In order, moving top-to-bottom, left to right.
1. First, this is a high-end estimate. The actual potential range is 100-140 million. It’s misleading to quote one without the other. Second, this is in comparison to roughly one billion male victims of male genital mutilation. Third, unlike FGM, MGM is tolerated, accepted and legal in virtually every country including most first-world nations. (Except Germany. Thank god for Germany, some of the best beer in the world and they made MGM illegal.) Female genital mutilation has been illegal in virtually every first-world nation and a large number of others since very recently after we were aware it existed, and it’s been the subject of considerable legal and activist pressure from then up until the present. In comparison, MGM is being actively encouraged in many nations because of HIV research known to be methodologically flawed and at best inconclusive. The idea that having one’s genitals mutilated is a primarily female issue or using it to make a “point” about female oppression is idiotic, especially in first-world countries where it’s already illegal and almost never happens. We need to stop segregating the issue. Human genital mutilation needs to be stopped, that’s all there is to it.
2. This is complete bullshit, and always has been. There is not and has never been any form of research or evidence to support this statistic, and it doesn’t help that while the original version was equally unsupported it used “property,” not “land,” and had a completely different meaning.
3. This estimate, while potentially accurate, adds up to roughly 219,000 rapes per year. However, the usage of this to suggest that this demonstrates female oppression in the U.S. is ridiculous in the face of evidence that just as many men are raped each year outside of prison as women, plus an additional 216,000 to 300,000 male victims (not rapes, victims) in prison. Once again, while the statistic is potentially (it’s unsourced, remember) accurate, it’s very easily misused.
4. Doubtful. Besides all of the issues that’ll be raised separately in item 6, here is a list of fifteen occupations where women make more than men. Now, from the width of some of the fields listed, these are not tiny niches. The study from which the data came from was conducted by the U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and while the BLS undoubtedly tracks hundreds of jobs (and it’s not just these 15 either, as we’d have to add at least upper-level executives to the list) I highly doubt it tracks 1,500 of them. Additionally, the source presumably used to justify this is over fifteen years old, which when looking at the changes of the last decade means it’s woefully out of date.
5. *citation needed* No, seriously. The problem with this stat, according to Dr. Sylvia Chant of the London School of Economics and Political Science, is that it simply has no basis whatsoever in reality with no reliable data to back it and plenty that disagrees.
6. Oh, the omnipresent “wage gap” myth. For anyone who isn’t already familiar with the problems with the statistic, it’s discussed here in much greater detail. In addition, the exact same factors that create the appearance of a gendered wage gap are also what causes women to “earn less” in most occupations as discussed in item 4.
7. While the statistic in question seems to first come from an article that’s over 15 years old, this may well be the only entirely accurate one in this entire set.
8. No. Actually, according to the United Nations 79.2% of women worldwide are literate, which gives us an illiteracy rate of roughly 20.8%. In comparison, 88.3% men are literate. This means that worldwide women are around ten percent less likely to be literate than men.
9. This is pretty much the culmination of the bullshit. I mean, many of the rest had at least a grain of truth to them, but this, this literally sets a new standard for bullshit. However, simply saying it’s bullshit isn’t enough: we need to break it down. For starters, what do we label as “gender-based violence”? That in itself is by definition already a subcategory of a subcategory of the various causes of death. (Specifically, gender-based violence is a subset of violence which is itself a subset of “death by injury,” as opposed to by illness, natural causes, and so on.) In fact, this is the easiest way to tackle it, by going in from the top.
Of the roughly 57 million people who die each year, approximately 5.8 million (a little more than 10%) die as a result of injury or violence. For perspective, this means that even if we tally up all the various types of violence and injury, that’s still only about 1/3 of the 1/3 that the picture claims. Sure, we could claim that women are vastly more likely to be killed than men, but the highest we could possibly get, even if every single one of those deaths was female, is 2/3 of the 1/3 that we’d need. It’s simply not possible, even bending things to the very most extreme. In fact, it’s nowhere close even to that. Roughly 1.3 million of those 5.8 million deaths are traffic accidents, so unless you believe women are such poor drivers that a traffic accident qualifies as “gender-based violence,” we have to drop it to 4.5 million. In fact, according to the WHO violence kills only about 1.6 million people worldwide each year. Even if we were to presume that the roughly 800,000 yearly suicides were all a result of or reaction to gender-based violence, that’s still only 2.4 million….or less than 5% of the total.
Even now, we’re still ignoring a couple of crucial facts obvious to all of us not wearing rather thick genusglasögon: one, men have in every culture throughout history always made up the vast majority of all victims of violence (not to mention suicides) meaning that women are likely the substantial minority of that 2.4 million, and two, we still haven’t separated out “gendered” violence from the rest. So despite the fact that we’re already down to less than a seventh of the quoted statistic, we still have much further to go than this. While I’m not willing to fight through the morass, data on suicides suggests that worldwide, men commit suicide at at least three times the rate women do. This means that of those 0.8 million suicides, only 0.2 million are women. Separating things by gender now, that means that we have roughly 0.8 million women theoretically dead by violence, and another 0.2 million dead by suicide versus 28.5 million overall deaths. This works out to roughly 3.5%. Just by excluding a couple simple, common-sense things, we’re already over ten times lower than the stated figure and still dropping.
Do we really need to go on? Frankly, no. I have no statistics I would personally trust as to the gender ratio of deaths due to violence, and unlike feminists I’m not going to pretend I do. That said, we know the ratio is heavily tipped towards men, as the ratio between genders murder-wise in most first-world countries seems to be three or four to one for anyone wanting some general perspective. Similarly, I don’t have good stats on what percentage of murders are “gender-based violence,” or even a really good definition of what constitutes “gender-based violence” in the first place. However, we don’t need them. Women make up the vast minority of victims of violent death and an equally vast minority of suicide victims, which are already a small category within small categories, and gender-based violence makes up a tiny fraction of that. This is the crowning achievement of bullshit, the turducken of bullshit, bullshit on top of bullshit wrapped in bullshit stuffed with bullshit with a side order of stupidity for good measure.
And people calling themselves feminists, claiming to be the arbiters of morality, equality and social progress….they’re stupid enough to believe it.