GENDER ISSUES FROM A MALE PERSPECTIVE

Gathered together are a number of articles related to how men and boys are treated by society and the media. The articles, for the most part, concentrate on misandry, domestic violence and female violence and reflect an anti-RADICAL FEMINIST viewpoint. Although articles are pro-male, they are not anti-female.

Name:
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Friday, May 20, 2005

THE MYTHOLOGY OF MALE BRUTISHNESS

Androphobia: The only respectable bigotry

Did you know that over 98 per cent of the men in the United States today have never been convicted of any violent crime or served time in prison? That, even though the U.S. imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than any other nation, over 98 per cent of our men have never been convicted of rape, child molestation, assault, battery, breaking and entering, or any kind of violence? And almost half of the men who do land in prison are convicted of non-violent crimes (usually drug possession)?

These basic statistical facts about male nonviolence have been hidden from us by an ideology/mythology which I call androphobia -- fear and hatred of the male. Androphobia has also hidden such facts as these:

Important Feminists of the past include such males as Clarence Darrow, John Stuart Mill, Henrik Isben, Robert Dale Owen, James Joyce, and Bertrand Russell.

Psychologists who measure IQ have never found any statistical difference between the intelligence of men and women. High, middle, and low IQs are found in both sexes! There is no scientific proof of male inferiority!

The mythology of male brutishness and stupidity has been spread by the androphobes without a single shred of statistical evidence.

Do you believe men are innately brutal? When no other human being was willing to nurse the lepers on Molokai Island, it was a male, Father Joseph Damien, who went there to care for those unfortunates.

Or consider these further suppressed facts about maleness:

Although they were men, Michaelangelo, Sir Christopher Wren, and Frank Lloyd Wright are almost universally considered great architects.

The first Feminist pamphlet published in this country was written by a man -- Tom Paine (who also wrote the first anti-slavery pamphlet.)

The most original music of this century, Jazz, was created almost entirely by Black males.

Free public libraries, which made more knowledge available to more people than any invention before the computer-net, were founded on gifts made by Andrew Carnegie, who was not just male but a rich white male!

Leonardo da Vinci made hundreds of great contributions to both science and art despite the triple handicaps of being Gay, left-handed and male.

Men including Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Sean McBride have played important roles in the struggle for world peace.

Although Shakespeare, Dante, and Homer were males, they wrote poetry generally considered as good as anything by Hilda Doolittle.

Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach were men and yet they wrote music at least as good as that of Hildegarde of Bingen.

Males such as Newton, Einstein, and Archimedes made contributions to science as important as those of Marie Curie.

The cure for yellow fever, saving the lives of millions, was found by a man, Major Walter Reed.

Despite the androphobic mythology/ideology, at no time in history except the present was maleness considered a shame, a disgrace, or a sign of inferiority.

All the "major" religions (those having millions of followers) were founded by males born in Asia (Confucius, Lau-Tse, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed.)

Men were responsible for such basic discoveries as the sailing ship, the compass, the steam engine, the electric light, the AC generator, the computer, and many others. And males created over 90% of mathematics.

All of this sounds strange, bizarre, almost unbelievable, I know. We have all had so much brainwashing by the androphobic meme that we scarcely can believe males have ever done anything but shoot one another, rape women, and blow people up. Androphobia is the one respectable bigotry -- the only form of group-libel that is "politically correct" and goes unchallenged almost everywhere. Male achievements, thus, have been systematically excluded from "the universe of discourse" -- i.e. what "nice" people talk about.

Let us clarify the ideology of androphobia. I think androphobia can be defined as the transfer to all males of the negative stereotypes that the Ku Klux Klan and other neanderthal types assign only to black males -- mental inferiority, of course; emotional childishness, or "inability to think rationally;" brutality -- i.e. sub-human status, criminality, sexual violence, etc. (You see? All the old racist clichés except "a great sense of rhythm.") I thus regard androphobia as merely a transmutation from racism to sexism, an "advance" that is not an advance at all.

Let me make this very clear. I do not oppose Feminism; on the contrary, I reject all forms of group stereotyping and dehumanization. Androphobia (or male-bashing) has no intrinsic or necessary link with Feminism, and many Feminists utterly reject androphobia. To use an analogy, Marx said that "anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools." Similarly, I regard androphobia as the Feminism of imbeciles.

I oppose androphobia as psychological gendercide. I believe it underlies the wide spread male depression (which psychotherapists recognize as "epidemic") and also explains much of the soaring suicide rate among boys and young males.

The suicide rate among boys aged 16 to 19 is four times that of females, and the suicide rate of men between 20 and 24 soars to six times that of females (according to the U.S. Department of Health Statistics.) This self-destructiveness has increased steadily, among males, for 30 years -- since the rise of the androphobic ideology. Few want to grow up male in a society where maleness is defined as a sign of incurable inferiority or criminality.

Androphobia has created the kind of tension that psychologists call a "double-bind." A classic double-bind, as Gregory Bateson defined it in his pioneering work on the subject, involves (a) an impossible situation one cannot escape, and, (b) just as crucial, a social rule that forbids verbal comment on the impossibility of the situation. Gays, blacks, Hispanics, and all other minorities retain the freedom to comment on their situation -- even to comment angrily or to protest in the streets.

However, one cannot comment on androphobia these days. It is not only "politically incorrect" but virtually unthinkable. To talk about the subject at all remains under a very big taboo -- while millions of boys and men stagger from depression to suicide annually.

For instance, in 1979, psychologist Roy Schenk attempted to give a workshop on men's oppression at the annual conference of the Association for Humanistic Psychology. He announced in advance that the seminar would investigate what it does to the psyche of boys and men to grow up "being perceived as morally inferior to women." The AHP would not allow the workshop. This year, I tried again, offering a similar workshop at a New Age conference that had had me as workshop leader several times in the past. They also would not allow this subject to be discussed at all.

Consider the "logic" of androphobia, and how it deliberately contradicts known facts. Remember: 98% of the men in this country have never been in prison or committed a violent crime, but the androphobe insists that all men are "violent." Some of the most tender, beautiful music in the world was written by men such as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, but the androphobe insists all men are "insensitive." To repeat: all the major religions based on justice and love were founded by men (Asiatic men, in fact) -- but the androphobe insists all men are "greedy" and "competitive." This kind of "logic," based on totally ignoring all inconvenient facts, is common to all forms of racism, xenophobia and bigotry.

In fact, if you listen to the rantings of any leading androphobe (such as Andrea Dworkin, Carol Hemingway, or Robin Morgan) and mentally change the word "male" to "Jew" every time it appears, the result would be totally indistinguishable from the rantings of Hitler, because the "logic" of bigotry is the same in all cases. It is the "logic" of ascribing one essence to a miscellaneous group, which is only possible when all real-world daily facts are replaced by generalized abstractions. but this flight into abstraction is "politically correct" and virtually nobody dares to challenge it.

Thus, the "evil" of maleness in our society today, like the "evil" of witchcraft in medieval days, is beyond debate or discussion. The "no comment" taboo applies, leading directly to the double-bind that triggers mental breakdowns. Males, thus, have become the only minority that can be slandered and demeaned with any and all group stereotypes, in "respectable" media, and with no rebuttal allowed. All other minorities can "fight back" against group libel, but men who try to fight back against stereotypes and group libel are regarded as crazy, or "in denial," or beyond the bounds of reasonable discourse.

Fortunately, this is beginning to change -- a little. We look forward to a day when sanity and common sense triumph over bias, and all men and women, all people of all races, are judged one at a time and not condemned by group stereotypes. Meanwhile, anti-Semites (and most other bigots) can only circulate their lunatic rantings through badly printed journals with tiny circulations, while the androphobes still have free access to all major media and can endlessly spout the most idiotic forms of sexism while claiming to oppose sexism.

As Shakespeare said (with a few minor revisions and updates):

"I am a man. Hath not a man eyes? Hath not a man hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed, and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a woman is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?"

Written by Robert Anton Wilson

Source: http://www.backlash.com/content/gender/1996/4-apr96/wilson04.html

Thursday, May 19, 2005

MOTHER CONVINCED GIRLS TO LIE ABOUT THEIR FATHER DURING CUSTODY CASE


Bridget Marks: Mommy Dearest

Bridget Marks convinced her four-year-old twin girls to lie about their father during their custody case. This was not just any old lie she wanted them to tell. It was a pernicious lie - one that could send their father, casino mogul John Aylsworth, to jail.

