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August 18, 2005

Comments

bmmg39

"I had a feeling that we might not have gotten the whole story here. I spoke with someone who was at the event and they explained things from a different perspective. It seems that the reason the panel started focusing on male victims was that there were questions taken from the audience and the first question was about men who were victims of DV. It was apparently during this time that the woman in the audience that Hugo refers to became enraged that men were being discussed and became beligerant and loud. Someone in the audience apparently told her she was in need of a batterers program! This lady doesn't sound like the innocent victim to me nor does the situation sound much like Hugo described."

There are, indeed, more than two sides to every story...

Adryenn Ashley

This is long overdue, but I want to thank Hugo for being a panelist after the movie. I am not the producer of that film, I was just helping out a fellow filmmaker by moderating the panel (or trying to as the case may be).

The film did generate discussion and I think there were some very good points raised by the audience and some good dialogue was started. But what I would have really liked to see was some suggestions on ways to reduce the incidence of Domestic Violence as a whole, not gender specific, but since we do know the two most common triggers (communication and money), I was hoping that we could find a few suggestions that might work.

I have to say, the Rev. Bond was antagonistic, and decidedly unempathetic. The girl who shared her personal experience at the end of the film was IN the film, as the final scene where she and her partner make up and overcome the violence. She was there with her friends, to see her in a movie, and then to have the Rev. not give her words the proper respect, or even acknowledge her experience and pain, but just to go on and say that she has to accept her own guilt. This to a woman who has just shared with a screening room full of strangers that she was molested by her uncle at the ripe age of 4, and in front of her parents who did nothing to save her. This was gut wrenching and emotional and I give her credit for being able to do it. But then the Rev takes her to task for being emotional and not accepting her guilt!

I am just now reviewing and editing the footage from the panel discussion and I have to say, again, Hugo, it was a real pleasure. I look forward to continuing our discussions.

Hugo

Thanks, Adryenn; I'm excited to see how the discussion footage comes together. I do think Michael's film deserves a wider audience! I think that we can create a forum to talk about finding common ground, and do so without the kind of rancor that we saw at the screening. All that heat suggests that there's lots of passion to tap into; we have lots of opportunity to move forward positively. Keep me in the loop!

mythago

here on my campus

Oh my. Suddenly I understand why you are that way.

Dr E

Hi Adryenn - Thanks for the first hand report. I am interested in checking out the film when it is ready.

I am curious what got the woman upset to begin with? Was she upset that men were being discussed, (and therefore that women weren't) as I had heard? Sounds like the Reverend was a real pill but what was her initial problem over?

thanks

Joseph

Reasonably speaking, violence has been a tool men have used to gained ascendancy over the environment, both physical and human. Asking men to foreswear violence would be like asking women to foreswear, say, using sexual manipulation.

For example, we might criminalize women who play the old game of "No sex until I get what I want." Effectively, men are being asked to unilaterally disarm. Why on earth should they?

On a more practical level, how do you plan to get men to give up violence? Right now, women rely on a combination of manipulation and violence to get their way: by using the police and court systems, which hold a near-monopoly on (legal) violence domestically. Clearly, women (and feminist men) want violence, as long as it is not done by themselves.

Joseph Miranda

From another posting on this site:

"Ameriskank is the charming MRA term for those women in this country who are unwilling to be doormats"

I've been involved with Men's Rights groups for years and this is the first time I have ever seen the word "Ameriskank" used.

It is true that many American men are tired of abusive treatment from American women and may look elsewhere for a little decency. (Typical US male complaints about American women: women who talk about "commitment" but then stand up men when it comes to dating; women demanding equality but then expecting men to pick up the tab when dating (or to pay off their mortgage); women talking about liberation but playing the puritanical game of exchanging sex for a wedding ring; women lying about using birth control in order to entrap a man).

There's also an odd assumption that US women are "strong" whereas third world women are easy for men to dominate.

My experience is just the opposite. American women are incredibly dependent upon therapists, campus support groups, affirmative action programs, "spirit guides," sexual harassment attorneys, and men who have power and will protect them (such as Bill Clinton).

Women I have dated from the "third world" and Eastern Europe are incredibly independent and able to get things done. Often in their home countries, they have faced death squads, guerrilla wars and economic collapse. They do not collapse in tears because someone told a risqué joke at work.

This is why I see more American men looking abroad for wives. They prefer strong women.

mythago

Asking men to foreswear violence would be like asking women to foreswear, say, using sexual manipulation.

So you don't agree with the oft-cited studies showing women engage in domestic violence as often as men?

American women are incredibly dependent upon therapists, campus support groups, affirmative action programs, "spirit guides," sexual harassment attorneys, and men who have power and will protect them (such as Bill Clinton).

Because all American women are wealthy and upper-middle-class. Plus, they have Bill Clinton's phone number. All of 'em!

Joseph

Plus, they have Bill Clinton's phone number. All of 'em!

