Solid Gold From Hugo the Collaborationist
And for an extra goody, there is a comment from yours truly about halfway up the thread!
Anyway, the comment from Marc A. was so exceptionally fine I wanted to share it:
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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
National Coalition of Free Men, Los Angeles chapter