Marks wanted her kids to say their father was sexually abusing them. Lies do not get much worse.

Fortunately, the State of New York’s Family Court recognizes that if one parent would be so hate filled as to influence young kids to tell such a malicious lie that parent is not considering the best interest of the children. A parent so willing to damage the emotional and mental well-being of their kids should not have custody.

Aylsworth was awarded custody of the twin girls. However, the “anti-fatherhood brigade,” is mobilizing to help Marks. Who is this brigade? Among them are the pro-motherhood men like journalists for the New York Daily News, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, and anthrophobic feminists like Fox News legal analyst Wendy Murphy.

O’Reilly referred to the blatantly choreographed televised scene of the transfer by Marks of the kids to Aylsworth as emotionally disturbing. Ironically, even Fox News pundit feminist Susan Estrich said that this was an obvious publicity ploy by Marx.

The New York Daily News was worse. They painted a very sympathetic portrait of Marks. The Daily News wrote, “Heartbroken mom screams 'I love you' and runs after car as fat-cat father takes custody of 4-year-old twins.” The report described Marks as a “B-Movie actress” and “romance novelist.”

The New York Daily News omitted mentioning that Marks was a former Playboy model. Probably because she would not be such a sympathetic figure. Women who pose nude rarely elicit sympathy. Yet, calling Aylsworth a “fat cat” was demonizing him.

However, the most egregious example of anti-fatherhood bias was the statement of Wendy Murphy. She went so far to say she knows personally that men who abuse or rape their kids get custody of them in divorce cases because she tracks such cases. Of course, she did not cite any specific evidence.

This is the same Wendy Murphy who filed a complaint against Harvard University alleging that the sexual assault policy violated Title IX. Why? Because the policy required students to provide evidence of sexual misconduct before administrators will investigate it. The US Department of Education dismissed the suit stating, “Harvard's new procedures cannot be unlawful, since the law does not prohibit the use of due process."

Obviously, Murphy believes that men should not be permitted due process. One can only speculate the kind of “evidence” Murphy has concerning her claim.

A Google search of the “abusive father’s obtaining custody claim” referred to a pilot study done by some organization called California Protective Parents Association and Mothers of Lost Children.[1] A visit to these websites revealed only a self-selected survey as their research. Self-selected surveys are not very credible.

The lies told by the feminists about custody cases are similar to the feminist lies exposed by Christina Hoff Somers and others. If it were not for their willing accomplices in the liberal media these lies would be totally dismissed. However, the liberal media proves Orwell’s point that only educated people could believe a lie so stupid.

The fact is the former Playmate, Marks, had a four year affair with a wealthy married guy, became pregnant by him, and wanted him to divorce his wife and marry her. When he refused and terminated the affair, she refused to let him see his kids. It was only then he filed for custody.

Ayslworth is not a model father or husband – although he is certainly no worse than Jesse Jackson. However, Marks was and is manipulating her kids. She wanted a wealthy husband and went nuclear when she did not get one. She has demonstrated there is nothing she will not say or do to get what she wants from Aylsworth – her kids be damned. Why the Daily News, O’Reilly, and Wendy Murphy are advocating returning the kids to her is incomprehensible.

However, the bias against divorced fathers obtaining custody of their kids is nothing new. I recall twenty years ago being told by my attorney that even if my wife were a heroin addicted prostitute, she would still obtain custody of my two pre-school age children in court. He told me that fathers are never required to prove that they are better parents during custody cases, they are required to prove that the mother is unfit.

Although this has evolved somewhat during the years, nonetheless the presumption of custody is still with the mother. The case of Bridget Marks and the reaction by the media validates this.
If what Bridget Marks claims is true then fathers would be the first to help her get the kids. However, a female Family Court judge and several nonpartisan experts believe she is not telling the truth.

Few believe Marx credible. Among them are liberal feminist, and conservative “pro-motherhood” journalists.
___________________________________________________ [1] http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/641 ret fm w/s 6-10-04

Written by Michael P. Tremoglie

Source: http://www.mensnewsdaily.com/archive/t/tremoglie/2004/tremoglie061204.htm

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MYTHS ARE VIOLENT


The gap between public perception about domestic violence (DV) and its reality is astonishing. DV was recruited as a weapon in gender wars, but those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

In 1984, Diana Russell claimed that 54% of women were the victims of sexual abuse. In 2000, an advocacy group claimed that one in three women around the world have been physically assaulted by their partner. The horrifying statistics keep coming, and varying, but all insist that men are an inherently serious problem.

We rarely hear of the hundreds of serious, academic studies on intimate violence that have been done over the last 35 years. They do not serve those using violence for their own abuse of others. The most authoritative studies are the three Nation Incidence Surveys commissioned by the Department of Heath. While the rate of mild violence, such as slapping or throwing a magazine, are about the same per year for each gender (around 20%), women commit over twice the severe partner assaults as men: punching, kicking, and threat or use of a weapon: 4.6% of women and 1.9% of men.

Why has domestic violence been an effective tool for women when there has always been very little and women commit more than men of what does exist?

Because of the morality. Men are supposed to protect, especially protect women. Women are not. Men do not perceive women as a threat, so rarely complain even when seriously abused. But male violence against women, however rare, has a high emotional impact, especially upon those same, allegedly villainous men. Female violence is ignored, while all are horrified by men’s until it seems the only kind that exists.

As Patricia Pearson documents in her book, When She Was Bad, this means women get away with murder. Literally. And when everyone only reacts to male violence you can bully legislatures into special provisions for women and no protection for men, a dangerous imbalance that invites still more female abuse of men.

The natural bias is understandable, but is a bias and should be so regarded. Is female violence less bad? Murray Strauss is one of the academic researchers who feels that, to a child, it doesn’t matter which gender it sees hitting which. It models violence as a response.

And should women get away with crimes we don’t tolerate from men? Gender double standards were considered bad when women took their brunt. Do we want our laws and practices based upon emotion, or real threats?

Erin Pizzey established the first battered women’s shelter in the world, but by 1998 was so alarmed at the political use of DV that she wrote a scathing article for the London Observer. “Unfortunately, at this time the feminist movement – hungry for recognition and for funding – was able to hijack the domestic violence movement and promptly set about disseminating dubious research material and disinformation.”

This is a disservice for real victims of DV, who can be anyone. The wrong thing is targeted, wrong solutions provided, and provided to the wrong people. Advocates do not care about reducing family violence. They seek the power in vilifying others.

So far I’ve been nice.

Women commit 55% of spouse murders, 64% of all child abuse including 78% of what results in death, 81% of parent murders, and 55% of sibling murders. Mothers commit 55% of child murders while natural fathers commit 6.9%. Yet the more common forms of female aggression are relationship violence and emotional bullying.

In divorce, to protect children from violence, perhaps we should always award sole custody to fathers.

Want to play gender politics with DV?

[Statistics are cited from the DHHS National Incidence Report on Child Maltreatment, and DOJ 1994 report, “Murder in the Family”]

Source: http://www.wheres-daddy.com/clm_archive/0412_dv.htm

FEMINIST VICTIMOLOGY

How feminists use victimology to unleash tyranny...

Some time ago I became the darling of a fierce band of mostly American feminists, middle-aged, trained in the humanities, standing on the cultural left. In their eyes they saw a green and sensitive guy, bristling with perceived feminine virtues - one said, `.your soul radiates pure energy' - and they enlisted me as a crony in their row with patriarchy. They weaned me on their ideology: in the difficult path to liberation (which these feminists had achieved), each woman had to break out of patriarchal conditioning and find her voice and sensuality. They acted motherly, and they warned me of the hostilities I would have to grapple with, even from other male-voiced women. I would be, they exhorted, another victim of maleness that is supplanted in my women lovers, too. One of them wrote in an email that my intensity of emotions, my bare soul, my quest for the truth (whatever that might be) would at once attract and repulse women. She wrote, `Most people will feel uneasy in your presence, and you can become a target and a scapegoat, but trust the universe because you will find a partner who will embrace your truth telling and intensity, but it will be a rare bloom.'

In her epic 1982 book In a Different Voice, the Harvard social psychologist Carol Gilligan argued that women's distinct `moral voice' is stifled by a `male-voiced' culture. She amasses empirical evidence that paints a bleak picture of young girls who, at around puberty, become reticent and withdrawn - and she wields this as proof that women's voices are silenced at an early age. What's more: young boys are victims of their own nature too, and she insinuates that young boys have to be disinfected from their toxic masculinity. Gilligan's book made Jane Fonda cry, and jumpstarted a wave of rallying by women enraged by a sense of injustice, some valid, others more feudal.

