experience, with only 0.3% of the sample reporting that they had never been subjected to any violence, harassment, abuse or harm.
But yeah, no generalizations were ever made... /s
Also have a look at the statements, infographics and media section of this page.
Some headlines they shared on that page:
"99.7% of women experience repeated violence, harassment and abuse" - SWLondoner - 06/05/21
"If a third of men were raped and 94% thought the justice system stacked against them, they'd call it a crisis" - Mirror - 30/04/21
"Women subjected to at least 26 sexual crimes on average in their lifetime as study reveals scale of 'collective trauma'" - ITV News - 30/04/21
"Half the population lives with fear of male violence — this can’t just remain part of life" - Evening Standard - 29/04/21
"Violence ‘a universal issue’ for women, says study" - Big Issue - 29/04/21
"Harrowing sex crimes faced by 99.7% of women with 82% harassed before they're 18" - Mirror - 29/04/21
"Half of women 'have suffered sexual assault by a partner while asleep'" - LBC - 29/04/21
"More than half of women 'have been sexually assaulted by a partner in their sleep'" - Yahoo - 29/04/21
From my point of view, they make generalizations in their report, on their website, in their infographics and celebrate media articles making generalizations. But who am I to decide on that...
And why is this such an issue? Keep reading.
B) The invitation.
According to the authors, all studies have the same issues in that you can't get a random sample and have to gain consent (see the FAQ).
(May 1, 2021) We clearly posted to say that the study was about violent experiences of women since birth because it is vital that women are not deceived before they take part, in case it harms them. The only criteria was being a woman over 18 in UK. No other criteria was set out.
Now compare that to the following twitter statement that was posted to recruit women for the study:
(Nov 18, 2020) I am pleased to release this new study which seeks to collect experiences of UK adult women subjected to any form of violence and abuse since birth. We need the biggest sample possible.
The same statement was found on other material used.
This is not normal and the fact she still believes it is is a huge problem. This statement clearly searches for women who were subjected to violence. It was not merely transparent about the contents of a study - it literally asked for victims. The fact that she is now trying to make it about having to gain consent does not strengthen her case. You can call it normal all you want, but you are misrepresenting the data.
C) The intent part two.
As the study was launched, the following statement was made:
(Nov 18, 2020) Thank you. I have been thinking about this study for years. I need to collect enough data to put some total bullshit stereotypes to bed
Which may be considered problematic.
But it was doubled down:
(Nov 19, 2020) Thank you. Not that she cares, but I’ve been planning this study for years, I’m trying to disprove some of the biggest and most harmful myths and stereotypes in academia about women subjected to violence and abuse
So let's recap.
- For years she though about a study meant to put stereotypes to bed and disprove harmful myths. Ok.
- She then asked for female victims to take part in her study.
- She then found a sample of victims (99.7%) and went on to describe her asking for victims as merely being transparent and the norm whilst the report states the assessment of the prevalence of violence against UK women as its first aim.
- Eventually, she repeatedly made what I would call generalizing statements about the UK population using her data before denying to do so.
- Articles making generalizing statements are celebrated on their website and sell the findings as representative of women across the UK to their readers.
Make up your own mind. Was she transparent about literally asking for victims? Is conducting research with the explicit intent to get specific results valid? Obviously one will have personal beliefs about what the evidence might look like and may be especially interested in projects where one suspects or even strongly believes to find results that are largely denied by the public. Still, does "I need to collect enough data to put some total bullshit stereotypes to bed" reflect openness to results that may not be in line with one's personal belifs? Do her statements and infographics constitute generalizations - and is that even relevant if she is not transparent about the recruitment material specifically asking for victims, just to then not exclude non-victims who still happened to end up on the study somehow? Is this worthy of a BPS post that is not open about them asking for victims?
She doesn't seem to see any issues, and if all else fails, she can still claim misogyny - making it practically impossible to engage in any kind of constructive interaction with her:
We have much to consider and analyse over the coming months but it’s been shocking to see people attempt to discredit a study based on widely used methods - suddenly those common methods are not acceptable - maybe that’s because they are women talking about abuse and violence?
Dear Jessica Taylor, if your conduct around this paper as well as the misandry in your tweets are anything to go by, I don't think I need what you currently represent. I would need an ally, but that would need you to change substantially.
I don't need a centre where I can serve as your go-to argument to justify mocking me and my experiences on your podcast and on your twitter. I am not an argument to justify your misandry, and you are not an ally. The way you describe our experiences clearly show that your work with men hasn't been used to educate yourself on their experiences rather than to verify your personal misconceptions about men's issues. Just like with your research, this is not valid - and neither are your conclusions. I know that when first confronted with restrictive and oppressive stereotypes, most men - especially vulnerable ones - won't be able to quickly grasp why it is misandry, and the suggestion of anything describing their experiences, even if it is dishonest and ultimately harmful, might be accepted. It seems intuitive that "you hit like a girl" could only be misogyny, though that has been addressed numerous times (a recent example - not a perfect fit, but good enough). I guess I'll need to make a post on it once I get to it. It seems intuitive - especially in the gender binary framework you claim not to subscribe to - that non-conformity to masculinity would equate conformity to femininity - and why would that be bad if it wasn't for our hatred of women, right? This has been mostly addressed here, here, here and here. Suggesting patriarchy to someone who lacks any alternatives is not a valid way to explore their experiences. As long as it is the only thing they know - and even more so if you paint anyone who does not subscribe to your terminology and conspirational worldview (see above) as tradcons - of course they will proudly carry the one flag they were made to believe is the only one calling out what harmed them. It does not matter if any of it is accurate or consistent as long as they finally have something to blame - even if it is themselves, the patriarchy, men or the content of the norms rather than the associated misandry of male norms in general - a mistake that is part of why people come up with misandristic ideas like "real men cry" (or this). Why would they care if their issues are implicitly belittled when compared to womem if it is the only way to have them addressed? And as part of misandristic norms is belittling their own issues, they won't be hard to convince that their issues don't deserve the severety we associate with "misogyny". If you believe that you can't call out "traditionally masculine norms" (or, more accurately, the associated misandry) whilst at the same time calling out the ways labels like patriarchy and toxic masculinity are used, of course you are going to believe the lies that are spread about men's advocates. They don't know better and are easy prey to feed your worldview. And once they internalized the ideas they thought to be necessary to describe their issues, many become reluctant to listen.
Anyway, if you want to change, I will support you. If you don't, then don't pretend to support me.
This post was originally posted to r/leftwingmaleadvocates - multiple links were broken at first, but they should work now.