When I last saw Earl Silverman he was doing much the same thing as when I first met him — Hammering away at Feminist Myths about Domestic Violence and working for fairness and justice for men and their families.
I was first introduced to Earl 10 or 12 years ago. I remember Earl wondering aloud how the domestic violence community was going to deal with the emerging statistics on same-sex relationships showing that lesbian couples were as violent as gays, or more to the point that lesbian couples were as violent as heterosexual couples. When I last saw Earl he was fund-raising for the Men’s Alternative Safe House in Calgary.
Because I did not know Earl personally or well I don’t feel qualified to talk much on his life. Nevertheless, I accepted the opportunity to speak today because I do know something of his main passion — the pursuit of fairness and justice for men and their children.
I think it is instructive to point out what Earl was up against in his long struggle. And it was a long struggle and he was up against.
As it turns out in practice a repeated Myth, especially one that aligns with our instincts, can override evidence and reason. Domestic Violence was built on the myth of the male bully, rather than the more noble and true picture of the male provider and protector.
One of the discouraging phenomena that are Earl faced was due to the media and commercial organizations which cannot afford to alienate consumers.
The great majority of buying is done by women and what is more important, women’s cries and complaints act as a call to right some wrong. Men’s cries and complaints act as a call to stop complaining and act like an man.
Women hold sway wherever customers are important whether you live by advertising or live by selling consumer goods women’s opinions will matter.
The mainstream media lives off of advertising. Consequentially, they cannot afford to alienate women. Another factor that is just as important, is that the funding model for most media requires that their stories be interesting enough to attract attention to their advertisements. So, stories that draw on the emotions get preferential coverage. The emotions of fear and outrage work well for holding an audience.
Advertisers know that their customers are largely women or men who are strongly influenced by the desire to seek favor with women. Even if individuals in advertising based media or consumer-products wanted to support men, the business reality would make them to change their minds.
Another door closed to Earl was politics. Politicians are at the mercy of the electorates emotions and instincts. Politicians might recognize and understand that the current system is unfair to men and harms society, but, doing anything to upset feminism infected women could make it very hard to get elected.
A politician that takes a stand that can be made to appear harmful to women would soon be leaving politics. Earl knew that there was no funding from government or commercial charity because of the scare tactic stranglehold feminism exerts on governments and administrators.
Judges and lawyers have the same feminist dominated education as everyone else in society only longer, and at law school, deeper. Judges can be chivalrous, using their position on the bench to protect and aid the weaker sex. And as it turns out female lawyers favor women and male lawyers also favor women. In this right-thinking, preconditioned environment it is possible for a woman to manipulate and use the legal system against a male defendant. Earl would’ve heard and known of many justice system failures based on the protective preference given women.
These are just a few of the many unjust effects that Earl ran up again in his long struggle for fairness in the domestic violence industry
- a biased media and consumer society
- the political handcuffs
- the misguided legal system
So, What we could to do to keep the needless premature death of Earl Silverman from being a forgotten gesture?
Here are some things.
We could try different strategies and tactics.
One of the signs of folly is when a committee or manager suggests doubling efforts and funding for a project or campaign that is marked with a complete lack of success and many unexpected difficulties.
There’s a quote regarding the men’s movement that I kept, it says ” failure is not always a compelling reason to give up on a worthy cause, but, it may recommend a rethinking of tactics”
Like an immune system facing a new enemy we should try many approaches and tactics until we find ones that are effective.
Approaches that show some success should be pursued and improved, however efforts which don’t succeed should probably be changed up or set aside in favor other activities.
We could be more encompassing and encouraging.
Men and women that look at our movement and organizations typically have experienced or observed close hand some of the injustices and absurdities brought to us by feminism and blind chivalry. These people should be welcomed and encouraged, not put off by anger and vulgar dismissal of the opposing forces.
One of the things I’ve noticed in myself is that despite the fact that I defended even supported socialism in my late teens and early 20s, I can now be very dismissive of people who suggest that more government programs or a more proactive judiciary can help. Rather than being dismissive I could welcome new disciples, and treat them that way as disciples — as people to be educated and encouraged.
We could appeal to people’s sense of fairness and justice.
There is an old and well-established principle of law that if the people particularly those most affected by a seemingly unfair law don’t feel an injustice and complain, then, no injustice has taken place.
Conversely if the people being adjudicated against do complain of unfairness they have a right to make an appeal for justice.
Under feminism, if the people being adjudicated against complain about unfairness, feminists point to how the system must be working because the male chauvinist pigs and their supporters are complaining. We should consider upholding legal principles of fairness and justice and resist the mob mentality.
This applies to other principles of law, such as the principle of presumed innocence until clear, convincing evidence shows otherwise. Under feminist family law false accusations feed into the greatly exaggerated claims of male malevolence.
Feminists would have you believe that they need to ferret out 10 times as many nasty wife-beating men as actually exist. Feminists also refuse to believe that badly behaving women exist in numbers equal to those for badly behaving men.
This deceit fuels fear in women and an ongoing witch-hunt for phantom wife-beaters. The situation will be much better when we understand that domestic violence between adults is often a two-way street. And quite importantly that most Domestic Violence is against children.
I believe that Earl was of the mind that in a rational world Truth and Evidence and Reason will eventually win out.
These days, there are rumors that there are gays and lesbians in favor of dropping some of the incorrect myths affecting common views and actions on Domestic Violence. That is a big step — a step towards a more rational place where it is common knowledge that in domestics both men and women can be nasty.
When it is generally accepted that both men and women can contribute to Domestic Violence; then both men and women can expect fairness with respect to services available to them and their children.
In closing, I want to point out that Earl Silverman brought us all a step closer to a more rational existence and showed us the way to world with a lot more trust and love between our brothers and our sisters.
- appeal to people’s sense of morality, appeal to their more noble values, and if necessary point out negative consequences
- Head in the direction of truth and fairness and
- don’t stop