Now Harvard is opening a gender studies centre that will use In a Different Voice as its starting point and blueprint, and Jane Fonda has donated $12.5 million to the effort. The gender studies centre will investigate how patriarchy conditions gender norms, then tweak curriculums to fight sexism. This means, in the ethos informed by Gilligan's work, a psychological re-engineering of the self to knead the persona in young girls and boys according to feminine strictures.

By now I had started to feel that some feminist proposals unfairly give women an arbitrary advantage over men. My feminists, for example, want the rape laws changed into something resembling a female autocracy: if a woman feels raped, even if she did not resist at the time, then the man is by extension guilty. I told them the status quo in child custody where the mother almost always wins custody of the children is unfair; they replied that the women should always get custody because females are superior nurturers of children than males. I found these attitudes patronising, more so because they are packaged in that conservative pretence of compassionate salvation (we are only rescuing you from yourself).

When I lamented that most of the women I have loved have been as tyrannical as many men in relationships, they admonished me to be patient. Women's anger, they said, are the spasms of thousands of years of oppression, the feminine prisoner thrashing in its cage. (Oh, what about personal responsibility?) They reminded me of what poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote: `What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.' My feminists abhorred the penis, which, with its rape accusations, symbolises the stick that beats women into submission: it is eager, probing, and invasive.

All the same, I started to sit uncomfortably with the concept that maleness is pathological. Is there anything inherently wrong with masculinity as long as it's fair and non-violent? Perhaps masculine traits - competitiveness, emotional indifference, libido - are innate characteristics shaped by evolution to hone humanity's chances of survival and propagation? Perhaps the young girls' alleged uncommunicative stance that Gilligan paints is simply a normal state of reassessment in their development?

Christina Hoff Sommers, an American dissident feminist and philosopher, raises these questions in her book The War Against Boys published last year. Sommers dismisses Gilligan's research as anecdotal and argues that overzealous feminism, rather than silencing girls, is actually scarring boys with existential guilt for their male characteristics. She points out the harm done to a six-year-old boy in the US who, in 1996, was disciplined by his school for kissing a girl on the cheek, and stigmatised as a sexual harasser. It's boys who are in crisis, Sommers argues, and you only have to consider that in the western world more girls are graduating than boys to acknowledge that. Sommers fears the `increasingly aggressive efforts to feminise boys,' especially now that Harvard is legitimising Gilligan's work with its stamp of approval; when Harvard squeaks, the world pays attention.

It seemed that my feminists look at every strand of women's torment and conflict and blame it on patriarchy. There is historical basis for this, but now, after thirty years of feminism, we have to move on, and we have to dissipate our anger as a prerequisite for reconciliation (not entrench the battle, like my feminists). Also, believing that society is in a quandary because of a perceived loss of innocence of femininity is simplistic, the crunch of nostalgia projecting a lost, imaginary utopia.

`Young women are unhappy,' they argued.

`So are young men,' I said. `Maybe the problem is that in the western world, with our premise that the self can be cultivated, we expect unrelenting happiness and when we are unhappy we perceive a problem. What if our search for happiness is misguided? What if we are simply animals programmed to survive and propagate, and survival is a struggle that by definition can't produce happiness? Isn't happiness an abstraction?'

All my feminists are estranged or frustrated in their love relationships, past or present, and they feel abused at the hands of their male partners. In her 1999 book Rebels in White Gloves, Miriam Horn tells the story of women whose lives were broken by the lies and infidelity, and lack of support, attention and compliments in their love relationships, then goes on to argue that the politicisation of these personal feuds empowers women to find strength for their anguish through `public solidarity.' Yet this kind of empowerment has nothing to do with gender politics, with respect, with equality. It's simply the collective rage of women who have turned the tensions inherent in intimate relationships into a political struggle that seeks to implant a feminine mindset in men, so that men would think like women and harmony would ensue. This is a misguided, one-sided theory.

Men in relationships suffer from the same kind of misdemeanours induced by women (in two-thirds of marriage separations in the West, it's the woman who deserts the man due to dissatisfaction with the quality of the relationship). There is always a danger in politics to politicise personal struggles and flog personal vendettas. Relationships are power struggles and their hierarchical nature triggers resentment, but you cannot blame patriarchy for that. You can't say, Men, you just can't trust them, because using the same measure you can't trust women either, at least not the women of my generation and my world, who are independent and successful.

My feminists all watched The Vagina Monologues, written by Eve Ensler. It's a story of personal anguish and anger, but the anger is not objectified: it takes the form of an anti-male tirade. In the fallout of rejection by a partner, we often mutter generalised attacks on all males or all females. We fall into that trap now and again, but now an extreme band of influential feminists - exactly because they have a voice now, not vice versa - want to make the issue public policy. Fight sexism, fight condescending treatment, fight for an equal voice in the workplace and in personal relationships, fight for better communication between the sexes, fight for more emotional openness by both sexes. But don't project personal retribution into public retribution because that's the politics of tyranny under the guise of victimisation.

Written by Victor Paul Borg

From: http://www.victorborg.com/html/feminist_victimology.html

WOMEN ARE MAJORITY OF PERPETRATORS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT


Who are the perpetrators of child abuse and neglect? Who typically abuses and neglects children?

Answer

Most States define perpetrators of child abuse and neglect as parents and other caretakers” (such as relatives, babysitters, and foster parents) who have harmed a child in their care. It is important to note that States define the term “caretaker” differently. Harm caused to a child by others (such as acquaintances or strangers) may not be considered “child abuse” but rather may be considered a criminal matter.

According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System’s most current report, “Child Maltreatment 2003,” of the approximately 906,000 child abuse and neglect victims in 2003, the largest percentage of perpetrators (79.7 percent) were parents, including birth parents, adoptive parents, and stepparents. Other relatives accounted for an additional 6.4 percent, residential staff for .2 percent, and day care providers for .8 percent. Unmarried partners of parents accounted for 4 percent of perpetrators while foster parent accounted for .5 percent of perpetrators.

In 2003, 58.2 percent of child abuse and neglect perpetrators were females and 41.8 percent were males. For the most part, female perpetrators were younger than male perpetrators; of the women who were perpetrators, 43.8 percent of females were younger than 30 years of age as compared to 33.1 percent of males.

Approximately 83.9 percent of victims were abused by at least one parent. An estimated 40.8 percent of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 18.8 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 16.9 percent were abused by both parents. Victims abused by nonparental perpetrators accounted for 13.4 percent of the total.

“Child Maltreatment 2003” is available on the Children’s Bureau website: http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/publications/cmreports.htm.

MISANDRY

Misandry, sometimes called Androphobia, is the hatred of men, for being men. While usually ascribed to women, it is also theoretically possible for males themselves to be misandrist. Unlike misogyny (a pathological aversion towards women), misandry has been little discussed or investigated. Some masculists maintain that misandry has been rampant for thirty years, due to feminist advocacy, and has become a social pathology. Some feminists believe that, while misogyny is a social disease, misandry does not exist. Others in both feminist and masculist camps consider the "war of the sexes" arising from traditional gender roles to be a powerful source of both misogyny and misandry.

This term is sometimes used interchangeably with misanthropy.

1 Forms of misandry
2 Misandry in popular culture
3 See also
4 Links
5 Bibliography

Forms of misandry

There are many different forms of misandry. In its most overt expression, a misandrist will openly hate all males, and will hurt them simply because they are male.
Other forms of misandry may be more subtle. Some misandrists may simply hold all males under suspicion, or may hate males who do not fall into one or more acceptable categories. Entire cultures may be said to be misandric if they treat males in ways that can be seen as hateful

Misandry in popular culture

The common view of men as being sex-crazed and overbearing
The typical sit-com male's bumbling ineptitude
The common view of men as unable to take care of themselves, but rather needing a woman (in the form of a mother or a wife) to take care of them

See also

Misanthropy
Valerie Solanas

Links

The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture (http://www.lbduk.org/spreading%20misandry.htm) book review

Bibliography

Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture; Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young, McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal, 2001; ISBN 0-7735-2272-7

Extracted from: http://encyclopedia.lockergnome.com/s/b/Misandry

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

DISABUSING THE DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC ABUSE: HOW WOMEN BATTER MEN AND THE ROLE OF THE FEMINIST STATE

Over the last twenty-five years, leading sociologists have repeatedly found that men and women commit violence at similar rates. The assertion that "the phenomenon of husband battering" is as prevalent as wife abuse is confirmed by nationally representative studies, such as the Family Violence Surveys, as well as by numerous other sources. However, despite the wealth and diversity of the sociological research and the consistency of the findings, female violence is not recognized within the extensive legal literature on domestic violence. Instead, the literature consistently suggests that only men commit domestic violence. Either explicitly, or more often implicitly, through the failure to address the subject in any objective manner, female violence is denied , defended and minimized.

