A Critique of Feminism: A Humanitarian Won’t be Silenced about Sexual and Domestic Violence

I have worked as a professional in the human services and as an advocate of social justice for nearly two decades. I have worked with thousands of children and families in multiple roles including as a mental health counselor, parenting coach, social worker, educator, and mentor. I am also the proud Mom of a 21-year-old son who I adopted from the foster care system when he was 11. Through my extensive research and work with children and families over many years, I have been able to see the threads of how childhood trauma and attachment breaks in each individual family can lead to the tragic tapestry of global human suffering. Family violence is almost always a symptom of trauma and unmet emotional and physical needs, usually in the childhoods of the adults. I believe that hurt people need compassion, healing and guidance, not punishment. My passion is to heal human suffering at its root causes and to offer people compassion and hope.

When women and girls are victims, I have found that compassion and fierce political action within our society abounds. There is no resistance from professionals or the progressive media to raising awareness to the suffering and needs of girls and women. When I first entered the fields of human services and social justice, I had initially expected equally passionate attention to be given to the needs and suffering of boys and men. However, I have continuously run up against an aggressive blockage when I attempt to raise awareness to the suffering and needs of boys and men and how violence in males is a direct result of childhood trauma: That blockage has been from feminists who run most social justice and human service programs as well as the progressive media.

After years of exhaustive attempts to find a forum for these issues in the progressive media, I realized that it is often frowned upon to mention males as a group unless it is to shame, blame, or degrade them. Especially taboo is acknowledging the high prevalence of sexual and domestic violence against males, the growing number of female perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence, the mass pathologizing and drugging of boys in schools, the shaming of males in the media, the fact that 80% of suicides are boys and men, and that one of the most ignored human rights violations in America is Male Genital Mutilation.

Many social justice campaigns, along with the progressive media, will not allow for any serious ongoing discussion of these issues except to minimize, ignore, or even mock them. The United Nations-backed HeForShe campaign is a good example of campaigns that omit attention to sexual and domestic violence against boys and men. The campaign asks men to take “The HeForShe Commitment” pledge:

Gender equality is not only a women’s issue, it is a human rights issue that requires my participation. I commit to take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls.

What about violence and discrimination against men and boys? Why aren’t both men and women being asked to take actions against all forms of violence against anyone?

Males as victims and females as aggressors is a human rights issue that has serious implications for the public’s safety. Yet, it appears to me that those controlling media and social politics are deliberately acting to keep the public in the dark about the other side of sexual and domestic violence. I have been censored, shut down, and silenced by these media sources and human service agencies for too long to believe that it is due to passive, inadvertent ignorance.

Trying to warn the public is an impossible feat when the progressive media refuses to accept any questioning or critique of feminist theory. If it is taboo to even acknowledge males as a large percentage of victims and females as aggressors, how will the public ever be made aware of the increasing but quiet empirical research indicating that boys and young men actually suffer equal or slightly more rape and sexual violence at the hands of girls and young women than the reverse? Or that women perpetrate more child abuse and domestic partner abuse than men? If that information reached the public awareness, what is it that people fear? I believe that if the public was aware of the research, both women and men would get the help they deserve and that boys and girls would be healed to prevent them from perpetuating the cycle of violence. We cannot achieve true peace between the sexes and genders or true equality unless we are willing to cease viewing domestic and sexual violence as gender crimes and develop a mutual understanding that sexual and domestic violence against anyone — child, woman or man — is not acceptable by anyone.

Increasing numbers of young adults are questioning feminist theory and are finding it to be sexist, divisive, and limiting. They are taking notice and are challengin

Laurie A. Couture is the author of Instead of Medicating and Punishing: Healing the Causes of Our Children’s Acting-Out Behavior by Parenting and Educating the Way Nature Intended. She has a background as a mental health counselor and child trauma specialist. Laurie is also an Attachment Parenting and Unschooling coach and consultant and she is featured in the documentary films Class Dismissed (2014) and The War On Kids (2009). Laurie is the proud Mom to her remarkable 21 year old son who she unschooled through graduation. Learn more at LaurieACouture.com. Read other articles by Laurie.