In the upcoming Men’s Counseling Lecture Meeting, we will have a study session with the theme “support for women in Men’s Counseling”. If existing women’s supports based on the concept of values of feminism are effective and have not raised any problems, it is not necessary to provide support for women in Men’s Counseling. But, the number of women who come to our Japan Family Rebirth Center has been increasing…. This means the fact that existing women’s supports are problematic. What are the problems… I have picked up as below from the resume of the upcoming study session. We will discuss what the desirable women’s support should be like in the session.
Support for women in Men’s Counseling
Men’s Counseling is a methodology of therapy based on the concept of men’s liberation, and not a counseling service for men provided by men. Basically, liberation of client women from the control of men is a goal of Men’s Counseling, and this basic stance penetrates both in the macro and microscopic stages of human relations. Feminism exists as antitheses to men’s power control. Thus, it is natural for feminism-based supporters to target protection of battered women from perpetrating men in their support activities. The starting point of feminism-based support is simply the fact that women are hurt by control of their husbands, and violent language and behavior of wives to husbands are not recognized as a fact that should be considered in support.
A problem in such existing women’s support based on feminism is the misunderstanding that men are the controller and perpetrator because discrimination against women actually exists, and that perpetrating men in domestic violence as a result of such social structure cannot change unless the social structure changes. I will say this is “putting the cart before the horse” – a confusion between a macroscopic problem of social structure and a microscopic problem of individual human relation. The above misunderstanding obstacles the initiative of providing support for perpetrating men to stop violence (Priorities of aid are given to battered women). Eyes are not given to essential problems of violence. Sometimes the battered women support system can be an interest-bearing scheme, and there even appear people who benefit from such domestic violence support system.
Under the slogan that women are always weak victims who need protection from violence of their husbands by shelters and protective orders, unilateral measures (information interruption, communication shut-off) are taken, which makes women unable to be updated of the situations of their husbands. Such women can come to have fears of imagination (brainwashing). The consciousness of being battered is more focused, and the violence and abuse by herself are hidden or justified.
Then, the battered women lose the chance to cultivate self-confidence. The dependent and subordinate tendencies in human relations let her depend on and be subordinate to her supporter, and the chance to improve her self-esteem, self-determination and human relation skills is lost. Even after divorce, because she still has the tendency to depend on a power controller, she depends on her supporter or a new controller and can repeat the likelihood of the past.
In domestic violence survivor support processes, a battered woman is exposed too much to the information relating to perpetrating men and violence. This can make her develop the feeling of distrust and disgust to men and imprinting of such sense of value. Her human relations can tend to be biased. The bias often affects her parenting, without any desirable model of man and father, and her child can come to have a negative household image and low self-esteem – This is a problematic generation chain.
As such, even after a so-called “battered” woman left her perpetrating husband, the problems are not solved. Remaining anxieties and difficulties can cause illness in the escaping woman or, in a worse case, result in a crime. Such tragedy is never attributed to the methodology of existing women’s support but simply considered to be her personal problem.
Several days ago, there was news that a father killed himself and his child in visitation. The people who oppose the institutionalization of protection of the right to visit child are using this case in their campaign. They never speak about murders by mothers in mother-child household or children killed in re-married families. What they say is only an improper message “Visitation is too much risky” because of ignorance or maliciousness. Discussions about murders of children by their parents should be analyzed with objective data of a number of cases. I think we should carefully evaluate the quality of support relating to divorce.
Meanwhile, I went to a monthly drawing to book a conference room for Men’s Counseling Lecture Meeting in August. I was not lucky in past a few months, but this time, lucky to draw the card No. 11 and won a room for the meeting.
Originally posted on May 4, 2017