Written by Linda Kelly, Professor of Law, Indiana University of Law
(Florida State University Law Review, Volume 30)

Complete report found at: http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/304/kelly.pdf

Monday, May 16, 2005

RADICAL FEMINISM


It is basic to our premises to understand that we are not speaking here of those persons who consider themselves "feminists" because they support equal rights under the rule of law, equal opportunity in employment and education, equal protection under law, and protection from violence for all persons. These positions are supported by those on the right and the left.

As Jim Kalb states on his Anti-Feminism page:

"In place of family ties based on what seems natural and customary, and supported by upbringing and social expectation, [radical] feminism would permit only ties based on contract and idiosyncratic sentiment, with government stepping in when those prove too shaky for serious reliance. There is no reason to suppose the substitution can be made to work, let alone work well, and every reason to expect the contrary. Feminism does not care about reason, however, or even about experience of the effects of weakened family life. It wants what it wants, and that is the end of anything like the traditional relations between men and women. It is thus ideological and radical to the core; there can be no commonsense feminism, because doing what comes naturally gets a [radical] feminist nowhere.

The harsh things that can be said about anarchism and communism can be said with yet more force about [radical] feminism, because the latter seeks to eliminate something that touches us far more deeply than private property or the state. Like the other two ideologies, [radical] feminism can be presented as a lofty and necessary ideal set up in opposition to a long history of dreadful injustice. After all, things like gender that are implicated in all social life are necessarily implicated in all social injustice. Nonetheless, the practical implementation of [radical] feminism, especially by force of law, can only lead to catastrophe. Like anarchism it calls for categorical opposition to authority and hierarchy, and like communism for ceaseless radical reconstruction of all aspects of life, and consequently for absolute bureaucratic domination of society. Both principles are thoroughly destructive, and the fact they contradict each other does not render them harmless.

The result of the victory of [radical] feminism has been disorder cascading from America throughout the world, from the most immediate personal relationships to high culture and international politics. Feminism has meant suspicion and hostility where mutual reliance is an absolute necessity. It has meant growing deceit, heartlessness and brutality in daily life, resulting in particular suffering for the weak. It has meant confusion and misery for the young, who have been deprived of stable family life and concrete ideals of adulthood. It must therefore be opposed as a destructive fanaticism based on a gross and wilful misapprehension of human life."

There have been many attempts to understand and explain the current state of feminism but that proves impossible.

Radical feminist theory is an unstable dialectic.

Truth, justice, reason, logic, history, scientific evidence, repeatable results, reproducible research, observations of natural phenomenon, all these are simply words to radical feminists. Words that they believe are designed to cover up a monstrous oppression of women under masks of religion, marriage, and motherhood that cloak the patriarchal family.

The only acceptable theories are those that give power to women. For example, "gender equity" is propounded in order to achieve statistical equity in political positions and the workplace by force of law. The disasters that result are dismissed as the result of patriarchal oppression, or necessary evils on the path to a matriarchal cultural revolution.

As Erin Pizzey has repeatedly pointed out, radical feminists are commonly Neo-Marxists. Radical feminists find great comfort in arguments of Engels and Marx that class distinctions and oppression first arose between man and woman in monogamous marriage. Therefore, "class struggle" began when men discovered or insisted on the recognition of their fatherhood, enslaved women in marriage, created the patriarchal family, and established private property.

According to radical feminist's interpretation of Marxist theory, the family is the root cause of oppression.

After the 1917 Russian revolution, the Communists are reported to have tried some of Marx's and Engels' theories regarding the patriarchy, but are said to have retreated in the face of disasters caused by a frontal attack on the family. However, that failure, and many subsequent ones, have not deterred the true believers in a matriarchal society of peace and love.

According to Dale O'Leary in "The Gender Agenda" (p. 103):

"The radical women of the sixties saw in Marx's and Engels' analysis the justification of their own dissatisfaction with liberal reforms. They became convinced that previous Marxist revolutions had failed because they had failed to target the family. If Marxist analysis was correct, the family was the cause of oppression and would have to be eliminated."

Make no mistake, we are engaged in an epic battle between two incompatible ideologies with fundamentally different views of the rights of the individual and the power of the state, with the future of civilization at stake.

The competing ideologies are generally categorized under the headings of "patriarchy," representing the present system, and "matriarchy," representing the return of the goddess and earth mother, and a more primitive relationship between man and woman and their children.

Examples of matriarchal societies can be found in the ghettoes of any major city in America. Such warrens are hardly inspiring examples of progress, peace, and love, but true believers are undeterred by evidence.

Conversely, we believe that families are the foundation blocks of civilization, and that all progress ultimately rests on a father working to make a better world for his wife and children. Thus, we regard such radical feminists as the ultimate abomination.

Radical feminism as a psychological disorder

Dale O'Leary author of "The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality"

I would like to propose the hypothesis: Radical Feminism is a psychological disorder caused by two generations of unforgiveness in the maternal line.

I want to make it clear from the start that I am not speaking of those persons who consider themselves "feminists" because they support equal rights under law, equal opportunity, equal protection under law, and protection from violence for all persons. These positions are supported by those on the right and the left.

It is the radical, anti-life, anti-family, deconstructionist, neo-Marxist Radical Feminism that is rampant on campuses and the government bureaucracies to which I object. I believe that the founders of this movement and those who are deeply committed to forwarding its ideology are seriously psychologically troubled.

A positive supportive relationship with one's father is essential to the proper development of the male and female personality. All those who have not had such a relationship need some form of repair or remediation. Such wounds can be healed, but it requires special intervention. Abusive, or even seriously inadequate fathering can have devastating consequences.

One path which leads to Radical Feminism begins with the grandmother. The grandmother of a radical feminist is frequently married to a man who is an inadequate father. The grandmother may have had a positive relationship with her father and tolerate a certain level of misbehavior from her husband. She fails, however, to see the effect her example has on her daughter.

If a daughter (the future mother of the radical feminist) is mistreated by her father, if he is an alcoholic, physically abusive, sexually abusive, deserts the family, is an adulterer, divorces his wife, or simply has a cruel disposition, the woman grows up with a warped idea of what a man should be and how a woman should be treated. This daughter is highly likely to marry a man who abuses her. She does this because subconsciously she is trying to repair the father-wound — trying at last to win her father's love, by winning the love of a man like her father.

But history repeats itself, the father-replacement husband is often equally abusive, and sometimes more abusive because the damaged daughter-now-wife is used to being abused and has learned to accept abuse. Some of these damaged daughters interpret abuse as love. In some cases the husband is just an ordinary male, but the damaged daughter-now-wife is so angry and unforgiving that she misinterprets simple sex differences as abuse. Often these women are masters of the passive/aggressive style of behavior. They may appear to others as victims, while underneath they wage a stealth campaign against their husbands.

Additionally, although the damaged daughter longs for father-love, and father affirmation, she is also angry and bitter toward her father and has not forgiven him. She transfers this anger to her husband and communicates it to her daughter. If the daughter-now-wife is unable to protect her children from an abusive father or teaches her daughters that ordinary male behavior is abuse, the daughters grow up with a distorted image of masculinity and anger towards men.

This daughter of a damaged daughter has been betrayed by both parents. Her father, who might — had he had a strong wife who had been able to motivate him and draw out his potential virtue — been an adequate father, betrays the daughter through abuse, but the mother also betrays the daughter by not protecting her and by fueling her resentment toward her father.


As the daughter of a damaged daughter grows up, at some point she rejects her mother as a model and mother's passive/aggressive behavior, and decides to become aggressive, but she holds on to the deep seated bitterness and resentment. Voila! We have a Radical Feminist.

The moment when she decides to exchange passive/aggressive behavior for aggressive behavior is viewed as the moment when her "consciousness was raised." From then on she tends to see all masculine behavior as evil and she recruits other women — who may have been only slightly damaged — into her army of angry, unforgiving women. To her, now fully converted to Radical Feminism, any woman who doesn't see men as evil is still under the oppression of men and needs to have her consciousness raised. The opinions and desires of these women are of no value because they haven't had their consciousness raised.

