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Pre-2008 Posts

16 Days Campaign Against, Not Gender, MALE Violence

I began my blogging about the 16 Days Campaign against “gender” violence with yesterday’s post about  the International Day Against Violence Against Women and the work of the World March of Women.  I am going to continue blogging about this campaign but I am not going to call it the “16 Days Campaign Against ‘Gender’ Violence.”  The violence we are campaigning against is not female violence, it is male violence.    It is in my opinoin wrong to obscure the important facts about who is doing what to whom in the world by referring to “gender violence” instead of “male violence.”  It is males who commit violence against both males and females, with the rarest of exceptions.

Heart

Discussion

12 thoughts on “16 Days Campaign Against, Not Gender, MALE Violence

  1. Yeah, it would be a bunch of University pricks and their female sycophants who erase women once again.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | November 27, 2007, 7:06 pm
  2. Hi Heart,

    I would tend to agree with you — a campaign against “gender violence” obscures the fact that it almost an exclusively male preserve to enact violence upon women and children. Why men do this is not something I really understand. Is it because women or children are simply less able to defend themselves physically? Or is the lace of social defense that women can call upon, since men dominate and define terms in patriarchal societies and get away with terrorizing women? Or do men batter women not just because they can often get away with it, but also because the victims are female — that is, do these men abuse women out of cross-gender hatred? I don’t know.

    There are women who batter their male or female partners (as well as child abusers who are female). I don’t know what motivates women who batter others, but I doubt it’s distaste for the opposite gender or hatred of their own gender. And I don’t think women who batter do so with any kind of historical consent from the patriarchy. Rather, this is a shameful secret that male and female victims most often conceal from others. In these cases of women who batter, I would guess it comes from a simpler, more raw desire to dominate and grind down the resistance of other individuals. In doing so, these women are exercising a very personal, not socially condoned tyranny.

    So here’s my question: just how prevalent or rare is the case of women battering their male or female partners? Do we have any reliable statistics on this? I know this came up as an issue in lesbian circles in the 1990s, but I don’t know if it was an overblown issue or an ongoing, pervasive issue among lesbian couples. So I don’t know how much of this among women is really a social issue at all, and how much is just nasty individuals’ psychology and deviance that can be dealt with on an individual case by case basis either through social services or legal prosecution.

    Any thoughts?

    Posted by twitch | November 27, 2007, 8:17 pm
  3. twitch, this may at least partially answer some of your questions:
    http://stormcloud.wordpress.com/2006/10/26/gender-neutrality-mavt-watm-and-other-spin/

    Posted by stormy | November 28, 2007, 12:16 am
  4. Great post, stormy! Just what the doc ordered, too, for another woman who had asked for some statistics, etc., to respond to men’s rights spamming in her local newspaper. I’ll direct her to your link.

    Posted by womensspace | November 28, 2007, 12:37 am
  5. I completely agree with you, Heart. ‘Gender’ violence my arse. Just like ‘Domestic Violence’- a phrase manufactured to obscure who exactly is doing the violence to whom.

    Posted by Laurelin | November 28, 2007, 12:57 am
  6. Excellent post, stormy, and quite timely from my perspective. Thanks!

    JJ

    Posted by JJ | November 28, 2007, 2:02 am
  7. Stormy,

    Thanks for all that info at your website. I learned a lot! I hope other readers go there too.

    It is unfortunate that these statistics leave out what happens between women in lesbian relationships or between men in gay relationships. Studying and comparing that might actually reveal still more about what is common to all, what is the purview of men, what motivates and enables the violence in any relationship, etc..

    Anecdotally speaking, I found a lot of my lesbian acquaintenances in the 1990s taking on the issue of domestic violence as a specifically lesbian relationship issue. Supposedly this was because of a huge hidden problem of lesbian domestic violence. Yet I never came across this personally. And when I listened more closely to some who were claiming abuse, I found that “abuse” as a term was getting used almost indiscriminately — everything from loud arguments to public drama to general unhappiness with one’s partner could get that term appended to it. This made me suspect that domestic violence among lesbians might actually be a rather statistically small occurence.

    And it made me wonder if, yet again, we lesbians had taken on an issue as our own that really wasn’t exactly “ours” but rather others’, even if we cared very much for those others. Kind of like the safe sex movement of the 1980s when we lesbians were urged to use dental dams and saran wrap and pretend how satisfying and cool that was. Yeah, right. And then, finally, a friend of mine in the AIDS field studying specific female to female transmission put that lie to rest. So you don’t hear that crap about dental dams anymore.

    Well, I’m really veering off-topic here. But thanks again for the information.

    Posted by twitch | November 28, 2007, 5:50 am
  8. Thanks Heart. I think it’s the pie charts that do it. I have grown since then as a radfem — these days I wouldn’t do the pink/blue colour coding!😛

    Posted by stormy | November 28, 2007, 7:25 am
  9. Hello! Carnival’s up and running at mine. See you there! Pippa

    Posted by pippa | November 28, 2007, 10:37 am
  10. Ya know, this is yet one more example of the way men insisted that their crimes against females be hidden, and yet one more time that women went along with the scam.

    Anyone care to make a list?

    I see so many things in the feminst writings which makes no sense to me, but everybody sits in their own armed little camp, taking potshots at each other and talking past each other, without trying to communicate honestly.

    I’d add transgender issues to that list.

    How can a person feel as if hiz genitalia does not match hiz personality, IF gender has no meaning? By claiming that one must possess the physical chararcteristics of a woman in order to wear traditional female symbols or express traditional female qualities, doesn’t that attitude re-enforce traditional patriarchal standards, rather than eliminate them?

    Thanks for the link to Stormy’s page, that’s a keeper.

    Posted by m Andrea | November 28, 2007, 4:20 pm
  11. a campaign against “gender violence” obscures the fact that it almost an exclusively male preserve to enact violence upon women and children. Why men do this is not something I really understand. Is it because women or children are simply less able to defend themselves physically? Or is the lace of social defense that women can call upon, since men dominate and define terms in patriarchal societies and get away with terrorizing women? Or do men batter women not just because they can often get away with it, but also because the victims are female — that is, do these men abuse women out of cross-gender hatred?

    Right now, I’m going to swing for socialisation because I’m still angry:/

    I’ve just observed/been in a situation where it’s okay for a man to throw tantrums, but we women must tiptoe around and placate him. It’s not okay for me to shout at him because he’s destroying my possessions. Because that might upset him. Might make him worse.
    Women are socialised from birth to accept and appease male violence.

    Men have minimal, if any, training to not be violent. Women’s merest retaliation is unacceptable.

    Posted by Sophie | November 28, 2007, 10:35 pm
  12. Hi twitch

    I think your comment may have been in the mod queue, so I missed it until today.

    I am not really sure if lesbian DV is over-reported or not, but if I find out, I shall let you know.

    Referring to Sophie’s comment (kind of related), I really do believe that a lot of the female abuser – male victim is over-reported, probably for the reasons you say, as well as females defending themselves or retaliating against male attack. A common ‘defence’ by male abusers is that “she hit me first” or “I was just defending myself”, “we abuse each other”, and a lot of cops buy into that, therefore criming it incorrectly.

    Where females are abusers it is usually because of mental illness, personality disorder, or prior history of abuse (usually from males). Where males are abusers, it is usually bullying, spoilt brat syndrome, or just plain ol’ male entitlement (aka demi-god syndrome). In a male-female situation, males usually have a clear height/weight/build/muscle mass advantage over the female. Let’s remember, in the boxing ring they match opponents’ weight. No such luxury in DV.

    Posted by stormy | November 29, 2007, 6:02 pm

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