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May 16, 2004

Mother's Day Post, Revisited « Media Distortions »

A few comments were left regarding this post last week.

They were left while I was in transit, and I wanted to take some time to respond to them more fully, so I didn't get to it until now.

Much of this post is in response to Ilyaka...I suspect that she was merely reacting to a misunderstanding of what her opponents were advocating. However, I feel must respond to what she actually said, including giving my reaction to logical implications. I'm willing to retract any of my assertions if her implications were unintentional.

Ilyaka kicks things off with this quote:

According to estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), there were 691,710 nonfatal violent victimizations committed by current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends of the victims during 2001 (table 1). Such crimes — intimate partner violence — primarily involve female victims. About 588,490, or 85% of victimizations by intimate partners in 2001 were against women. Intimate partner violence made up 20% of violent crime against women in 2001. By contrast, during the year intimate partners committed 3% of all nonfatal violence against men. (See Criminal Victimization 2001, Changes 2000-01, with Trends 1993-2001, NCJ 194610, for more information on victim/offender relationship.)

...then tries to pre-emptively dismiss any counterclaims by dismissing anything else as "conspiracy theories". This shows her unwillingness to actually face anything that might contradict her world view, as evidenced by the fact that she can base her entire argument on one stat by one organization. Sure, I'm sure she could find others, but to maintain her view she must ignore a whole host of information too voluminous to be mere conspiracy.

And here's the search string from which I found all those links in the first two pages. There's at least 22 pages (I didn't bother to click further), not all of which is applicable, of course.

But Ilyaka could have still been slightly more aware of both her source and the context of her data. The source is the US government, which assumes that violence is mostly men against women and the context goes right in line with this: since the law is written to arrest and prosecute men if any violence occurs, regardless of by whom and on whom, then naturally more men will be arrested and prosecuted. Since the legal system assumes that men are more violent, then naturally more men will be convicted, which is then used to justify laws that require men to be arrested and prosecuted even if they were a victim of violence. It's a vicious cycle.

The context of the web debate is that Cathy Young points out that the current laws in many locations are to automatically arrest and prosecute men if the police are called in a domestic violence dispute. If the violence is perpetrated on women 85% of the time as Ilyaka asserts, that would still not justify automatically arresting the man, because even by her own citing, in 15% of the cases the wrong person would be arrested. The people she was debating/disagreeing with (including Cathy Young's report, and Jeff Goldstein and Dean Esmay who were agreeing with Ms. Young) were not advocating men not bein arrested, they were just saying asserting that there are enough indications that women are violent against men to justify eliminating automatically arresting the man. If for no other reason, because even a false arrest can be used by women to prevent the man from getting custody.

Whether or not she intended to, Ilyaka is thus advocating that because of past conviction rates (not actual violence statistics, but only those that are reported, acted on by the police, brought to trial, and then convicted), men should, in fact, always be arrested in any domestic violence incident, regardless of that actual facts.

Someone gave the example of an argument in which he threw a dish into the corner. Ilyaka, perhaps unintentionally, insists he be arrested. Once, my ex-wife charged me and bit my arm (leaving teeth marks), ripped my shirt, pinched and twisted my skin hard enough to leave bruises, slapped me, choked me while saying "I'll kill you, I'll kill you!", and hit me hard enough to break my glasses. Since "guys aren't supposed to hit girls", I left the room and punched the wall in frustration, leaving a small hole. When my ex-wife saw this, she began wailing about my violent nature and was inconsolable for an hour. Had she called the police, Ilyaka would not have been satisfied unless I had been arrested for that, since 85% of convictions for violence are given to men. Thanks, Ilyaka, it's nice to know you are so charitable toward me.

The whole post is because I'm a little sick of the Deification (canonization?) of women in our society. I've already ranted (as have others) about how men are treated in something as ubiquitous as TV commercials and Sitcoms. The point of the post (and the other Mother's Day post), is to assert that women are no better (but also no worse), than men.

Women are merely the other side of the coin; generally, where men have a weakness, women have an opposite but equal weakness. If men obsess too much about sex, and use women to satisfy that craving, women obsess too much about money/security and use men to satisfy that craving. If men will dump women for someone younger/prettier/thinner, women will dump men for someone richer/more successful. If men have an urge to have sex with different women, women have an urge to control every aspect of their man's life and activities.

Women usually want to change the man they're with. Women nag. Women often judge/reject their partner's friends, yet hold their own as sacrosanct.

Women are petty, and will hate another woman for nothing more than having naturally clear skin, or garnering more attention from males. Beautiful women usually have few female friends...