The Radicalized Feminist is filled with rage against "patriarchy" which is Fatherhood writ large, because she is filled with rage against her own father and afraid to express it. And she turns her rage on any man that comes within her purview. Yet at the same time she too longs for repair — for father-love which will heal her wound. But as much as she may want to put her world back together her refusal to forgive blocks the way. She insists that the reconciliation must be on her terms — total capitulation of the father principle. Thus the Radical Feminist dreams of a utopia where the differences between men and women do not matter. Fathers are the enemy and therefore fatherhood will be wiped out.

Mothers are also guilty because mothers are perpetual victims of fathers, therefore motherhood will also be eliminated. In the feminist dream world, there will be only non-gender identified parents, or no parents at all, only a nanny state which will create a perfect childhood, and children will at last be safe.

Because many of these angry women were sexually abused, sought male love in all the wrong places, or were victims of statutory rape, they tend to have an extremely warped view of sexuality. They use sex to gain power, to self-comfort, to seek father and mother love, and their relationships almost always disintegrate, leaving them more angry and bitter. They may marry, they may have children, but because they are totally unhealed these marriages are for the most part doomed. Their daughters are the real victims — the daughters are forced to choose between two bad examples. Usually they cling to their dysfunctional mother, because the need for mothering is even more powerful than the need for fathering.

They may be fiercely loyal to their angry mother, yet underneath know how damaged she is.

This, I believe, is the genesis of the psychological disorder that drives Radical Feminism. I wrote a column several years ago encouraging forgiveness, in particular I stressed the need for women to forgive the fathers. Four local feminists shot back responses, rambling raging attacks on me which failed to address the points I had made. Their scream was — we will not forgive, if you ask us to forgive, you are asking us to go back to being abused.

This, of course, is not true. When we forgive, we are free from the behaviors which set us up for abuse. Not forgiving perpetuates the resentment — the "re-feeling" of the original trauma. Resentment is a destructive form of self abuse, but these angry women could not, or will not hear the truth.

Radical Feminism is a psychological disorder (psyche is the Greek for soul) because unforgiveness is a disorder of the soul. When a soul is trapped in unforgiveness, the person's thinking is clouded and the behavior self-destructive. These unforgiving women are modern Medea's, who will sacrifice their own children to satisfy their need for revenge against unfaithful men.

These women will destroy the child in the womb to bring down "patriarchy".

They will rip their children away from their fathers and cause permanent damage, because they weren't properly fathered.

They will pull down every societal support for families, for motherhood, and for love, in order to create an impossible dream of a gender-neutral world.

The only answer is forgiveness. I have seen it over and over again, if a woman caught up in Radical Feminist ideology, a woman spouting Radical Feminist nonsense, can be shown how to forgive, and is willing to forgive, the disorder is healed. The Radical Feminist nonsense disappears.
.
Radical feminist agenda

We don't need taxpayer-funded feminist groups with an anti-male, anti-family political ax to grind destroying our communities. We stand firmly opposed to policies that:

• Forcibly separate men from their women and children.
• Destroy families.
• Eliminate our civil liberties.
• Put men in jail without trial.
• Support debtors prisons.
• Provide an environment for our children that is proven to make criminals of the boys and whores of the girls.

That agenda is destroying our civilization.

Recognizing radical feminist rhetoric

Feminist politicians, male or female, certainly don't say these things in plain English, but you can recognize the rhetoric:

• They don't mention violence against men.
• They support increased use of restraining orders against men.
• They support mandatory arrests and "no drop" policies in domestic violence cases.
• They advocate increased funding for battered women's shelters but nothing for men.
• They make divorce profitable for women.
• They blame men for violence but ignore female mayhem and murder.

Countering the radical feminist program

You cannot change something that remains hidden from you. In order to stop these one-sided programs you will need to:

• Find out what kind of family violence programs you have in your community?
• Find out whether the local program encourages the healing of families, or do they take the 'divorce' approach?
• Find out whether the local program demands the separation of a man from his wife and children or works to keep them together and fix the problem whenever possible.
• Find out if program literature makes reference to the Duluth model, or DAIP. You can be certain that it is promoting gender feminist goals if they do.
• Find out how much attention the family violence prevention program in your community devotes to violent females? As much as it does to violent males? If not, why not?
• Find out if the program promotes the idea that only men batter, women are always victims paradigm. If so Big Sister is at work.
• Ask your state representatives why your tax dollars are being used to promote divorce and the destruction of families with these draconian laws?

These are your tax dollars and no problem gets solved if you concern yourself with less than half the issues.

Women's shelters are commonly feminist-front organizations funded with your tax money. Do you think that is true in your community? If so let your state representatives know. We need family-friendly agencies in our community that deliver services to all family members and attempt to recognize and solve the problems many couples have. Our objective is to preserve families, not tear them apart.

Source: http://www.dvmen.org/dv-108.htm

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

BATTERED MEN - THE HIDDEN SIDE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BATTERER TREATMENT PROGRAMS


The Faulty Duluth Model
What's Wrong with the "Duluth Model"?


Blame and shame, not help. Ideology, not science. It ignores drinking, drugs and pathology. Only one cause, only one solution. There's no real evidence it works. It ignores domestic violence by women. Women who need help can't get it. It's taught by "wounded healers." It's gender-polarizing-perpetrates the "battle of the sexes"

Batterer treatment programs around the world are adopting the "Duluth model," perhaps the most widespread of the male-patriarchy batterers' programs, with trainings in hundreds of cities across the country and a recent series of Marine Corps contracts. It promotes a gender-polarizing view that battering is a conscious strategy by men to assert male dominance over women.

What is the Duluth Model? It was created by the Duluth, Minnesota Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. It's described in detail in Pence, E., and Paymer, M. Education Groups For Men Who Batter: The Duluth Model. The "Power and Control Wheel," central to the model, "depicts the primary abusive behaviors experienced by women living with men who batter." There's no doubt that it reflects a feminist ideology of male oppression of women.

What's wrong with it? Here's what experts have to say:

It's about blaming and shaming men, more than giving them the insights and support to help them stop their abusive behavior.

The Duluth Model preaches that men who batter don't have a personal problem, but are simply reflecting "a culture that teaches men to dominate." John Everingham, co-author of Men Healing Shame and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, calls this "shame of male for being male." But shaming is a cause of rage, not a cure for it.

Is wife-beating an accepted cultural norm? Think about it: do you know any man who thinks that beating your wife is "normal" or "OK"? Psychologist Donald G. Dutton, author of five books about spousal abuse by men and expert witness in the O.J. Simpson trial, says, "Men who have been convicted of wife assault do not generally feel that what they did was acceptable. Instead they feel guilty, deny and minimize the violence, and try to exculpate themselves in the manner of one whose actions are unacceptable to oneself." He points out, "the vast majority of men are non-assaultive for the duration of their marriage." And as violence escalates beyond pushes and slaps, "the size of this minority group of perpetrators shrinks."

The Duluth Model is a "blame and shame" behavior modification approach, focusing only on the perpetrator's role. This approach is used often with prisoners. Rule infractions result in punishment, and "good behavior" (absence of rule-breaking) results in early release. A different approach sees anger and violence as part of a "dance" between two people in an intimate relationship. The approach is to examine the role of each party, so that both may be empowered to make decisions in their own lives. This model is used in many successful prison rehabilitation programs and in AA, which holds people accountable for their lives without "blaming and shaming."

It's based on ideology, not science.

The authors of the book on the model make no bones about it:

The tactics used by batterers reflect the tactics used by many groups or individuals in positions of power. Each of the tactics depicted on the Power and Control Wheel are typical of behaviors used by groups of people who dominate others. They are the tactics employed to sustain racism, ageism, classism, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, and many other forms of group domination. Men in particular are taught these tactics in both their families of origin and through their experiences in a culture that teaches men to dominate. ...We use gender-specific terms not only because the curriculum is for men who batter, but because battering is not a gender-neutral issue.

The model was developed, not by a team of psychologists and research scientists, but in consultation with "a small group of activists in the battered women's movement," and "more than 200 battered women in Duluth." The Power and Control Wheel names eight factors contributing to domestic violence, including "using male privilege" and "using economic abuse." It relies heavily on Dobash & Dobash, Violence Against Wives: A Case Against the Patriarchy, who state: "[The] long patriarchal tradition... was explicitly established in the institutional practices of both the church and the state and supported by some of the most prominent political, legal, religious, philosophical, and literary figures in Western society... They believed that men had the right to dominate and control women and that women were by their very nature subservient to men. This relationship was deemed natural, sacred and unproblematic and such beliefs resulted in long periods of disregard and/or denial of the husband's abuses of his economic, political and physical power."