Well, I think Big Bill has their phone numbers!

Joseph

My point was something like this: feminists have made an issue of "men's violence against women." But if violence is (in feminist mythology) the means by which men control women, then from a practical political point of view, why on earth should men foreswear it?

Consider the topic of the movie: if wives do not want their husbands to use violence against them, then why not simply stop provoking men with language or other female games?

Joseph

My secondary point is that while feminists may claim to be against violence (and often espouse a quasi-pacifism for foreign policy, i.e., "women do not want war"), feminists advocate increasing amounts of state violence against men: they want the police and court system to use violence against men to enforce VAWA, child support, and so forth programs.

While (feminist) women may not want to do the dirty work themselves, they have no problem with getting men (police) to do it for them.

Marc Angelucci

Hugo,

I disagree with your argument that the statistics were irrelevant. They are very relevant. Feminists have distorted statistics for decades in order to cover up and misrepresent the nature of domestic violence to fit their man/bad woman/good model. So statistics are important. In fact, they are absolutely critical to understanding a social problem like domestic violence. Would you try to cure cancer without looking at the research and the science to first understand the problem? Of course not. We also need to look at the social science, and research and statistics, to understand domestic violence before we try to find solutions. Statistics are only irrelevant to you when the data you don't like is being cited. When feminists cite their false 95% figure, I doubt you tell them not to cite statistics.

The statistics were especially important for a discussion on the film because the film was driving at some of the hidden dynamics of domestic violence. The MRA's appreciated the film but had their own criticism of the film too, just as the feminists did. The MRA's felt that the film was a start, and opened the door to looking at women's part in domestic violence, but that the film in some ways only played in to the myth that women commit more verbal abuse while men commit more physical abuse in relationships. The social science says otherwise, and that's why statistics mattered.

The Violence Against Women Survey, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, found:

"According to these estimates, approximately 1.5 million women and 834,732 men are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. Because many victims are victimized more than once, the number of intimate partner victimizations exceeds the number of intimate partner victims annually. Thus, approximately 4.9 million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults are perpetrated against U.S. women annually, and approximately 2.9 million intimate partner physical assaults are committed against U.S. men annually. These findings suggest that intimate partner violence is a serious criminal justice and public health concern."

http://www.ncjrs.org/txtfiles1/nij/181867.txt

That makes men at least 36% of the victims. And the same study, if you read on, acknowledges that other studies, particularly the National Family Violence Survey, found that women initiate DV as often as men do. Over 150 studies now confirm this. See them summarized at http://www.ncjrs.org/txtfiles1/nij/181867.txt

The most recent "Crime Victimization Survey" from the Department of Justice shows men are 25% of the victims. That's the lowest available number for men because it's a crime survey, which looks at DV in the context of "crime," and people are less likely to see it as a crime when it's female-on-male than the reverse. But even the 25% figure is very significant.

The Sherriff's department of San Bernardino County helps refute the "female violence isn't serious" myth, and the "self-defense" myth as well.
http://www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/sheriff/dvra/dom_viol_facts_main.htm

Consider this emergency room survey as well, about male victims. Over 12% of men in an inner city emergency room said they were physically assaulted by a female partner in the past 12 months, often with weapons and hard object, and the victims were disproportionately minorities.
www.aemj.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/8/786

While it is true that the data shows women are injured more often then men, the data also shows that 38% of injured victims are men. (Archer, Psychological Bulletin, 11/02. That is significant, and those victims do not deserve to be downplayed by feminists. Notice how it is always the feminists who are downplaying victims. MRA's are not downplaying the numbers of female victims, but feminists are constantly trying to downplay the numbers of male victims, and their severity. It is the MRAs who are asking for inclusion, while the feminists are fighting to keep the issue gender-exclusive, and to not include male victims in the language, outreach and services. They go against their own supposed principles of not excluding underserved groups. Injuries are also irrelevant to the larger picture, because domestic violence is an intergenerational problem, and even minor violence is harmful to children when they witness it. You cannot solve it without being honest about it.

REFUTING THE SELF-DEFENSE MYTH

Huge, during the panel discussion, you said that you are among those pro-feminist men who believe domestic violence by women is primarily in self-defense. But research (serious, published, peer-reviewed, objective research, not stuff from Kates, Flood or Kimmel), strongly refutes the self-defense argument. As I stated at the panel, the self-defense argument is just another way for feminists to continue covering up female violence in order to preserve their ideological approach to it.

Professor John Archer, president of the International Society on Aggression, published the most comprehensive meta-analysis of existing data on domestic violence ever. It published in the November 2000 issue of the Psychological Bulletin, a peer-reviewed, top-notch journal published by the American Psychological Association. He found that women initiated domestic violence at least as often as men and that men make 38% of injured victims. As to the self-defense argument, Archer said:

"It has often been claimed that the reason CTS studies have found as many women as men to be physically aggressive is because women are defending themselves against attack. A number of studies have addressed this issue and found that when asked, more women than men report initiating the attack. (Bland & Orn. 1986; DeMaris, 1992; Gryl & Bird. 1989. cited in Straus. 1997) or that the proportions are equivalent in the two sexes (Straus, 1997). Two large-scale studies found that a substantial proportion of both women and men report using physical aggression when the partner did not (Brush, 1990; Straus & Gelles, 1988). This evidence DOES not support the view that the CTS is only measuring women’s self-defense."

