Ottawa Citizen
Tuesday, 2 February 1999

Brown, Green attacked for honesty

Linda Turner
The Ottawa Citizen

I want to respond to Joan Gullen's Point of View article, "No 'veil of secrecy' surrounds shelters," Jan. 27.

First Lowell Green was pilloried because someone took his comments about the Somalia Inquiry totally out of context and he has now been branded a "racist."

In fact, any one with an ounce of sense who had listened to his show would know that he was essentially condemning such things.

Now Dave Brown is being hit from all sides for his honest and informative series on the abuse and misuse of shelters and the victimology industry.

I am sure that Mr. Brown knew that his words would bring out the big guns but I hope that the average Canadian reader sees the truth here.

Mainly, if there were no truth to his words, then there would not be such an outcry. I am aware that some women do experience abuse and violence. Don't get me wrong, I'm not such a Pollyanna that I don't know that. But there is this pervasive belief now that women are always the Victims and men are always the Beasts. I for one have seen the other side and it's not a pretty sight.

Believe me when I tell you that some women have a capacity for violence, vindictiveness and cruelty to both their children and their men that far surpasses what many men can come up with.

The only problem in society now is that it's not nice to say this. It is not politically correct to say that it is an equal-opportunity problem. It is far safer and acceptable to have a women- versus-men point of view.

All this will do to our future generations is force the females to grow up with a victim mentality and the males to grow up with a victimizer mentality. All lip service to the contrary is not helping. Instead of counselling women to flee with the children, the pet and the crock pot, it might be more helpful to have community mediators who get right in their faces and referee.

That's how it was done in the "old days." The family and community "interfered" and were "nosy." This might help more than giving advice that breaks up families.

It is time to open the doors to our secret shelters and open the pages in our secret files so that each of us as a member of this community can see what is going on. No problem was ever solved by hiding it or by keeping it secret.

As members of that community, it is our challenge to see the problem, not just leave it for someone else to do the seeing and the caring for us. Sometimes tough solutions mean we are inconvenienced. That is what being a member of a community, tribe or team is all about.

Congratulations to both Dave Brown and Lowell Green. They are the only ones lately who have had the courage to speak the truth, even if it hurts.

Linda Turner, Balderson, Ont.

Copyright 1998 Ottawa Citizen