The model rejects treatment through insight models, family systems theory or cognitive-behavioral models in favor of what supporters call a "sociopolitical model" and San Jose therapist Eric Towle calls a "radical feminist re-education camp," where battery is equated with masculinity. The goal of sociopolitical therapy is to "challenge sexist expectations and controlling behaviors that often inhibit men and motivate them to learn to apply newly learned skills in a consistently non-controlling manner." Intervention deals with sexist expectations and attitudes.

Psychologist Dutton wrote an article outlining all the evidence feminist researchers and proponents of the model had to overlook, because it contradicted their ideological paradigm. As he put it, "Paradigms direct research, but they also serve to deflect critical analysis of the paradigms' own central tenets through diverting attention from contradictory data.

A form of 'groupthink' ensues whereby dissent is stifled by directing attention from potential contradictory information." Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, associate professor of psychology at Indiana University, says, "states are basing rigid treatment policy on rhetoric and ideology, not data."

What evidence is overlooked? For starters, the fact that most men are not violent to their wives or lovers. Dutton estimates that 80% of the men who do beat their intimates have drinking or drug problems, Borderline Personality Disorders, or other diagnosable psychological pathology.

It ignores drinking, drugs, Borderline Personality Disorder and other serious psychological problems.

As Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality states, "Dutton and other researchers have found that wife-beating is far more strongly associated with 'borderline personality disorder' (characterized by proclivity for intense relationships, insecurity, and rage) than with patriarchal attitudes; drugs and alcohol are major factors as well."

Dr. Dutton's concern is echoed by Paul T. Mason, M.S. and Randi Kreger, authors of Walking on Eggshells, who see Borderline Personality Disorder at the heart of a lot of domestic violence.

And, they point out, 75% of the people with BPD are women. A focus on "male oppression" must, be definition, overlook this important contributor to domestic violence.

Yale psychiatrist Sally L. Satel uses the case of "Don" for an example. "Don's group leaders were adamant that alcohol was never a cause of violence. Feminist theory downplays the relevance of alcohol abuse, and as a particularly foolish result in Don's program, failed to make sobriety a condition of the treatment for domestic batterers." The National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors' Nov/Dec 1998 issue of The Counselor raises concern about this issue.

It says there is only one cause for domestic violence, and only one solution.

This approach rejects joint therapy in all cases, even when the woman feels safe and wants to keep the marriage together. San Diego judge William Cannon says, "It's ridiculous. We treat women as brainless individuals who are unable to make choices."

Washington state specifically prohibits joint therapy, even in conjunction with the Duluth Model. One Bellevue therapist almost lost his license for merely proposing joint therapy to another therapist.

Satel states: "In at least a dozen states, including Massachusetts, Colorado, Florida, Washington, and Texas, state guidelines effectively preclude any treatment other than feminist therapy for domestic batterers."

Satel points out that these policies would outlaw, for instance, the kind of help that saved the decade-long marriage of a midwestern couple we'll call 'Steve and Lois M.' After their last fight, in which he gave Mrs. M. a fractured arm, she gave him an ultimatum: unless he went with her to marriage therapy, she would take their nine-year-old son and leave. He agreed, and the couple saw Eve Lipchik, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin expert in family therapy. 'One can still deplore the aggression and be an advocate for the relationship when two people want to stay together and are motivated to make changes in the relationship,' says Lipchik. 'It's too easy to stuff people into boxes labeled villains and victims.'"

Satel asserts, "Many advocates are also apparently so blinded by ideology that they are unable to draw distinctions between types of abusers. Some men, for example, are first-time offenders, others are brutal recidivists, others attack rarely but harshly, others frequently but less severely, and many are alcoholics. Such a heterogeneous population cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach."

There's no real evidence it works.

The best we have is one-month follow-ups. Satel points out that women are advised to leave their husbands; the programs have no faith that the indoctrination they offer actually works.

It ignores domestic violence by women.

The (U.S.) National Violence Against Women survey estimates that each year 1.5 million women and 835,000 men are assaulted by intimate partners. The (U.S.) National Child Abuse and Data System reports that over 55% of the physical abuse of children is by women. Dr. Dutton points out that lesbian relationships were significantly more violent than gay relationships; rates of verbal, physical and sexual abuse were all significantly higher in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships; and in one sample of women, 78.2% had been in a prior relationship with a man: reports of violence by men were all lower than reports of violence in prior relationships with women.

All of these findings refute the notion that family violence is caused by male control of women. They are ignored by domestic violence "experts" and the media because they contradict the ideological paradigm of these programs, that family violence is men's efforts to control women. One result is that there is virtually no public education, victim outreach and education, or help for battered men.

Is domestic violence by women in self-defense? Dr. Martin Fiebert of the University of California at Long Beach surveyed almost 1,000 women, 280 of whom had initiated an assault on their partner. The most common reasons? "My partner wasn't sensitive to my needs." "I wished to gain my partner's attention." "My partner was not listening to me." These all ranked above "My partner was being verbally abusive to me."

Women who need help can't get it.

A Detroit News special report on battered husbands provides a dramatic example.

For 13 years, Karen Gillhespy was the abuser. She says she broke her husband's ribs, ripped entire patches of his hair out, scratched him, bit him, beat him with a baseball bat and kicked him. He never hit back -- and he never filed charges. But more shocking to Gillhepsy are the reactions she encountered telling her story. "They told me I was the victim," said Gillhespy. "Here's no way any of this was his fault."

Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire, quotes a letter from a shelter that gives as an example of assault by the husband, "In an argument, 'Mrs. C. grabbed Mr. C. by his necktie (and) he pushed her away. Mrs. C. then punched his face and her nail cut his neck.'" Domestic violence researcher Suzanne Steinmetz says this is common, and is simply one more way that a woman's experience is devalued. "The bottom line is that women get the short end of the stick anyway.

When we say women can't possibly be violent, she must have done it for some reason, we are in essence denying women services."

And programs that preach that male oppression is at the heart of domestic violence have nothing to offer to women who batter.

It's taught by "wounded healers."

Shelter staffs and perpetrator treatment programs are often dominated by women who have been victims themselves. Maurice Oates, who co-founded a highly successful Native-based Circle of Harmony Healing Society in Terrace, British Columbia that works with couples on a voluntary basis, says: "We don't really give a damn about what white people think. All participants are considered equal and not adversaries. All our programs avoid sexual bias. Local gender feminists were telling us it would be a disaster. We call those people the 'wounded healers' because they try to help people, but they have not yet dealt with their own pain and agony."

It's a gender-polarizing approach that only serves to perpetrate the "battle of the sexes."

Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality, states:

The most obvious casualties of the War on Domestic Violence have been men, particularly men involved in contentious divorces. But it has also hurt many of the women who are its intended beneficiaries. Part of the problem is the one-size-fits-all approach to domestic violence. For many couples in violent relationships, particularly those involved in mutual violence, joint counseling offers the best solution. But if they have come to the attention of the authorities, it's one form of counseling to which they are unlikely to be referred. Couples therapy is vehemently opposed by battered women's advocates--ostensibly out of concern for women's safety, but also because of the implication that both partners must change their behavior.

Yale psychiatrist Sally Satel states:

Like so many projects of the feminist agenda, the battered women's movement has outlived its useful beginnings, which was to help women leave violent relationships and persuade the legal system to take domestic abuse more seriously. Now they have brought us to a point at which a single complaint touches off an irreversible cascade of useless and often destructive legal and therapeutic events. This could well have a chilling effect upon victims of real violence, who may be reluctant to file police reports or to seek help if it subjects them to further battery from the authorities. And it certainly won't help violent men if they emerge from so-called treatment programs no more enlightened but certainly more angry, more resentful, and as dangerous as ever.

Written by Bert H. Hoff, 1999

Extracted from: http://www.batteredmen.com/batdulut.htm

LESBIAN AND FEMALE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Some interesting information about lesbian Domestic Violence with implications re the reality of some women's potential and actual abuse and violence, which is both denied and minimised by feminists who only see the violence of some men.

(The URLs shown below can be used for abstract searches for other issues.)

[Summary: No difference in the level of male & female DV.]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Entrez/query?uid=9403987&form=6&db=m&Dopt=b

Violence Vict 1997 Summer;12(2):173-84

Victimization and perpetration rates of violence in gay and lesbian relationships: gender issues explored.
Waldner-Haugrud LK, Gratch LV, Magruder B.
Department of Social Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown, TX 77002, USA.