Women are extremely capable of justifying their own actions (to themselves, at least), and thus a fight between women is usually extremely vicious with little sense of proportion. When men fight, it goes until someone says "uncle" and then it's done, sometimes resulting in new-found respect or friendship. When women fight, they are out to destroy, maim, or kill, and they will be enemies for life.

This is not to say that women are any worse. All the above aspersions are merely from looking at it from a male perspective. Men are just as bad from a female perspective. However, I wish to reiterate that I am extremely tired of our society, as well as specific members of our society, attempting to put women on a higher plane. Thus you get comments like Jo's:

...something in the neighborhood of 80% of those are considered "medical neglect". Considering the high rate of single moms and even married mothers being considered the primary "caregiver", this is something that should be taken into consideration when looking at these kinds of stats.

Perhaps I misunderstood what Jo meant by posting that...but let's turn it around:

...something in the neighborhood of 80% of men's abuse of children is "unintentional beatings", borne of frustration from women nagging and nitpicking. When men do kill, at least it's quick and relatively painless with a gunshot instead of slow and agonizing like "medical neglect", poisoning, or drowning the kid, which women usually do, and that should be taken into consideration when looking at these kinds of stats."

See how ridiculous that sounds? There is no rational way to try mitigate or minimize the fact of abuse, or trying to turn it around for it to "really be men's fault, actually". If you want to try to mitigate women's culpability by the reality of single-motherhood, you might want to go right back to the initial debate which is that the current policy of "automatically" arresting and prosecuting the man in complete disregard to actual facts of the case results in more men being forced out of the home, away from their kids. That's what Ms Young was asserting from the beginning, and what Jeff G. and Dean E. were supporting with non-"conspiracy theory" facts: that the current system does not help women or children, and should be reconsidered.

I'll restate it, more simply:
1) Domestic violence is a complex issue, and cannot simply be characterized as "Man on Woman".
2) As such, our current legal system that assumes that circumstance should be overhauled to reflect the true situation.
3) When a man has beaten a woman, he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
4) However, when a woman assaults/commits battery on a man, it should also be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and currently is not.
5) When the violence is mutual, which is in approximately half of all domestic violence incidents, automatically arresting and prosecuting the man will not solve anything, and new solutions are required.

But there are people who are committed to making sure that no one even investigates the possibility. I sincerely hope Ilyaka isn't one of those.

Because here's some stats that are not mere conspiracy theory:

Violence against children by women is another issue where the public attitude is very different than the facts revealed by formal studies. The Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-3) from the US Department of Health and Human Services (call 1-800-FYI-3366 for a copy) reveals data about child abuse by mothers:

Women commit most child abuse in intact biological families. When the man is removed from the family the children are at greater risk. Mother-only households are more dangerous to children than father-only households.

Children are 3 times more likely to be fatally abused in Mother-only Households than in Father-only Households, and many times more likely in households where the mother cohabits with a man other than the biological father.

Children raised in Single-mother Households are 8 times more likely to become killers than children raised with their biological father.

Other studies reveal more about female violence against children:

Women hit their male children more frequently and more severely than they hit their female children.

Women commit 55% of child murders and 64% of their victims are male children.

Eighty two percent of the general population had their first experience of violence at the hands of women, usually their mother.

Our culture learns to be violent from our mothers, not our fathers.

Yet, 3.1 million reports of child abuse are filed against men each year, most of which are false accusations used as leverage in a divorce or custody case.

And some more:


Minor Assaults: 
Year 1975 1985 1992

Assault by husband 98 82 92

Assault by wife 98 75 94


Severe Assaults:
Year 1975 1985 1992

Assault by husband 38 30 19

Assault by wife 47 43 44


Wives report they have been severely assaulted by husband
22 per 1000

Wives report they have severely assaulted husband
59 per 1000

Husbands report they have been severely assaulted by wives
32 per 1000

Husbands report they have severely assaulted wives
18 per 1000

Husbands & wives both report wife has been assaulted
20 per 1000

Husbands & wives both report husband has been assaulted
44 per 1000

(Tables prepared using data from "Change In Spouse Assault Rates From 1975 to 1992: A Comparison of Three National Surveys In The United States", by Murray A. Straus and Glenda Kaufman Kantor)

Posted by Nathan at 09:28 PM | Comments (4)
Comments

Hmmm...I am still stewing on it, but over all some very thought provoking things here and I agree with much of it...but still need to allow it to sink in and re-read...

You know that I support this, really, but I think that it what I am examining is my reaction to a man saying it...interesting

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