- John Archer, Ph.D., "Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review, Psychological Bulletin," Sept. 2000. v. 126, n. 5, p. 651, 664.

Professor Richard Gelles, who conducted over ten years of domestic violence research for the U.S. Department of Mental Health, and who authored the National Family Violence Survey, said:

"[C]ontrary to the claim that women only hit in self-defense, we found that women were as likely to initiate the violence as were men. In order to correct for a possible bias in reporting, we reexamined our data looking only at the self-reports of women. The women reported similar rates of female-to-male violence compared to male-to-female, and women also reported they were as likely to initiate the violence as were men."

- Richard Gelles, Ph.D, "The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence; Male Victims," 1999, The Women's Quarterly, Re-published at www.ncfmla.org/gelles.html

In a survey of 1,000 college women at California State University (Long Beach), 30 percent of the women admitted having assaulted a male partner, and their most common reasons they gave were: (1) “my partner wasn’t listening to me,” (2) “my partner wasn’t being sensitive to my needs,” and (3) “I wished to gain my partner's attention.”

- Straus/Hoff, “Why Women Assault; College Women Who Initiate Assaults on their Male Partners and the Reasons Offered for Such Behavior,” 1997, Psychological Reports, 80, 583-590, www.batteredmen.com/fiebertg.htm.

This official government site of the County Sheriff of San Bernardino cites the Cal State Long Beach study in response to the self defense myth.
www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/sheriff/dvra/dom_viol_facts_main.htm

A major study of domestic violence that asked about motives found men and women assault their partners not only at the same rates but also for the same reasons, most often “to get through to them,” while self-defense was one of the least common motives for both sexes.

- Carrado, “Aggression in British Heterosexual Relationships: A Descriptive Analysis, Aggressive Behavior,” 1996, 22: 401-415.)

Sarantakos, S., "Deconstructing self-defense in wife-to-husband violence," Journal of Men's Studies, A major study of domestic violence that asked about motives found men and women assault their partners not only at the same rates but also for the same reasons, most often “to get through to them,” while self-defense was one of the least common motives for both sexes.

Dr. Reena Sommer did another study which refuted the self-defense myth. "Male and female partner abuse: Testing a diathesis-stress model," (1994), unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. (The study was in two waves: the first was from 1989-1990 and included a random sample of 452 married or cohabiting women and 447 married or cohabiting men from Winnipeg, Canada; the second was from 1991-1992 and included 368 women and 369 men all of whom participated in the first wave. Subjects completed the CTS & other assessment instruments. 39.1% of women reported being physically aggressive (16.2% reporting having perpetrated severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their male partner. While 26.3% of men reported being physically aggressive (with 7.6% reporting perpetrating severe violence) at some point in their relationship with their female partner. Among the perpetrators of partner abuse, 34.8% of men and 40.1% of women reported observing their mothers hitting their fathers. Results indicate that 21% of "males' and 13% of females' partners required medical attention as a result of a partner abuse incident." Results also indicate that "10% of women and 15% of men perpetrated partner abuse in self defense.")

For a scholarly analysis of the data on male victims, the historical suppression of the data, and a solid refutation of the arguments made by feminists who want to minimize and downplay male victims, see Professor Linda Kelly's excellent law review article, "Disabusing the Definition of Domestic Abuse; How Women Batter Men and the Role of the Feminist State," 30 Florida State Law Review 791 (2003), at www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/304/kelly.pdf

Domestic violence shelter directors in Los Angeles continuously abused Patricia Overberg because she made space for male victims in her shelter, Valley Oasis in Lancaster. She was subjected to their abuse for years, even though she never had any problems with male victims, and she saw male victims travel for hundreds of miles because nobody else would help them. Her declaration is at
www.ncfmla.org/pdf/overberg.pdf

Do you honestly think this is fair, Hugo? Do you think it's fair that Health & Safety Code Section 124250 defines "domestic violence" so that only women can be victims? This is why we talk about statistics. When we try to raise awareness about this, we have to overcome the stereotypes that feminists have spread that male victims are very few.

The numbers shouldn't matter, because even one victim is one too many. But unfortunately, given the climate we're in, the statistics do matter. That's why we cite them.

Marc Angelucci
President
National Coalition of Free Men, Los Angeles chapter
www.ncfmla.org

fidelbogen

How very, very fascinating that an MRA of Marc Angelucci's calibre got the last word on this thread. (Well, until right now anyway ;)

But hey, Marc IS a tough act to follow - no question about it!

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