This study explores gender differences in victimization and perpetration experiences of gays and lesbians in intimate relationships. A sample of 283 gays and lesbians reported on their experiences both as victims and perpetrators of gay/lesbian relationship violence by completing a modified version of the Conflict Tactics Scale (Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980).

General results indicate that 47.5% of lesbians and 29.7% of gays have been victimized by a same-sex partner. Further, lesbians reported an overall perpetration rate of 38% compared to 21.8% for gay men. Other findings were as follows: (1) lesbians were more likely to be classified as victims and perpetrators of violence than gay men; (2) lesbians were more likely to report pushing or being pushed than gay men; (3) lesbians reported experiencing a greater number of different victimization and perpetration tactics than gay men; and finally, (4) when items were weighted to create an indicator of severity, no significant differences between lesbians and gay men were found.
PMID: 9403987, UI: 98067773

[Summary: Feminist theories of patriarchy and DV used for control are misguided and wrong.]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Entrez/query?uid=7696196&form=6&db=m&Dopt=b
Violence Vict 1994 Summer;9(2):167-82

Patriarchy and wife assault: the ecological fallacy
Dutton DG
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia.

A critical review is made of feminist analyses of wife assault postulating that patriarchy is a direct cause of wife assault. Data are reviewed from a variety of studies indicating that (a) lesbian battering is more frequent than heterosexual battering, (b) no direct relationship exists between power and violence within couples, and (c) no direct relationship exists between structural patriarchy and wife assault. It is concluded that patriarchy must interact with psychological variables in order to account for the great variation in power-violence data. It is suggested that some forms of psychopathology may lead to some men adopting patriarchal ideology to justify and rationalize their own pathology.
PMID: 7696196, UI: 95210181

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Entrez/query?uid=9403983&form=6&db=m&Dopt=b

[Summary: Counsellors tend to maximise male violence and downplay female violence. This is a current societal norm and seen in government, law, police and judiciary.]

Violence Vict 1997 Summer;12(2):127-35

Comparison of beginning counselors' responses to lesbian vs. heterosexual partner abuse
Wise AJ, Bowman SL
Depart. of Counseling and Psychology and Guidance Services, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana 47306, USA.

This study compared responses of masters and doctoral level counseling students to two domestic violence scenarios. Participants read a two paragraph description of a battering incident involving either a heterosexual or lesbian couple and then gave their impressions via a series of open and closed ended questions. Scenarios were identical save the manipulation of sexual partner as same or opposite sex. Experience and/or education with battered and/or gay/lesbian clients is also examined.

Results indicated that subjects perceived the heterosexual battering incident as more violent than the lesbian battering incident and would be more likely to charge the male batterer than the female batterer with assault. Differences in treatment recommendations were made according to sexual orientation of the victim. Less than half of the respondents had coursework or practical experience pertaining to domestic violence and/or gay/lesbian concerns.
PMID: 9403983, UI: 98067769

[Summary: Women commit acts of DV and this needs to be studied further, in particular violence may be an (individual) human issue not a gender issue.]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Entrez/query?uid=7696194&form=6&db=m&Dopt=b
Violence Vict 1994 Summer;9(2):139-52

Lesbian battering: the relationship between personality and the perpetration of violence
Coleman VE

The occurrence of violence in lesbian relationships challenges societal stereotypes of women and traditional, sociopolitical theories of domestic violence. This article proposes that a multidimensional theory of partner abuse, which incorporates an emphasis on individual personality dynamics, is needed to more fully understand the heterogeneity of batterers. The relationship between psychopathology, sociocultural factors, and battering in lesbian relationships is examined and dynamics related to the borderline and narcissistic disorders are highlighted. In order to improve our understanding of domestic violence and provide effective treatment, we must continue to pursue critical thinking and research regarding the role of personality dynamics, and the relationship between these dynamics and other variables.
PMID: 7696194, UI: 95210179

See also:
Lesbian DV brochure
Lesbians are more violent (more studies)

Source: http://www.fathersforlife.org/feminism/female_dv_1.htm

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

CONTROVERSY WITHIN FAMILY VIOLENCE RESEARCH

I have been involved in the study of partner abuse for the past eight years. My interest in this issue began with my concern about violence against women. Initially, my examination of partner abuse focused on courtship violence and spouse abuse perpetrated by men. My sense of curiosity led me to go against what I believed to be the essence of partner abuse and examine the prevalence of abuse perpetrated by women. Quite to my surprise, I found that women too, abused their male partners at equivalent rates. This led me to search out other research examining this issue, and again to my surprise I found my findings were not an anomaly, but had considerable support.

Considerable controversy has emerged as a result of studies finding equivalent rates of abuse for males and females. The rift within family violence research centers on how researchers have approached their investigations. On one hand, there is the unidimensional approach to partner abuse advanced by feminists. They view abuse between intimates as a problem of women being abused by men whereby the abuse is perceived as a dichotomous variable (abuse/no abuse) and seen in its most sever forms. On the other hand, sociologists and family researchers view partner abuse as being gender neutral and occurring along a continuum with no abuse at one end and very severe abuse at the other end.

I would like to address this controversy by first providing a backdrop to how the divisiveness in the study of partner abuse developed, and then by discussing some of the methodological and practical issues that have contributed to it.

Long before the first reference to violence within the family was made in academic circles -which was actually not that long ago - somewhere around 32 years ago - the goings on within the family took on a very different tenor than they do today. Back then, family problems were considered private and were no one's business but those directly involved. This is not to say that the outside world was totally oblivious to the problems that some families experienced. On the contrary, family problems were often quite apparent, however they were defined somewhat differently and were viewed as issues that were to be resolved without outside interference.

I'm sure those of us old enough to remember those simpler times and as well as those too young to remember that era in history will recall stories about families whose children were not adequately fed, unclean and sent to school without warm enough clothing. There were also stories about husbands and wives who quarrelled a little too much and whose houses echoed with sounds of yelling, screaming and items hitting the walls. We may recall husbands who were labelled as boors and wives who were labelled as hen peckers because they didn't treat their respective spouses with the respect or consideration they deserved. We may also recall stories of elderly people stranded in their homes, not being able to adequately care for themselves while their able children only rarely came to visit them but for a few minutes each time. I would venture to suggest that when we reflect back on these stories, the notion of abuse never crosses our minds. Instead, we probably thought about how unfortunate these families were and how thankful we are that such things did go on in our own families.

The explosion of research in family violence as well as the work done by the women's movement has redefined not only how we look at family violence, but how we approach family issues, in general. During the past three decades, the family has been placed under the social science microscope and has been examined in many different ways. We have learned about the division of labour within households, different child rearing practices and alternative lifestyles, to name just a few. What was once considered a troublesome, but private problem is now defined as abuse in its various forms and is subject to the scrutiny of numerous social agencies. In the case of family violence, this move toward deprivatizing the family has been positive in many respects and has led to the protection of those unable to protect themselves. Today, we have very strict guidelines about the reporting and handling of child abuse cases and legislation concerning protecting the elderly is currently in place in many U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

Twenty-five years ago, the problem of wife abuse went virtually unnoticed by the legal, medical, social and research communities. Up till that point, women caught in abusive relationships were left to suffer in silence with no where to turn to for help or understanding. Little support was provided by their own families because of strong adherence to the notion of "to death do you part". Much of the credit for the increased public knowledge about wife assaults is attributed to the women's movement which, through its tireless efforts, has brought the issue of wife battering to the forefront. Today, wife abuse has been identified as the single most important dimension of family violence. In fact, lobbying efforts by women's groups have been so successful that the issue of wife abuse has taken precedence over other social problems such as poverty, alcoholism, and unemployment.

However, the lobby for the protection of women has been at the expense of protecting other family members also at risk for abuse. In some quarters of both popular and media cultures, as well as the legislative culture, violence against women by men has literally squeezed out recognition of other forms of family violence, including the violence perpetrated by women against other women (siblings, daughters, mothers and lesbian partners), against children, and indeed against male partners and elderly fathers. Especially noteworthy is research which reports that female perpetrators commit between 3% and 13% of all sexual abuse. The tunnel vision view of domestic violence where women are the victims and men are the perpetrators is built on the patriarchal model which conceptualizes abuse as resulting from men's overt attempts to dominate women. This conceptual framework argues that men are socialized into violence, and is supported by many of our social institutions, most notably the institution of marriage. Feminist writers maintain that violence by men is pervasive and normal, and some have gone as far as to equate violence against women with jungle warfare.

