The big news of today appears to be that children from the age of five will be taught, in compulsory lessons, that domestic violence and sexual abuse against girls and women is wrong. This is part of a Government drive to stop all of us evil bastard men beating up our wives and girlfriends because it's such a common occurrence we're all culpable bastards of the sorry state of affairs.
This is similar to the poster campaign in male toilets in pubs and restaurants that remind us not to rape girls. Personally I'm pleased such posters exist because if I wasn't reminded that forcing myself sexually on a woman was wrong I'd no doubt be raping and pillaging like a Viking warlord on a testosterone charged shagging spree - the reminder of it being wrong is truly remarkable on my internal moral code.
Rampant sarcasm over, this "drive" by the Government is one of those really annoying little bits of politicking that frames things in a way that means if you criticise it you must therefore somehow support doing what the campaign is trying to prevent. Thus criticising this latest policy must mean I think slapping women about or forcing them to do things sexually is acceptable.
Yet, all I could think of when I heard that it was all about tackling violence against women and girls was one question. What about violence against men and boys? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to teach kids that violence, sexual or otherwise, is wrong, and not just make this about violence against a specific gender? After all, there are just shy of a silent million men who are domestically abused in the UK each year.
Harriet Harman says that it's essential to "change attitudes in order to eliminate violence against women and girls and to make it clear beyond doubt that any form of violence against women is unacceptable". Fine Harriet, what about battered men? Do they not matter? What about the males of the future, who, having been taught that being violent to women is wrong at school, then find themselves in a relationship with a violent woman and simply 'take it' because to retaliate is "unacceptable"?
My apologies for ranting on this, but I find these campaigns by so-called champions of equality that target special interest groups at the expense of others to be the most hypocritical and intellectually bankrupt rubbish.