It's high time men organised a march of their own. Picture by Hugh Lee.Has anyone in government read this? The story of the Russian burglar who was overpowered and used as a sex slave for three days by a female hairdresser who just happened to be a black belt in karate? If not, I highly suggest that they do: they may finally realise that women can be just as violent and abusive as men, and that all laws should apply equally to both genders. But apparently the government hasn't seen this or countless other stories - and are also unaware that one in four domestic violence victims are male. Because a new law being considered by the government could give partners the right to 'vet' people on the Internet to check their past behaviour and criminal record, and, by 'partners,' I mean, of course, women.
Only women have this right, which is reason enough to not pass the law in my view: there's no good reason for it to not be available to men, especially given the above statistic. Men can be victims of domestic violence too, and - even if feminists laugh - it is a serious crime. There are men who have been falsely accused of rape or thrown out of their own house - or even denied access to their children - on the basis of false allegations, made by women who have a track record in that sort of thing. Surely men have a right to know, as well? If you are going to make people's criminal records available for worried or curious Internet dates, both men and women should be subject to equal treatment.
But, even assuming that both genders had equal access to this law, it is yet another example of legislation based on the media headlines it could generate rather than the actual value of the law itself. People on the Internet do not exist solely on the Internet; the same people you meet online are the people that you could meet in your local pub, or in your supermarket. It's all very well to check up on men online, but what about when women meet these same men on the street?
People online often use aliases - especially if they're up to no good. They could provide false contact information, untraceable emails, and all kinds of trails that lead precisely nowhere. A woman could apply to have their details revealed to her, and find that they have no criminal record whatsoever - not knowing that the person whose details she's uncovered is not the person she's dating, who, in fact, has a long record of domestic violence.
It would also be relatively easy for a woman to ask for information on a man even if she was not dating him. Casual dating requires no official documentation that you show to police - thus the standard of proof would be very low indeed. A woman could theoretically ask for information on any man for whom she had a name and existant contact details - it's not hard to see how that could be misused. She could be checking up on a new neighbour, for example, or a male acquaintance, for no other reason than to satisfy her own curiosity. Or more malicious purposes.
If a man had equal right to do this, then, of course, the same arguments would apply to men: a man could dig up the dirt on a female friend just as easily as it could be done to him, with just the same standard of evidence. But that's just it. Men don't have equal rights to do this. It is only available to members of the female sex. And therein lies this law's biggest flaw: it may do something - albeit not much - to protect women who meet their partners online. But male victims of domestic abuse - almost half of the reported total of domestic abuse victims in the UK - are just as ignored as ever, laughed off by a cosy alliance of feminist pressure groups and politically-correct politicians who refuse to admit that the problem exists, and would much rather pander to media headlines of 'protecting vulnerable women' than produce a law that works - for both genders.