At the centre of the debate on family violence is the argument over who is the biggest victim. Feminists would have us believe that women are unquestionably the greater victims and men are the greater perpetrators - even at the cost of invented figures, illogical arguments and suppressed empirical data which dispel this position. It has been suggested that feminists fear that what is perceived as the more serious problem of wife abuse will be impeded by drawing attention to other forms of domestic violence. In other words, it is believed that by sharing the victim spotlight with men, funds will be diverted away from women's shelters and advocacy and toward the needs of men and others suffering abuse. Is it is too naive of me to suggest that by viewing family violence - and specifically spouse abuse - as a much larger problem than has been until now, more funds could be directed to domestic abuse programs which recognize the role of both partners. These funds could then be used to bring about long term solutions by working with couples and their families instead of the current band aid strategies that shelters offer to women alone.

It is only recently that the presentation of domestic abuse as solely a matter of the victimization of women by men has begun to be questioned by academics, government officials, the media and the public. More and more often, stories about women assaulting their family members appear in our newspapers. Although the story of Susan Smith shocked the nation, a perusal of newspaper articles reveals that she is not the first woman to harm her children. Still, examples of women's violence are continually dismissed as rare events while examples of violence by men are held as symbols of their innate violent make-up. As a consequence, challenges to the patriarchal model of spouse abuse have not been well received by women's advocates, and in fact have been labelled as the "backlash" in the violence against women struggle.

The controversy over the salience of the feminist stance on wife assault has been discussed by only a few academics. The penalties against criticizing feminist ideology are varied but nevertheless, severe. They range from personal attacks such as name calling and malicious rumours, to threats to academic careers, to threats to their family members. Because of this, many academics feel the price of speaking out is too high to pay. On the other hand, those who have braved the consequences and spoken out, have gained public attention and given many reason to rethink what has till now become accepted truths in our societal consciousness. Those who have dared to question the myopic, unidimensional view of domestic abuse have done so because of their commitment to see that the issue of violence perpetrated by women is brought to the forefront after being hidden as wife abuse was 20 years ago.

I want to shift gears now and talk about some specifics. While there is no shortage of official statistics, emergency room reports and anecdotes from shelters supporting the claim that women are very often severely abused by their male partners, these claims in no way: 1) describe the condition of all women in society, nor 2) do they address the issue of abuse sustained by men that has already been demonstrated by several large general population surveys.

With respect to my first point concerning the generalizing of findings from one population to another, I will begin by stating that we must remember that the cases that are described by these clinical data sources (that is the shelters, police and hospitals) reflect the tale end of domestic abuse cases. In other words, these are the most serious examples of domestic abuse.

On the other hand, surveys conducted on random samples of men and women in the general population find equivalent rates of abuse in which the abuse is relatively speaking more benign in nature. By that I mean, the tactics used during incidents of abuse have a lower probability of producing injuries. This is supported by the low rates of injuries reported.

Much of the confusion in the debate over whether or not women are the sole victims of male perpetrated abuse centers around the data source used to report cases of abuse. To resolve this debate, we must begin by asking, "why do women overshadow men in cases of severe abuse?" Based on the information that has flooded the media, the most obvious answer would be "because that is the way it is; these statistics reflect reality". However, there is an alternative explanation which is: "women overshadow men in reports of severe domestic abuse because the sources from which we gather data do not adequately reflect cases of abused males". Think about it, how many abused men can we expect to find in battered women's shelters?

You might argue though that police and emergency room statistics have likewise failed to produce large numbers of male victims of domestic abuse. How do I explain that? My answer is, "look at the cities that have instituted zero tolerance domestic abuse policies". If you compare pre policy male/female arrest ratios with those at present, you will undoubtedly find that the gap between male/female arrests is quickly closing. In fact, in my home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the number of arrests of females is escalating faster than the number of arrests of males. Unfortunately, data on emergency rooms is not as convincing in that few men report domestic abuse as the cause of their injuries. However, based on the anecdotal reports of injured men many say they often lie because they fear they will not be believed.

The bottom line is, we do not have a comparable clinical population of abused men. Appropriate comparisons cannot yet be made between clinically abused males and females, nor can the issue of injuries sustained be appropriately addressed without a parallel population of abused men. Until such time, the motivations for the abuse as well as its associated factors within this high risk population remain unresolved. For now, valid comparisons of male and female abusers should be limited to research conducted on either random samples from the general population or convenience samples drawn from a number of sources including therapy groups.

Unfortunately, this is something that is rarely done and is certainly not reflected in media reports.

In terms of my other point concerning the abuse sustained by men, I will say again, there is ample empirical evidence demonstrating that the perpetration and victimization of spousal abuse within the general population is shared by both men and women. Spousal abuse is not exclusively a woman's issue. Yet this notion of domestic violence as being solely a women's issue still persists. In addition to what I has already been said, the strong adherence to female victimization by males centers on women's use of violence as being motivated only by self defence as well as men's greater relative physical strength over women.

Research by Straus and colleagues has demonstrated that an equal proportion of men and women initiate episodes of domestic abuse. This suggests that self defence is not likely a factor in these cases. My own research goes a step further by straight forwardly asking "was the abuse perpetrated in self defence?". Results indicated that only 9.9% of women and 14.8% of men said they perpetrated abuse in self defence during the year prior to the survey. In other words, for the vast majority of men and women, the abuse they perpetrated was for reasons other than self defence.

To date, there are no data that take into account height and weight as a factor involved in the perpetration of domestic abuse. As a result, comments regarding men's greater relative physical strength as a predictor of perpetrated abuse are strictly speculative. While it makes intuitive sense that a person of greater stature and strength will have the advantage in a physical assault, it would be a mistake to believe that one's greater relative strength is the only determining factor in the outcome of a domestic assault. Anecdotal reports from abused men suggest that small framed women exert considerable fear and intimidation by threatening to take their children away and by other forms of emotional abuse such as insults and degradation. We know all too well that anyone can compensate for a lack of strength with a weapon. The case of Lorena and John Bobbitt speaks to that issue quite well.

My point is that we should not automatically jump on to the band wagon that discredits the other reality that men like women can be victims as well as perpetrators of abuse. Regardless of our gender, we are all members of the same human species with the same innate drives of flight or fight. Each one of us has the ability to react violently given the right set of circumstances. What the literature on spousal abuse has shown us is that there is considerable variability in what triggers violent responses to marital conflicts. Some of abusers are triggered by stress, while others are triggered by alcohol, unemployment, family background or poor coping skills.

In most cases, it is a complex combination and interaction of these factors that predispose men and women to use violence to resolve conflicts in their intimate relationships. The job of research is to identify these triggers and be able to accurately predict who is most vulnerable and under what set of circumstances. Once accomplished, the road to effective intervention may be at hand.

I want to conclude this talk by making a plea for honesty during future discussions on domestic abuse. As a woman who is deeply concerned about the well being of all women, I cannot help being frustrated by attempts to resolve the abuse that many women suffer by turning a blind eye to other women who inflict serious physical and emotional abuse on their loved ones. By denying this aspect of many women's existence, we do little to help women cope with life's stressors, or assist them in building more satisfactory intimate relationships. In our efforts to improve the lives of all women, it is incumbent upon us to see all aspects of their reality. Even more damaging to the image of women is the self imposed label of victim. In doing so, we deny ourselves the empowerment that we have long strived toward. As long as women subscribe to the notion of universal victimhood, they will never experience the freedom that goes along with having control over their lives.

The truth is, thank goodness, we are not all victims. Research shows us that 89% to 97% of couples report no violence during the year prior to the surveys conducted. In light of these findings, it seems that it would be more appropriate to examine the factors associated with women who have risen above the abuse and have made positive changes in their lives instead of continuously focusing on the small subset of women who have been unable to free themselves from extremely violent relationships. An approach such as this may provide the needed insight to help those still caught in abusive relationships. If not for ourselves, then we need to think about our children and do what is necessary to improve their lives. Since domestic abuse is often handed down from one generation to the next, the only way we can protect our children's future is to stop the abuse they witness and experience in their lives today. Let's take off our politically correct blinders and see the problem of domestic violence for what it really is. Domestic abuse involves and affects all family members!

Written by Dr. Reena Sommer
University of Manitoba

Source: http://www.reenasommerassociates.mb.ca/a_wfn.html