This isn’t what our intrepid feminist campaigners were hoping would happen with recent legislation about coercive relationships. For some of those, you know, it’s always the men being controlling and the men being beastly. That being a definition of a certain sort of feminism, that men are beastly don’cha know.
The thing being that of course in anything as complex as human relationships it’s never going to be just the one side, sex or gender which is controlling. We’ve the entirety of evolution telling us that this won’t be so – there really is a battle between the sexes and the continued existence of the species tells us that on average, over time, the results must be a roughly equal outcome.
So how do or can women control men? By controlling access to children. What is the current and new claim? That women are being coercive by controlling that access to children:
Increasing numbers of men are becoming victims of coercive control relationships as their partners threaten to restrict access to children, legal experts claim. The growing trend has been reported among lawyers who said they are seeing more and more cases of male clients who have become entangled in “unhealthy” coercive control relationships. Coercive control – a pattern of behaviour which seeks to strip the victim of their liberty and sense of self – is usually associated with female victims. It became illegal to subject someone to coercive control in December 2015 following landmark legislation which paved the way for new charges to be brought where there is evidence of such behaviour in domestic abuse cases. However male survivors and lawyers said that less social stigma surrounding men who speak out, combined with increasing numbers of cases where women threaten to take full custody of children, has led to rising numbers of cases with male victims. According to research seen by The Telegraph, more than a third of men in the UK have admitted to being a victim in a coercive control relationship.
We can be really very sure that this isn’t what those campaigners were hoping would happen. But equality is equality, isn’t it? And if we’ve a legal definition of coercion – which includes, by the way, emotional control – then we’re going to see it being played back this other way too.
Yes, it’s all rather snigger worthy at one level but it’s also entirely true and obvious at the more important one. Oh what a tangled web we weave when etc.